Whether “Visit Pelee Island” has been on your bucket list for years or you’ve decided to visit on a whim, consider this blog your go-to resource for the 2023 season!
Pelee Island is Canada’s southernmost inhabited land with residents there all year long. It is filled with unique biodiversity, endless sights and some of the best people we know. Grapes have been grown on the island since 1854 and at Pelee Island Winery, we continue that tradition with over 750+ acres of vineyards.
If you’ve never been to Pelee Island, there’s some important things you need to know. We’ve put together this blog filled with resources and advice from the locals to ensure you leave the island feeling rested, recharged and with your favourite bottle of wine.
Visiting the Winery Pavilion on Pelee Island
When you arrive on the ferry, you’ll actually see the winery in the distance. Our Pelee Island Winery Pavilion is located about half a kilometer from the ferry dock. It is walking distance, though you are welcome to bring your bike or vehicle if you are traveling by car. For all of our information, see our Pelee Island Winery Pavilion page.
May 12th-June 22nd:
Friday & Saturday 11-6
June 23rd-September 4th:
Sept 5-Oct 9th:
Friday & Saturday 11-6
Note: holiday weekends have extended hours.
The Pelee Island Winery Pavilion offers a unique experience to our winery in Kingsville. We have numerous picnic tables for you to enjoy your wine on and live music to carry you into the evening. We offer a limited menu and barbecues on site for you to enjoy your own meals. All pets are welcome!
Traveling to Pelee Island
From April through early December, Owen Sound Transportation Company operates ferry service to and from Pelee Island. The mainland terminal is located in Leamington during April through July and switches to Kingsville from August through December. The schedule can be found here. Directions to get to the ferry docks can be found here.
What you need to know:
- Reservations are required for all passengers whether you’re booking your vehicle, bringing a bicycle or walking on. Reservations and schedules are made through Owen Sound Transportation. You can find everything here.
- We suggest making ferry reservations as soon as you know you’re traveling to Pelee Island to avoid disappointment. There is limited capacity and the ferry can fill up quickly, especially on holiday weekends.
- The ferry ride is 1.5 hours each way.
- You must be at the dock 1 hour before departure if you are driving your vehicle on and a half an hour before for walking on or with your bicycle.
- Currently there is no food and beverage service on the ferries. Watch for updates on this via the Owen Sound Transportation website linked above. There are washrooms.
- There are two vessels offering service. The Pelee Islander II, which is the larger and main vessel, and the Pelee Islander, the smaller vessel.
- Both vessels offer indoor and outdoor seating.
For more information see Getting Here.
What is There to Do?
The moment you step off the ferry, you’re officially on “island time” and we know you’ll feel it. The island is quiet, with sounds of nature surrounding you. The people are kind, waving at you as you pass. It feels like a true vacation, only a short boat ride away. Our friends at the Township of Pelee Island have provided you with the resources you need to make the most of your visit!
- What’s Open – review this page to figure out what is open during your visit so you can plan accordingly. Or don’t plan at all and lean into the true adventure that is Pelee Island.
- Where to Stay – review this page for a list of accommodations who have chosen to list on the Township of Pelee Island website. Accommodations tend to book up quickly so we highly recommend you book as soon as you know you’re taking a trip to the island.
- Where to Eat – review this page for the restaurants that have chosen to list themselves on the Township of Pelee Island website. We also have food here at the winery pavilion and a BIY (barbecue it yourself) station to cook your own food.
- Things to Do – review this page for a list of things to do! The options are endless and the sights are plentiful. You won’t leave the island without having done or seen something you haven’t before.
What to Prepare and or Pack
- Good walking shoes, sunscreen, hat and bug spray. You’re in nature after all. Oh, and don’t forget a water bottle.
- Snacks, groceries or meals depending on what time of the season you are visiting, for how long and what time of day.
- There is one place to get fuel on Pelee Island at the Pelee Island Cooperative. Also groceries, hardware and post office.
- That novel you’ve been meaning to finish along with a beach blanket.
Advice from the Locals
“Type A personalities be warned! You’re on island time now! There is nowhere you have to be.. except to the boat on time. Never, EVER miss the boat! Sign up for a text messaging service to be in the loop of any schedule changes. Ontarioferries.com. Pelee Island is loved for what it isn’t. If it’s less you’re after; we have more of it. Less noise, less traffic, less screen time. Come here for that. And wine… come for wine too.”
– Cathy Miller, Owner The Wandering Dog Inn
“Whether you choose to bike, drive, or walk, take time to slow down. Breathe the fresh air, gaze at the starry skies, explore the many fascinating layers of our ecological gem, feast on our fresh Lake Erie perch, sip our award winning Pelee Island Wines, and discover the treasures of our museum!!” – Kim G, Manager Pelee Island Heritage Centre. peleeislandmuseum.ca
“Nature is waiting for you on Pelee Island. A great way to learn more is to participate in the events of the community-driven ‘Pelee Buzz’ “. – John A, Volunteer – Find their 2023 program here.
“Don’t miss stopping by, saying hi and shopping at Pelee Art Works!” – Linda S, Manager at the not for profit artist shop and community hub Pelee Art Works. https://www.peleeartworks.org
We look forward to welcoming you to Pelee Island in 2023!
* We will continually update this page with relevant information throughout the 2023 season. Should you have a suggestion for additional information, please reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As this is a resource and not a business guide, individual businesses can be found through the links to the Township of Pelee Island website’s Tourism pages.