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What to expect at Pelee Island?

Toronto, Canada
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54 posts
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What to expect at Pelee Island?

We are traveling to Pelee Islan this long weekend and we are not too sure what we should pack. Is there a supermarket/grocery store where we can buy stuff? Is there a Beer Store or LCBO? What kind of restaurants are there? Are there any fastfood restaurants there?

Can anybody please help us with this. Thanks.

Ont
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477 posts
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1. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

I know there was a restaurant where you bought your steak or whatever & then they had bbq's for you to cook yourself, unsure of other services but I'll ask my mom. There won't be a beer or LCBO store or Fastfood places.

London, Canada
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2. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

Just stop in Leamington on the way in. It's about 10 miles outside of Point Pelee. Been awhile so I'm not sure where to find specific stores but you can use the lcbo website for specific locations....probably the beer store too.

…worldweb.com/Leamington/RestaurantsBars/

Might help with restaurants......

Have a great time!

Ont
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477 posts
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3. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

my parents were there in off season the Winery was were they had the dinner that bbq'd thenselves so guess you can get wine also. They just went over for day but she doesn't remember seeing stores so I would go prepared.

Halifax, Canada
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4. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

I haven't been to Pelee in a LONG time. There used to be a small grocery store there...McCormick's. According to this website, looks like there's a McCormick's near the west dock....

http://www.pelee.org/map.htm

I'm just not sure how old this map is though. You'd be better off bringing what food you'll need. Even if McCormick's is still there, chances are the prices will be expensive.

There will be restaurants there, not sure if any will be "fast food" though.

Toronto, On
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5. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

We just got back from Pelee Island. It boast two LCBO's but otherwise you can't even buy milk anywhere on the island. The grocery store is closed and for sale just like most other places on this island (including one of the Liquor Stores and the Hotel. Yes there are a couple of fast-food type restaurants near the two docks (pizza and burgers maybe some lake fish but nothing fancy at all). The hotel was a pleasant place to hang out.

We left two days early - for several reasons. The beaches which are nothing much to begin with (stony, covered in sharp shells, puny or private) are horrible - covered in dead fish, with more floating in the algae out in the water. I swam but most people were too grossed out to get in the water. They have these flies that look like ordinary house flies but they BITE to the point most people stayed in their cars. We couldn't venture out to the two nature reserves because of them which was disappointing. Bug spray does not deter them. There is a vineyard (owned by an Austrian so don't think you're supporting Canada by buying Pelee wine) but all the grapes are shipped to the mainland for processing. The biking is easy - not much traffic but again you can't stop moving or the flies will get you.

The lighthouse is a big disappointment - you can't go in it. You also can't drink the water on the island and it smells when you run the tap. We had a cottage down the road from the hotel and they were supposed to supply us with water. Unfortunately those little bottles of water don't go far when it comes to cooking, washing fruit and the drinking needs of 5. The cottage was nice but we were ready to leave after two frustrating and disappointing days. Luckily we got the last spot out on an earlier ferry and were glad to leave.

Maybe if you are looking to stay in a B and B and they have a screened porch you will be happy. The museum is worth a peek and the Art Works has some lovely pieces. Otherwise, this Island was a BIG disappointment.

We drove straight to Lake Huron and jumped in at the PInery Provincial Park. Before we went to Pelee I looked on Tripadivsor for some information but couldn't find anything. I'm writing this to save some people the trouble of going and wishing they hadn't. I have a reputation for seeing the positive in everything but really, this was the worst trip I've ever been on.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

I am the original poster of this thread and I just came back from pelee island trip, our very anticipated island trip.

I am afraid I'll have to agree 100% with dimples disappointment.

Everything dimple says is true. The beaches are horrible, dead fishes all over, water is dirty.. and then there's that smell.. pungent odor.. ewww....

Lighthouse.. oh man.. lighthouse is closed.. very hard to go to.. again pungent odor all over.. dirty water..

the bugs, and the flies.. yes the BITE. and whatever you do.. they'll bite.

