21 Amazing Beaches in Canada

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Although Canada may not be the first country that springs to mind when you think of beaches, you’d be surprised at how many beaches there are in Canada. With 243,042 km of coastline, there are plenty of beaches in Canada to stimulate the senses. From the rugged coastal beaches of Atlantic Canada to the lake beaches of Alberta and the surf beaches of Vancouver Island, here are 20 beaches in Canada you will love.

Beaches in Canada

British Columbia Beaches

1- Long Beach

a surfer carrying a surfboard on Long Beach, one of the Best Beaches in Canada
Long Beach is one of the best beaches in Canada for surfers.

Long Beach in the Vancouver Island resort town of Tofino is framed against a magnificent backdrop of mountains and verdant rainforest. Think Byron Bay with bears and cougars

The sand stretches along the Pacific Rim National Park for over 16km.

Even though the water is cold, Long Beach is a popular hangout for surfers and kayakers.

It is also an excellent spot for whale watching, with some 20,000 grey whales migrating up the coast during the spring and summer.

2- Kitsilano Beach

Beaches in Vancouver Canada (kitsilano beach)
Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver is a tranquil spot to get away from busy city life.

Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach is the perfect spot to escape the pressures of city life.

Despite being an urban beach, it has a very isolated feel, with its wide arc of clean, sugary sand strewn with driftwood.

Looking out to the North Shore Mountains, the impressive glass skyscrapers of the city and the English Bay, the beach is backed by a seawall that leads you towards Stanley Park.

There is also a massive heated saltwater pool right on the edge of the ocean, in case the cold seawater is not to your liking.

3- Okanagan Beach

Not far from Penticton, Okanagan Beach sits on the shoreline of Okanagan Lake.

The 1km stretch of golden, sandy, curving beach is a fabulous playground for families.

The water here is warm by Canadian standards, making it great for swimming.

There is also a giant floating Wibit Water Park, just off the beach, which will amuse the kids all day.

Flanked by a row of trees that rise straight out of the sand, the town backs onto the beach.

There’s a playground, splash park, amusement park, skateboard area and some excellent food options.

Okanagan Lake Beach is on Lakeshore Drive, Penticton. 

Alberta Beaches

4- Lake Annette

Beaches in Canada Lake Annette at night
Starry night sky with shooting star over Lake Annette. Photo: Jasper National Park / Ryan Bray.

As Alberta is a landlocked province, it doesn’t have coastal beaches but what it does offer is a stunning shoreline around Lake Annette.

If you’re looking for a digital or city detox, this is the place to go.

Lying within Jasper National Park within a stunning panorama of alpine views and unbelievably clear turquoise waters is a serene and picturesque strip of beach.

The cold glacial water is not the best for swimming, and given its mountain setting, you are likely to encounter elk, mule deer and even grizzly bears.

5- Devonshire Beach

Are there beaches in Canada worth seeing? Devonshire Beach's sand sculptures.
One of the intriguing beaches in Canada to visit is Devonshire Beach, especially during the Alberta Open Sand Sculpture Championship. Photo: Government of Alberta.

Nestled within 1500-year-old sand dunes towards the southern end of the park, this beach was named after the Duke of Devonshire, who visited the area in the early 20th century.

Immaculately groomed, it’s a picturesque beach around the largest recreational lake in Alberta.

Devonshire Beach is a fabulous area for fishing, swimming and surfing; the lake also hosts the annual Alberta Open Sand Sculpture Championship.

6- Manitou Beach

Manitou Beach is one of three sandy beaches on Little Manitou Lake in Saskatchewan.

Often called the ‘Dead Sea of Canada’, this stunning beach lines a 23 km (14-mile) lake with a salinity content that is five times higher than the ocean.

This is excellent news for those who can’t swim.

The lake’s waters are high in magnesium, sodium, and potassium salts, thus making it virtually impossible to sink.

These waters are said to offer natural treatments to those who dip in it.

Yukon Beaches

7- Kathleen Lake

beautiful beaches in canada kathleen lake at sunset
Enjoying the sunset at Kathleen Lake. Photo: Government of Yukon/Sheena Greenlaw.

If you like wild and natural beaches head to Kluane National Park and Reserve in Yukon.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a magical setting with snow-capped peaks, towering alpine trees and both pebble and sandy beaches.

The beach at Kathleen Lake has stunning crystal-clear waters framed by the picturesque mountain peaks of the Kluane Range.

When the sun is out, it’s a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the sun’s rays while surrounded by nature or if you prefer to be more active, go fishing, hiking and boating.

