Best 25+ Canada Beaches

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As one of the largest countries in the world, and one that is synonymous with cold, brutal winters, Canada might not be the first place that comes to mind when we think of beaches. In fact, Canada's coastline is the longest in the world, measuring a gigantic 243,042 km. With that large a coastline, it is no surprise there are a considerable variety of beaches to enjoy.

The beachscape ranges from the icy northern coastline of the Yukon, where wildlife roams free, to the beautifully tranquil inland beaches which wrap their way around the Great Lakes of Canada. Home to the Instagram favourites of Lake Louise and the dramatic glacier-fed Lake Moraine.

If you're looking for something slightly warmer and more coastal, head to Canada's surf capital of Tofino in British Columbia. Located on Vancouver Island there are a number of beaches here which on a sunny day you might be forgiven for thinking you're in the Seychelles instead of the Great White North, and in the winter - if you're brave enough for the low ocean temperatures - plentiful solid swells roll in off the Pacific for the surfers.

Canada is a beautiful country full of natural wonders, a diverse and rich culture, and astounding cities with influences from all around the world. If you're looking for a beach adventure that's a little bit different, Canada's beaches could be the destination for you.

The Best Canadian Beaches...

  • 1. Carters Beach // Nova Scotia

    Carters Beach

    A dreamy mix of white sand, gently dunes and light blue waters, Carters Beach reminds many who visit it of the Caribbean. Just off Highway 103 close to Port Mouton, where there are plenty of picks when it comes to accommodation, the beach remains entirely uncommercialised and is free of facilities beyond a small car park.

    Usually without crowds, the beach consists of three separate crescents of sand. Each faces… read more »

  • 2. Chesterman Beach // British Columbia

    Chesterman Beach
    Imogene Huxham
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Chesterman Beach is on the west side of the Tofino peninsula on Vancouver Island, just south of Tofino town. It is divided into two main sections, Chesterman Beach South (or "South Chestie" as the locals call it) and Chesterman Beach North. Totalling 3 km in length, Chesterman Beach is divided in the middle by Franks' Island, a tombolo which is an island attached to the mainland by a narrow causeway… read more »

  • 3. Long Beach // British Columbia

    Long Beach
    © Adam Jones / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Located at Tofino on Vancouver Island, Long Beach certainly lives up to its name. Stretching for 16km, the unbroken white sand is the longest beach on the island. Reached from Hwy 4 (Pacific Rim Highway) and despite its isolated location it attracts over a million visitors each year.

    The beautiful sand collects massive amounts of driftwood and is edged by old-growth forest. Pounded by the Pacific Ocean, this rugged coastline… read more »

  • 4. San Josef Bay // British Columbia

    San Josef Bay
    Rick McCharles

    Located at the northern end of Vancouver Island within Cape Scott Provincial Park, San Josef Bay boasts a beach of near-white sand in natural unspoiled surrounds. Lacking cell phone coverage, you'll need to be prepared for all eventualities, which include a 45 minute easy hike along a well-maintained gravel trail from the nearest parking, as well as regularly sightings of bears and wolves.

    The most accessible of Cape Scott's beaches, it… read more »

  • 5. Crystal Crescent Beach // Nova Scotia

    Crystal Crescent Beach
    Ben MacLeod
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Roughly 30 kilometres south of Halifax, Crystal Crescent Beach sits at the mouth of the provincial capital's harbour within a provincial park. But this does nothing to take away from the natural beauty of this area of coastline.

    Crystal Crescent Beach is actually formed of three white sand beaches dotted with oversized pebbles, each of which are backed by low shrubs. This gives them a sense of privacy and seclusion. Boardwalks… read more »

  • 6. Plage de la Dune du Sud // Quebec

    Plage de la Dune du Sud
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Kitesurfing

    Just a short distance from Iles de la Madeleine Airport, Dune du Sud stretches for an almost unbelievable 22 kilometres (15 miles) along the eastern coast of the Magdalen Islands. A much-celebrated family beach during the summer months, it gets busy despite its size, with activities including bike paths, hiking and a variety of water sports.

