Weekend Getaway in Norfolk County, Ontario: 12 Places To Eat, Stay and Play

The beautiful farm of Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery in Norfolk County, Ontario

Called Ontario’s Garden, Norfolk County flourishes with nature and agriculture. Its farmers and producers supply the most fruits and vegetables in the country including peanuts, strawberries, sweet corn, asparagus and cucumber. Did you know? They have $519 million annual farm gross receipts from 1,307 farms totalling 196,403 land acres in crops.

David's Restaurant in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

Because of its inherent surrounding and being along Lake Erie, Norfolk County is a popular tourist destination not just for its beaches and outdoor adventures like cycling, camping and birding, but also for its culinary offerings. Agri-tourism is growing here for its wineries and craft breweries. In fact, Norfolk County is one of emerging regions in Wine Country Ontario.

Pouring the Broken Needle Rose Wine at Burning Kiln Winery at St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

I explored Norfolk County in 3 days and, believe me, it is NOT enough! There are so many things to do and eat here in this vast region that I barely scratched the surface. What I love most about Norfolk County is, though they are so diverse and have something for everyone, all their offerings tie back to their roots as being Ontario’s Garden.

Cheesy Escargot at Schofields Bistro in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

Based on my trip, here’s a weekend getaway itinerary, which contains a well-balanced list of things to do, where to eat, drink and stay in Norfolk County including Port Dover, St. Williams, Simcoe and Waterford. It’s only about a 1.5-hour drive from Toronto and London, so get driving!


Read about other travel guides in Ontario’s Southwest:


Day One in Norfolk County

Red Apple Rides

Website / Address: 3 Main St, Port Dover, ON N0A 1N0
Price: Lunch and Leisure Ride – $59.99/person

Skip breakfast and arrive to Port Dover around 10:45AM to do the Lunch and Leisure Ride with Red Apple Rides, a guided scenic, historic, and culinary bike tour. You won’t miss the Big Red Truck in the parking lot! This 3-hour tour gets you food tripping for lunch across 3 different locations to taste a seasonal appetizer, lunch feature, and dessert.

Lunch and Leisure Ride with Red Apple Rides in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

To give that initial energy boost, they actually provide you with a Norfolk red apple to enjoy before the first food stop. Hence, Red Apple Rides.

I find this tour is a great representation of Norfolk County because it combines everything about Ontario’s Garden in one: culinary farm-to-table offerings, nature and outdoor adventures including views of Lake Erie.

Ashley and Phil of Red Apple Rides in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
Our Guides Ashley and Phil

If you’re new to cycling, or haven’t cycled in a while, this tour is a great way to learn cycling since it’s a leisure ride. Don’t be afraid to be slow or make mistakes as the guides are very helpful and will assist you with any issues.

Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua cycling with Red Apple Rides in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
I haven’t cycled in more than 5 years so it took a while for me to get used to. I was the slowest in the group.

Our first stop was David’s Restaurant for appetizers. We enjoyed beautiful views of Lake Erie while having some amazingly tender and flavourful beef tenderloin skewers!

Views of Lake Erie from David's Restaurant in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

David's Restaurant in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

I love how everything is sourced locally, at least in Ontario! The beef came from Norpac Beef in Norwich (Oxford County). Vegetables were sourced from Matz’ Fruit Barn in Port Dover. The red wine pairing was the 2016 Strip Room from Burning Kiln Winery in Turkey Point.

Beef Tenderloin with veggie platter with Red Apple Rides at David's Restaurant in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
Beef Tenderloin Skewers with homemade pickled vegetables

Beef Tenderloin Skewer with Red Apple Rides at David's Restaurant in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

Next stop was at Clonmel Castle for lunch. We had an assortment of homemade sandwiches and desserts with ice frappe coffee in this authentic Georgian revival Heritage Mansion

Outside the Clonmel Castle in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
Surrounded by three acres of English gardens, Clonmel Castle sits high on Prospect Hill.

Iced Coffee and Sandwiches at Clonmel Castle in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

Armory Room at Clonmel Castle in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

Our last stop was dessert at Urban Parisian , an authentic French bakery. Here we had the Pistachio Macaron, Cream Puff, Dark Chocolate Rocher and Mini Key Lime Bite to end the tour on a sweet note.