8- Bennett Beach

most beautiful beaches in canada Bennett Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in Canada is in the Yukon. Photo: Government of Yukon/Rachel Bertsch.

One of Canada’s most dramatic beach settings has to be Bennett Beach.

Flanking Bennett Lake, which links British Columbia and the Yukon, this sensational 2km stretch of white sandy beach presents incredible views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains and lush alpine trees.

Found in the village of Carcross, this beach is lovely in the summer, when the Yukon receives up to 20 hours of daylight and temperatures often exceed 30C (86F).

Ontario Beaches

9- Sauble Beach

Beaches in Ontario Canada (Sauble Beach)
Sauble Beach is one of the Ontario beaches to tick off your Canadian beach list.

Sauble Beach is a historic beach town in Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron.

The beach became popular in the 1960s and 70s when 4WD enthusiasts would head to this beach to drive on the sand.

These days, you can drive on some parts of the 10km beach but you will see nowhere near as many vehicles today.

Most people come to have fun on the water, jet-skiing, paddle boarding and kiteboarding or to check out the sunsets.

10- Woodbine Beach

Beaches in Canada Toronto Woodbine Beach
Woodbine Beach is the largest beach in Toronto.

A few minutes from Toronto’s downtown area, Woodbine Beach is a 3km stretch of sand and the largest of the city’s four beaches.

Always packed during the summer, Woodbine Beach is a hive of activity when the mercury rises and the sun shines.

In summer, it’s an excellent spot to people watch and there is a lovely boardwalk area to stroll around.

Enjoy a range of watersports and beach volleyball is popular here.

You will also find trendy cafes, bistros and restaurants where you can grab a coffee or a meal.

11- Wasaga Beach

Warmest beaches in Canada man carrying a canoe at dusk on Wasaga Beach
Wasaga Beach in Ontario is a long beach. Photo: Destination Ontario.

Did you know Canada has the longest freshwater beach in the world?

The honour goes to Wasaga Beach, which extends for 14km along the comely shores of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.

This beach in Ontario is Canada’s version of Fort Lauderdale’s Daytona Beach due to its long, hard, flat white sand and vibrant beachside community.

A popular day trip from Toronto, Wasaga Beach is set up in six different zones, all offering something different.

The main attractions are in zones 1 and 2, while zone 3 is dog friendly, and zones 4 to 6 are more suited to those who like personal space.

12- Pancake Bay

Canadian beaches (kew beach toronto)

If you love camping by the beach, head to Pancake Bay, which is tucked away on the southern fringes of Lake Superior.

This 3.2 km stretch of unspoiled beach offers 325 partially wooded campsites, many of which are waterfront.

The scenery is rugged, with various jags of land and pine trees flanking the sand.

Pancake Bay is the perfect place to get away from the stresses of city life, as the beach is a great place to go walking, sunbathing and beachcombing.

Quebec Beaches

13- Havre-Aubert

Although the Îles de la Madeleine is an archipelago of 12 islands in the Gulf of St Lawrence, part of the province of Quebec, they are closer to the maritime provinces.

A ferry between Îles de la Madeleine and Prince Edward Island takes around five hours.

With more than 345km of white sandy beaches, red cliffs, and mysterious caves, several excellent beaches are here to explore.

Havre-Aubert is among the best of them, perhaps best known for hosting the annual Concours de Châteaux de Sable, one of the world’s top sandcastle contests.

This stark and remote area features a beautiful stretch of wild, pristine beach, which is a great spot to enjoy a magnificent sunset over the nearby cliffs.

Manitoba Beaches

14- Grand Beach

Canadian Beaches Grand Beach Manitoba on a busy day
When the sun is out, Grand Beach is the place to be. Photo: Travel Manitoba/Robyn Hanson.

Grand Beach is a 3km stretch of gently curving white sand and undulating grass-topped dunes.

Set along the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg, this is a fantastic place to walk, either on the beach or along the quaint 1930s boardwalk that runs adjacent to it.

Visit between June and August to pick wild berries.

A haven for swimmers who enjoy the warm shallow waters, windsurfing is also a popular activity here as is exploring the 12 m (40 ft) high dunes.

Beaches in Atlantic Canada

15- Parlee Beach

salt water beaches in Canada Parlee Beach four friends on the beach
Parlee Beach is one of the warmest saltwater beaches in Canada. Photo: Tourism New Brunswick/Matthew Hewitson.

If you find the water at some Canadian beaches to be a little too cold, then head to Parlee Beach in New Brunswick.

