We Enjoyed Our Day Trips From Leamington In Southern Ontario
On our long weekend visit, we enjoyed several day trips from Leamington in Southern Ontario.
We wanted a long weekend break. There were lots of options for short road trips from Toronto. We explored along the shores of Lake Erie as a day trip before. But for this trip we decided to head back to Lake Erie for a longer stay. We booked a lovely Airbnb outside of Leamington for 3 nights right on Lake Erie. It was a perfect long weekend escape.
We visited Point Pelee National Park as a day trip many years before. On this trip we returned and explored more of the park and the most southerly point on the mainland in Canada.
But we also wanted to hit the most southern point in Canada so we booked a ferry and explored Pelee Island. We enjoyed our wine tasting at the Pelee Island Winery on Pelee Island. And then we also visited the Pelee Island Winery location in Kingsville too.
So many great things to see and do from Leamington.
A Relaxing Airbnb Stay In Leamington
From Toronto it was about a 3.5 hour estimated drive time to Leamington when we left after rush hour. It took us almost 6.5 hours so you know we took the slow and scenic route we choose for road trips. It was the start of strawberry season so we made a detour and picked up a supply of juicy berries at Heeman’s Market near London. We visited several different local markets on this trip. Well worth the stops!
It was clear that we were in farm country. Fields were just starting to bloom. And we were amazed at the size of the greenhouses we found. When we saw that Leamington was the Tomato Capital of Canada, we knew the greenhouses included rows and rows of tomatoes. We were happy when we saw large fields of wind turbines and solar power arrays. Although we also saw both oil rigs and natural gas stations.
We easily found our Airbnb outside of Leamington and got moved in. There was lots of room and all the cooking supplies we needed. The yard looked out on Lake Erie. Red Muskoka chairs called to us.
We were excited to start our day trips from Leamington.
Pelee Island By Ferry
Pelee Island was the most southern inhabited point in Canada. We found ferries to Pelee Island from Leamington and nearby Kingsville in Ontario. There was also a ferry from Sandusky in the U.S.A. When we visited, it was highly recommended to make advance reservations for the ferries.
We wanted a long day on Pelee Island so we bought an early morning ticket from Leamington for the Pelee Islander II ferry. And chose the last ferry off the island on the Pelee Islander ferry. By booking online in advance and travelling on a Friday, we made sure we got one of the few spots for cars. The Pelee Islander II held only a maximum of 34 cars – assuming all cars were small cars. And the older Pelee Islander held far fewer cars at 12. Walk-on passengers could also book tickets online in advance.
We watched the Pelee Islander II ferry arrive at the Leamington dock. And then drove onto the ferry through the large bow door for an easy drive off when we arrived. The much smaller Pelee Islander ferry juggled the cars into the tighter space. We had to back up and turn around when we exited. It was interesting to try out both the ferries that serviced Pelee Island.
It was a 1.5 hour transit and we were not allowed to stay in our car. Both ferries had lots of deck space and seating to enjoy the views on the trip. There was seating indoors and some food services. But the ferry trip went quickly. Our timing was perfect for the return trip as we caught the sunset.
Our day trips from Leamington started on the Point Pelee ferry.
Wine Tasting On Pelee Island
The ferry from Leamington landed at the West Dock. And we left from the same spot. We were up on deck as we approached.
We arrived on Pelee Island just before our scheduled tour and wine tasting at Pelee Island Winery. Our tour gave us a good view of the vineyard. Most of the grapes used by the Pelee Island Winery came from Pelee Island. But no processing was done on the island.
Our tour included a tasting with 2 white and 2 red wines. We found 2 wines to take home. We then went up to the main tasting bar and tried some rosé wines and icewines. And found another favourite wine to buy.
It was great to start our day trips from Leamington with a wine tasting experience at the Pelee Island Winery.
Wandering Around Pelee Island On Day Trips From Leamington
You can follow the Pelee Island Waterfront Trail completely around the coast of Pelee Island for 28 km. With our car, we planned to do the full route on our visit.
We found places to rent bikes, e-bikes and golf carts. But we were told to book in advance to make sure you got what you wanted. The bike paths were well marked and signs reminded us to share the road with the golf carts. There was even a Trolley that went around the island. So even if we visited Pelee Island as walk-on traveller, there were ways to explore the areas far from the West Dock.
After our wine tasting experience at the Pelee Island Winery we stopped at the Stone House for lunch. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the view.
As we drove around the Island we found lots of signs for Beach Access. Although not many had much parking. At one time the island was all swamp and many areas were still set aside as wetland habitats and marshes.
We stopped at the trail head for the Pelee Island Lighthouse path. There was limited parking at this spot too. We ran short of time and it was a hike out to see the lighthouse, so we passed on this sight on Pelee Island. A short stop at the Scudder Marina did not give us the view of the lighthouse we expected.
As we drove along, we went past the boarded up Calvary Anglican Church and cemetery. And could not miss a stop at the tiny post office in the Co-op store on Pelee Island.
We pulled over when we saw the large stone inukshuk called “Stone Man”. It was fun to see all the small stone replicas along the stone wall.
A drive around Pelee Island provided many great sights on our day trips from Leamington.
Fish Point – Most Southern Point In Canada
On our drive around Pelee Island we pulled in at the Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve. With limited parking spots, we were glad we did this stop early on our visit. The signs at the trailhead entrance showed the different hiking paths through the park.
We first followed the path that took us along Fox Pond. The small boardwalk gave us a view out over the pond. When we reached the bottom we got another view. And we caught some amazing blue heron sightings!
When we reached the water, we saw that we could not get to the most southerly point along the beach from here. So we backtracked and took the narrower path to the beach on the other side. We hiked down along the beach and finally found the narrow spit of sand out into the water. Of course we walked to the very end and most southerly point.
We were sure glad we made it to the most southerly point in Canada on our day trips from Leamington. But we had another “most southerly” point to visit on this trip.
Exploring In Pelee Point National Park
We visited Pelee Point National Park many years ago. But we wanted to re-visit and head to the most southerly point on the mainland in Canada. The park entrance was a short drive from our Airbnb. And we were delighted when we found our Airbnb host included a park pass we could use.
The drive through the park was calming as we drove through the forest. We passed by many of the points of interest on our drive in and headed for the Visitor’s Centre. This was the last point that visitors could drive to and park. We went inside and checked out the exhibits. The maps helped us plan our route from there.
There was a shuttle from this point that took us out towards the point and stopped at the Tip Exhibit building. But we decided to do the West Beach Footpath to start our exploration of the park. As warned, the route started with a narrow path through the woods. David walked in front and swatted at the spider webs across the path. And many times we stopped and watched the butterflies in the small clearings along the way.
As we walked we passed small pathways that took us out to the beach. We knew we would have a long walk to the point along the beach when we reached the end of the path so we saved our calves some exercise. But at the end of the forest path, we finished up with a short beach walk before we got back in the woods.
A hike in Pelee Point National Park was a great way to enjoy the outdoors on our day trips from Leamington.
The Point Tip At Pelee National Park On Day Trips From Leamington
We saw the high observation tower at the Tip Exhibit area before we reached there. It was a great spot for a panoramic view but unfortunately it was not open when we visited. We followed the path to the exhibit area and had to pose with the sign welcoming us to the “Tip of Canada”.
From here we followed the path through the woods towards the tip. Along the way we saw more educational signs. And the point marking the 42nd parallel. Other signs warned us about the dangerous currents at the tip.
When the path came out of the woods, we saw the surprisingly blue water. And as we kept going we exited the tree cover and got our first view of the point at the end of the sand spit.
We walked along the sand and out to the point. We were glad we visited this most southerly point on the Canadian mainland on this trip.
After we backtracked to the Tip Exhibit area we waited for the shuttle back to the Visitor’s Centre. It was a fun excursion to the tip at Pelee Point National Park on our day trips from Leamington.
A Final Stop At The Marsh Boardwalk
We brought a picnic lunch with us and ate it at the picnic tables at the Visitor’s Centre. Back in the car, we stopped at a few spots along the route back to the gate. When we arrived at the Marsh Boardwalk, we pulled in and parked.
The Marsh Boardwalk was something we remembered from our first visit to Point Pelee National Park and we wanted to check it out again. There was a viewing platform at the beginning and then the boardwalk went in a circular path through the marsh.
Kayaks and canoes were available for rent. We saw many people enjoying a slow paddle through the marsh. Guided tours were available at different times through the day.
As we moved along the boardwalk we stopped and looked for local wildlife. Birds were plentiful. And when we watched carefully, we saw turtle heads popped up.
Our walk along the Marsh Boardwalk was a relaxing way to finish our day trip to the Point Pelee National Park. And a great memory to re-kindle on our day trips from Leamington.
Visiting The Pelee Island Winery In Kingsville
The Pelee Island Winery on Pelee Island was just the vineyard and a store. So we wanted to check out the processing facility on the mainland in nearby Kingsville. When we took the slow route from Leamington to Kingsville, we quickly saw that this was winery country. Although we did pass a few interesting breweries too. Of course we did not pass when we found Miller’s Bakery and had homemade ice cream.
The Pelee Island Winery store in Kingsville was huge. And we found a much broader selection of wines than on Pelee Island. We picked up a few different bottles of wine for our wine fridge at home.
In Kingsville, we got a private tour of the facility and learned about the history of the winery. When we explored the cellar, we found the fascinating carved wine casks.
It was great to wander around Kingsville on our day trips from Leamington. We were sure there were many more small towns along the shores of Lake Erie to explore.
Some Great Day Trips From Leamington In Southern Ontario
We sure found some great day trips from Leamington. Our Airbnb on Lake Erie was the perfect spot to use as a base. And we loved starting and finishing our day on the chairs by the water.
It was great to visit the Pelee Island Winery on both Pelee Island and in Kingsville. Hikes on Pelee Island and at the Point Pelee National Park took us to sand bars out into Lake Erie. It was fun to visit the most southerly points in Canada.
It was our first visit to Pelee Island. We did it as a day trip and explored in our car. We saw a lot but did not see it all. Sadly we missed the Butterfly Sanctuary and would have liked to learn more about the history at the Heritage Centre. But we would still probably pass on the expensive tour of Vin Villa. We found campgrounds, cottage rentals and Airbnbs on the island. Maybe next time we will stay for a longer time.
Did you plan some great day trips from Leamington in Southern Ontario? What should be on our plan for a return visit?
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