Canadian Beach Road Trips
Pack up your swim gear, it’s time to hit the waves on a summer road trip to the beach.
CANADA has some of the most beautiful beaches and the best time to appreciate them is in warmer weather. If you love sand between your toes, the sun sparkling on the water and a view of the coast, this list is for you. So pack up your swim gear, it’s time to hit the waves on a summer road trip to the beach.
By Shahnoor Habib Munmun – Own work, CC BY 3.0
The beach that lives up to it’s name is located on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg and north of Grand Marais. Located an hour drive north of Winnipeg along Highway 59, it’s located in the Grand Beach Provincial Park. This holiday hotspot has been attracting tourists since 1916. And it’s no wonder, since it’s often called Manitoba’s ‘paradise on the prairie’. There is a marsh, 8-meter tall tunes, hiking, and a boardwalk running along the beach that was built in the early 1930’s. The Grand Beach is a great place to swim and enjoy boating activities while soaking up some sun.
So does the sand really sing? Well, the jury is still out, but traditionally sand that sings is sand that produces a sound almost like a whistling when you walk on it. It’s possible it happens when the wind blows over the dunes, some people say it sounds like a squeaking. The famous singing sand is located on the eastern tip of Prince Edward Island in Basin Head Provincial Park. There is a play area for kids and an ideal picnic destination. If you’re taking a road trip from Charlottetown, drive northeast along Highway 2 towards Souris. If you hear singing sand you will know you have arrived.
With over 50 beaches in New Brunswick it’s hard to choose just one. Charlo stands out because there is salt water on one side and fresh water on the other, so your top decision should be which one to enjoy first. The mile long barrier sandbar is the ideal place to spend the day so be sure to pack chairs, an umbrella, and sand toys for the kids. Charlo, a small village in Restigouche County, is located on the shores of the Bay of Chaleur and includes 12 km of beaches.
As a kid I remember taking family road trips to Wasaga Beach each summer along Highway 400 heading north and stopping for ice cream in town. The small souvenir shops surrounding the beach selling brightly coloured beach toys and key chains always caught my attention (In beach area 1). The beach is divided up into eight separate areas totaling 14 km, and you will want to choose which one is best for you. Beaches 2 – 4 have shady trees, a playground, and are a great spot for a family picnic. Each beach area has a unique personality and if you stay in Wasaga for the weekend you can check out each one. These multple beaches along the shores of Georgian Bay boast the world’s longest freshwater beach.
Good Spirit Lake has several amazing sandy beaches that are great for families of all ages because the water is warm and shallow. It’s located in Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park about half an hour northwest of Yorktown off of Highway # 229. There is a picnic area and playground for kids in the main beach as well as a beach volleyball court. Hiking along the miles of sand dunes is popular among tourists and locals too. Good Spirit Lake is in Canora and makes a great road trip from Regina.
Lake Annette Beach is located in Jasper National Park and accessible via the Trans-Canada Highway 16, also known as the Yellowhead. The refreshing water at the beach is turquoise-green and great for swimming. The sandy shore is ideal for building sandcastles or soaking up some rays and relaxing. There is a playground for the kids, over two km of paved trails, and picnic tables so you can spend the day admiring the spectacular setting of the Rocky Mountains.
Known as one of Canada’s best kept secrets, these beaches located on the shores of Sandbanks Provincial Park in the Burgeo Islands are breathtaking. It’s a great road trip destination as it’s located at the most easterly edge of North America. You and your car can take a Marine Atlantic ferry to get access to the province. There are two entry points and the ferries take hundreds of vehicles across the water yearly. As you step onto the island you can relax at the beach, swim in the water, or go kayaking. You can also hike among the sand dunes of the Anniopsquotch Mountains that were originally inhabited by the Dorset Eskimo First Nations.
Did you know that Ontario is home to the second largest fresh water beach in the world? That’s right, there are 11 km of coastal shores to enjoy along Lake Huron. Kids will love playing in the soft white sand and running into the refreshing water. Sauble Beach translates to “Beach of Sand” and has a history dating back to the 1800’s. It used to be called “La Riviere Au Sable” when it was named by French explorers for the sandy sable river. A road trip to the town of South Bruce Peninsula is sure to be an adventure, and it all begins with a road trip along Provincial Highway 21.
It only makes sense that Long Beach is super long, in fact, it helps create the longest sand dune on Vancouver Island stretching for over 16 km. It’s located 20 km south of Tofino within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Surfers flock here for the gentle surf and winds and tourists love climbing up the tidal Incinerator Rock for the spectacular view. It’s also a great place for a long walk, and if you head north you will pass the First Nations beachfront community called Esowista, and can continue towards Schooner Cover beach for more exploring.
Source: Tourism Iles de la madeleine
Upon arrival at any of the beaches in Iles de Madeline you may think you are much further south than Quebec. But in fact you have arrived to a chain of islands in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. There are many beaches to choose from, but the spectacular South Dune beach has unique red cliffs to explore and is sheltered from North and West winds so it’s great for a long walk and a swim in the refreshing waters. It’s also an ideal destination to enjoy a family picnic right on the sand. During low tide there are caves to explore, as well as kayaking and windsurfing. Airplanes or boats can get you to the island and once there you can rent a car for a road trip adventure exploring the archipelago.
Where is your favourite Canadian beach?