Dreaming of pristine beaches with crystal clear water and soft sand, but assuming you have to leave Canada to find them? You thought wrong! Canada isn’t only known for its vast forests and towering mountains but also for some of the most exquisite beaches in the world, just waiting to be discovered.
Canada’s geography is diverse, offering a range of landscapes, including mountains, forests, prairies and coasts. The country’s extensive coastline stretches for more than 243,000 kilometres, making it the longest coastline of any country in the world. This provides Canadians and visitors many opportunities to enjoy the country’s beaches.
Canada has many stunning beaches just waiting to be discovered, from the rugged Pacific coastline to the picturesque shores of the Atlantic and the northern tundras. So pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure as we uncover the best beaches to visit nationwide.
Best Beaches in Western Canada
Nestled between the rugged mountains and the vast Pacific Ocean, Western Canada boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
Tofino Beach, Vancouver Island
As you arrive at Tofino Beach, you’ll be struck by its serene and unique atmosphere, nestled between lush forests and the vast Pacific Ocean. The beach is renowned for its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters, which will take your breath away with its stunning scenery.
One of the standout features of Tofino Beach is its untouched natural beauty. The beach is surrounded by old-growth forests, towering cliffs, and majestic mountains, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers like you. The beach’s remote location also means it is relatively quiet, offering a peaceful and tranquil escape from the hustle-bustle of everyday life.
Aside from the breathtaking scenery, Tofino Beach offers a range of activities to keep visitors entertained. Surfing is a popular pastime, with consistent waves suitable for surfers of all levels, from beginner to pro. You can also swim, sunbathe, kayak and walk the beach here. Several hiking trails nearby offer breathtaking views of the beach and the surrounding area.
It’s worth noting, however, that the water temperature at Tofino Beach can be quite cold, even in the summer months. This may be a disadvantage if you prefer warmer water for swimming or surfing.
Long Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
As you approach Long Beach, you’ll be amazed by its 16 kilometres of pristine, sandy coastline, towering mountains and lush forests providing a breathtaking backdrop. The beach’s natural beauty, serene atmosphere, and diverse activities make it a popular destination for visitors of all ages.
The beach’s location, nestled between rugged mountains and lush forests, provides a natural and peaceful ambience perfect for those seeking a retreat from the city. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, Long Beach has something for everyone.
Surfing is a popular activity here, with waves that cater to all skill levels. You’ll also be able to observe a diverse range of marine and land animals, including sea lions, grey whales, black bears, and bald eagles, in their natural habitats.
It’s worth noting, however, that Long Beach can get quite crowded, especially during tourist season. This may be a disadvantage if you want a more secluded and peaceful beach experience. However, the park and beach offer plenty of space for visitors to find a quieter spot and still enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
Chesterman Beach, Tofino
As you approach Chesterman Beach, you’ll be awed by its 3 kilometres of soft, sandy coastline, with rugged cliffs, towering forests, and the vast Pacific Ocean providing a breathtaking backdrop. The beach’s natural beauty, peaceful ambience, and diverse activities make it a popular destination for visitors of all ages.
The beach’s location, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush forests, provides a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere perfect for those seeking a retreat from the city. Whether you’re a nature buff or an adrenaline junkie, there’s something here for everyone. Surfing is a popular pastime at Chesterman Beach, with waves that cater to all skill levels.
You’ll also be able to enjoy swimming, surfing, beachcombing, and sunbathing on the beach. If you’re bored, you can also explore the nearby hiking trails and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, where you can participate in interpretive programs and guided tours that provide an in-depth understanding of the park’s ecology and history.
A possible disadvantage of Chesterman Beach is that there are no public facilities such as showers, toilets or changing rooms. This can be inconvenient for visitors who need these facilities during their stay at the beach. However, visitors can use several private facilities nearby for a fee.
Best Beaches in Eastern Canada
Eastern Canada is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and picturesque beaches. From Newfoundland’s rugged coastline to Prince Edward Island’s sandy shores, there is no shortage of stunning beaches to explore.
Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island
As you approach Cavendish Beach, you’ll immediately notice the stunning scenery that surrounds it. The beach spans over 8 kilometres and is surrounded by sand dunes and lush green forests that create a picturesque and tranquil atmosphere. You’ll find that the beach’s sand is red due to the area’s high iron content, making it a unique feature that sets it apart from other beaches.
Cavendish Beach is located within the Prince Edward Island National Park, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park’s rolling hills, dunes, and red sandstone cliffs provide a stunning backdrop for a day at the beach.
The lively ambience of Cavendish Beach offers you a range of options to enjoy your time on the beach. The beach is home to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, the largest multi-day outdoor music festival in Atlantic Canada and attracts some of the biggest names in the music industry.
However, while enjoying the beach, you may encounter jellyfish or seaweed in the water, which can be a nuisance or even pose a danger for those with allergies or sensitive skin. While efforts are made to monitor and control these issues, they can still impact the overall beach experience.
Parlee Beach, Shediac
As you approach Parlee Beach in Shediac, you’ll be greeted by warm waters, soft sand, and stunning scenery along the Northumberland Strait. This beach boasts the warmest sea water in Canada and has been certified with an International Blue Flag, indicating its high safety, accessibility, and environmental standards. It’s one of the few beaches in Canada to receive this prestigious designation, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an eco-friendly beach experience.
The lively and festive atmosphere of Parlee Beach is well-known, with several shops, restaurants, and cafes offering you a range of options to enjoy your time on the beach. The extensive boardwalk is lined with colourful beach shops and vendors, making it a hub of activity throughout the summer months.
The beach spans over 2 kilometres of soft, white sand and offers ample space for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, with rolling hills and dunes providing a picturesque and tranquil atmosphere.
However, it’s important to note that Parlee Beach can become quite crowded during the tourist season, especially on weekends and holidays. Additionally, the high volume of visitors can lead to increased traffic and parking difficulties in the surrounding areas, which may detract from the overall beach experience.
Best Beaches in Central Canada
Central Canada may not be known for its beaches, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From the crystal-clear waters of the Great Lakes to the secluded bays of Georgian Bay, central Canada offers a range of stunning beaches perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway.
Wasaga Beach, Georgian Bay
As you go to the southern end of Georgian Bay, you’ll discover Wasaga Beach, a popular destination offering a unique and unforgettable beach experience. The beach stretches over 14 kilometres of soft, sandy coastline, making it one of the longest freshwater beaches in the world. The towering trees and rolling hills surrounding the beach create a picturesque and peaceful atmosphere perfect for anyone seeking a retreat from the city.
One of the most notable features of Wasaga Beach is its lively ambience. The beach is home to several bars, restaurants, and shops, providing visitors with plenty of options to enjoy their time there. In the summer, the beach transforms into a vibrant hub of activity, hosting festivals, concerts, and other events that draw visitors worldwide.
Another unique aspect of Wasaga Beach is its rich history. Once used as a training ground for Canadian soldiers during World War II, this site has since become a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. History buffs won’t want to miss the nearby Nancy Island Historic Site, which houses a museum showcasing the area’s history.
However, it’s essential to note that due to its popularity and accessibility, Wasaga Beach can sometimes feel quite commercialised. Visitors may encounter a lot of development, including tourist shops, fast food restaurants, and other commercial ventures that can take away from the beach’s natural beauty.
Singing Sands Beach, Bruce Peninsula
As you venture to Singing Sands Beach on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula, you’ll discover a hidden gem that provides a unique and unforgettable beach experience. The beach is named after the high-pitched singing sound the sand makes when walking on, which adds to its charm and allure. You’ll be captivated by the soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters that span over 1.5 kilometres, surrounded by lush forests and towering cliffs that create a picturesque and serene atmosphere.
The remote location and tranquil surroundings of Singing Sands Beach make it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat. You can bask in the beach’s beauty and serenity as you relax and enjoy the soft sand and crystal-clear waters.
Although Singing Sands Beach is known for its natural beauty and peaceful ambience, it also offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. You can swim, sunbathe, and beach comb, and several hiking trails in proximity offer beautiful views of the beach and its surroundings. The nearby Fathom Five National Marine Park is also a must-visit destination, home to several shipwrecks and diverse marine life.
One potential disadvantage of Singing Sands Beach is its remote location, which may challenge visitors who prefer more accessible beaches. The beach is situated at the end of a long, winding road and requires a bit of a trek to reach. However, the journey is well worth it for those seeking a peaceful and serene beach experience.
Sauble Beach, Lake Huron
As you approach Sauble Beach, you’ll be struck by its stunning natural beauty. The beach is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Huron and spans over 11 kilometres of soft, golden sand and crystal-clear waters, surrounded by rolling dunes and towering trees that create a picturesque and tranquil atmosphere.
Sauble Beach is known for its lively ambience, as it’s home to several restaurants, cafes, and shops that offer visitors a range of options to enjoy their time on the beach. The beach is also a popular destination for festivals and events throughout summer, adding to its charm and allure. With ample parking, public washrooms, and other amenities, Sauble Beach is a convenient and enjoyable destination for visitors of all ages.
In addition to its lively ambience and accessibility, Sauble Beach offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. You can swim, sunbathe, and beach comb. You can also rent a kayak, paddleboard, or other watercraft to explore the crystal-clear waters of Lake Huron.
However, due to its popularity, Sauble Beach can get quite crowded, especially during the tourist season. This may disadvantage those seeking a more peaceful and secluded beach experience.
Best Beaches in Northern Canada
Canada boasts some incredible beaches, including those in the northern regions. From remote and wild to tranquil and picturesque, the beaches in Northern Canada offer visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.
Katherine Cove Beach, Lake Superior
Katherine Cove Beach is a hidden gem located on the eastern shore of Lake Superior, one of the biggest freshwater lakes worldwide. This stunning beach is nestled within the rugged landscape of Pukaskwa National Park, providing visitors with a unique and unforgettable beach experience.
One of the standout features of Katherine Cove Beach is the large rocks and boulders that have been shaped and sculpted by the natural forces of the lake and the surrounding cliffs. These rocks provide a striking contrast against the smooth sand of the beach and are popular among visitors for their beauty and uniqueness.
Aside from the natural beauty, Katherine Cove Beach offers visitors a range of activities to enjoy. The nearby trails wind through the surrounding forest, offering stunning views of the cove and Lake Superior. The beach is also home to several unique flora & fauna not found in other parts of the country, making it a well-known destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
However, due to its remote location, the beach can be difficult to access for some visitors. The beach is accessible by a short but steep trail, which may be challenging for some. Additionally, visitors should know that the weather can be unpredictable, with sudden storms and strong winds that can make swimming and other water activities dangerous. Despite these challenges, Katherine Cove Beach remains a must-visit destination for those desiring a unique and peaceful beach experience on Lake Superior.
Churchill Beach, Hudson Bay
Churchill Beach, on the west coast of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada, is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique and memorable beach experience. Located just outside the town of Churchill, known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”,” the beach has a remote location that adds to its appeal.
The beach features a mixture of sand and small stones, creating a unique texture that sets it apart from other beaches. It offers a range of activities for visitors, including swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. The surrounding tundra and wildlife are also popular attractions, with a diverse range of species, including polar bears, beluga whales, and Arctic foxes, calling the area home.
One of the special features of Churchill Beach is access to polar bears. At certain times of the year, visitors have the opportunity to see these magnificent beasts up close. This is an exciting experience for some visitors, but it can also be dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
Apart from the potential dangers of polar bears, visitors should also be aware of the weather conditions, which can be harsh and unpredictable. The remote location of the beach means that medical facilities and other amenities aren’t readily available, so it’s important that visitors are well prepared.
Canada’s beaches are a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered, with Singing Sands Beach boasting white sands and turquoise waters, Sauble Beach offering a lively atmosphere, and Katherine Cove and Churchill Beach with their stunning scenery. Whether you’re a beachcomber or a swimmer, Canada has a variety of stunning beaches to suit all preferences.
These hidden gems offer unique experiences that are sure to make your visit to Canada an unforgettable one. So pack your sunscreen, grab your towel, and head out to discover the best beaches Canada has to offer. The adventure awaits!