Beach towns in Ontario are a top-notch summer escape, with their soft sandy shorelines, quaint shops, and clear blue waters that are perfect for cooling off.
With over 250,000 lakes in the province, there’s no shortage of destinations to choose from just a short drive away from the city. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful lakeside retreat or lively community buzzing with nightlife, there’s something for everyone.
Here are 5 charming beach towns in Ontario to visit this summer.
Two hours north of Toronto, you’ll find the world’s longest freshwater beach, boasting 14 km of sandy shorelines at the southern end of Georgian Bay. Undoubtedly one of the busiest beach hotspots during the summer months, Wasaga Beach is the place to go if you crave a good mix of recreational activities and nightlife.
At the beach, you can take your pick of water sports, like paddle boarding or jetskiing. Race your friends at the Go Kart Track or challenge them to a game of mini-putt at an 18-hole pirate-themed course. The fun doesn’t stop after sunset, with no shortage of beach bars and clubs along the main strip.
An hour north of the rowdy Wasaga Beach crowds, you’ll find a much more peaceful setting at Sauble Beach. At just over 11 km long, it takes the title for the second longest freshwater beach in the world after Wasaga.
A popular lakeside retreat since the 1950s, Sauble Beach still has a nostalgic feel, with beloved annual festivals and a charming Main Street packed with restaurants, shops, cafes, and arcades. Be sure to check out its massive 3000-year-old sand dunes, which you can climb up to get a panoramic view of the area.
With six sandy beaches to choose from, Port Elgin is an incredible beach town for those looking to lounge the day away and swim in clear, blue waters. Located around three hours from Toronto, Port Elgin sits on the eastern shores of beautiful Lake Huron.
Stroll through the quaint downtown area and grab an ice cream before catching an epic sunset on its west-facing beaches, or walk along the beautiful North Shore Trail which leads you on a 6 km-long trek along the lake.
Nestled on a tiny peninsula in Lake Erie, the small, quiet town of Erieau is a hidden gem with a quaint downtown, vibrant community, and stunning sandy beach with warm, clean waters.
Erieau Beach is the town’s main attraction, with some of the warmest waters on Lake Erie that make it perfect for swimming in and enjoying water activities. There’s also a ton of natural beauty to explore nearby, including McGeachy Pond Conservation Area and Rondeau Provincial Park a quick drive away.
With white sand beaches and Caribbean-esque blue waters, Bayfield feels like it belongs in a tropical destination. You’ll find it 3 hours west of Toronto on Lake Huron, and just 20 minutes south of the more boisterous Grand Bend.
Bayfield has three lovely beaches that are perfect for sunbathing. Look out at the water from atop a stunning bluff at Pioneer Park, one of the most picturesque spots in the village. Later, wander along Bayfield’s historic Main Street and explore the many shops, boutiques, restaurants and galleries.