Macaron, Cream Puff, Chocolate Rocher and Mini Key Lime Bite at Urban Patisserie in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

Girl holding cream puff at Urban Patisserie in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

You’ll be stopping in between food stops as well as the guides will point out some scenery or unique history about the spot… or simply to get some rest.

Red Apple Rides in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario


Long Point Eco Adventures

Website / Address: 1730 Front Rd, St. Williams, ON N0E 1P0
Prices: Axe Throwing (18+ Adult: $50, 10-17 Youth: $40); Zip Line and Canopy Tour (18+ Adult: $95, 10-17 Youth: $75); Wilderneess Suite Glamping ($199-299)

After the bike tour, head over to Long Point Eco Adventures for unique outdoor adventure experience in Norfolk County! Check-in to your Wilderness Suite, a luxury glamping experience inspired from Long Point Eco-Adventures owners’ own experience in Africa climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

This was only my second time glamping. (First time was in Timmins, Ontario.) I was very impressed with the Wilderness Suite here because it has everything including private flush toilet and outdoor shower, a mini-fridge, and a private covered deck. If you’re not used to camping like me, having your own washroom and shower in the suite is definitely a relief!

Wilderness Suite Glamping Tent at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

Travelling Foodie Tip: Use the outdoor shower at night so you can enjoy the shower under the starry sky!

Bedroom inside Wilderness Suite at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

As you explore Long Point Eco Adventures, you’ll realize there’s so much to see and do on-site! Walking along the grounds, you can’t miss this view of Turkey Point Marsh. It’s the view you see while enjoying the complimentary breakfast during your stay.

Turkey Point Marsh at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
In early 1943, during the Second World Ward, Turkey Point Mrash was used as a bombing range for the purpose of military training by trainees from the air training camp located at Jarvis. On a clear day, you can look across the marshes and Long Point INner Bay to the south and see a 40-km long sand pit known as Long Point.

While you’re here, you must do the Axe Throwing, and Zip Line and Canopy Tour. You can do the Axe Throwing after breakfast since it starts at 10AM, and runs for 2 hours.

An instructor is there to teach you. Then, you get to practice and compete with others after. Towards the end, you’ll get to try advanced techniques: throwing backwards, or with one arm, or two axes at the same time.

Lady axe throwing at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

You can’t imagine the excitement you feel the first time you land the axe on the board. It’s not as easy as it looks. You get another jolt of excitement when you hit your first bullseye. I was very happy that, mid-way through, I was consistently landing the axe at the bullseye, or at least 1-2 rings closest to it. Axe Thrower for hire, anyone?

Axe throw bullseye at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

The Zip Line and Canopy Tour is available at various times throughout the day (10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm) and runs for 2.5 hours. They even have a nightly one that goes at 9pm, which would be quite an experience!

Zip Line and Canopy Tour at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

I’ve done zip lining before, but it was my first time doing a Zip Line and Canopy Tour. Canopy means being on top of the tree. This is definitely a great experience especially for new people because this tour is a guided one where the guides do all the work hooking you up at each course.

Zip Line at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Glide through the Carolinian Forest with 8 full zip lines, the longest line at 800 meters
Suspension Bridge at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
There are two suspension skybridges

People walking on suspension skybridge at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

If you want to test your fears, one of the scariest thing you can do here is to go hands-free falling at the edge of the platform.

Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua doing hands-free on platform at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
It was so scary but I got myself to do it very quickly just for the photo!
Three people doing hands-free on platform at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Very interesting to see how different people react to this test!

The guides are very knowledgeable about the forest including the types of trees available. This particular tree they named Grandma has withstood the test of time as you can see how its long branches have twist and turned.

Lady hugging Grandma tree  at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
You get to hug Grandma during the zip.

Various photo opportunities are to be had during the tour since there are 14 platforms!

Falling tree photo opportunity at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

The last thing you do in the tour is do a 40-foot rappel down a tree. It’s scary when you’re getting into position, but not so scary while you’re rappelling down.

View from the platform of someone rappelling at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua rappelling at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Your last photo opportunity is right before you rappel down!

The Zip Line and Canopy Tour is very popular for corporate retreats. When I did it, the other people I’m with were a team of instructors from McMaster University out on a teambuilding activity.

Group photo after doing the Zip Line and Canopy Tour at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario


Charlotteville Brewing Company

Website / Address: 1207 Charlotteville West Quarter Line, Simcoe, ON N3Y 4K1

After checking-in, get hoppin’ to Charlotteville Brewing Company, the newest craft brewery in Norfolk County set in a rustic 1867 barn.

