Vacation rentals in Pelee Island
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Your guide to Pelee Island
Welcome to Pelee Island
This secluded island in Lake Erie, 32 kilometres (20 miles) from the Ontario mainland, is the southernmost inhabited point in Canada. Pelee Island is a quiet place, where you can chill on the beach, take a leisurely bike ride, go birdwatching, or sample the fruits of the island’s winery. At the northeast end of Pelee is a historic 19th-century lighthouse, while the Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve, in the island’s southwest corner, is a good place to spot birds. You can walk or cycle the Pelee Island Waterfront Trail, a 28-kilometre (17-mile) loop around the island; rent a bike from the local rental shop if you don’t have your own. Pelee has a grocery store, but if you need anything out of the ordinary, bring it with you from the mainland. Note that Point Pelee National Park, a beautiful Lake Erie parkland that’s worth a detour, is on the mainland near the town of Leamington, not on Pelee Island.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Pelee Island
Two bird migration routes meet at Pelee Island, so if you’re a bird watcher, book one of the island’s cottage rentals for spring, when the island usually holds an annual birding festival in May. Pelee is busiest throughout the summer months, the best season for beachgoers. Many of Pelee’s limited number of restaurants and other businesses are closed during the winter, when the island’s population drops to about 300 from its summer high of 1,500. The ferries from the mainland operate only between April and early December.
Top things to do in Pelee Island
Pelee Island Heritage Centre
At the Pelee Island Heritage Centre, an eclectic little museum opposite the ferry terminal, you can dig into the island’s history and ecology, including its birds and wildlife, its shipwrecks, and its early residents.
Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve
Wander through the sands and woods of Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve, on a spit of land at Pelee Island’s southern end. A stopover point for migrating birds, Fish Point is one of the island’s best spots for birdwatching. You can swim from the beach here, too, although there are no restrooms or other facilities.
Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve
Take a leisurely walk on the nature trail through the woodlands and limestone formations of the Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve on the island’s southeast side. The reserve is home to various species of butterflies and a number of rare plants.