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Road Trip Inspiration: Great Canadian Beaches

Great Canadian Beaches

A few weeks ago, we asked our fans over on our Petro-Points Facebook page about their favourite Canadian beach and why they love it so much. We got so many responses that we felt inspired to do a "best beaches round up" post - just in time for your last summer road trip weekend!

A few well-known spots and some hidden gems below:

Singing Sands Beach, Basin Head Provincial Park, Souris, PEI: This beach draws its name from the sand that seems to “sing” when the wind blows or when you walk on it; no one knows for sure what causes the phenomenon but it might be the quartz content in the sand. Singing sand isn’t the only reason to visit this beach – another unique feature is that it boasts some of the warmest water temperatures north of Florida.

Murray Beach Provincial Park, Little Shemogue, NB: Murray Beach is one of New Brunswick’s best-kept secrets, offering amazing views over the Northumberland Strait, warm waters, sandy shores and great bird-watching. The park has a seaside campground, so you can sleep under the stars and wake up with the sun. The surrounding area is replete with picturesque lighthouses and covered bridges.

Lawrencetown Beach, NS: If beach means “surfing” to you, then Lawrencetown has you covered – the 1.5 km beach is beloved by local and international surfers alike and it’s just a short drive from Halifax.

Havre-Aubert Beach (Sandy Hook), Iles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands), QC: You may have caught some of the gorgeous scenery of the Magdalen Islands on Episode 5 of this season’s The Amazing Race Canada. Twelve kilometres of gorgeous sandy beach makes this destination worth the ferry ride. The warm water doesn’t hurt either. Plus, this beach plays host to one of the best international sandcastle contests, the Concours de Châteaux de Sable. Check out the video for some amazing creations! 

Sandbanks, Prince Edward County, Ontario: Hiking trails, sand dunes, great swimming, windsurfing, boating, bird watching, camping – there’s basically something for everyone at Sandbanks. There are also all kinds of food, music and other events in the area throughout the summer. For a preview, check out the Sandbanks Pinterest page.

Sauble Beach, South Bruce Peninsula, ON: Sauble Beach boasts 10 kilometres of sandy goodness, so there’s plenty of room for your beach umbrella, volleyball game or picnic. Sandbar deposits building out along the Lake Huron shoreline make the water shallow and warm - perfect for swimming. The town’s motto is “Live life slow”, so if you’re looking for a laid-back beach town vibe, it’s worth checking out.

Grand Beach Provincial Park, St. Clemens, MB: Routinely touted as one of the best beaches in Canada, Grand Beach is on Lake Winnipeg and offers tons of activities for every beach lover. Fly a kite off the white sand beach, take a refreshing swim, walk along the boardwalk or try to scale the huge sand dunes nearby.

Manitou Beach, SK: Often referred to as the Dead Sea of Canada, Manitou Lake’s salty water makes even the clumsiest swimmer feel unsinkable. The water is also said to have healing powers and was a popular tourist destination a hundred years ago. You can bounce around in the water of the lake or visit the mineral spa for a good soak. Check out this video for some interesting Manitou Lake history. 

Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, AB: This is another spot for birding fans – the area has been designated an “Important Bird Area” and is popular stopping point for tundra swans and a diverse array of other species. Lesser Slave Lake is also the largest car-accessible lake in Canada; Devonshire Beach offers 1.5 kilometres of sandy beach and the area is famous for fishing, hiking, paddling and, of course, its natural beauty.

Bennett Beach, YK: Looking for a white sand beach with a snow-capped mountain as a backdrop for your beach selfies? Visit the village of Carcross (on the route between Skagway, AK and Whitehorse) and head to Bennett Beach. Fishing, swimming, canoeing and hiking are popular summer pastimes here – and if you want a change of scenery, Carcross Desert, recognized as the 'World’s Smallest Desert’ by Guinness World Records, is a mere 2 kilometres away.

Brady’s Beach, Bamfield, BC: Hard-core adventurers – this is the spot for you. The best way to access this secluded Pacific Ocean beach (or rather, the nearby town of Bamfield) is by ferry, float plane or by hiking in off the West Coast Trail. Brady’s Beach is a bit of a hike from town and the water’s generally too cold for swimming – but the scenery more than makes up for it. The area is teeming with wildlife and offers world class scuba diving. A good spot to add to your bucket list!

Are you heading out on one more road trip this summer? Where's your favourite beach? Let us know in the comments!

- Rose R.

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