Home of the National Air Force Museum (your best chance to see the surprisingly fragile Burgess Dunne*), and positioned at the start of the Trent-Severn, Quinte West is a portal to outdoor activities. Stay for a reinvigorating hike–I can vouch for snowshoeing!–boat trip or ski run, and check out these gems downtown along the way.
*Canada’s first military-use aircraft.
Batawa Ski Hill
99 Ski Club Lane, Batawa
Batawa has a true, confidence-building “Bambi” hill with an easy pull-up lift system as well as 164-foot runs with names like Lightning, Long John and, bafflingly, Gus’s Chili Bowl (presumably a spicy black diamond?) for experienced skiiers.
The trails sport LED lights for nighttime fun–Batawa was the first Canadian ski hill to adopt energy efficient illumination–and a cozy lodge offering snacks and spirits. Also on site: nine forest trails for mountain biking, hiking and snowshoeing.
Wannamaker’s Home Sweet Home
391 Dundas Street West
Return empty handed from this bakery–or from any drive within a 5km radius of it–and experience the under-the-breath mutterings and disappointed glances of your friends and coworkers. Pro tip: fill a takeout box.
93 Dundas Street West
This is a proper delicatessen with a spectacular selection of local and foreign tastes and fine treats. Have a sandwich prepared while you shop unique, hard-to-find European brands. (Plus, designers will swoon over all the packaging eye candy.)
42 Front Street
“Nothing says I love you like a new shovel,” reads one cheeky, heart-shaped price tag. This family-run hardware store has at least one of almost everything you need today and a handful of beautifully preserved tools and ephemera from the past, making it part resource, part (unofficial) museum.
Get new screens fitted, house keys cut and declare your snow-free-driveway warm feelings, all the while exploring the curious relics and chatting with Ian, the store’s knowledgeable owner.
Stone Garden Guest House
A beautiful, private apartment only an eight-minute walk from main street. It’s thoughtfully appointed with all the amenities you could wish for, as well as one I didn’t anticipate: expertly roasted coffee beans. (A perfect start to the day.)
For more on the City of Quinte West, visit HERE.