Waterfront homes and cottages surround West Lake, one of Prince Edward County’s hottest areas for real estate. West Lake offers residents the peace and tranquillity of ‘cottage country’ with the best of Prince Edward County’s winery/foodie/craft beer/arts scene just minutes away. Note: things are still developing here, so don’t be surprised by the retro vibe – there are plenty of 1960’s campgrounds scattered about.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
You can’t talk about West Lake without talking about Sandbanks Provincial Park. Home to the largest freshwater sand dune system in the world, Sandbanks offers guests soft white sandy beaches for swimming and sunbathing (you’ll feel like you’re in the Caribbean) and a series of trails.
Sandbanks’ Dunes Beach (day use only) is located on West Lake. Surrounded by huge sand dunes, it’s a great spot to catch the sunset. Be careful when swimming: there’s a steep dropoff that might catch you by surprise.
Looking for trails? The Dunes Trail is a 45-minute easy/moderate trail that ends at the famous dunes. While dogs are allowed on the trail and dunes, they aren’t permitted on the beach. Also check out the 3.5 km Woodlands Trail.
Cottage Country Life
Whether you’re looking to go biking, birding, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, swimming, kitesurfing, windsurfing or paddleboarding, you’ll find it at West Lake.
There’s plenty to do for kids of all ages, including miniature golf at the Caddy Shack and Willy Waterpark’s inflatable water slides, floating icebergs, obstacle courses and climbers. You can rent a pontoon or fishing boat, learn to wakeboard at the Westlake Wakeboard school or go tubing, take a banana boat ride or rent a jet ski.
While restaurant and dining options on West Lake are currently limited, the popularity of the newly-opened Sand and Pearl restaurant compel me to predict that West Lake will soon be a new hot spot for dining.
Sand and Pearl Raw Bar & Fish Fry focuses on delivering fresh fish and seafood in the warmer months, offering a relaxed atmosphere, screened in porch and a fun playful energy. Note: the menu changes daily and there are minimal options for non-fish or seafood eaters.
Isaiah Tubbs Resort has a couple of dining options open to the public. The Lakeside Restaurant on the Knoll offers a crowd-pleasing menu and a great beach location, while the Sandbar Lounge serves lunch and a late night menu and plenty of County wines.
Sandbanks’ Outer Banks Deli offers wood-fired pizza and ice cream, and a little fry shack can be found inside in the park as well.
Real Estate in West Lake, PEC
There’s still so much real estate potential on West Lake. While your eyes may be drawn to the many newly built waterfront cottages, there are still plenty of older homes primed for renovation and TLC.
Prices in West Lake usually start at $700,000 with plenty of multi-million dollar properties too. It’s an ideal second home location, with both seasonal cottages and all-season homes available. If you’re looking to rent out your cottage here short-term, rest assured: demand here is extremely high in the summer months and the area commands premium prices.
West Lake is popular with boaters thanks to the easy access to Lake Ontario. Forewarning: most of the area’s amenities are seasonal, so the winter months can mean a longer drive to the surrounding towns for dinner.
We like Sheba’s Island for waterfront cottages on the slightly more affordable side. Sheba’s Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway, and has cottages, year-round homes and some great newly built modern homes as well.