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Best beaches in Southern Ontario

Best beaches in Southern Ontario

Brittany Du Ly | Interrobang | Culture | May 27th, 2016

It's getting hot up in the 519, and what better way to cool down than to indulge in the beauties of Ontario? Clear waters, warm sandy shores, local artisan shops, all bathing under the beautiful summer sun, patiently waiting for the thousands of new visiting feet. Better yet, all these locations are accessible not too far from London, easily satisfying any quick get-away needs. Here is a list of the top five beaches to check out this summer.

Download a PDF version of this article to view a map of these beaches

Grand Bend

Just off the shores of Lake Huron, dogs, boats and fishing lines are all welcomed to 66 kilometres of water surrounding the public access area. Parents can enjoy a stress-free afternoon with lifeguards monitoring over the water, in addition to the easy access of public washrooms. Additional amenities include beach volleyball nets for group activity fun and splash pads next to playgrounds for children. Grand Bend houses a combination of nearby shopping stores, restaurants and night life venues.

St. Mary Quarry

Located next to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the Quarry is commonly known as the country's largest freshwater swimming pool. Locals can be sure to walk onto a well-maintained beach area with clean water. The large swimming area offers daredevils the choice between jumping off the high diving board or the water's surrounding cliffs. This public recreational facility kicks off official summer operations June30 until Sept. 30.

John E. Pearce Provincial Park

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

Port Stanley

In addition to active habour operations for fishermen, this community is known for earning its “Blue Beach” awards, as the town continues to meet sustainable boating tourism standards. The beaches of Port Stanley sit around Lake Erie and offer picnic tables and barbeques. Visitors can enjoy the town's summer theatre, hiking, golf, boutiques, galleries, fine dining, pubs and much more. Fanshawe Student Union is offering to take its students for a beach day, including dinner at the local Mackie's restaurant this summer, head to for more details.

Long Point Provincial Park

Never feel crowded with over 40 kilometres of beach stretching across Lake Erie. When the area isn't packed with thousands of bodies celebrating the nice weather, Long Point offers some of the best campsites. Pick one from the 256 sites available, 78 of which that offer electrical service.

Beach essentials

- Sunscreen: There are a lot of things to BBQ this summer… don't let your skin be one of them. Marinate in some good ol' SPF protection, you'll thank us later.

- Sunglasses: For continuous 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.

- Towels: 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 too.

- Swimsuit and change of clothes: As basic as these articles are, you'll be surprised the amount of people who actually forget to bring swim wear or dry clothing. You don't want to be this person.

- Appropriate footwear (i.e. sandals, flip-flops): Nobody likes walking around with rocks in their shoes, so imagine runners on a beach where hundreds and thousands of mini rocks are ready to soak in and surround your feet with every single step taken.

- Props: For some great fun in the sun action, tools such as beach balls, volleyballs, frisbees or water floaties, guarantee a good time.

- Cooler: Home to icy beverages, including frozen H2O, designed to keep the heat at arms length. Alcoholic beverages including coolers and beers, if permitted on-site and of legal drinking, age are a must.

- Mini Grill: What is a more perfect place to have nicely barbequed burger sandwiches, hot dogs or veggies than a beach? Everything is better on a barbeque with that delicious hearty, smoked taste, just watch for seagulls. People are not the only hungry ones off-shore.
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