When you think of Canada, you’ll probably think of mountains, lakes, and grizzly bears before taking some time at the sea (or lake) side comes to mind. However, with the longest coastline of the world – there are almost 250,000km of it, it’s no surprise that Canada can offer some truly world-class beaches.
Whether you’re looking to spend time chilling with the family, enjoy water sports, or simply just find a quiet place to call your own, there’s a beach in Canada for you.
In this post, we’ll take a look at ten of the best beaches to visit in Canada. It’ll help you to plan your trip and know what to expect from the diverse range of beaches in the world’s second largest country.
Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia
Lawrencetown is a small beach in Nova Scotia best known for its surf breaks. With a range of surf schools, it’s a great place to begin learning the sport or even have a go at bodyboarding. Just be sure to pack a wet-suit! Aside from surfing, there are hiking and mountain biking trails nearby. In the summer months, you’ll find swimming areas and it’s best to stick to these as there are strong rip tides and currents here!
Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan
Located slap bang in the middle of Canada, you could be forgiven for thinking there couldn’t possibly be a beach in Saskatchewan. And sure, it’s not the seaside, but the three sandy beaches on Little Manitou Lake bring travellers in from all over the country and further afield. The salt content of the water in the lake is five times higher than the ocean, and it’s often compared to the Dead Sea. So, if you want to swim without any chance of sinking, Manitou Beach is the place for you.
Parlee Beach, New Brunswick
One of the most popular beaches in Canada, more than half a million tourists pitch up here each summer. Just outside of the town of Shediac, there are almost 200 campsites available, so be sure to bring your tent! The town is famous for lobster fishing, and the world’s largest lobster sculpture can be found in nearby Rotary Park.
Not only can you enjoy a relaxing and gentle workout with stand up paddle boarding at Parlee Beach, but you can also find your inner peace with a spot of SUP yoga. Check out GILI Sports SUPs for cool boards with unique designs that are a lot of fun!
Long Beach, British Columbia
Long Beach’s name is entirely appropriate as it covers more than 16 kilometres of sand in the Pacific Rim National Park. It’s on the west side of Vancouver Island and has some of the most consistent surf in the world. You don’t need to pick up a surfboard to enjoy the waters though – take out a paddle board or kayak to explore more of Wickaninnish Bay. If you visit in the summer, you’re likely to come close to grey whales – more than 20,000 migrate each year!
Skaha Beach, British Columbia
Another beach in British Columbia, Skaha is found in the Okanagan Valley. On the north shore of Skaha Lake, this place is one of the best beaches in Canada to visit with your family. There are picnic tables, sports facilities, and a water park – all of which will keep the little ones happy. Visit in August to take part in the sand art competition during Peachfest!
Wreck Beach, British Columbia
And now for a British Columbia Beach where you’d definitely think twice before bringing the family. Wreck Beach is clothing optional, meaning that you really can get an all-over tan. At almost 8km long, it’s actually the longest naturist beach in North America. The beach is near the University of Columbia and if you want to appreciate the beach for its own natural beauty, it’s best to visit in colder months when the visitors are actually clothed.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Warm and shallow waters make Wasaga Beach in Ontario the ideal place to take your first steps into stand up paddle boarding. Flat waters make it easy to get to grips with balancing on your board – and it’s a pretty beautiful place to do so! Less than two hours from Toronto, Wasaga is actually the longest freshwater beach in the world – coming in at 14 kilometres. Though it attracts more than 2 million visitors each summer, there are quieter sections where you can escape the crowds.
Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario
Another lake Beach, Sandbanks Provincial Park boasts three beaches that are unique in Canada. Instead of long flat stretches of sand, the dunes here descend straight into the water. This continues off shore, so water can deep quickly. Something to note if you’re travelling with children. The three beaches in Sandbanks Provincial Park come in at more than 7km, and since they’re rarely crowded, you won’t struggle to find a spot to lay down your towel.
Grand Beach, Manitoba
Lake Winnipeg is one of the largest lakes in Canada and it’s a popular getaway destination for those who don’t want to travel all the way to the ocean. Grand Beach, on its eastern shore, is a premier sun, sea and sand destination. Though it’s smaller than many of the other beaches on our list at 1.5 miles, there are a lot of activities on offer. Enjoy a game of beach volleyball before cooling off in the water with a swim or a spot of windsurfing!
Iles de la Madeleine, Quebec
Ending the list is not a beach itself, but an archipelago with more than 200 miles of white sand beaches. The Magdalen Islands are part of Quebec Province and lie north of Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The rugged islands are one of the most popular destinations in eastern Canada, since the climate is quite temperate. The islands host one of the world’s premier sand castle competitions, the Concours de Chateaux de Sable des Iles!