Barn at Charlotteville Brewing Company in Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario

The brewery opened in May 2018, and the taproom opened shortly after in July. Travelling Foodie Tip: Check out the attic where there are various board games you can play while enjoying your beer.

Inside the taproom at Charlotteville Brewing Company in Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario

Attic lounge at Charlotteville Brewing Company in Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario

Their brewery is a 10-barrel system, producing 3000 liters for one production. Since they want to maintain being a small-batch brewery, they only retail on-site, plus some licensed restaurants that serve their beer in Port Dover, London and Kitchener.

Brewery at Charlotteville Brewing Company in Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario

They offer 4 or 5 beers, with the most popular being the Local 519. They use heritage grains, interesting yeasts, local hops and Norfolk’s water for their brews. My favourites were the Velvet Devil and Wedgie Delight. You can tell the bartender “Can I get a Wedgie?”.

Beer Flight at Charlotteville Brewing Company in Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario
Beer Flight: Local 519 (malt forward pale ale), Hopsy Dazey (India pale ale), Velvet Devil (oatmeal/wheat stout), Wedgie Delight (brown ale)

Did you know? The owners started as hop farmers. Before the brewery, they bought half of the farm in 2010 to grow hops. In fact, London Brewing Co-operative used their hop for 6 years. Now, the hops are solely used for the beers.

Hop farm at Charlotteville Brewing Company in Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario
The 4-acre Carolinian Hop Yard is grows 10 different types of hops.

Schofields Bistro

Website / Address: 243 Main St, Port Dover, ON N0A 1N0

Head back to Port Dover for dinner at Schofields Bistro. This farm-to-table restaurant serves French and Italian cuisine in a renovated historical space with art deco inspired with local art work.

Start your dinner with the cheesy escargot with garlic butter! You’ll want to dip the toast on the butter too.

Escargot at Schofields Bistro in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
Escargot ($11) – Snails, mozzarella cheese, garlic butter, garlic toast.

If you’re feeling meaty, the Beef Tenderloin Medallions were well-seasoned and perfectly tender.

Beef Tenderloin at Schofields Bistro in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
Beef Tenderloin Medallions ($28) – Local Tenderloin served with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Topped with au jus and garlic button mushrooms.

When you’re in Ontario’s South Coast, you’ll definitely want to try the popular Lake Erie fishes, and you can get one the Lake Erie Pickerel here. Just be careful about the bones.

Pickerel at Schofields Bistro in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
Lake Erie Pickerel ($28) – Pan seared Lake Erie pickerel with lemon tarragon. Served with a wild/long grain rice and seasonal vegetables. Topped with P.E.I mussels and little neck clams.

For dessert, you must try the Pecan Butter Tart which are warm, gooey and not too sweet! It’s one of the better ones I had! They also offer a rotating selection of cheesecakes from the Little Cheesecake Company.

Cheesecake and Pecan Butter Tart at Schofields Bistro in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
On the table:
– White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake ($9) – From Little Cheesecake Company. Artisanal made from Norfolk County.
– Pecan Butter Tart ($8) – Served warm with vanilla ice cream.

After dinner, you can walk around Port Dover Beach before heading back to Long Point Eco Adventures. Then, you can either do the Night Zip Line and Canopy Tour at 9PM, or just relax and unwind on your Wilderness Suite or enjoy stargazing by the campfire.

Campfire  at Long Point Eco Adventures in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

Day Two in Norfolk County

In the morning, you can enjoy the complimentary breakfast, and the 10AM Axe Throwing or Zip Line and Canopy Tour at Long Point Eco Adventures.

Burning Kiln Winery

Website / Address: 1709 Front Rd, St. Williams, ON N0E 1P0

Explore Norfolk County as a wine region. Head to Burning Kiln Winery which is just across the street from Long Point Eco Adventures. The winery is owned by 7 partners including the owners of Long Point Eco Adventures. Did you know? The winery is named Burning Kiln because the site was originally a tobacco pack barn.

Vineyards at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
The winery is perched atop the escarpment overlooking the UNESCO-designated Long Point Bay World Biosphere Reserve

All their red wines use the appassimento method, an old Italian way of drying grape by harvesting them at the end of the growing season then dried on plastic crates in specialized rooms from days to months. In their case, they use tobacco kiln instead of plastic crates!

