Who says you need an ocean to enjoy that much needed #beachlife? Ontario’s sandy lakefront beaches offer sun, fun and plenty of noshing opportunities. Here’s six of our favorites. All beautiful, lively and definitely worth a roadtrip!
PORT STANLEY, Ontario
Port Stanley is the heart of Elgin County. It’s full of quaint shops, good eats and cozy accommodations. Port Stanley’s Main Beach is one of 26 beaches across Canada that are Blue Flag certified, so bring your swimsuits! If we’re feeling fancy, we’ll book a table at The Wind Jammer Inn. They do beautiful things with lake fish like pickerel, perch and trout. When we’re feeling more beach time, less table time — we head for Shebaz’s Shawarma or the Main Street Taqueria. Both make for an excellent beach picnic.
The County is known for Sandbanks Beach and wines, but Wellington is coming into it’s own as a beach front town! Whether you’re there for the world’s largest freshwater dunes or taking in the local arts scene, there’s plenty of delicious offerings. We recommend The Courage on Main Street for new Canadian cuisine and cocktails. Those looking to do a little dine around will want to check out East & Main, The Drake Devonshire and the Farmers’ Market which pops up on weekends in the summer.
GRAND BEND, Ontario
For so many, Grand Bend brings back childhood memories of running up and down the sand during cottage weekends. This blue flag certified spot has been a destinations for those looking to soak up the son for almost a century. Those in the know make sure to book a table at Eddington’s of Exeter in nearby Exeter. Chef James has been plating up stunning, locally-sourced dishes for over a decade on his tree-lined patio. It’s well worth leaving the beach!
SAUBLE BEACH, Ontario
Not many beaches in Ontario can boast the presence of a double decker taco truck! Sauble Beach is beautiful, sure – but the tacos and quesadillas being slung by the team from Casero are even more so. Fun fact: when hiring their summer staff, the team at Casero’s need to be mindful of a person’s height because the original double bus has 5’8″ ceilings!
PORT DOVER, Ontario
Stroll along the beach in this charming town and the palm trees. Yes, you read that right. For us eternally-hungry culinary travellers though, we head straight to the Erie Beach Hotel for a heaping portion of fried Lake Erie perch and celery bread. It’s a Norfolk County tradition! Come nightfall, we head to David’s Restaurant for a cocktail and the full shmear. Chef Scott McRae brings a taste of the area to every plate.
Balm Beach, Ontario
Located in Simcoe County, Balm Beach is in Ontario’s most adorably named township: Tiny. It’s home to 70km of shoreline. Aside from the pristine beaches, Tiny is also home to an artesian well that produces some of the purest spring water in the world. After a day on the beach, we head to Balm Beach Tavern for a seat on the patio over-looking the water. They’ve usually got live music going on and a great craft tap list. For a quicker bite, we’ll stop into Mad Cravings for a slice of pie.
For more delicious destinations, check this out!