Picton?  Yes, Picton.

I have just returned from three days of a wonderful family getaway.  It was a great way to recharge, reconnect, and kick off the glorious Summer ahead.  With a teacher husband and school-aged children, Summer is always much-anticipated, and with the busy-ness of our move taking up much of our downtime last Summer, I am especially looking forward to the unscheduled, lazy, hazy days ahead.

But back to our getaway….. it was so glorious that I feel the need to share the details so that you may consider it for a Summer outing of your own.  We explored the Picton/Sandbanks area for three days and found lots of hidden gems in an area we’ve never been to, but to which we’ll certainly return.  Where’s Picton, you say?  It’s about 200km East of Toronto, just off the 401.

We found the coolest accommodation, in the berth of a sailboat docked in the Picton Harbour.  For two nights, the ‘Tzarina’ was our home, and we ate our breakfasts on her deck, fished off her docks, and enjoyed the quaint, tight quarters that life on a sailboat entails.  The owners even treated us to a two-hour evening sail in the Bay of Quinte, one of the many highlights of our trip.

We explored three beaches, all of such variety that I’m stunned they were each within a twenty-minute drive:

  • IMG_3861Sandbanks beach:  This one was within Sandbanks Provincial Park itself, and was my personal favorite.  White sand, blue water, and pure sunshine made me feel like I was in Florida, and the sand dunes themselves were remarkable.
  • IMG_3863Point Petre beach:  Off the beaten path, we found this beach on a tip from a local, the very best resource when traveling.  More than once, we wondered if we’d taken a wrong turn, but ended up on the Southern-most outcropping of land, on a shale beach with a Maritime feel.  We only saw a handful of other people, and felt like we had a private cove all to ourselves.
  • Lake on the Mountain:  This small lake can be found above the Picton Harbour, with a view of the Glenora ferry.  We wore lake shoes and waded across the rocks to enjoy the warm water and the peace of kayakers and loons.

Picton also has great restaurants (including a takeout truck with the world’s best Butter Chicken), beautiful wineries, vintage furniture shops, and incredible homemade ice cream in the nearby town of Bloomfield (campfire-flavored with real roasted marshmallows!).  Now, it didn’t hurt that the three days we were there had perfect blue sky and thirty-degree sunshine, but being less than three hours from Burlington, this cute little area is a sure thing if you’re looking for an easy escape.

*This post was sponsored by the Picton Tourism Board.

**OK, not really, but I just re-read it, and it could’ve been.

***But seriously, go visit Picton.