Ontario might not be the first place you think of when it comes to sandy beaches and clear blue waters, yet it possesses some of the most idyllic waterfronts in the country. Prepare to be blown away this summer by Ontario's beautiful lakes, amounting to a whopping one-fifth of the world's freshwater!
Choose the perfect vacation rental
Summer Vacations in Ontario: Top Accommodation
5 Most Beautiful Summer Towns in Ontario
Ontario is a great destination at any time of the year, but the summer months are when this freshwater haven comes into its own. Prepare for more watersports, festivals, and fun than you can fit into one holiday with a summer getaway in Ontario.
1. Grand Bend
This spot has a reputation as one of the most beautiful beaches in the state, and its sloping dunes have a spot in the hearts of many Canadians who spent their summers here running up and down the sandy hills. Hit the beach on July 1st and you'll also be treated to one of the biggest fireworks displays in Ontario. There are also hiking trails and art galleries nearby when you need a break from the water.
2. Wasaga Beach
Wasaga holds the distinction of being the largest freshwater beach on the planet, with over 14km of sandy beaches to enjoy. With over two million visitors each year, it's not the best choice if you are looking for a quiet getaway, but, if you're looking to enjoy a range of festivals and parties there is no better place. The beautiful Blue Mountain Caves are also a short hike from the beach.
3. Sauble Beach
From the largest freshwater beach to the second largest, Sauble Beach distinguishes itself from the larger Wasaga Beach in several ways, including the chance to enjoy some motorsports at the nearby Sauble Speedway, a 400m paved oval with high octane events ranging from Nascar to classic cars. Sauble also offers warm shallow waters thanks to sandbar deposits along the shore.
This beach boasts another world-beater, namely the largest freshwater dunes in the world. Visitors flock to climb these and enjoy the three spectacular beaches that give rise to them. In terms of activities, the nearby town of Picton offers a wide variety of locally-made food and drinks and you'll also find cultural attractions such as the Oeno Gallery, which exhibits contemporary paintings and sculptures from local artists.
5. Manitoulin Island
Claiming the title of the world's largest freshwater island with a staggering 1600km of rugged coastline, Manitoulin Island is a hidden gem for anyone seeking long hikes with endless winding roads. The nearby Great Spirit Circle Trail also offers visitors a chance to tour some of the reservations of the Anishinabek people and take part in various aboriginal activities.