When you think of relaxing at the beach, Niagara is probably not the first destination that comes to mind. But, given the fact that we are pretty much surrounded by water, Niagara has some really great options for soaking up some sun. The swimmability of the Great Lakes often fluctuates with the weather, but the water is tested regularly throughout the summer, and it will always be posted online and at the beach itself (visit niagararegion.ca/living/water/beaches).

Lakeside Park

Located in Port Dalhousie at 1 Lakeport Road

This is a great beach to hang out at for a day. It’s close by (within walking distance) of shops and restaurants. There is a beautiful, historic carousel (that is only five cents a ride), a pier to stroll on, and of course lots of sand if you just want to relax or play volleyball.

Crystal Beach

Located in Fort Erie at Ashwood Road and Erie Road

This used to be a huge tourist destination a couple of decades ago, and while it is not nearly as bustling these days (long gone is the amusement park, dance halls and hotels), but the beautiful beach still remains. There are also shops, restaurants and nightlife to explore. Parking cost $5 for the day.

Charles Daly Park

Located in Lincoln on the North Service Road between Jordan Road and Seventh Street.

There isn’t too much going on at their park, but it’s a great place to spend a relaxing day, have a picnic, or hang out on the beach. There is also a playground for kids and a bandshell that hosts several concerts throughout the summer.

Nickel Beach

Located in Port Colborne at 69 Lake Rd

This beach lets you drive your car right onto it (for $10) or you can park in the lot for free. There are sand dunes and a forest to explore, as well as picnic areas and washrooms.

Long Beach

Located in Wainfleet at 12965 Lakeshore Road

This is a conservation area in addition to a beach. It is a great place to swim, bird watch, go fishing, jet-ski or just walk the shoreline. There is a $4 day use fee for this beach.

Grimsby Beach

Located in Grimsby on Lake Street

This little historic area is fun to walk around, as well as get in some quality beach time for boating, fishing, walking, beach volleyball and more. It is also home to the famous Grimsby Beach cottages: colourful remnants of Lake Ontario’s past. Before you get to the beach, you’ll find yourself in a small little neighbourhood of gingerbread cottages. They are brightly coloured and some of them date back to as early as the late 1800’s. They are currently people’s houses, so you aren’t able to get inside them, but they are quite picturesque from the outside.