Find yourself at one of the best beaches in Ontario this summer!
Sunny locales and amazing archipelagos? Ontario’s got them. Romance, adventure, family fun? Take your pick. Call them secret spots, hidden gems, or just call these Ontario beaches home for a few special days of the season.
How were these sites chosen as the best beaches in Ontario?
These sites were chosen as Ontario’s best beaches based on overall aesthetics, activity options, and unique appeal. Provincial Park beaches were intentionally excluded.
An eleven kilometer stretch of pure beauty, Sauble Beach offers endless spots to soak up some sun. Its sandy shoreline claims title to the world’s second longest freshwater beach!
Where is Sauble Beach? Sauble Beach is located in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, near Owen Sound, Ontario. From Toronto, head roughly two hours north.
Popularized in the 1940’s when rich Americans would flock to southern Ontario beaches, this gem gives families the opportunity to step back in time. Enjoy life’s simpler moments and sample a taste of the good, old glory days of summer offered here.
While you can certainly play all day in the warm waters of Lake Huron or bronze yourself just short of George Hamilton, the charms of this beachside community will tempt you away.
Establishments such as the Driftwood restaurant and the Crowd Inn hotdog stand have stood strong since 1948, as have many of the surrounding resorts. The nostalgic setting is sure to seduce all comers.
The main strip of the adjacent village received a rebranding in 2010 that includes retro elements and poodle-skirt era facades, further adding to the vintage vibes. Easygoing gift shops and eateries can be found throughout, supplying one-of-kind souvenirs or yummy funnel cakes!
Well-attended events like the weekly classic car show, downtown movie nights, or the annual Sandfest celebrations get everyone involved. Newcomers are drawn in by the community and openly invited to take part in the festivities.
Grand Bend Beach
With a classic beach and a modern beach town, Grand Bend is a warm locale both in geography and population. Even on days above thirty degrees, ‘Grand Bend’ers’ can be listed as some of the most welcoming, on and off their Ontario beaches.
Where is Grand Bend Beach? Grand Bend Beach is located in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada. From Toronto, it’s about a two hour drive, slightly southwest.
During daylight hours, it’s fun in the sun for both families and the fearless on this Ontario beach. Head south with the little ones for a quiet and relaxed romp in the waves. Turn north and join more raucous crowds who have their sights set on socializing and showing off.
Kilometers of sandy stretches provide ample space to walk and absorb the lakeside ambience. The pier leading to the lighthouse offers more of the same allure.
Boredom is banished at Grand Bend. This is definitely one of the best beaches in Ontario for a little action.
When not swimming and snorkeling, pruned-up youngsters can pop out of Lake Huron and instead play at the splashpad or playground.
The big kids can get wild with watercraft rentals, including jetskis and flyboards, which is basically wearing a jetpack on your feet while you’re in the water. If your stamina allows, there are outfits that offers parasailing and parachuting, as well.
Step off the sand to explore Main Street and its byways. You’ll find a range of restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. The main beach house also showcases a rotating display of fifteen murals done by local artists.
When the sun goes down, revellers get rowdy at the local watering holes. Grand Bend’s nightlife is so prominent that it spawned its own reality show, Grand Benders, that ran on MTV Canada from 2012 to 2015.
Port Stanley Beach
Welcome to ‘Florida North!’ Despite the beautiful surroundings and coastal feel, you’re not in Ft. Lauderdale!
Where is Port Stanley Beach? Port Stanley Beach is located in Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada. You can get there in 40 minutes, heading south from London, Ontario, or reach it in a couple of hours from Toronto.
The super-soft sands of Port Stanley’s shoreline are spread out and spectacular. At water’s edge, you can find some splendid stones for skipping or stockpiling. If you have children, expect to bring bucketloads of rocks back home.
Lake conditions vary, with waves ranging from calm to kicked up. Bring a boogie board or two and you’re sure to have a blast bodysurfing the swells back to shore.
On calmer days, rent a paddle board or kayak and roam the shores from afar. You can also make some waves of your own with an available jet-ski rental!
The promenade around Hofhuis Park is a scenic spot for a stroll. Once a bustling center for commercial shipping activity, the pier and surrounding area were completely refurbished in recent years, much to the delight of all who walk the pier.
No visit is complete without stopping by Mackie’s beachfront restaurant. They’ve got more signature servings than you can possibly consume at one time, so you may have to come again!
Order the fries with secret sauce and wash it down with their world-famous Orange-Ade drink. Prepare to be amazed!
Port Burwell Municipal Beach
If you’re looking to laze about catching sun rays and nothing more than the soothing sounds of summer, Port Burwell Beach is a sure bet.
Where is Port Burwell Municipal Beach? Port Burwell Municipal Beach is located in Port Burwell, Ontario, Canada. It’s a two hour drive southwest from Toronto.
Even on the busiest days there’s room to stretch out on the sandy North shores of Lake Erie. Rest, relax and recharge your vitamin D levels as you get lost in summer or maybe the latest bestseller.
The wide and well-maintained beach supplies an area to completely unwind. Bring your yoga mat and become one with the natural seaside surroundings or amp it up a bit with a game of beach volleyball. Nets are set up for use.
Receving official Blue Flag status in 2018, you can have confidence that you’re swimming in fine waters at Port Burwell Municipal Beach.
