Long Beach, Vancouver Island, B.C.
Long Beach is the longest sandy beach on Vancouver Island. In Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Tofino and Ucluelet, it’s 16.6 km of pristine sand washed by a cool pounding surf. Look for joggers, kayakers, sea lions and sun worshipers, with backdrop of rainforest and mountains. There’s a summertime Tofino Beach Bus, and if you’re an inexperienced surfer, you can get lessons. Twenty thousand grey whales migrate up this coast each spring and summer – tours operate from Tofino and Ucluelet.
Grand Beach, Manitoba
An hour north of Winnipeg on the shore of Lake Winnipeg (Canada’s sixth largest lake) is Grand Beach, an enticing 3 km of fine white sand with dunes that can tower 12 metres. Part of Grand Beach Provincial Park, there’s volleyball, kite boarding, and a boardwalk where teens like to see and be seen. For bird watchers, the beach is a sanctuary for the rare, endangered Piping Plover. In June 2012 this beach received the internationally-recognized Blue Flag designation for ‘extraordinary and safe beaches’.
Grand Bend, Ontario
Thirty miles of beautiful beaches along this Lake Huron coast are equaled only by the spectacular sunsets. ‘The Bend’, just 45 minutes from London, has been attracting tourists since the 1800’s. Young sun worshippers strut their stuff on the beach at the foot of Main Street, while families looking for a quieter environment often gravitate to the beach south of the river mouth. Busy bars, fast food, miniature golf, live theatre – it’s fun. The very popular Pinery Provincial Park has 1,000 campsites just south of the village.