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Best things to do in Essex

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Where in the world: Canada  /  Ontario  /  Essex

Top 15 things to do in Essex

1. Cooper's Hawk Vineyards and The Vines Restaurant, Harrow

Welcome to world-class wines, expertly crafted cuisine, and a naturalist’s haven. Take in our tasting room, The Vines Restaurant, and patio dining. Enjoy the beautiful vineyards, wildlife, and majestic sunsets while enjoying a glass of award winning wine.

Located in a pristine setting, we offer wine tastings with a unique view of our vineyards. Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards is an estate winery located on 70 acres of land in the Lake Erie North Shore viticulture region. Our name was chosen from one of the many birds of prey that frequent the 5 acres of green space surrounding our vineyards, and our logo symbolizes our commitment to the environment. We focus on high quality affordable wines grown on an environmentally supportive site.

Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards is pleased to also offer a unique dining experience at The Vines Restaurant. The restaurant has a seating capacity of 44 with outdoor patio seating available in good weather for another 40 seats. Taste, tour, and dine for the total Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards experience.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Cooper's Hawk Vineyards and The Vines Restaurant

2. Viewpointe Estate Winery, Harrow

Viewpointe Winery produces premium wines and offers a wide assortment of activities: wine tastings and tours, culinary demonstrations, customized events, and local seasonal cuisine. Located in Essex County in the viticulture area of Lake Erie North Shore, our winery is situated on the water with a breathtaking panoramic view of Lake Erie. Viewpointe is the perfect place to gather with family and friends to enjoy a glass of wine with fresh seasonal fare on the Lakeside patio, tour the beautiful grounds and facility, or partake in our amazing annual events such as our summer concert series and winter lighted tractor parade. We invite you to come and enjoy wine and winemaking from a “different pointe of view”.

Restaurant open daily 12pm – 5 pm
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Learn more about Viewpointe Estate Winery

3. North 42 Degrees Estate Winery & Bistro 42, Harrow

North 42 Degrees Estate Winery welcomes you to discover our passion for wine making and the natural beauty of our surroundings as you experience our warm southern hospitality. We are third generation farmers of European farming heritage, wine flows deep within our ancestral roots. Come taste the exceptional flavours of our award-winning wines in a relaxed atmosphere. As our guests, we invite you to unwind and enjoy our wines on one of our patios overlooking the vineyard or Lake Erie and the lavender gardens while you taste the exquisite culinary creations of our Executive Chef at Bistro 42.

North 42 Degrees Estate Winery – Purveyors of Good Times and Fine Wines.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about North 42 Degrees Estate Winery & Bistro 42

4. Oxley Estate Winery, Harrow

The Vineyard

We farm our vineyards using eco-friendly farming practices, including reduced chemical intervention, in an effort to encourage a healthy and sustainable environment. Our vineyards are located south of the 42nd parallel (as is southern Italy, central Spain and many of the California regions). The Lake Erie North Shore appellation has the highest heat accumulation and the longest growing season of the Ontario wine appellations. Our vineyards’ proximity to Lake Erie provides protection in the cold, as long as the lake has not frozen over, and access to lake breezes that exercise and dry our vines.

Our vines are planted in a north-south direction, with rows spaced eight feet apart and vines planted four feet apart to maximize sun exposure in the morning and provide protection from overheating and sun burn in the evening. We follow the European model and plant multiple clones of a variety, if possible, using various rootstocks to avoid a mono-culture and to maximize the imprint of the terroir. Our pruning, de-leafing, thinning and harvesting are done by hand to enhance quality. Leaf hedging is done mechanically. We tend to each variety individually and have different yields from each. The red varieties are protected from birds by netting because birds favour blue grapes over green and have an aversion to yellow.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Learn more about Oxley Estate Winery
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5. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, Harrow

Sample handcrafted 100% Ontario VQA wines at one of Ontario’s premier lakefront destination Wineries. Located on the sandy shores of Lake Erie surrounded by picturesque ponds, vineyards and gardens. Purchase delicious picnic basket lunches from May – October.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery

6. Muscedere Vineyards, Harrow

Muscedere Vineyards is a family owned and operated vineyard which hand-harvests only the best grapes from our vineyard to produce premium wines. We take great pride in caring for and nurturing all aspects of the vineyard and winery with a relentless enthusiasm for producing fine wines. Using only the most meticulous vineyard techniques as well as optimum grapes, our commitment to quality is evident in our final product. Wood-fired pizza available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May to October and daily July-August.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Learn more about Muscedere Vineyards

7. John R. Park Homestead & Conservation Area, Harrow

John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area is the original home of John and Amelia (Gamble) Park. It is now an agricultural and living history museum of farm life in the 19th century in present-day Essex, Ontario.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about John R. Park Homestead & Conservation Area

8. Colchester Ridge Estate Winery, Harrow

Located on County Road 50, just meters from Lake Erie, our family owned and operated winery takes the utmost care to produce exceptional wines for you to enjoy and remember. Our CREW of knowledgeable staff will strive at every moment to make your visit memorable. We offer award winning red and white wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Gewuurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc. We are also available for weddings, corporate events, and special occasions.

Retail Store: $2/per person for 3 tastings, Barrel Room tasting: $5/per person, for groups of 10 or more.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Learn more about Colchester Ridge Estate Winery

9. Colio Estate Winery, Harrow

Established in 1980, Colio Estate Winery was one of Canada’s first wineries. We are located in Canada’s warmest wine growing region near the sunny shores of Lake Erie. This award-winning winery is a must-see for those who want a welcoming and memorable winery experience. Our picturesque winery offers daily tours, which feature a chronological journey through the wine-making process that ends in our stylish Hospitality Centre and Retail boutique where you can sample and purchase any of our award-winning and popular wines. Wheelchair accessible and group/buses welcome by appointment.

Open all year. Tours daily (May – December). By Appointment (January – April).
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Learn more about Colio Estate Winery

10. Point Pelee National Park, Leamington

Breathe in the fresh air during an adventure through Point Pelee National Park--15 sq km (5.8 sq mi) of protected land jutting out into Lake Erie. Take the boardwalk across the marshlands and head out onto sandy spits for extensive views of the shimmering lake. As the southernmost point of mainland Canada, the park offers sights of creatures unseen elsewhere in the country, such as the fox snake and the five-lined skink. Birders have spotted about 360 different species of migratory birds in the park, which is a meeting point of two major migration paths.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Point Pelee National Park

11. Paglione Estate Winery, Harrow

Paglione Estate Winery offers guests a unique experience, infused with Italian charm, in a family atmosphere unmatched in the region. Enjoy our natural, old-world style of winemaking with an antipasti platter, wood-fired pizza, Cicchetti (Italian sharing plates), and handmade gelato, while relaxing on our Mediterranean patio.

Welcome to our table.

Live Music played each Sunday – contact Paglione Estate Winery for more details and current scheduled performers.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Paglione Estate Winery

12. Erie Shore Vineyard, Harrow

Erie Shore Vineyard is located on the banks of Lake Erie and is one of Canada’s southernmost wineries. Established in 1994, the winery has been producing critically acclaimed and award winning estate grown wines from their own grapes since 1999. The winery’s opening to the public in 2002 made it the fifth modern day winery in this region. Enjoy the hospitality of the winery and its scenic views from the pavilion, situated on the 40 acre vineyard property. The onsite shoppe is open year round, with 16 vintages available to purchase. Wine also available by the glass during regular business hours.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Learn more about Erie Shore Vineyard

13. Pinafore Park, Saint Thomas

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Pinafore Park

14. Crafty Candles

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about Crafty Candles

15. Room Escape Games, London

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Room Escape Games