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The Best Southwestern Ontario Beaches

Looking to plan the perfect getaway at one of these best beaches in Southwest Ontario? We have you covered!

The definition of the perfect summer getaway weekend normally involves a beach. Ask anyone.


Beach vacations are valuable to Canadians.

Our summers are short, and as we want to make the most of the two months, we’re willing to drive long distances for some sand, sun, and water- not realizing that we have some of the world’s best in our backyard in the beaches in Southwest Ontario.

Blue flag beach in southwest ontario. Canatara Beach, and park

What are Blue Flag Beaches?

Run by the Foundation for Environmental Education, the Blue Flag Progam is an international label awarded to beaches meeting strict criteria.

Re-evaluated every 2 years, these beaches promote sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas and have excellent water quality for swimmers.

So, if time is short, and you’re craving the perfect beach, great food, and amazing atmosphere all within a short drive, check out these amazing beach getaway destinations all in our backyard.

The Best Southwestern Ontario Beaches That You Need To Visit

From the best white sand beaches in Ontario at Canatara Beach to hidden gems at Grand Bend that most Canadian teenagers know all too well, Southwest Ontario is a true gem.

Yes,  you read that right- the beaches in Southwestern Ontario are some of the world’s best.

These Blue Flag Beaches are all over our beautiful province and are all within a short drive.


Canatara Beach should be at the top of your list when you think of the quintessential beaches in Southwest Ontario.

Located in the heart of Sarnia-Lambton‘s Canatara Park, this beach embodies the perfect blend of natural beauty and family fun that Southwest Ontario is celebrated for. It’s not just a beach; it’s a lively summer hub where the waters meet quality and excitement.

This is also a gem that Americans are already quite familiar with- so don’t be surprised when you hear Michigan accents on this Southwestern Ontario beach!

The beach and the surrounding 200-acre park is perfect for pretty much everyone in the family- whether you like hiking, exploring nature or just hanging out on the beach.

Imagine a place where the water quality rivals any world-class beach – that’s Canatara Beach for you. Known for its Blue Flag status, this beach in Southwest Ontario is a testament to clean, safe, and environmentally responsible beachgoing.

Canatara Beach isn’t just for sunbathing! It’s a total family playground with an animal farm and picnic spots.

Love biking? The trails here are a dream! And for all you Instagrammers, catch those dreamy sunrise and sunset shots.

Oh, and don’t miss out on the Stones ‘N Bones Museum nearby – it’s a cool peek into the local history and nature.

Read More: Cantara Beach: Everything You Need To Know

We couldn’t get enough of Cantara Beach, which we’ve visited every summer since we were kids.

Where to eat in Cantara Beach:

Blue flag beach in southwest ontario. Canatara Beach, and park


Chances are that if you were a high school or university student in Southwest Ontario, you’re familiar with Grand Bend.

Back then, we didn’t appreciate the fact that it was on the best beaches in the country, but only wanted a place that had clear water and great sand.

Fast forward 20 years, and you realize how important sustaining marine life is, and wonderful it is that the go-to beach of our youth meets such high stands set by an international body.

Grand Bend Beach has long been a staple for sun-seekers in Southwest Ontario. It’s a beach that resonates with both the young and the young at heart.

More than just a slice of sandy heaven, Grand Bend is a shining example of sustainable beach management, with clear waters and fine sands that have become synonymous with the best beaches in Southwest Ontario.

This beach is a testament to the changing times – evolving from a popular teenage hangout spot to a beach that’s recognized for its commitment to preserving marine life and providing a pristine environment for all visitors.

Grand Bend is buzzing with energy! Perfect for families with its safe swimming areas, and if you’re up for a thrill, try jet skiing.

Snap some stunning nature shots at Pinery Provincial Park. After a day of fun in the sun, check out the local art scene or a show at the Huron Country Playhouse.

Where to Stay:

The Pine Dale Motor Inn offers a cozy retreat, blending comfort with the rustic charm of Southwest Ontario. It’s ideal for both families and solo travelers.

Where to Eat In Grand Bend:

  • For a taste of local, check out The Lake Hound, where the live music complements a delicious menu.
  • The Tipsy Pelican for when the taco craving strikes.
Grand bend sunset



Port Stanley Blue Flag Beach Southwest Ontario

Image via @thecuriouscreature

There’s something so magical about Port Stanley- a town (or is it considered a village) of 2000 or so, it has quickly become where millennials are setting up shops.

It’s the kind of place you want to want to raise your kids in- quiet, charming, with two great Southwestern Ontario beaches, and an awesome ice-cream shop.

Port Stanley’s charm lies in its quaint, village-like atmosphere and its status as one of the top beaches in Southwest Ontario. Here, families and millennials alike find a perfect mix of leisure and beauty with its stunning beaches and local attractions.

Port Stanley is all about chill vibes and cute experiences. It’s super family-friendly with calm waters.

Fancy kayaking? Go for it here!

Those looking for a little evening fun, immerse yourself in the local arts at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre – it’s a real gem!

Where to Stay in Port Stanley:

The Kettle Creek Inn offers a blend of historical elegance and modern comfort, making it a unique stay experience close to one of the best Southwestern Ontario beaches.

Where to Eat in Port Stanley:

When you’re looking for those drool-worthy beaches that you see images, remember that Port Stanley, Grand Bend and Cantara beach are some of the best on the northern hemisphere.

Be sure to plan your summer vacations to include these wonderful white sand beaches in Ontario because there’s no reason to fly all the way south when a quick drive west will do.


  1. Great list so far! So true, we Canadian do love our beach vacays! Another one I’d add to the list is Long Point Beach. It’s close to Toronto and features clean, sandy beaches that you can camp on – or as I do, glamp!

  2. wow, I didnt know Canada has some of the world’s best beaches, but indeed these look amazing and so blue!

  3. Nice beach 🙂

  4. Great guide! I didn’t know about the Blue Flag label. Happy to read that we have several here in Ontario within driving distance of the GTA. We are planning to go to Grand Bend in a couple of weeks so I am excited to see that it is on the list.

  5. Fort Stanley looks so pretty! I would love to check it out when I get to Canada in a few days time!! 🙂

  6. I never think of beaches when I think of Ontario, but this post is definitely making me reevaluate! These beaches look as beautiful as any I’ve ever seen! And the water is so blue!

  7. Aghhhh these photos are seriously making me want to get back to the beach! Will have to visit Southwest Ontario one day!

  8. I’ve been to Canada during the winter and never thought of the beaches. The beaches look gorgeous. I will have to stop by one on my next visit 🙂

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