What to do, see, and eat in Essex County

Driftwood casting long shadow on the pebble beach at sunrise at the Point Pelee tip of the Point Pelee National Park, essex county Photo by Guoqiang Xue/Shutterstock

As you are making your next set of travel plans, look south. To southwestern Ontario, that is. 

Sprawling beyond the city limits, Essex County includes the lakeside town of Kingsville, historic Amherstburg, Belle River, Tecumseh, Leamington (a.k.a. the tomato capital of Canada) and more.

Essex County offers serene countryside where you can connect with nature or relax at a spectacular beach while enjoying a picnic with local cuisine. Or plan a trip to Windsor for its shopping district and dining (including plenty of options to taste a famous Windsor-style pizza).

What to do 

Point Pelee National Park boasts being the southernmost point of mainland Canada. This natural habitat is home to many bird species, butterfly migration routes, and so much more. Take the trolley all the way to the tip or walk the boardwalk through the beautiful marsh area.

Pelee Point boardwalk leading into a marshy area, Essex County
Photo by Rebecca Stanisic

If you are feeling extra adventurous, book a ferry trip to Pelee Island to see the lighthouse, relax on the sandy shores or take a swim, and visit the Pelee Island Winery Vineyards.

There are also many beaches along Essex County’s lakeshores that will have you ready to jump in and cool off on a hot summer day, or you can take in the spectacular views. 

Where to eat

If you are visiting during perch and pickerel season, you’ll be able to find perch baskets, pickerel sandwiches, and other lake-fresh eats.

Plan a patio visit to one of the stunning wineries in the area; Viewpointe Estate Winery won’t disappoint.

looking out at the water from viewpointe estate winery, essex county
Photo by Viewpointe Estate Winery via Facebook
bottle of red wine and red wine in a glass outside of viewpoint estate winery
Photo by Viewpointe Estate Winery via Facebook

If you’re heading to Amherstburg, you’ll find plenty of places to eat, including a stylish café and popular ice cream shop.

And, as previously mentioned, be sure to order up a Windsor-style pizza during your stay. Try Sam’s Pizzeria and Cantina, Capri, or ask around to find a favourite among the locals (you’ll likely get a different answer from everyone!). 

windsor style pizza
Photo by V. Matthiesen/Shutterstock

Where to stay

Find a campground or scoop up a cottage rental with waterfront views of Lake Erie or Lake St. Clair. You can also rent a place on Pelee Island. Stay in Kingsville at a bed and breakfast, or one of the boutique Distinctive Inns. 

If you want more of what Windsor has to offer, including access to the nightlife, restaurants, and events across the river in Detroit, like baseball games or concerts, booking your stay at one of the many downtown hotels will be more convenient. 

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