    Boat ramps provide an easy place to launch kayaks, while windsurfing and kite surfing are… read more »

  • 7. Cavendish Beach // Prince Edward Island

    Cavendish Beach
    CP Hoffman
    Great for:
    • Family
    • Swimming

    Named after the nearby community in Prince Edward Island, Cavendish Beach is a glorious 8 km stretch of clean golden sand fronting the sparkling clean waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence. It is warmed by the Gulf Stream, although at 15°C it's still pretty cold.

    The beach is within the Prince Edward Island National Park. Avid readers will know that Cavendish Beach is the home of the fictional character Anne… read more »

  • 8. Black Beach // New Brunswick

    Black Beach

    When we think of black sand beaches we tend to think of tropical islands with jungle-fringed volcanos rising precipitously from the ocean - or at least not Canada. But here we are, in New Brunswick, not far from Lorneville looking at a beach with undeniably black sand.

    The point is not all black sand beaches are volcanic. The imaginatively named Black Beach in NB is actually the result of graphite deposits.

    The beach… read more »

  • 9. Dennis Beach // New Brunswick

    Dennis Beach
    © James Mann / CC BY

    Dennis Beach, New Brunswick is in the sheltered Bay of Fundy, close to the town of Waterside and within sight of the greenery-topped stacks at Hopewell Rocks.

    The narrow sandy beach runs parallel to the 915 highway and access to the beach is from the parking area. Walk back towards the road and take the trail on the left that leads down to the sand.

    The beach is popular for… read more »

  • 10. Dune de Bouctouche // New Brunswick

    Dune de Bouctouche
    © Ultimograph5 / CC BY

    Located on Route 475 in New Brunswick, the Dune de Bouctouche is in a remote and uncrowded area. The name comes from a native Mi'kmaq word meaning "Great little harbour" which refers to the nearby riverside town of Bouctouche.

    Stretching for 12km, Bouctouche is one of the longest dunes on North America's East Coast. The dunes and golden sandy beach are home to many birds and plants including the endangered… read more »

  • 11. Parlee Beach // New Brunswick

    Parlee Beach
    © Claire Madison
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Said to be the best beach in New Brunswick, Parlee Beach Provincial Park is a popular beach with everything you could possibly want. This certified Blue Flag Beach (awarded in 2020) is located in Pointe-du-Chêne and is open daily. Admission fees apply.

    The sandy beach has relatively warm sheltered waters (it claims to have the warmest saltwater in Canada). There are lifeguard patrols for safe swimming in summer and daily activities… read more »

  • 12. Parksville Beach // British Columbia

    Parksville Beach
    © marneejill / CC BY

    Overlooking Lasqueti Island and the Strait of Georgia, Parksville Beach is a pristine sandy beach on east coast Vancouver Island. Sweeping views look out across the expansive ocean to the Coast Mountains on mainland British Columbia.

    The clean sand here is ideal for young families to play. Access is via the Parksville Community Park which has children's play areas, water cannons, swings and slides as well as picnic areas right on… read more »

  • 13. Jacques-Cartier Beach // Prince Edward Island

    Jacques-Cartier Beach
    Great for:
    • Family
    • Swimming

    Taking its name from the famous explorer, Jacques Cartier Beach is in a sheltered bay at the northeastern tip of Prince Edward Island. It is about 5 km east of Alberton and is signposted from the PE-12W. The green grass runs right down to the sandstone rocks lining the shore.

    Popular for swimming in summer, this stunning beach has a seasonal lifeguard on duty. There's a campground with good amenities including… read more »

  • 14. Ingonish Beach // Nova Scotia

    Ingonish Beach
    Dennis Jarvis
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Very much a summer destination, Ingonish Beach pretty much disappears entirely during the winter months, only for the sands to be redeposited afresh by the waves each spring.

    Situated within Cape Breton Highlands National Park on Cape Breton Island, the beach forms the ocean-facing edge of a thin strip of land separating a freshwater lake from the Atlantic Ocean.

    A boardwalk leads from the car park to the broad expanse of golden… read more »

  • 15. Kitsilano Beach // British Columbia

    Kitsilano Beach
    © Xicotencatl / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Overlooking the waters of English Bay in Vancouver, Kitsilano Beach is a popular, often crowded sandy beach at the north end of Yew Street. Edged by a broad seawall, it is home to the saltwater Kitsilano Pool, the longest pool in Canada, which is operated by the Vancouver Park Board and open from May to September. Alternatively, visitors can swim in the sea and make use of the swimming raft… read more »