Though it doesn’t have a sun and sand reputation, surprisingly enough, Canada has more shorelines than any other country in the world. It is also home to a multitude of lakes, creating a wide variety of waterfront beaches from inland to both coasts. From the legendary surf at Lawrencetown Beach to the clear, backcountry waters of Kathleen Lake, home to a rare species of freshwater salmon and everything in between, here are the 25 best beaches Canada has to offer.
1.Sylvan Lake Provincial Park
Sylvan Lake Provincial Park is home to a substantial, naturally spring-fed lake with a nearly one-mile long grass and sand beach. There are two boat launching sites available, one is located at Sun Breaker Cove and the other at the marina. This sandy beach edges clear, flat waters. Excellent nearby amenities include picnic tables, grassy areas, volleyball nets, and upgraded day-use facilities. Over 900,000 people visit this beach each year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Province, The beach is known for its swimming, boating, fishing, and water-skiing opportunities, as well as its annual special events like volleyball tournaments and community celebrations.
4403 Lakeshore Drive, Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada, Phone: 403-887-5522
Lined with gorgeous homes, Chesterman Beach is an expansive w-shaped beach spanning a little over 1.6 miles just ten minutes from Tofino, Canada. The Wickaninnish Inn, one of country’s most famous luxury resorts is situated on its north end drawing in a lot of tourists. Shrouded in coastal forest, the sandy beach opens to the sprawling Pacific Ocean offering a wealth of land and water activities. Storm watching, surfing, whale-watching, kite-flying and walking are among the favorite pastimes here. There are three distinct sections of the beach, North, South, and Middle Chesterman, each offer its own unique vibe. Surf lessons are offered at South Chesterman Beach, while tide pooling during low tide is popular at North Chesterman Beach.
1426 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada, Phone: 250-725-3414
Located in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Long Beach is the longest and largest beach on Vancouver Island’s west coast. Running parallel to the entire Tofino-Ucluelet highway the beach is easily accessible via car. It is one of the earliest and most famous surfing locales known for its consistent surf. The beach itself is covered in driftwood logs with some sandy patches revealing themselves at low tide. Several rocky “islands” are also exposed during low tide in the mid-tidal area of the beach. Visitors are welcome to explore the “islands.” However, its unwise to explore unsupervised. Visitors are cautioned to avoid the islands during turbulent weather and when it nears high-tide, as dangerous rip currents exist around the bigger islands.
2791 Pacific Rim Highway, Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada, Phone: 250-726-3500
Situated in the south of Penticton, Skaha Beach spans a half mile along Skaha Lake, a popular spot for kite surfing and wind surfing. An ideal beach for families with children, the lake features a few slides and several floating docks. Several large spaces are available for picnicking. Washrooms, recreational watercraft rentals, and two beachfront concession stands are near the beach parking lot. Skaha Beach also has a hockey ball court, beach volleyball, basketball nets, a large playground, and a water splash park. The most interesting feature of the beach is the Skaha Solar Timepiece, an analemmatic sundial that tracks time by the sun’s position.
4145 Skaha Lake Road, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, Phone: 236-422-1023
Located near the Kilometer 29 marker of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, Sombrio Beach is accessed via an 820-foot pathway off the parking lot at the Sombrio Beach Trailhead, off Highway 14. This expansive cobbled beach offers three designated wilderness camping sections – Main Sombrio, East Sombrio, and West Sombrio. Known for its world-class surf, the beach attracts seasoned surfers as well as hikers who take advantage of their hiking trails along both east and west sides of the beach. As a part of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, it’s important that all campers, surfers, and explorers make way and give respect to the trail hikers.
Juan de Fuca, British Columbia, Canada, Phone: 250-474-1336
Located in Vancouver, Wreck Beach is an internationally-acclaimed, 49-mile-long nudist beach making it the largest naturist beach in North America. Conveniently situated just 15 minutes from downtown, it draws in visitors from more than 150 countries, appealing to tourists of all ages with roughly 14,000 daily visitors. The most visited beach in the country, the beach features a picturesque landscape and hippie-style atmosphere. There are beach vendors selling everything from frozen margaritas, burgers, and towels to haircuts, massages, and music. Several hiking trails surround or lead to the beach, so it’s just as common to see someone fully nude as it is in full hiking attire. Either way “no gawking” allowed.
NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Phone: 604-224-5739
China Beach is situated along the Juan de Fuca Straight in the southeast town of Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island’s west coast. The trailhead to the beach can be found at the far end of the lower level of the China Beach day-use parking lot. It is a well maintained, wide trail that is pretty easy to use traversing past large Douglas-fir trees, and a wooden platform overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca before reaching China Beach. A family-friendly beach, common activities include sandcastle building, picnicking, wading, and exploring the beautiful waterfall located at the beach’s western end. During spring and fall, visitors will also be able to spot families of migrating grey whales.
12287 Hwy 14, Capital H, British Columbia, Canada, Phone: 250-642-5241
8.Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park
Encompassing nearly 8,000 acres Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is located near Vernon. This mostly undeveloped park is an excellent example of North Okanagan grassland featuring groves of Douglas-fir and a smattering of ponderosa pines. Appearing to be different shades throughout the year ranging from indigo to cyan, Kalamalka Lake is known as the lake of a thousand colors. A glacial lake, its main inflow comes from Wood Lake. There are several beaches scattered throughout the park, the two most popular and most developed are Cosens Bay Beach and Kal beach; both are located in the heart of the park. There are several resorts along the lake, and it’s a popular destination for boating and waterskiing.
3004 39 Avenue, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, Phone: 250-542-1415
Located on the northern edge of Grand Marais, Grand Beach is a beautiful white sand, beach on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg along the historic La Verendrye Trail. With nearly two miles of sandy shores, the beach is backed by large sand dunes that rise up to 40 feet above sea level. There is a small boardwalk located on the western end of the beach that offers a variety of shopping and dining opportunities, plus washroom and changing areas. Swimming, boating, kayaking, sunbathing, and hiking along the Wild Wings Trail are popular activities here.
79 1st Street, Grand Marais, Canada, Phone: 204-754-5040
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Open from mid-May to mid-October, Hopewell Rocks is one of the top attractions in New Brunswick. It’s situated along the coastal shores of the Bay of Fundy, the home of the highest tides in the world. Visitors can explore the park to learn the fascinating story behind this natural wonder’s, world famous tides. When the tide is low visitors can walk along the 1.25-mile beach meandering through several coves and sandstone formations. At high tide, these same rock formations become little islands surrounded by water, a truly unique sight to see. Activities are boundless at any time of day whether the tide is high or low. There are groomed walking trails, scenic picnic areas, and guided kayaking excursions.
131 Ch. Discovery Road, Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick, Canada, Phone: 877-734-3429
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The warmest saltwater beach in Canada, Parlee Beach, is one of the finest beaches in North America. Backed by lush grassy areas this natural sand beach offers a wealth of both land and water activities for the whole family to enjoy. This includes supervised swimming, stand-up paddle-boarding, and sand castle building. It even hosts an annual sand castle competition. There are more than 190 campsites on a well-groomed piece of land nearby, plus a shopping center with boutiques, restaurants, accommodations, and marinas. Beach highlights include a sculpture of the World’s Largest Lobster, and a charming, white and red decorative lighthouse.
45 Parlee Beach Road, Pointe-du-Chene, New Brunswick, Canada, Phone: 506-533-3363
12.Sandbanks Provincial Park
Sandbanks Provincial Park is located on the shores of Lake Ontario and is home to three expansive white-sand beaches. Several patches of beach are sectioned off for various types of recreation including an area for naturists, and an area for dogs. It is most well-known for having the largest fresh water dune system and sand bar in the world, a truly breathtaking feature. The location of the park also makes it a hotspot for migrating birds during the spring and fall seasons. There are several walking trails that offer interpretive exhibits allowing visitors to learn about the park’s wetland and dune habitats.
3004 County Road 12, Picton, Ontario, Canada, Phone: 613-393-3319
13.Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park
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Located along the Eastern Shore, Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park is ideal for families. The beach has a few boardwalks, hiking trails, and interpretive displays. Services include changing rooms, toilets, and showers. It also has a grassy field located on top of a bluff with a nice picnic area. The most unique feature of the beach is the shallow, warm tidal stream that runs through one part of the beach. Families can bring their inflatables and enjoy a leisurely float down the stream, again and again. Sand castling is another favorite pastime at this beach. In fact, the legendary Clam Harbour Sandcastle Competition has taken place here every August for over 35 years.
158 Beach Road, Clam Harbour, Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia, Canada, Phone: 902-667-8429
14.Kejimkujik National Park Seaside
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Spanning over 13 miles along the Atlantic Ocean, Kejimkujik National Park Seaside is an untamed and secluded stretch of coastline in the South Shore area, west of Liverpool. A protected wilderness area, Seaside is home to coastal bogs, coastal wildlife, abundant wildflowers, white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and rich lagoon systems. Park Seaside also includes two picturesque trails – Port Joli Head Trail (5.4 miles) and Harbor Rock Trail (3.2 miles). These trails lead hikers to secluded broad sweeps of silver-strand, rocky coves, and glacier-carved headlands. Other features of the trails include benches, interpretation exhibits, and telescopes. Visitors are asked to respect the fragile dune system and the nesting area of the Piping Plovers, an endangered species.
1188 St Catherines River Road, Port Joli, Nova Scotia, Canada, Phone: 902-682-2772
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A provincial beach park, Lawrencetown Beach is a popular cobble-and-sand beach most notable for its world-class surf. Located along Route 207, east of Dartmouth along the Eastern Shore, it often features strong currents and rip tides. Surfers and swimmers are encouraged to exercise caution while in these waters. Both locally and internationally famous for the consistently incredible surf, several well-established surfing schools set up shop in the area to provide lessons. They provide everything needed for a saltwater adventure – boards, wetsuits, and lots of patience. The beach park provides ramped boardwalks, showers, change houses, and toilets. It also connects to a walking trail that is part of the Cole-Harbour Lawrencetown Coastal Heritage Park System.
NS-207, East Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Canada, Phone: 800-565-2224
Cobourg Beach is a family-friendly, natural sand beach located in Southern Ontario. Open all year long, the beach offers a wide variety of activities including swimming, kayaking, sand castling, and beach volleyball. The surrounding area features two playgrounds, a fenced basketball court, and a splash pad. It also has washrooms, change rooms, canteen, and a foot bath area, plus several grassy areas with picnic tables and relaxing benches. The beach is known for hosting multiple annual events throughout the year such as Canada Day, Sandcastle Festival, and weekend volleyball tournaments. Cobourg Beach is groomed each day and staffed with lifeguards from Northumberland YMCA.
138 Division Street, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, Phone: 905-372-8641
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Located in the northern part of southwestern Ontario, Sauble Beach is situated on the Bruce Peninsula along Lake Huron’s eastern shore. Spanning seven miles, it is the second longest freshwater beach in the country after Wasaga Beach. Since it is facing the west, Sauble is known for its incredibly beautiful sunsets. It is one of the only beaches where people are permitted to park on the sand, but only in designated areas. These warm shallow waters are ideal for swimming, water skiing, windsurfing, and fishing. Lawn bowling, beach volleyball, tennis, golfing, and birding are also popular activities. An annual sandcastle building competition and weekly Family Movie Nights are also hosted at Sauble Beach.
62 Highway 401, Tilbury, Ontario, Canada, Phone: 519-534-1400
The world’s largest freshwater beach, Wasaga Beach boasts 8.7 miles of safe, sandy shoreline. This nearly 17-acre natural area is a protected wildlife habitat and nesting place for several shorebirds, including the endangered Piping Plover. The beach features more than 31 miles of hiking trails; this includes Pine Trail, available via tour guide, and parts of the Ganaraska Trail. Ski skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are also allowed on trails. A visitor center highlights the cultural and natural riches of the area. It serves as an entrance to the Nancy Island Historic Site, home to a museum, theater, and a reproduction of a lighthouse found on the Great Lakes.
11 22nd Street N, Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada, Phone: 705-429-2516
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19.Singing Sands Beach
Located at Basin Head on Prince Edward Island, Singing Sands Beach is a beautiful white-sand beach known quite literally for its singing sands. A phenomenon scientists say is due to a high silica content in the sand, when walked on, the white sand produces an intriguing sound, many attribute to singing while others say it’s more akin to squeaking. However the sound is made, it’s a true delight to sit on the shores of this beach listening to the whimsical notes made by the foot traffic of others. The beach also has a small boardwalk and a trail that travels through rare dune and fen ecosystems. Singing Sands fills up quickly during the summer and on weekends; swimming here is unsupervised.
Dorcas Bay Road, Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada, Phone: 519-596-2233
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20.Basin Head Beach
Basin Head Beach is a day-use park boasting a supervised white-sand beach, food court, play area, shower facilities, and washrooms located off Route 16 on Prince Edward Island. Similar to Singing Sands Beach, the sands here are famously known for their singing made by the high content of silica found in the sand. When walked upon the sand literally emits a sound similar to that of singing although some believe it have a more squeaking quality. There is a narrow channel that runs to a tiny inland pond splitting the beach in two, which depending on the tide can make swimming conditions hazardous. Swimmers must use caution or wait until the summer season when lifeguards are present.
318 Basin Head Road, Souris, Prince Edward Island, Canada, Phone: 902-357-7230
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Situated in the southern section of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and nestled between Newfoundland Island and Prince Edward Island, the Magdalen Islands are a collection of eight main isles and numerous small islets. The largest islands include Amherst, Grindstone, Grande Entrée, Grosse-ile, Pointe-Aux-Loups, House Harbour, Brion, and Entry Island. They are all inhabited, primarily by French-Canadians, with the exception of Brion. Each island has its own unique atmosphere, dining, lodging, and shopping opportunities, but they all generally offer the same great activities. Visitors can explore lighthouses, join motorcycle tours, meander farmers markets, and learn from nature interpretations. Popular activities like cycling, kayaking, marine wildlife watching, sailing, and boating are on any isle.
