Top 10 Beaches in Canada from East to West
The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of summer for many Canadians. A 3-day weekend spent sipping summery drinks, grilling on the barbecue, and relaxing in the sun brings two thoughts to mind: how many weeks until summer really starts? And what are our plans?!
You may not have to travel as far as you think to enjoy the great outdoors this coming season. Canada is home to endless beaches perfect for whiling away the dog days of summer. We’re heading east to west across Canada to share some of the country’s top sandy oases. Our goal: getting you inspired to begin planning your upcoming summer getaway.
Newfoundland: Salmon Cove Sands
Location: 120km from St. John’s
This cozy heart-shaped beach is enclosed by tall cliffs and several towering sea stacks. Spend the day on the soft white sand, but keep an eye out for whales catching a bite to eat at the mouth of the cove (don’t forget your binoculars).
Nova Scotia: Ingonish Beach
Location: 130km north of Sydney, Cape Breton
Sea or lake? Take your pick at this beach. Ingonish beach—near the Cabot Trail—features a natural barrier that separates the salty waters of the Atlantic from the fresh river waters streaming from inland. Swimmers can take the plunge in the ocean or in the lake.
Prince Edward Island: Singing Sands Beach
Location: 90km east of Charlottetown
OK, so the sands of this beach don’t actually sing, but its name does stem from an unsolved scientific mystery. Allegedly, the beach makes a strange “swishing sound” when walking over the sand. Some say the bizarre noise is a result of the unique consistency of the quartz sand layering the shores, but we’ll leave it up to visitors to try and solve that mystery.
New Brunswick: Parlee Beach
Location: 30km north of Moncton
Overlooking the Northumberland Strait separating New Brunswick and Nova Scotia from Prince Edward Island, Parlee Beach boasts the warmest salt water in Canada. When you’re all swimmed out, the area offers a variety of activities, including ultimate frisbee, volleyball, football, and a sand sculpture competition.
Quebec: Havre-Aubert Beach
Location: The middle of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Located on an island in the Iles de la Madeleine, Havre-Aubert boasts 12km of sandy coastline, plus the world’s largest sand castle building contest. Join the festivities and spend the day as an architect in the sand, or sit back and watch a city of castles take shape. If sand castles aren’t your thing, skip the contest and hit the waves of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence kayaking, kite surfing or windsurfing.
Location: 100km west of Kingston
Situated in Prince Edward County on the shores of Lake Ontario, Sandbanks features wide sand dunes and the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation. The surrounding provincial park is a great home base for exploring Prince Edward County’s vineyards, antique shops, restaurants, and live music scene.
Manitoba: Grand Beach
Location: 1 hour north of Winnipeg by car
Grand Beach rests along the shore of Lake Winnipeg. Here, adventure seekers can kite board down 12-metre-high sand dunes, while the more cautious spirits can play volleyball by the lake. For bird watchers, Grand Beach is a sanctuary for the rare and endangered Piping Plover.
Saskatchewan: Manitou Beach
Location: 120km south-east of Saskatoon
Visitors flock to the waters of Little Lake Manitou to absorb the therapeutic minerals (magnesium, carbonate, potassium, mineral salts, sodium, calcium, iron, silica and sulphur) concentrated in this strange saltwater lake. With 5 times more salt than any ocean, the water is too dense for swimming, but visitors can float away the day since the water’s properties make it physically impossible to sink.
Alberta: Sylvan Lake
Location: 20km west of Red Deer
This family-friendly destination is often described by tourists as a water-sport wonderland. A variety of water activities are offered along this 13km sandy shoreline: swimming (of course), scuba diving, fishing, boating, waterskiing, wake boarding, and a colourful water park.
British Columbia: Chesterman Beach
Location: Head up Pacific Rim Highway 4 to Tofino.
Whale watchers take note. This Vancouver Island beach is known for the high likelihood of spotting humpback, orca, grey, and minke whales. If you’re not having any luck sighting aquatic wildlife, the rocky point is also a great spot to watch a west coast storm role in during the winter months.
Did we forget your favourite Canadian beach? Tell us all about it in the comments below. Share your summer travels with us on Twitter and Instagram using #anewtravel.
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