The beach is a magical place for adults and kids alike, where time stands still and the day can be spent relaxing on soft sand, soaking up the rays, swimming or surfing Lake Huron’s pristine blue water and building sandcastles. Cottagers, vacation-seekers and residents, all agree – It Starts at the Beach….and ends where you want!
Since the 1870s, Grand Bend’s Main Beach has been a favourite beach destination for Ontario residents and even Detroit’s Ford Motor Company held their annual company picnic here in the 1910s! A family-friendly beach with volleyball nets, lifeguards are on duty Victoria Day Long Weekend to Labour Day Long Weekend. The Beach House offers a concession, public washrooms, change rooms, outdoor showers for handy sand removal and an elevator-accessible observation deck. The children’s splash pad and playground are located on the east side of the Beach House and on west side there’s a boardwalk stretching the length of the beach to the pavilion and pier. The beach is also a very short walk to Main Street West – where you’ll find a variety of food and drink and retail shopping therapy.
Since 2009, the Main Beach has held Blue Flag status (BlueFlag.org), which means your family can be assured of consistent swimmable water quality, beach cleanliness and safety. Lifeguards on-duty throughout the summer.
For safety reasons, barbequing, glass items and tents are not allowed on Grand Bend’s Main Beach. There’s also no camping or driving on the beach and dogs are restricted to parking lot and concreted areas only. Sorry, no dogs on the beach.
Port Blake Conservation Area Beach (Grand Bend), is just a few minutes north of Grand Bend’s main intersection and offers a quieter stretch of sand and a grassed picnic area. Features baseball diamond, washrooms, toilets, play area, shelter, picnic tables and BBQs. Day pass required ($12 per car or $5 per person). Dogs are allowed on the beach and must be leashed at all times. Park open daily 9am to 9pm. For more information visit www.southhuron.ca/port-blake-beach-day-park.
Bayfield’s Main Beach (Blue Flag Beach) is within walking distance of Bayfield’s Main Street and holds Blue Flag status. Beach is accessible from Pioneer Park at Colina Street or from the pier (via Long Hill Road). Drive-up access, parking, public washrooms, public phone and fully-equipped life-saving station. Located beside the marina, you can enjoy a stroll on the pier, a fresh-water swim or relax on the beach. Scenic look-out to the beach and lake from Pioneer Park (top of the bluff).
Pinery Provincial Park has one of the most beautiful beaches in the province, offering day visits, camping and 10-kilometres of sandy beach and dunes. Two all-terrain wheelchairs are available for loan to provide accessibility to the beach and there are accessible ramps to the beach (call the Park’s Visitor Centre at 519-243-1521). Pinery has nine day-use beaches, two of which are dog-friendly.
Ipperwash Beach: Access off of West Ipperwash Road, Ipperwash Road and Army Camp Road. Enjoy shallow waters, public washrooms and nearby picnic areas.
St. Joseph’s Beach: St. Joseph is located at the intersection of Highway 21 and County Road 84. Turn onto Bissonette Avenue, left onto Demers Street and right onto Campbell Avenue – the small public beach area is accessed from Campbell Avenue.
Rainy Day Swimming – local indoor pools are open to area visitors for a small entry fee.
- Pine Dale Motor Inn: pinedale.on.ca, 519-238-2231, 107 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend
- The Ashwood Inn, 519-565-4444, 34777 Bayfield River, Bayfield
- Maitland Recreation Centre, ymcaswo.ca, 519-524-2125, 190 Suncoast Dr., Goderich
- Canada Day, Grand Bend – July 1, 2018
- Summer Sunset Sounds, Grand Bend – Sundays or Holiday Mondays in July & August
- Celtic Roots Festival, Goderich – August 10-12, 2018
See Festivals & Events for dates, times and details.
Water Quality Infolines:
- Lambton County: 1-800-667-1839
- Huron County: 1-877-837-6143 ext. 2501
Pinery Provincial Park: Beach 8 – Barrier-free boardwalk; Beach 1 & 2 – Dog-friendly; Beach 3 – Public Phone; two all-terrain wheelchairs available. Rentals – bike, canoe, kayak, paddle-boat, ski and snowshoe. Flush toilets – Beach 3, 8 & 9. Stanley Pavilion Beach and Houston Heights Beach – access via staircase. Howard Street Beach – site of shipwrecked “Linda Hindman” steamboat (villageofbayfield.com/shipwreck/)