6 Things To Do For A Weekend In Essex County

On a recent visit to the region, I quickly realized that if you’re searching for a laid back city escape and a dose of fresh air, this is the place to go. From the friendly locals who make you feel welcome, to the beautiful landscapes and lake views, nature-lovers like myself are guaranteed many outdoor adventures to clear the mind and soothe the soul.

It’s only a short flight from Toronto and an easy drive from Windsor Airport to the picturesque town of Kingsville, the perfect place to call home for the weekend.  

Exterior of Grove Hotel

Located in the heart of downtown Kingsville, The Grove Hotel is a historical building dating back to the prohibition era. The recently-renovated boutique hotel offers a charming place to relax and put your feet up after a day of exploring the region.

Charming exterior of the Grove Hotel

With 18 unique themed rooms, I had the pleasure of staying in the comfortable and fun car-themed room located on the second floor with a terrace overlooking Main Street.

Bedroom in Grove Hotel

Bathroom interior at Grove Hotel

Fresh Coffee at Grove Hotel

Decor inside the Grove Hotel

I was surrounded by nature only a short distance from the Grove Hotel.  My days were filled with trail walks, bike rides, wine tastings, delicious dining and more!

Here’s a list of my top six things to do and see in the area.

Merlis’ Coffeehouse & Eatery

4 Main Street W., Kingsville; Merlis-Coffeehouse-Eatery

Merlis’ Coffeehouse & Eatery is the perfect spot to warm your heart and fill your tummy with delicious and nutritious food. Everything they serve is locally sourced, made with fresh produce and free of artificial ingredients. Franco, the friendly owner, supports locals artists by displaying their artwork on the walls, available for purchase.

Delicious brunch at Merlis Coffeehouse & Eatery

Point Pelee National Park 

1118 Point Pelee Dr., Leamington; Point Pelee National Park

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, I highly recommend paying a visit to Point Pelee National Park. Being the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland, this natural sanctuary extends for 15 km into Lake Erie and offers a variety of activities.

Whether you hike, run or bike through the 10 km Carolinian Forest trail, do some bird watching, stop for a picnic, or walk along the Marsh boardwalk, the park has everything for both the adventure-seeker and those looking for a relaxing experience.

Boardwalk on Point Pelee National Park

Overlook the marsh at Point Pelee National Park

Birdie’s Perch

625 Point Pelee Dr., Leamington; birdiesperch.ca

If you’re looking for a great lunch spot, stop by the hard-to-miss double-decker bus.  With tacos, fish and chips, poutine, burritos and more, you’ll get your fill of some of the freshest takeaway food around. Whether you decide to dine upstairs or on their patio out front, this fun and tasty spot is not to be missed.

Grab a bite to eat at Birdies

Farm Dog Cycles

793 Essex County Rd., 50, Harrow; farmdogcycles.com

The best way to enjoy the spectacular views and sip some of the region’s best wines is no doubt by bike. Challenge yourself to a “sip and ride” and let Farm Dog Cycles provide you with all the equipment necessary for a leisurely ride to local wineries and other points of interest along the way, like local farmers’ markets, beautiful beaches, and lavender farms.

Farm Dog cycles

Fresh fruit at the Farmers' Market

Oxley Estate Winery

533 Essex County Rd., 50, Harrow; oxleyestatewinery.com

With live music and a beautiful patio, stopping for lunch, dinner or just a flight of wine at Oxley Estate Winery is a must! This beautiful winery is located on 38 acres at the heart of the Lake Erie North Shore wine route. The vineyards and the estate itself are absolutely gorgeous, and the food is delicious.

Wines at Oxley Winery Estates

Colchester Beach

100 Jackson St., Colchester; essex.ca

If you ride along County Rd 50, head over to Colchester and make a stop at the Harbour where you will find the most beautiful beaches on the north shore of Lake Erie. With a boater’s lounge complete with washroom facilities, playground, and splash pad for children and a coffee shop close by, this is a must-stop to unwind and get your toes in the sand!

On the water at Colchester Beach

If you’re planning a trip to Windsor, read more about this historic city and its rum-running past.