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Pelee Island – Where Canada Begins

Pelee Island is a secret destination waiting to be explored, discovered and conquered by those who love country life, wineries, island / beach life, nature and biking. The southernmost part of the island is where Canada begins. Literally, it’s the very southernmost part of the Great White North. Thus, Pelee Island is where Canada begins. Really!

Read: Windsor – Pelee Island Tour Experience

Pelee Island

That curve at the end is the Southernmost point of Pelee Island – where Canada begins.

THINGS TO DO IN PELEE ISLAND

1. Enjoy wine tasting

With 60 varieties of grapes in the island, it is a little paradise of wine tasters. If ever you go there, start your day at Pelee Island Wineries, a walking distance from the pier where the ship/ferry docks.

Pelee Island Winery

Ask them for wine tour schedule ( single travelers might have to join with a group) that culminates at wine tasting that includes 3 white and 2 red wine samples made from the island. In our case, we had: Tribute (Riesling dry-2011); Lighthouse Chardonnay (2011); Gewürztraminer Reserve (2008 -can’t be bought in LCBO yet); Baco Noir (2012); and Cabernet Sauvignon (2008).

Pelee Island Winery

You can also stay here for lunch. Their BBQ House offers grilled stuff, like hamburgers and hotdogs. Eat outdoors and enjoy the sun, the fresh air and the food.

Pelee Island Winery

2. Go Biking

After lunch, rent a bike (ask the tour winery guide) and bike part of the island. Do not attempt to be like Lance Armstrong (minus the dope) by circling the island (35,000 acres) in a record-breaking speed. But if you stay there for a couple of days, biking around it would be, of course, possible. The interior of the island is mostly made of farms and wineries.

Pelee Island Winery

The Pelee Island Wine Tour

3. Visit the downtown area

The downtown area is just so small. It can literally be explored in less than 15 minutes, I think. It’s just right across the dock where the ferry anchors.

Pelee Island Winery

Museum at Pelee Island Winery

4. Marvel at the Stoneman

It’s interesting to know that the school children (currently, there are 10 with 2 teachers) were the ones who named it as such. Very appropriate.

Pelee Island Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree / Shoefetti for adults

5. Hang a shoe / shoes or flip flops

In urban setting, shoes can be seen hanging on electrical wires. They’re called shoefetti. Here, in Pelee Island, the shoes are hanged on a tree. Everyone is welcome to hang their shoes or flip flops–it’s like leaving your footprints in the island. Last year, a couple who got married in the area decided to leave their wedding shoes on the tree.

Pelee Island Shoe Tree

Children can also leave their shoes. They have their own small shoe tree.

6. Explore the Marina

At the marina, there’s also a small thriving community where you can get some of the stuff you need, like food, tools, mail, gas, etc… There are also cottages for rent bot for short and long term occupancy.

Pelee Island Winery

An old tool for making wine.

7. Walk on the cemetery

This is a weird suggestion but you really don’t have to do it if this creeps you out. Near the cemetery is a ruin of an old golf course or something (not sure) where three American Presidents stayed to spend their summer: Taft, Nixon and another whose name I forgot. :))

Pelee Island

The island cemetery

8. Ogle at the southernmost airport of Canada

Yes, the island also has an airport. They’ve got airplanes reminiscent of a bygone era. They’re small and only few can fit it but looking at them seems looking at the history of aviation itself.

Pelee Island Winery 4

9. Follow the Trail at Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve

A huge chunk of the island is a nature reserve where several flora and fauna are distinct to the island. As we were told, hunting is allowed in the island but not in the nature reserve, of course.

Pelee Island Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve

Pelee Island Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve

10. Walk to the Southernmost edge–where Canada begins.

How many of you, dear readers, have been to the starting point of your (or another) country in one of the four directions? A chance to be in one should be a red-letter day for some. Or, maybe, only me.

Bucket list: to stand, look out or lay down on a beach chair at the beginning (easternmost, westernmost, northernmost, southernmost) of a country.

Checked.

Pelee Island

Oh, well, that’s me near the spot where Canada begins.

11. Dip into the water or go skinny dipping

The water was war, Perfect for swimming. Or skinny dipping when the moon shines and creates a flickering embers on the lake.

Pelee Island Winery 2

12. Watch the sunset

Along the shores, there are benches or patios facing West. I never understood that, especially that houses where nowhere in sight in many of these benches. Then, on our way back to the dock, as the sun was slowing down West, I realized the purpose of those benches. I wanted to stay.

Leamington, Ontario

The ship / ferry trip from Leamington to Pelee Island takes an hour and a half.

How to get there:
From Windsor, it’s an hour and a half going to the town of Leamington where a huge ferry will take you to Pelee Island. The ferry ride takes another an hour and a half. If you go there by car, you can either load it on the ship or leave it on the parking lot in front of the dock. There are no ferries in Winter.

Helpful information:

Short Trips and Weekend Adventure in Ontario
Discover Pelee Island website

Pelee Island Ferry Schedule
Pelee Island Wineries

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10 Responses to “Pelee Island – Where Canada Begins”

  1. Pete
    July 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM #

    OMG! That’s a really good place to be. Can we camp there for a night?

    • TheSojourner
      July 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM #

      Pete, I’m not sure if you could but I think you can do that. 🙂

  2. Windsorian
    July 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM #

    We went to Pelee but we never went to the edge of Canada. We were just hopping from one winery to the other. I’ll be back before the end of August and I’ll make it sure I’ll be standing on its tip. XOXOXO

    • TheSojourner
      July 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM #

      You should. I have a feeling the sunset must be gorgeous from that point.

  3. Andy
    July 24, 2013 at 11:07 AM #

    First time to see a shoe tree. Once I threw a pair of shoes in an electric wire in France.

    • TheSojourner
      July 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM #

      That’s still something I have to do. When I travel, I’m wearing my best pair. It’s hard to let them go. :))

  4. Julie K.
    September 17, 2013 at 6:33 AM #

    Wine tasting would be the first on my list:) These are excellent high quality wines, but I feel like they are much more appreciated abroad than in Canada. People don´t realize what a treasure we have in our backyard. If only the county could promote it more to the rest of Canada!

  5. May 25, 2014 at 2:06 PM #

    Fabulous photos and pictorial travel guide! Would you give me permission to use some of your photos on the pelee.com tourism website? All photos will include a credit and a link back to your website. Thanks for considering!

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