Summer is a favourite season for many. With so much to see and do outdoors, it’s the time of year friends and family congregate outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery. Being ideally located in the middle of the Great Lakes, London, Ontario residents are able to spend their time at a variety of beaches, cottages and parks.
Whether you’re looking to indulge in active outdoor excursions such as boat rentals, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and camping or simply want to relax with a good book beneath the sun, there are various options to consider. Below is a list of the top beaches which are found surrounding London, Ontario.
Port Stanley Main Beach
Port Stanley Main Beach is a sandy beach located in Port Stanley, Ontario. The beach is approximately 50 meters wide and stretches for about 500 meters on both sides of the river mouth. The waterfront of Port Stanley Main Beach on the west side has a number of large rocks that have been smoothed by the water and waves from Lake Erie.
Port Stanley’s main beach area features a children’s playground, beach wheelchairs, and a large changing/restroom station, complete with outdoor showers to clean off before heading home!
The beach has a concession stand that offers food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries plus ice cream treats in the summer months. There are also nearby picnic tables for visitors to enjoy their meals on or bring with them if they wish to pack a lunch.
GT’s is a restaurant located on the waterfront in Port Stanley. They are open from 11am to 9pm and they have live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. The food is freshly made, with a menu that offers a wide variety of Canadian food, pizza, and seafood dishes.
Also located along the beach is the popular snack shop known as Mackies. This is the perfect place to grab a cold drink, ice cream, or one of their famous hot dogs. The family-run establishment is known for its refreshing Orange Drink and zingy fry dip.
A Blue Flag beach is one that is clean and safe. It’s also environmentally friendly. The Blue Flag Program is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education, an international non-governmental organization. The program was established in Europe in 1987 and adopted worldwide in 2000.
Port Stanley has been designated as a Blue Flag beach for many years and was the first beach along Lake Erie which received the distinction.
Another popular activity at The Beach is exploring the boardwalk which extends from Port Stanley Harbour to the town of Colpoy’s Bay. You can walk along the boardwalk that has been designated as Ontario’s “longest unbroken stretch of wooden sidewalk.” The boardwalk offers spectacular views of Lake Erie and the beach, high vantage points for photographing sunsets over the lake.
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Port Stanley Little Beach
Port Stanley Little Beach is a small beach located south-east of Port Stanley featuring approximately 185 meters of sand. It’s a beautiful, quiet, and secluded beach. There are no lifeguards on duty at the water’s edge, so if you’re bringing the whole family, you’ll need to keep an extra eye on the little ones. The water is warm, shallow and there is lots of sand left unconsolidated by wave action because it faces southeast. There are two parking lots with access to the beach and the local cottages, which can be rented year-round.
Little Beach is a great location for those looking for a quieter beach day and many times families with small children prefer the location. The parking lot is free and there are convenient port-a-potties that are easily accessible.
Though no restaurants are located directly along the beach, visitors are a stone’s throw from the charming town’s downtown district which features tasty eateries such as The Wharf and Two Forks.
If you’re looking for a more tranquil beach experience, away from the bustling crowds of summer tourists, the Port Stanley Little Beach may just be the perfect day away for you!
Port Bruce Beach is a small sandy beach located in the hamlet of Port Bruce. The beach stretches for approximately 200 metres and can be accessed by vehicle off of Imperial Road.
The shallow waves off of Port Bruce are relatively calm and ideal for swimming, bodyboarding, and relaxing! The water is warm because it faces southeast, but the beach is not overly busy.
Port Bruce Beach is the perfect place to bring the whole family. The quiet town is home to the Port Bruce Provincial Park, so many of the visitors of the beach are campers enjoying the quiet sounds of nature. While visiting the campground or beach, guests have ample opportunity for a vast amoung of activities such as swimming, picnics, and fishing off the pier. Many fishers who take on the waters of Port Bruce are treated to some of the best Lake Erie Yellow Perch and Walleye found along Ontario’s southern coastline!
Occasionally, the beach is host to live entertainment, a delight to all visitors! The pierside pavilion is the perfect place to enjoy the talents of local musicians and spend an evening socializing with friends and fellow music lovers.
Beside the park is a charming restaurant, The Sandcastle. This beachside establishment features fresh-caught fish, crispy fries, over 30 flavours of ice cream, and their famous jumbo foot long hotdogs! This quick-eats diner is the perfect stop after a fun-filled afternoon on the beach.
Located along the shores of beautiful lake Huron, Grand Bend offers a stretch of sandy shores and warm waters, perfect for swimming, windsurfing, water skiing, fishing, or just soaking in the sunshine!
Grand Bend has become one of Southern Ontario’s foremost vacation destinations! If you’re looking for fun times in the sun, look no further than this bustling beach area. Throughout the year, events are hosted along the sandy shores and at the many local establishments situated along the main strip.