Known for having the warmest saltwater beach in the country, you won’t swim anywhere in Canada if you don’t swim here.

Situated in the beach town of Pointe-du-Chene, around 20 minutes from Moncton, in New Brunswick, the alluring soft, golden sand runs for over one kilometre.

It has views of the Northumberland Strait, which separates New Brunswick and Nova Scotia from Prince Edward Island.

The Beach Boys played a concert at this blue flag beach.

The water is warm because of the combination of the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current that follows the eastern coastline from Florida to the Gulf of St Lawrence, and the Northumberland Strait is a shallow body of water that warms up quickly under the hot summer sun.

16- Shallow Bay

Top beaches in Canada Shallow Bay Beach Newfoundland
Another stunning Canadian beach you’ve probably never heard of is Shallow Bay Beach in Newfoundland. Photo: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.

In Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park, Shallow Bay has a long swathe of pale sand with impossibly gorgeous sunsets.

Gros Morne National Park Gros is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage wilderness on Newfoundland’s west coast, with a stunning landscape of fjords, mountains and beaches shaped by glacial activity.

Shallow Bay is a lovely beach to enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, bird watching and has some impressive dunes.

17- Greenwich Beach

Located in Prince Edward Island National Park, Greenwich Beach is idyllic and much quieter than other beaches on the island.

Its sand seems to stretch endlessly, making it the perfect beach for those who love a long walk beside gently lapping waves.

This beach has the largest sand dunes on the island.

It’s an area with boardwalks and trails that guide you through verdant marshes, which provide a stunning backdrop to the shoreline.

Situated 63km from Charlottetown, Greenwich Beach is an isolated beach to enjoy the wild, natural beauty.

18- Ingonish Beach

Ingonish Beach is a swimmer’s paradise in Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Highlands National Park because it offers both freshwater and saltwater swimming opportunities.

The latter takes place beside a long expanse of the pristine white sandy beach while the warmer, freshwater swimming occurs in a barachois created by the motion of intense waves piling up rocks around a cove from the ocean.

There are lifeguards on duty at both spots, and you will probably see quite a few people fishing too. The area also offers scenic cruises and whale watching excursions.

19- Brackley Beach

Best Beaches in Canada (Brackley beach)
Another excellent beach near a city is Brackley Beach, which is not far from Prince Edward Island’s Charlottetown.

Brackley Beach is another excellent beach on Prince Edward Island.

Located a 15-minute drive from Charlottetown, it is so remote you would never guess it is so close to a provincial capital.

Set within Prince Edward Island National Park, the beach has kilometres of golden sand backed by grasses and dunes.

The beach is a good base for kayaking, canoeing, deep-sea fishing and camping. It also has a paved trail that weaves its way along the seashore and throughout the dunes, making for excellent photography and scenic viewing opportunities.

20- Crystal Crescent Beach

Beaches Canada (Crystal Crescent Beach)
Crystal Crescent Beach in Nova Scotia is an Atlantic Canada beach you’ll love.

Sitting at the mouth of a provincial park, within Halifax’s beautiful harbour, Crystal Crescent Beach gives you three beaches in one.

This trio of sandy crescents is all backed by low shrub, taking the form of three rustic, white beaches strewn with oversized pebbles.

The area radiates a sense of isolation and there are no facilities except for public toilets.

The clear waters are suitable for swimming, and the beach is lovely to walk on. There are also secluded areas to sunbathe nude if you fancy going ‘au natural’.

21- Lawrencetown Beach

Beaches in Canada east coast Lawrencetown Beach
Lawrencetown Beach is a stunning spot to visit while in Halifax. The beach is 29 km from the city. Photo: Discover Halifax.

Sign up for surfing lessons and learn to surf at Lawrencetown Beach, which is in Lawrencetown Provincial Park along Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. 

The beach has strong tips and the swimming areas are supervised in July and August.

There are toilets, showers and boardwalks that connect to a walking trail along a historic railbed that is part of the Cole Harbour-Lawrencetown Coastal Heritage Park System.

This post was published in partnership with Destination Canada. Travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter Canada. For more information go here.

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Spencer is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years experience producing written content for tourism-related businesses. A thalassophile who was afflicted with wanderlust from a young age, he has visited over 40 countries in the world. An ex-pat Brit who now lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, he cites Miami Beach in the USA and Palm Cove in Australia as his favourite travel destinations. Specialising in writing about beach destinations around the world, he would probably bleed sand if you cut his arm open