By Jessica Chong
It’s often you’ll find yourself on Highway 401 hoping for the shortest trip home from Kingston to Toronto. The weekend after I had finished exams called for a much needed trip to Montreal, and of course, the quickest route from Toronto to Montreal is the 401.
However, after enjoying all the restaurants and shops Montreal had to offer, the rural winding routes off of the 401 quickly became a greatly appreciated scenery change. The 401 fares well for the fastest and most direct route home, but if you have an hour, you may want to consider taking the more scenic route through Prince Edward County.
Kingston is an anomaly amongst university towns for being situated in such a picturesque location by the lake. However, as a girl that’s used to city sights, the Loyalist Parkway Route (also known as Highway 33) was a great change of scenery from the rather uninteresting 401 freeway. From Kingston, travel West on Highway 33, and eventually you’ll hit the loading dock for the Glenora Ferry.
Highway 33 takes you through several historic and quaint towns such as Bloomfield and Wellington, all reminiscent of the small English towns I visited while at the Bader International Study Centre in first year. The view of the water to one side in such close proximity to our car was serene and beautiful, especially with the pink sunset and breezy weather.
One of highlights of this trip was the Glenora Ferry. Although it’s a very short 10-minute ferry ride, the experience of traveling over Lake Ontario in your car while also on a boat is definitely worthwhile. Not many can boast about taking a car ferry home on their way home from school.
Sandbanks Provincial Park also makes for a better pit stop than any ONroute Service Centre, and in the summer months, the beach is a haven for relaxing and unwinding on the way to or from Kingston.
Sunny summer weather promises a smooth and picturesque drive, and there are many culinary experiences that can be had on the way. The County’s Taste Trail is a host of eateries and wineries that boast the region’s best culinary offerings. After reading about the hand-crafted artisan ice cream with real chunks of apple pie at Slicker’s County Ice Cream in Bloomfield, I’m considering a weekend dedicated to Prince Edward County’s Taste Trail with a lot of overindulgence of savoury food.
The ideal time for making the drive through Prince Edward County and experiencing the Taste Trail firsthand is the summer, as most restaurants and wineries are open seasonally. Studying and living abroad definitely has many sights, but discovering regional and award-winning food right in our own province can be just as exciting.
Thus scenic parkway west of Kingston is a must-see before you graduate. The views seemed surreal and closer to images you’d see on Pinterest, instead of what they really are – sights located only kilometres from Kingston. They were a much-needed change in scenery on our trip from Montreal to Toronto and should be experienced first-hand.
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