Take in all of the fresh air, and relaxation, and get your hands dirty as we explore Lennox & Addington!
The County of Lennox & Addington is nestled between Kingston and Belleville and stretches from Lake Ontario up to the iconic Bon Echo Provincial Park. The northern part of this area is known for its natural beauty, whereas the southern end is known for its quaint small towns and agritourism activities!
In this blog, we will feature unique communities such as Stone Mills, Greater Napanee, and Loyalist. Stone Mills is an ideal spot for those who crave outdoor experiences mixed in with hands-on learning. Greater Napanee is the place to be for boutique shopping from local business owners and has a waterfall right in the middle of their downtown! Lastly, Loyalist is quickly gaining popularity as an emerging microregion for Ontario wine.
Before we headed over to our morning class, at The Bee Spot, we stopped in at the adorably quaint cafe: StoneCorner. As the name suggests, this cafe is located on the corner of a historic building that dates back to 1845. The light that shines in from the giant windows of this cafe adds brightness and sparkle to the shelves upon shelves of vintage dishes. They sell a variety of artisanal coffees, sandwiches, and baked goods at amazing prices! We got a couple of coffees, an oatmeal bowl, and a ham & croissant sandwich to go.
Last summer, we had the opportunity to visit Curious Goat in Prince Edward County for their Bees and Blooms Experience. That experience ignited a whole fascination with bees and honey production. We were so excited to be able to visit another honey farm and dig deeper into the life of a beekeeper. Because at The Bee Spot, you not only get to learn about bees, but you get to suit up and open a hive!
Our host Nadine has a tremendous amount of knowledge and passion for all things bee related. After her information session on the roles each bee has, she started the smoker, helped us get into our bee suits, and headed to the hives. We were able to get an up-close look at honeycombs filled with honey and larvae, and got to meet the queen bee herself! We had the best time ever! Before you leave, make sure you purchase some tasty honey and beeswax candles made from the bees you just met.
Our next agritourism spot was at Barking Goat Farms where we got to hang out with goats and donkeys for the afternoon. This is another family-owned and operated farm that started off as a therapeutic hobby for the owner’s daughter. Although Deborah and Brent’s daughter didn’t end up taking much of a liking to the goats as they thought, interacting with the animals was just as beneficial for them. Each of the animals has its own name, is well taken care of, and in a way, is part of Deborah and Brent’s family. Roaming their farm and spending time with the friendly animals was just a relaxing experience. Soon enough, Barking Goat Farms will be taking bookings for their glamping cabin which will of course include a goat tour experience. I was able to take a tour of their cabin and it is something you would definitely want to book for – I know I do!
For lunch, I would suggest heading to The Black Cat Cafe which is located inside the soon-to-be-reopened Tamworth Hotel. Their patio deck patio is absolutely gorgeous filled with plants and flowers. It’s a wonderful spot to dine on a homemade meal. We had a delicious chicken wrap and pulled pork sandwich that came with a side pasta salad and THE best loaded baked potato salad. Before leaving, we had to purchase a container of their potato salad and some desserts to enjoy for later in the evening.
After lunch, we headed across the street to The Book Shop located in a Victorian coach house. When you walk in you will find two floors filled wall to wall with second-hand books ranging from classic novels, cookbooks, and mysteries, to recent best sellers. Even though there were piles of books everywhere, everything was well organized by their theme and it was easy to navigate through without worrying about knocking a pile over. If I didn’t already have a pile of ‘books to read’ at home, I would have easily spent hours here!
Everything that we could’ve needed for our stay was provided and the place had an ample amount of room and storage. If you needed a place to stay for a weekend or even a week, this would be the place to book! The bedroom featured a king-size bed and a closet large enough for a wardrobe the size of Carrie Bradshaw.
The bathroom included a claw foot bathtub, the kitchen had high-end appliances, and overall, the place was spotless and flawless! We also had access to their shared side yard which had a fire table, picnic table, and BBQ. If you need more bedrooms, the two suites have an interconnected locked door that can be opened if you wanted to book the whole place. If you’re traveling by train, the station is two blocks away, and a car service can be arranged for you. You can also walk straight from your suite all over town. The Red Brick Suites can be booked on Airbnb.
Don’t forget! The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit can provide up to $400 of tax savings on vacation accommodations used in 2022.
We headed out in the early evening to hop aboard the Norman Paul River Cruise from the Waterfront River Pub and Terrance. This 45-foot pontoon boat travels down the Napanee River to the entrance of Mohawk Bay. The tour takes about 1.5 hours and you can pre-order food to enjoy during the tour. It’s also licensed so you can unwind with a bevy as you soak up the stunning scenery. If you’re looking for an off-the-charts patio experience, then this is it!
The next morning, we made a coffee to go and head to the waterfall (Napanee Falls) located at Springside Park. It was nice to take a stroll along the trail and admire the natural beauty! You can also view the stone railroad bridge that is made of limestone and dates back to the 1900s.
Be sure to stroll down the main strip of downtown and visit the locally owned boutiques. A couple of spots you must check out Starlet for unique clothing, bath, and body products, Convenient Candy Shop for imported candy, and Ellena’s Cafe and Bakery for a sweet treat and coffee.
For brunch, we headed to Welbourne Commons which is fairly new to Bath and has quickly become a neighborhood spot for locals and tourists alike. A lot of the items featured on their menu are locally sourced produce, condiments, and more! On Sundays, they have a brunch menu available and have recently introduced an English Style Breakfast. This came with bacon, eggs, olive sourdough bread, jam, English bangers, and sauteed mushrooms. The servings are plentiful and were enough for us to split a meal. Afterward, we stopped at 360 Castaways for ice cream and headed down to the waterfront to take in the views of Lake Ontario.
The last part of our itinerary included an afternoon of touring wineries that are creating some serious buzz. As a friendly reminder: Do not drink and drive. Please have a designated driver if you plan on visiting multiple locations.
Bergeron Estate Winery and Cider Co are featuring wines, cider, and gourmet pizzas on the menu! We grabbed a seat on their breezy patio which overlooked their vineyard and tried their tasting menu which included a dry cider. The dry cider is made with locally sourced apples and local haskap berries. It was a bit too dry for my liking but the mix of apples and haskap berries provided a bold and unique taste. We couldn’t leave without picking out one of ‘Nona’s pizzas’ which is inspired by the owner’s Italian mom. We had the Margherita pizza that was made with thin crust and with their homemade sauce.
Our last stop of the trip was visiting Longrid Winery, a family-owned and operated winery where each grape is hand-picked across 15 acres of vineyards. To celebrate their grand opening, they are offering five free tastings (1 oz each) until August 31/ 2022. The five wines I chose were all easy summer sippers but one stood out the most to me. My favourite was the 2021 Fruit Feast made with Geisenheim – a hybrid grape with a mix of Riesling and Chancellor. I loved that it wasn’t too sweet and had a strong passion fruit flavour. I ended up buying a bottle to take home and will definitely return to purchase more!
Soaking up some small-town charm is easy in a place like Lennox & Addington County. With so many different experiences to have, you can definitely make the most of your time away.