128 Chemin Principal, Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec, Canada, Phone: 418-986-2245
22.Good Spirit Lake Beach
Named one of the Top Ten Beaches in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine, Good Spirit Lake Beach is a family-friendly beach offering a wealth of outdoor adventures. This includes swimming, stand-up paddle-boarding, sailing, boating, fishing, and other water-related opportunities. The area surrounding the beach provides its own variety of fun and entertainment like the 18-hole golf course, mini-golf course, tennis courts, and beach volleyball. Visitors can also enjoy a hike along The Great Trail, better known as the Trans Canada Trail, or explore the Dune Discovery Interpretive Trail, an extensive stretch of natural sand dunes. There are several nearby restaurants, including a food concession and various lodging opportunities like Good Spirit Golf Resort.
Spirit Good Lake, Good Lake No. 274, Saskatchewan, Canada, Phone: 306-792-4750
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Manitou Beach is a resort town situated on the shores of Little Manitou Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada. The waters of Manitou are most well-known for their high salinity which created an unusual buoyancy. When people enter the lake they simply float to the surface, this is because the water is ten times denser than normal water found in lakes. There are only two other bodies of water in the world that share this unique trait, Karlovy Vary located in the Czech Republic and Israel’s Dead Sea. Boating, kayaking, sailing, and paddle-boarding are common lake activities. The surrounding resort village features a 9-hole golf course, an 18-hole mini-golf course, a dance hall, a Mineral Spa, and a Regional Park campground.
302 McLachlan Avenue, Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan, Canada, Phone: 306-946-2233
Just north of the Alaska/Canada border crossing near the port of Skagway, Bennett Lake is located in the Yukon Territories of the Southern Lakes Region. An expansive, long lake, its northern half is located in British Columbia, while its southern half is located in the Yukon Territory. The lake offers a wealth of recreational activities for all seasons, including sailing, canoeing, swimming, and backpacking along the coastal Chilkoot Trail in the warmer months. During winter Bennett Lake is popular for snowmobiling and ice-fishing. For those who want to fish in the Yukon Territory portion of the lake, a fishing license is required year-round.
100 Hanson Street, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Phone: 867-667-3084
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With crystal clear waters backed by the majestic Kluane Range Mountains, Kathleen Lake offers visitors a beautiful backcountry experience. Popular for camping, boating, and hiking, the area surrounding the lake features a day-use area, campground, boat launch, and a variety of hiking trails. One of the more difficult trails is a 3.1-mile hike that ascends to King’s Throne, a breathtaking, glacially-formed arena that overlooks the lake. The waters of Kathleen Lake are known to be exceptionally clear and home to kokanee salmon, a rare, landlocked population of Sockeye salmon that only live and reproduce in freshwater. Kayaking, canoeing, boating, and fishing are common activities on the lake.
Haines Highway 3, Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada, Phone: 867-634-7207
25 Best Beaches in Canada
- Sylvan Lake Provincial Park, Photo: gdvcom/stock.adobe.com
- Chesterman Beach, Photo: edb3_16/stock.adobe.com
- Long Beach, Photo: alpegor/stock.adobe.com
- Skaha Beach, Photo: nalidsa/stock.adobe.com
- Sombrio Beach, Photo: carriecole/stock.adobe.com
- Wreck Beach, Photo: magdal3na/stock.adobe.com
- China Beach, Photo: alpegor/stock.adobe.com
- Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, Photo: olegmayorov/stock.adobe.com
- Grand Beach, Photo: pictureguy32/stock.adobe.com
- Hopewell Rocks, Photo: Andreas Prott/stock.adobe.com
- Parlee Beach, Photo: Oleksandr Shevchenko/stock.adobe.com
- Sandbanks Provincial Park, Photo: alisonhancock/stock.adobe.com
- Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park, Photo: Sved Oliver/stock.adobe.com
- Kejimkujik National Park Seaside, Photo: Petrov Vadim/stock.adobe.com
- Lawrencetown Beach, Photo: Petrov Vadim/stock.adobe.com
- Cobourg Beach, Photo: jhvephoto/stock.adobe.com
- Sauble Beach, Photo: pictureguy32/stock.adobe.com
- Wasaga Beach, Photo: Andy/stock.adobe.com
- Singing Sands Beach, Photo: Ammak/stock.adobe.com
- Basin Head Beach, Photo: serge_t/stock.adobe.com
- Magdalen Islands, Photo: pink candy/stock.adobe.com
- Good Spirit Lake Beach, Photo: slavonstok/stock.adobe.com
- Manitou Beach, Photo: claire/stock.adobe.com
- Bennett Lake, Photo: mariemilyphotos/stock.adobe.com
- Kathleen Lake, Photo: davidrh/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com