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Best beaches in Southwestern Ontario

Lifeguard tower and waterfront at Long beach in Port Stanley

When it gets hot in the city, what better way to cool down than to indulge in the beautiful waters of Ontario? All these locations are accessible not too far from London, easily satisfying any quick getaway needs. Here is a list of the top five beaches to check out this summer.

Grand Bend

Lambton Shores, Ont.

Just off the shores of Lake Huron, dogs, boats and fishing lines are all welcome to 66 kilometres of water surrounding the public access area. Parents can enjoy a stress-free afternoon with lifeguards monitoring the water, in addition to the easily accessible public washrooms. Other amenities include beach volleyball nets for group fun and splash pads next to playgrounds for children. The Grand Bend main street houses a combination of boutiques, restaurants and nightlife venues.

St. Mary’s Swimming Quarry

425 Water St. S., St. Mary’s, Ont.

Located next to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the Quarry is known as the country’s largest freshwater swimming pool. For a small entrance fee, visitors can walk onto a well-maintained beach area, and daredevils can choose between jumping off either the high diving board or the surrounding cliffs into the crystal-clear water. To learn more, go to

John E. Pearce Provincial Park

29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown, Ont.

Travel on trails passing over hundreds of century-old trees, and indulge in endless birdwatching opportunities while picnicking among an abundance of wildflowers within the forests. For a grand viewpoint, climb onto the 33-metre-high cliffs surrounding the edges of the beach that allow tourists to gaze over the nature-filled park.

Port Stanley

Long Beach, Port Stanley, Ont.

In addition to having active harbour operations for fishermen, this community is known for its “Blue Beach” awards, as the town continues to meet sustainable boating tourism standards. The beach features the newly-restored Port Stanley Pier, which overlooks the waters of Lake Erie. Visitors can also enjoy the town’s summer theatre, hiking, golf, boutiques, galleries, fine dining, pubs and much more.

Long Point Provincial Park

350 Erie Blvd., Port Rowan, Ont.

You’ll never feel crowded with over 40 kilometres of beach stretching across Lake Erie. Long Point also offers some of the region’s best campsites. Pick one from the 256 sites available, 78 of which offer electrical service.

Beach Essentials

    • There are a lot of things to barbeque this summer… don’t let your skin be one of them. Be sure to slather on plenty of SPF protection — you’ll thank us later.
    • For sharp and healthy vision, be sure to slide on some guaranteed 99 per cent UV light lens coverage. People look significantly cooler with these bad boys on.
    • These multi-purpose long cloths are good not only for drying off ocean water, but protecting bums from sand that is prone to stick to them as well.
    • As basic as these articles are, you’ll be surprised the amount of people who actually forget to bring swim wear or dry clothing.
    • Nobody likes rocks in their shoes, so imagine runners on a beach where hundreds of thousands of mini rocks are ready to sink in.
    • For some great fun in the sun action, tools such as beach balls, volleyballs, frisbees or water floaties guarantee a good time.
    • Bring water and other icy beverages in an insulated bag or cooler, including frozen H2O, to keep the heat at arm’s length.