The Best Beach in Canada — As Voted By You!
We asked you to recommend the best beaches in Canada, and you delivered! These spectacular stretches of shoreline already have us looking forward to next summer.
Hayward Lake Beach
Mission, British Columbia
The stunning shores of Hayward Lake certainly deserve the title of the best beach in Canada. Just 60 kilometres from Vancouver, this sandy beach is magical all year round: it’s perfect for a summer swim or a trail hike in the off-season. While you’re there, don’t miss the nearby Powerhouse at Stave Falls, a national historic site that’ll spark your interest in hydroelectricity.
With a mix of pebbles and sand, Victoria Beach has something for everyone—especially the kids! The two playgrounds and splash pad will generate hours of family fun by the lovely Lake Ontario. Over Canada Day weekend, the beach plays host to the Cobourg Waterfront Festival, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors with parades, cultural events, and shows along the coast.
Point Aconi, Nova Scotia
Beautiful views abound on Cape Breton Island, and Battleman’s Beach is no exception. Known for its long stretch of shoreline and calm waters, this slice of Atlantic Ocean paradise is ideal for unwinding. Plus, it has parking and a few picnic tables to enjoy a scrumptious packed lunch.
Tofino, British Columbia
Chesterman Beach is a 2.7-kilometre stretch of sandy goodness lined with stunning homes. Wildlife lovers will be thrilled to discover sea stars and anemones in the tide pools at low tide, while thrill-seekers can catch a wave with the guidance of one of Tofino’s many surf schools.
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Tofino, British Columbia
Here’s yet another vote for the gorgeous beaches of Tofino! True to its name, Long Beach is the longest sand beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Spanning over 16 kilometres, it’s located in the beautiful Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and is a prime spot to get your daily steps in. If you’re lucky, you just might spot a Grey or Humpback whale, so keep those eyes peeled!
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Cabot Beach Provincial Park
Lower Malpeque, Prince Edward Island
This isn’t just your average beach—it’s a whole provincial park! Frolic on the shores of the Atlantic or take a walk on the trails to get the full Cabot Beach Provincial Park experience. If you’re really adventurous, stay the night at the campground and gaze at the stars from the sand.
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Canatara Beach stretches over the shores of Lake Huron near the mouth of the St. Clair River. Minutes from the city of Sarnia, it’s a perfect urban getaway that also boasts a petting zoo and a train to keep the kids entertained.
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White Rock, British Columbia
White Rock is home to two beaches, East Beach and West Beach. While West Beach offers many cute restaurants on the pier, its eastern counterpart is often the one that locals prefer because of its more relaxed atmosphere. If you want the best of both worlds, walk from one beach to another—they’re only a few kilometres apart!
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Petrie Island Beach
Petrie Island, Ontario
A 2o-minute drive from Ottawa, the sandy shores of Petrie Island Beach provide an ideal escape from the steamy city. Take a dip in the Ottawa River with peace of mind—there are lifeguards on duty from noon to 7 p.m. all summer long. Plus, there’s a canteen that serves snacks and drinks if a packed lunch just wasn’t in the cards.
West Saint Peters, Prince Edward Island
This pup loves Lakeside Beach just as much as you will! Just 30 minutes northeast of Charlottetown, this white sand paradise is not actually on a lake, but rather the dreamy Atlantic Ocean. It’s perfect for a simple beach day: without washrooms, canteens, or lifeguards, it’s just you and the breathtaking scenery.
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Tofino, British Columbia
To many surfers and storm watchers, Cox Bay is the best beach in Canada. It boasts endless views of the Pacific Ocean all year long, and fine, white sand to tickle your toes. Though smaller than the other beaches in Tofino at just 1.5 kilometres, it makes up for its size with immaculate vibes.
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Squamish, British Columbia
Surrounded by mountains, dense forests, and grassy parkland, Alice Lake makes for a fantastic freshwater swimming experience. The best way to spend the day is working up a sweat hiking the trails in the morning, then cooling off in the refreshing lake all afternoon.
Fernwood, Prince Edward Island
This stunning sunset is brought to you by Gardiner Shore beach on Prince Edward Island’s south coast. Lined by quaint houses, a walk along the water is the best way to enjoy the views at dusk. The brown sandy shores are what dreams are made of and the beautiful ocean ripples make a dip all the more inviting.
Just 20 minutes from Cobourg lies another magical stretch of Lake Ontario shoreline. Wicklow is a stone beach along the Waterfront Bike Trail, and the perfect place to stop for a picnic during a ride. You’ll have to pack along everything you might need for your visit, as there aren’t any shops or restaurants to speak of, but that’s definitely part of the beach’s natural charm.
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Sauble Beach, Ontario
Rated Canada’s best freshwater beach, Sauble Beach is a popular summer spot for vacationing families from the GTA (it’s a three-hour drive northwest of the city). Also, it’s probably as close to a California beach vibe as you can get in Ontario. Boasting 4 kilometres of pristine sandy beach, it has the distinction of being the second longest freshwater beach in the world. Offshore sandbars keep the waters shallow and warm, and nearby restaurants and stores add to the ultimate beach town experience.
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Shirley, British Columbia
Sandcut Beach is one of the few instances where a waterfall and the beach live in perfect harmony. There’s a 10-minute hike to get there, but it’s well worth it. Just don’t bring too much to schlep.
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Just 45 minutes from Montreal, Saint-Zotique Beach is a summer hotspot with its floating obstacle course, splash park, wading pool, SUP polo area, and hiking trails. It also has an ice cream shop and restaurant to keep you full and happy, along with the lovely shores of the St. Lawrence River for a much-needed swim on a hot day.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
Sandbanks Provincial Park boasts three sandy beaches that will make you swoon. Take in the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation on the shores of Lake Ontario by renting a kayak or a canoe, or get lost in the gorgeous surrounding walking trails.
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Port Mouton, Nova Scotia
Believe it or not, this isn’t the Caribbean! Carter’s Beach is Canada’s answer to a tropical paradise, complete with parking, bathrooms, and several boardwalks over the picturesque dunes. Grab a beach read and enjoy the sound of the surf at this magical spot.
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Petawawa Point Beach
Right at the junction of the Ottawa and Petawawa rivers, Petawawa Point Beach is a beautifully-maintained summer dream. Sandy shores, stunning views, sun-shades, a playground and a volleyball court make this a phenomenal place to spend the day, especially for young families.
If you enjoyed our round-up of the best beaches in Canada, be sure to check out the 10 national parks every Canadian needs to visit.