Barrel Aging Room at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

The names of their wines are very interesting. They are named after a particular part of the tobacco farming process to pay homage to their history. You’ll see the description behind each wine displayed all over the taproom.

Broken Needle Rose at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Broken Needle Rose Wine: Sewing leaves on to tobacco sticks for hanging was eventually done mechanically but, when the sewer’s needle broke, production came to a grinding halt.

My favourite and a must-try wine is their Kiln Hanger, a 2013 Cabernet Franc with a very smokey taste and aroma of cigar. This vintage wine is kiln dried for 14 days, then aged for 27 months in Maldivian, American and finally in French oak barrels.

Kiln Hanger Red Wine at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Kiln Hander Red Wine: The Kiln Hanger would take the tobacco stick sewn with the leaves, climb to the top of the kiln and hang them in the rafters for curing

Pouring Kiln Hanger Red Wine at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

If you prefer white wine, try the Stick Shaker, their most luxurious white wine made with 100% kiln dried, appassimento grapes.

Stick Shaker White Wine at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Stick Shaker White Wine: Tobacco leaves were sewn on sticks and prior to entering the kiln, they were shaken to rid the stick of loose leaves

From May to September, the winery’s patio opens as a restaurant showcasing ingredients from Ontario’s Garden with corresponding wine pairing suggestions on the menu.

Gourmet Burger at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Gourmet Burger ($19) – roasted red pepper, goats cheese, baby arugula and balsamic aioli on Good Bread Company buttermilk bun. Choice of Garden Salad or French Fries.

I highly recommend the Woolley’s Braised Lamb with its fall-off-the-bone tender lamb shank. The lamb comes from Norfolk local, Woolley’s Lamb, known for their 100% grass fed lamb. Pair this with the suggested Prime Pinot Noir.

Lamb Shank at Burning Kiln Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Woolley’s Braised Lamb ($36) – ratatouille, black olives and deep-fried capers

Inasphere Winery and Farm Market

Website / Address: 1454 Front Rd, St. Williams, ON N0E 1P0

Next stop is Inasphere Winery and Farm Market, a small farm winery that started out as a quality-based vegetable farm but has expanded with a winery in Spring 2016.

Inasphere Winery Estate in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Estate is overlooking Lake Erie in the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve

Owned by Ryan and Shantel Bosgoed, who are 3rd generation farmers, the working farm offers field tomatoes, potatoes, onions, kale, cucumbers that are sold on grocery stores and on-site.

Their winery is most known for their riesling. If you like your wine dry, crisp and easy to drink, try the Dry Riesling!

2016 Dry Riesling at Inasphere Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

They’re a small batch winery, offering 5 wines. If you’re into red wine, try the 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve in which the remainder of the 2015 Cabernet Franc was left in the oak barrel to age, giving a rich sophisticated oaky red!

2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve at Inasphere Winery in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario


Blueberry Hill Estates

Website / Address: 1195 Front Rd, St. Williams, ON N0E 1P0

Your next stop is Blueberry Hill Estates, a converted farmhouse that’s now a rustic winery and seasonal farm market. This oldest commercial high bush blueberry farm in Ontario offers three kinds of libations: fruit wines, grape wines and ciders.

Pouring the Front Road Red Wine at Blueberry Hill Estates in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario

They are rebranding their grape wine label to Front Road Cellars, producing both red and white grape wines. Though they are a blueberry farm, they do have an on-site 6-acre vineyard that’s in its early years of production. For the time being, they source their grapes from Inasphere Winery (Norfolk County) and Quai du Vin (Elgin County).

Front Road Red Wine at Blueberry Hill Estates in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
2015 Front Road Red: Baco Noir-Cabernet Franc Blend

They started winemaking in 2013 before offering cider. Their ciders are made with 100% pure apple grown in Norfolk County orchards and other fruit juices. The must-try is their Fighter Cider which is a combination of three fruits, including their blueberries.

They only offer the cider on-site so you definitely have to try it when you visit.

Fighter Cider at Blueberry Hill Estates in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
Fighter Cider. Signature Cider: apple, blueberry and blackberry

Being a blueberry farm, you definitely have to try their fruit wines which are done similarly as grape wines but using their blueberries. I definitely recommend their Iced Blueberry which is their version of Iced Grape Wine.