While visiting the beach you’ll find that a common hobby for beach goers is kite flying. It’s suggested that while visiting Grand Bend that you bring your own kite to fly with other visitors! The wind conditions along the beaches are ideal for taking-off large kites. The winds change throughout the day, so be sure to bring an extra gusto in your kite if you wish to fly for hours!
Parks Canada offers two public beach access locations. The first is located by the Grand Bend Motorplex on Third Line West in the town of Grand Bend and is approximately a 20-minute drive from Downtown. The second beach access location is located at the Grand Bend Visitor Centre on First Avenue across from the Beachcomber Inn.
Along with beaches, you can explore a multitude of beautiful hiking trails in the area as well as visit other attractions such as The Splash ‘N’ Putt Miniature Golf Course or if you’re also looking to rent a bike, you can explore more of the beautiful town on your own two wheels!
Along the beach area there are many vendors set up where you can find that perfect souvenir to remind you of your trip. The Fun Zone is located across from the Grand Bend Motorplex and features a wide selection of beach toys, souvenirs, fudge and other treats!
Long Point Beach
Long Point Beach is located in Port Rowan, Ontario and stretches for approximately 2 kilometres along the shores of Lake Erie. The beach can be accessed by vehicle via Third Line East at Long Point Road or via Memorial Drive off of Fifth Avenue in Port Dover. The main parking lot is located just outside of the Long Point Provincial Park’s main entrance and when you arrive, there are many places to explore and activities to do!
Long Point has so much more to offer than just a beach. A 4-kilometre multi-use trail takes you right into the surrounding park and offers beautiful views of Lake Erie. The trail winds through thick shrubbery and past curious deer along the way! Dogs are welcome on this walk, however must be leashed at all times. Hikers and walkers alike can enter the trail at multiple locations along Long Point Road, so get out there and enjoy!
The common ground is a small beach area that offers a playground for kids, picnic tables, and washroom facilities. The most common activity that visitors will find themselves doing at Long Point Beach is swimming. Whether you’re looking to soak in some sun on the soft sand or take a refreshing dip in Lake Erie, there’s no better place than this! The water is shallow and filled with millions of tiny, pea-sized stones. Visitors with sensitive skin should be cautious of potential sun burns due to the lack of shade and slip-proofing on the stones.
If you’re willing to take on more of an adventure, make your way to the back of the beach area and look for the small trail that takes you off into the woods. This short, half-kilometre trail will take you to another section of the beach known as Fort Long Point. Along this walk, you’ll find a few interpretive stations with information about how early settlers would have used this fortification and a wooden fence that runs along the beach.
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Pinery Provincial Park is more than just a beach. This 1,120 hectare park is located in Lambton Shores and spans along the shores of Lake Erie for about 20 kilometres! What makes this beach so unique from others is that it’s made up of almost entirely limestone. The Pinery is known for its warm water and limestone cliffs which make swimming in the area particularly unique.
The beach itself is divided into three sections; the main section, known as Barton’s Beach, offers a large parking lot, washroom facilities, and pay showers. At the end of each summer season, the park converts this area to a fall colour show that visitors surely won’t want to miss! Along with all this activity in the fall, the main section also offers many hiking and biking trails as well as fishing.
The second beach is called Wilson’s Beach and is located just east of Barton’s Beach. This smaller, less populated area features a playground for kids, picnic tables, and washroom facilities. For those who are interested in taking a dip in this unique lake, the water here is a bit colder than the main section, however it offers a calmer swimming experience.
The third beach area is ideal for those who are looking to spend time with their dogs! There’s no better place on this beach to let your pup run around and play before jumping into Lake Erie for a refreshing swim! This area has washroom facilities, but keep in mind that dogs must be leashed at all times.
As well as swimming on one of the three beaches, visitors can also enjoy hiking and biking trails that run along Sibley Creek. With over 200 kilometers of trails to explore, it’s easy to get lost in this part of Ontario! This trail system is open year-round and is even lit up at night, making it a popular place for those looking to go out for an evening stroll.
There are countless beaches and parklands that are easily accessible to the London population. Whether you’re looking for a quiet day out with the family during a camping trip or joining the summertime tourist crowds at the hottest beach destination of the season, you’re guaranteed to find something perfectly suited to your needs in and around London, Ontario. This article has highlighted some of the top beach destinations in this area, but there are also plenty of smaller, hidden gems to be discovered! Any of these beautiful grounds are perfect for community gatherings, spending time with family, and communing with nature. With lush green spaces and refreshing lake water at every turn, there’s no better way to enjoy summertime! The opportunity to swim, fish, boat, kayak, or just stick your toes in the sand is just minutes away!