I don't know why people even go there.. I've been to many beautiful places and I didn't need to see this island.. they ferry fare is also high.. why would people even go there???

I am sorry, but we had so much anticipation and sadly disappointed. Go somewhere else you people, dont' bother going to Pelee. It's not worth it..

Ontario
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7. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

Thanks for the interesting posts on Pelee Island. We were thinking of staying there in between points from Cedar Point to Pelee Island back to Kingsville, On. Now, having read the posts, we will stay clear from there. I couldn't find any info hardly on the web about Pelee Is. regarding camping, stores or anything else, so this has helped quite a bit as there must be a reason why we couldn't find info., as they don't have anything to offer, unless you like dead fish and black flies, and stinking beaches.

Toronto, On
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92 posts
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8. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

Sorry we weren't able to save you the trip but I guess we were there at the same time. Probably you heard my children crying, my husband complaining or you saw us whizz by in our van with flies in pursuit. LIving in Toronto I really, really appreciate the Toronto Islands (went there yesterday). Better luck on your future travels.

London, Ontario
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9. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

Yeah, there's a lot to deter people from Pelee Island, but you've got to choose the right times to go up. You can't just go there an expect to have an amazing time. If you like nature, and the whole seclusion idea, then Pelee is the place to go. I would never go there to 'vacation', but rather, to party.

Like I posted in another thread, all the locals know to go on the May 24 weekend. Bring EVERYTHING! Food, a bike/car, alcohol, and even your own cigarettes. A $6 pack of smokes costs $12 on the island, and supplies are very limited! Hardly anything is in walking distance, so if you want to check out the pub to the north, or anything else for that matter, forget it.

What we usually do is book a room at the taven (about $60 a night - small rooms but not bad at all - the more expensive rooms have full size fridge/oven). Start drinkin'/cookin as soon as we get there. Be sure to save some food for later on at night. ...they've got a few bbqs you can use, but we be sure to pack the trusty George Forman Grill! We bring our own hotdogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, etc... Just chill out and enjoy the seclusion (think, one cop to enforce the rules, very lax).

At about 8:00PM, you can head over to the Tavern to watch the live band play, it's been "Local Honey" the past few years. They rock! There's usually the younger crowd that shows up, but there's a lot of older folks too. Basically, everyone gets along and it's just one happy weekend.

When you get back to your room at the end of the night, you're probably going to be drunk and in desperate need of something eat. Break out the Foreman again and cook up some more burgers for you and your family/friends, 'cuz there's no way you're going to be able to find anywhere to serve you.

Usually everyone stays up all night long and catches the boat, first thing, in the morning. You might want to stay longer, sleep in, catch the next boat so you're able to check out the Trading Post for some very odd seuvineres. Go back to the tavern for breakfast, and just enjoy your last moments as the boat arrives.

And by the way, the water does smell. Granted, the last time we went down there, the water wasn't nearly as bad as it has been before (some places must be filtering it differently now), but it's not poisonous or anything. ...it just smells like rotten eggs due to the sulphur content, but it's wouldn't be a health issue to shower in it, or even drink it. Just bring your own water for consumption and you'll be fine.

In short, if you go to the Island prepared and at the right time, you can have loads of fun! You can go any other time of year if you want to rough it out, or just stop by for a few hours to the novelty of it and it's winery. Either way, it's not a 'horrible' experiance. People just expect too much out of their trip there before even knowing what to expect. It's not Disneyland...

Toronto, On
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10. Re: What to expect at Pelee Island?

Sorry, but we were not looking for Disneyworld. We love nature and peace and quiet and we've been to just about every provincial park in southern Ontario. Pelee Island is nature at its worst if you ask me. I'm sure it's a great place to party (we saw at least 2 cops the August long weekend) but I can think of many other watering holes up and down this province where you can drink and eat but don't have to spend $80 to bring your car.

The hotel/bar is definitely a unique and wonderful place. We were sad we missed the Karaoke night there - apparently the place was just rocking. Love your attitude man!!