Trade palm trees for pines and firs and you have one of the world's dreamiest beach destinations -- Canada. The Great White North may not be praised for its hot temperatures and turquoise waters, but it's a place where you can still enjoy the peace and beauty of a beach all to yourself. Throw in some excellent swimming, boating, fishing, surfing, shelling and other must-do beach activities, and you have a beach destination that rivals those in the Caribbean.
The following are five of Canada's best beach destinations for those who want to sink their toes into the sand without costly plane tickets or travel delays.
Long Beach, British Columbia
Photo Credit: smikygrl
Long Beach is no secret to Canadian beach lovers, but as the name implies, this 10-kilometre stretch of coastline offers plenty of room for beachcombers to spread out. Long Beach is grouped with other Pacific Rim Park beaches, so despite the region seeing roughly one million tourists each year, you're bound to feel a bit secluded. The unique rainforest backdrop, migrating grey whales (in spring and summer), ideal surfing waves and picture-perfect scenery are just a few reasons to start packing your bags and your flip flops.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Photo Credit: divya_
Many beach enthusiasts know that Vancouver Island offers postcard-worthy beach scenery, but they don't know that Ontario does too. In less than a 2-hour drive north of Toronto, city dwellers can be on the world's largest freshwater beach -- Wasaga Beach. This Canadian beach hotspot is actually home to eight individual beaches, a Main Street Mall and plenty of attractions for kids and adults. The picturesque stretch of sand does see crowds, but you can always find solitude and adventure in Wasaga's towering sand dunes.
Bennett Beach, Yukon
Photo Credit: Chris Hunkeler
Packing your beach bag for a trip to the Yukon may sound crazy, but Bennett Beach offers 2 km of sandy paradise. This powdery white sand beach sits with snow-capped mountains in the background and the historic town of Carcross steps away. Whether you're seeking a place to stretch your legs on the route between Whitehorse and Skagway, Alaska, or this scenic beach is your destination, there's no doubt you'll want to take plenty of time to wade in the crystal clear waters and snap photos of the panoramic views.
Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan
Photo Credit: UnTapping The World
Manitou Beach is one of the strangest beaches you'll ever visit, and you'll probably never want to leave. Leave your rafts behind, because Little Manitou Lake's water is so salty that you can lie in it without getting your magazine wet. Fortunately, the beaches' public showers offer welcoming places to rinse away the salt. The area, located just 1.5 hours southeast of Saskatoon, is equipped with nearby camping, golf, playgrounds, the mineral spa at Manitou Beach Village, a drive-in movie theater and plenty of other family-friendly fun.
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