Iced Blueberry Wine at Blueberry Hill Estates in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario
2016 Iced Blueberry Wine – specialty dessert wine with sweet jammy notes

Pouring Iced Blueberry Wine for tasting at Blueberry Hill Estates in St. Williams, Norfolk County, Ontario


Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery

Website / Address: 410 Concession 12 Townsend, Waterford, ON N0E 1Y0

Last stop on the winery hopping is Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery. Did you know? The estate was originally a farmhouse producing fruits owned by Colonel William Heath at the turn of the 20th century, then became a tobacco farm from 1950s-2008 until apple production began in 1982.

Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery in Waterford, Norfolk County, Ontario

Because of the farm’s well-draining, sandy loam soil, serveral ‘English’-type lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) varieties and a ‘French’ type cultivar of Grosso (or Lavandin) are grown in the farm. The lavenders are in bloom from mid-June until the end of July.

Lavender Field at Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery in Waterford, Norfolk County, Ontario
They offer an entire line of lavender-based products made on-site.

With the growing popularity of lavender fields in Ontario along with lavender ice cream to boot, Bonnieheath Estate steps up the experience by having lavender wine and cider.

Folkin Hard Cider on Lavender Farm at Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery in Waterford, Norfolk County, Ontario

Because of their apple production, it made sense to offer hard apple ciders. Their Folkin’ Hard Ciders use all Norfolk County ingredients making it a 100% Nor’Folk’ product.

Their “True Blue” Folkin’ Hard Cider combines the best of both worlds: Norfolk’s blueberries and their own lavenders.

Folkin' Hard Apple-Blueberry-Lavender Cider at Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery in Waterford, Norfolk County, Ontario
“True Blue” – Folkin’ Hard Apple-Blueberry-Lavender Cider: The pink blue appearance is attributable to Norfolk County’s lucious blueberries while the slight floral finish reflects the lavender.

Similar to Blueberry Hill Estates’ Iced Blueberry, you’ll want to try their Lavender Ice, their vidal dessert wine infused with the essences of Bonnieheath Estate lavender.

2016 Lavender Gris Dessert Wine at Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery in Waterford, Norfolk County, Ontario

Pouring Lavender Ice wine tasting at Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery in Waterford, Norfolk County, Ontario


Perch Patio at Erie Beach Hotel

Website / Address: 19 Walker St, Port Dover, ON N0A 1N0

After the winery hopping, it’s time for dinner at Erie Beach Hotel located just steps from Port Dover Beach. Did you know? Aside from two existing dining areas, this family-run business has opened new dining area called the Perch Patio, a rooftop patio overlooking Port Dover Beach.

Perch Patio at Erie Beach Hotel in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

The restaurant is most known for their Lake Erie Perch and Pickerel which they’ve been serving for over 70 years. You can’t end your Norfolk trip without having their Lake Erie Perch. These snack-sized pieces of perch are so fresh and juicy!

Perch Dinner at Perch Patio in Erie Beach Hotel in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario
Perch Dinner ($21) – 7oz Lake Erie Perch lightly breaded the Erie Beach way. Served with potato, cabbage salad and celery bread

You cannot dine here without trying their celery bread as well. Good thing is that the Perch Dinner comes with them. I was hesitant at first when I heard about it, but it was so good that I would ask to replace the fries for the celery bread going forward!

Dipping perch on the sauce at Perch Patio in Erie Beach Hotel in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario

They also offer a variety of craft beer local to Norfolk County so be sure to try them if you don’t get to visit the actual breweries.

Ramblin Road Beer at the Terrace Room in Erie Beach Hotel in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario


Hope this gives you an idea of what the region has to offer! Seriously, there are so many attractions, and places to eat and drink in Norfolk County that you need to visit multiple times. I know I will!



Weekend Getaway in Norfolk County, Ontario's Southwest || 12 Stops To Eat, Play Stay including Long Point Eco Adventures, Red Apple Rides, Erie Beach Hotel, Burning Kiln Winery, Bonnieheath Estate and Blueberry Hill Estates.

Huge thanks to Ontario’s Southwest and Norfolk County Tourism for sponsoring this post. As usual, reviews and opinions are entirely my own.

You can learn more about Ontario’s Southwest thru their website, or find them in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

… and about Norfolk County thru their website, or find them in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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