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aircraft, including one of a few remaining WWII Halifax bombers, the Handley Page Halifax ( ). PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY "The County" has become a fast-growing culinary destination, renowned for artisanal cheesemakers, cideries, breweries, distil- leries and market stands. The Great Canadian Cheese Festival is a nod to The County's deep cheesemaking roots providing tasting, buying and learning opportunities. The popular Taste Trail is a self-guided tour linking the producers of fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, locally-raised meats, artisanal cheeses, homemade baked goods, wines, ciders and craft beers. Prince Edward County is also known as one of Ontario's top wine destinations, home to more than 40 wineries with an incredible diversity of vintages. Local chefs incorpo- rate local wines and farm-fresh produce into their seasonally-changing menus. Sunbathers, water babies, campers and nature lovers are drawn to the expansive beaches and towering dunes at Sandbanks Provincial Park. It is also a popular spot for birdwatchers who come during spring and fall to watch the annual migrations ( ). LAND O'LAKES A short drive from Kingston is a picturesque region of some 5,000 lakes and rivers; a vast playground ideal for outdoor play, serviced by marinas, lodges, cottage resorts, B&Bs and campgrounds. Cast a line or troll as your boat fl oats down the river. Fishing here is easy—even for youngsters and those new to the sport. The OFAH TackleShare program at Frontenac Provincial Park provides free rod and tackle loaners. Experienced anglers can choose from a menu of lakes, streams and rivers across the region. The semi-wilderness of Frontenac Provincial Park is a patchwork of Canadian Shield granite outcrops, vast wetlands and deep lakes—a hiker and paddler's dream. This is cottage country and a destination for star- gazers with clear views of the night sky and the Milky Way ( ). RIDEAU HERITAGE ROUTE The Rideau Canal is the watery link connecting small villages between the city of Kingston and the nation's capital, Ottawa. Towns along the Rideau—including Merrickville, Perth and Westport—are popular stops for cottagers and daytrippers searching for unique products, attentive service and an intimate atmosphere. Westport off ers the perfect lakefront setting; small back streets sprinkled with unique shops, antique haunts, bakeries, restaurants and tea rooms. Picturesque Merrickville has worn the mantle of Canada's most beautiful village. The compact downtown is home to boutiques, studios and galleries housed in many heritage, Victorian-era properties. The historic 202-km (126-mi.) waterway draws the boating crowd, from canoes to luxury houseboats. In all, there are 47 locks, most still operating the original hand- cranks to open and close the water cham- bers. To celebrate Canada's 150 th this year, Parks Canada admissions are free, as well as lockage at historic canals and waterways ( ). KINGSTON 1000 ISLANDS There's no shortage of atmosphere inside Kingston's Fort Henry, one of the city's top attractions. Behind the thick limestone walls of the largest fortifi cation west of Québec City is a living museum of 1800s military life, highlighted by marching demonstrations and the world-famous Sunset Ceremony re-enactment. Kingston's beautiful downtown streets are a showcase of 19 th century limestone architecture. You can also experience an authentic farmers' market, a hopping culinary scene and unique one-of-a-kind shops. There's lots of action on the water too. A great way to explore the heart of the 1000 Islands is aboard a scenic boat tour, meander- ing through the beauty of the islands from the deck of a magnifi cent cruise vessel. Choose from a harbour cruise along Kingston's historic waterfront, a sunset dinner cruise or longer voyage through the PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY • THE GREAT WATERWAY ON 105

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