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Sandbanks Featured

Discover Sandbanks Provincial Park during the Summer of 2021

To the point

Here are some good places we recommend to stay at and places to visit to discover Sandbanks Provincial Park in Ontario during the summer of 2021.

A popular Ontario destination

The Sandbanks coastline is to Ontario what Gaspésie is to Quebec.

Popular and idyllic for summer holidays but difficult to find accommodation these days, even for camping. The popularity of this destination among both Quebecers and Ontarians means that you have to be well-prepared to book a few nights of any type of accommodation. When the sandy beaches and vineyards along Lake Ontario start calling, it’s impossible to resist.

This article is primarily intended to help our readers and members of the milesopedia community with booking their accommodation for the summer of 2021 in this provincial park. There are still great opportunities to apply points from known loyalty and credit card programs. Because at Milesopedia, we like free (or almost free) holidays!

The article goes on to guide you to small, well-kept secrets that can be discovered by moving away from the crowds. Words from a local, Phillip Norton, a resident of Picton.

Ontario Parks Accommodation Offerings

Ontario Parks offers accommodations ranging from primitive camping to heated and lighted cabins.

Sandbanks, an Ontario Parks site, has over 500 sites in five areas along the Lake Ontario shoreline. These sites are suitable for both tents and large trailers.

Two cottages are also available:

  • Maplerest Cottage, a luxurious four-bedroom Victorian home
  • Chalet Jacques, more modest, for four people
camper à Sandbanks
Crédit photo: Parcs Ontario

Book at Sandbanks

The dream. Three large sandy beaches among the most beautiful in Canada. A special mention for Outlet Beach because of its shallow waters and the tiny slope of its shoreline. The children have a great time there.

Plage Sandbanks
Crédit photo : Daniel

Here is how the booking system works for sleeping at Sandbanks Park.

Bookings can be made online or by phone up to 5 months in advance. For example, if you want a place starting August 18, you can start the process no earlier than March 18. The problem is that all the spaces may already be taken by holidaymakers who have booked for the previous week and want to spend several nights there. The Outlet River, Cedars, or Woodlands lots are particularly popular.

Fortunately the maximum number of nights allowed is:

  • 23 in a tent, trailer or motorhome (car camping)
  • 16 in the backcountry (wilderness camping)
  • 14 in one of the two chalets (with roof)

There is no possibility to book for the whole season at Sandbanks. Fortunately.

You will have to be patient and call regularly to check if a place is available after a camper has left. After all, isn’t it better to spend less time there than not at all?

chemin Sandbanks
Crédit photo: Parcs Ontario
feu de camp
Crédit photo : Parcs Ontario

Exploring the Sandbanks region: 4 secrets revealed

In addition to swimming and resting, Ontario Parks informs us that you can watch the spring and fall bird migration, hike the trails, participate in interpretive programs and discover Prince Edward County.

We refer you to the beautiful article of our globetrotter, Valerie Why, about activities to do in this Ontario region.

We also asked Picton resident Phillip, photographer and photo tour guide, to reveal some of the best kept secrets of Prince Edward County residents. He agreed to reveal four of them to us, one for each direction on a compass.

1- The South Shore of Sandbanks

SOUTH: To get away from the hustle and bustle of the beaches, head to the south shore of Sandbanks.

This 45-minute drive through a bucolic setting will take you past sheep farms, churches and villages as well as the cemeteries of the region’s founders.

In South Bay, you will find the Mariners Museum, owned by the municipality. From there, you can drive to Prince Edward Point where there is a bird banding station, hiking trails and the Prince Edward Point Lighthouse.

Phillip suggests we make a donation if we visit the National Wildlife Refuge to support the conservation of these refuges for future generations.

Réserve naturelle, Sandbanks
Crédit photo: Cheryl Leblanc

2- Northport

NORTHPORT: The second suggestion takes you on a ride to Northport on a scenic route to Big Island. The tugboats on Lake Ontario will help you discover the maritime vocation of the region.

3- Fifth Town Cheese

EAST: We then head east to the Fifth Town Cheese, where we are invited to taste some good regional cheeses like Water Buffalo Parmesan. Jellies, jams and spicy beef jerky are also for sale.

fromage artisanal
Crédit photo : Fifth Town

On the same road, we will pass the Wauppo petting zoo, a farm where children will enjoy petting the animals in the Waupoos Estates Winery.

The activity of the estate is combined with that of the vineyard and the orchard. Wines and ciders abond. For an additional fee, wood-fire cooked pizzas are served on the patio overlooking the sailboats on Lake Ontario. It’s definitely tempting!

Crédit photo: Waupoos Estates Winery

4- The Millenium Bike Path and the recommendations of a member

WEST: Finally, we are invited to get out our bikes and ride west on the Millenium bike path. It will lead us to another nature reserve on Station Road . And to reward our efforts, we will discover a series of vineyards and a distillery not far from there. Well-kept secret: you can also find the best street food there is, namely the Big Mike’s BBQ food truck.

Let’s finish with the recommendations of Amélie, member of the Milesopedia group who is used to going on holidays in the region with her family:

On the way to the Kinsip distillery, the small town of Wellington gives access to:

  • a beautiful wooden park that children love
  • a public pebble beach where you can walk
  • an ice cream shop that has nothing to envy the most famous ones

In Lake on the Mountain, a stop at the Miller House coffee shop is a must. From there, a short free ferry ride to Glenora completes the trip. Finally, on the way to Waupoos Winery, a great seasonal activity is picking organic blueberries.

To learn more about the area, we recommend this book: A four seasons County-Prince Edward, recently released by local authors and photographers.

Or the excellent Ulysses Guide “Explorez Sandbanks, Kingston et les Mille-Îles“:

The Ulysses guide is the ideal tool for planning a trip to this region of the Canadian province of Ontario and getting the most out of your stay. Full of colour and photos, it is as pleasant to consult as it is practical thanks to its pocket format and its easy-to-understand structure.

Recommended credit cards

To save money on your holiday in the region, we recommend several credit cards.

First, the American Express Cobalt™ Card. With this card, you can earn 5 points per dollar for your purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, bars and convenience stores, and food deliveries. And 2 points per dollar for your travel and transportation purchases (Airbnb, hotels, train, flights, car rentals, etc.).

You can then use your points for any travel purchase made with the card: 10,000 points = $100. Nothing could be easier!

Next is the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card. With this card, you can earn 5 points per dollar on all your spending at Marriott Bonvoy locations (there are over 250 in Canada). And 2 points per dollar on all your purchases.

You’ll earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as a welcome bonus, enough to get you several free nights at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. And every year, as a cardholder, you get a free night certificate (worth 35,000 points).

Finally, the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card. With this card , you can earn 2 points per dollar for all your purchases in grocery stores, restaurants, public transportation or entertainment (cinemas, museums, etc). It’s convenient when your American Express card is not accepted!

And if you’re traveling abroad, this card is an ideal companion because it doesn’t charge any conversion fees for foreign currency purchases.

You can then use your points for any travel purchase made with the card: 10,000 points = $100. Nothing could be easier!

HSBC Canada Credit Cards

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