The gentle ripples and shallow depths cater to both the young and the young at heart. Wade amongst the calm waves, bob on your favorite floatie, or investigate what treasures lie beneath the surface, as the water is quite clear.
Another source of solitude, and maybe a fresh meal, is the extended pier. While there’s no fast food to be had, you can fish until the wee hours in hopes of some perch or a plump pickerel. Photographs taken on and around the pier also produce prime results!
Canatara Beach and Park
Sunken wrecks lie just off the shores of this one! This sandy-stoney stretch of beach can be a great source of adventure, in and out of the water.
Where is Canatara Beach and Park? Canatara Beach and Park is located in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Head three hours southwest from Toronto to get there.
Resting near the mouth of the St. Clair River, the Canatara Park and Beach boasts an almost endless array of activities and a kilometer long Lake Huron shoreline. This is an area with something for everyone!
The seriously swimmable waters of this Ontario beach are both warm and clear. If you’re interested in a step above the simple pleasures of swimming, stop by the wakeboarding cable park. Have a blast letting the pros show you the ins and outs of this awesome watersport.
Plan to pop over to the scenic parkland. Its 100 acres is host to a number of options to keep busy. Get your ride on at the BMX trails or hop aboard the Canatara Choo-Choo train for a loop around the gorgeous grounds.
The Children’s Animal Farm is a fantastic feature that lets you get up close and personal with rabbits, geese and other livestock amidst this blissful barnyard setting. Be sure to bring some feed for the animals; kids will be delighted.
If you still have energy left, trek through Tarzanland, a 22 acre section of hardwood forest with footpaths for walking and bike routes for cycling.
Extremely wide expanses of soft sand provide a natural playground for beachcombers of all ages. This is really one of the best family-friendly beaches in all of Ontario.
Where is Cobourg Beach? Cobourg Beach, also known as Victoria Beach, is located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. It’s a northeastern drive of only an hour from Toronto.
A shallow walkout, in combination with Lake Ontario’s cool waters, ranks this spot highly amongs beaches for families with small children to splash around in and beat the heat.
Lifeguards are also on duty during regular beach hours, offering an additional element of safety.
Kids will love the abundance of activity options available to them on this pristine Ontario beach. Would-be pirates can search the beach for booty atop the ‘crow’s nest’ at one of the multiple playgrounds.
Overheated pillagers can batten down the hatches at the splashpad before heading back to wreak havoc on the open sea. Fending off the occasional scourge of snack-obsessed seagulls should also be a great source of fun for the little ones.
Speaking of snacks, a concession stand is on-site supplying traditional beachfront eats. Recent years have also brought food trucks to the mix, adding a little more variety.
Harbourlight Delights, a super cute ice cream parlour and grill that serves up selections from soft-serve to hand-cut fries, is sure to bring a smile to everyone who scoops up a sample.
If you somehow find the time, take a look through the town of Cobourg to see a varied mix of architecture and history. Many of the properties are from the mid-19th century and are sure to stun!
Laid-back and family-friendly, Waubuno Beach will breathe new life into the weary and bring smiles to the wee ones.
Where is Waubuno Beach? Waubuno Beach is located in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. As the crow flies, it’s two hours north of Toronto. If you’re not a crow, it will take you three by car.
A prime spot for both locals and passersby! This cosy, soft-sand Northern Ontario beach is on the eastern side of Lake Huron. It offers a simple spot for sunbathing, a trail to trek, and some stunning vistas to take in.
The beach is located within the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, a protected and preserved region, designated by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Translation? This place is really pretty.
Natural Canadian wilderness surrounds these shores, providing an incredible backdrop for photos, as well as a place to soak in its natural wonder. Not to mention the warm and clear water.
Kids can take a break from splashing and wading over in the green space to the side of the beach. It offers a playground, enough room to run, and a general sitting area for mom and dad.
Wind the day away on the Rotary and Algonquin Regiment Waterfront Fitness Trail. This scenic waterfront path of pink granite runs six kilometers along Parry Sound’s shores, with places for a picnic in the woods.
The reserve celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2019, first receiving recognition in 2004.
One of the most accessible beaches in all of Ontario, Bell Park is a real gem, sitting right in the center of town.
Where is Bell Park? Bell Park is located in the city of Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. This is a four hour drive, northwest from Toronto.
Lake Ramsey is simply serene, which is a slight contrast with those in attendance. Filled with laughter and excitement, the main beach is a short stretch from a playground for the kiddies.
A classic beach canteen is also just a frisbee toss away, fixing up fresh-cut fries and other fast foods to feast upon.
Perhaps due to the proximity of amenities or maybe the abundance of pathways, there’s a regular sense of movement. People festing through the motions of summer fun.
Despite all of the action, you can easily lose yourself in the day. Showcasing many of Northern Ontario’s best features all in one place, the area itself is particularly captivating. The colors of summer come alive here, mixed with their Canadian Shield counterparts.
If you’re a history buff with an additional appreciation of artistic works, visit the Art Gallery of Sudbury at the Belrock mansion.
Not only will you see various exhibits, you can also learn a little about the original homeowner. It was the beach’s namesake, William J. Bell.
All of the sites on this collection of the best beaches in Ontario are of certified Blue Flag status. This means that these areas are recognized as safe, sustained, and swimmable.
Visit just one of these Ontario beaches this summer and you are sure to create some lasting memories!
If you happen know of a great location that should be added to this record of best beaches in Ontario that wasn’t included, please reach out to us on social media!