On a perfect summer day, the beach is always calling. When the weather man gets the forecast right, our family can’t wait to hit the road and explore a new beach close to home. If you live anywhere in the GTA, you are super close to the greatest beaches in Ontario's Southwest! Many of these beaches, including Rock Point, Long Point, Port Dover, Turkey Point and Port Burwell, are within a quick two and a half hour drive from Toronto.
Three years ago, we were thrilled to discover how spectacular these beaches are. Setting up camp with a view like this is hard to beat and is one of the many reasons my family returns to these beaches year after year:
From the sand dunes and sunsets at the Pinery, to the campsites on the beach and sandbars at Long Point, these two beaches have become our favorites. Check out the photos below — can you tell if these are beaches located in the tropics or one located on the shore of Lake Erie and Lake Huron? Lucky for all of us, they are right here in Ontario.
The top of our priority list when choosing a beach is its proximity to the GTA. We would much rather sit on the beach than in highway traffic for hours heading to a distant destination when we have such natural beauty right in our own backyard! The beaches in Ontario's Southwest aren't crowded, and they stretch along the shoreline for miles — plus they boast the softest and whitest sand — important to kids when it comes to sand castle building!
Here's why we love our two favourites, Long Point and the Pinery so much:
Long Point boasts over 2km of warm sandy beaches, is home to a 40km long sandspit, and 253 campsites, as well as being one of North America's top bird watching destinations with over 300 different species of migrating songbirds. Our favorite campsite in Ontario is the one that overlooks the beach at Long Point and you can bet we've already made our reservation for this summer.
My kids love Long Point for the windy days when they can spend hours on their boogie board in the waves. The shallow sandbars is a favourite for them. They play Frisbee and do cartwheels here and the ice cream shop is just steps away from the main beach and our campsite. Adults will love walking and running along this beach and admiring the beach houses and various sandbars. When we visit Long Point, we always reserve a campsite right on the beach's edge.
Another favourite beach is Lake Huron's Pinery. At the Pinery, you will find miles of sand dunes to explore, 10 km of sandy beach, and an impressive 1000 campsites! Here, you can also take in one of the most gorgeous sunsets you will find anywhere in the world. As a runner, the Pinery remains my favorite campground for getting in a long run as the hiking trails seem endless and offer beautiful forest views.
The kids love the miles of sand dunes on the way to the beach and exploring the many paths along the way. If you have energy left after a full day of swimming in the crystal clear water, you may want to do a few cartwheels to celebrate the end of a perfect summer day!
There is nothing better than a summer day at the beach...except when it's a summer day spent with your family and the beach is close to home.
Explore what Ontario's Southwest beaches have to offer and I am sure you will fall in love with them as we have. See you at the beach!
This summer, instead of getting steamed up in cottage country traffic, chill out on some of the province's best beaches in Ontario's Southwest.
Don’t miss out on the “Best Beach Adventure” contest. One lucky family will enjoy a four-day beach adventure for four on Lake Erie, featuring amazing outdoor adventures—a prize valued at $2,500!
Check out more great stories and information about beaches in Ontario’s Southwest: