07/15/2014 03:24 EDT | Updated 07/15/2014 03:59 EDT

Beat The Heat: Best Waterside Vacation Spots

lienkie via Getty Images

Summer is coming. While that seems like an unfathomable concept after mountains of snow from a brutal winter, it is, in fact, true. However brief summer always seems to be, the reprieve from the wintry blues with heat, sun, and endless vacation possibilities is always welcome.

With that in mind, why not gear up for a vacation near a watery good time? Relaxing at a cottage with some pals or a good book feels great, but what if it were near an ocean or lake? With dunking, cannonballing and lazy swimming days in sight, it’s time to pull out that bathing suit from the back of your closet.

Start planning your summer with a list of the best waterside vacations:

Photo gallery Beat The Heat: Best Waterside Vacation Spots See Gallery

1. Parlee Beach, NB

Located in the northeast bit of the Atlantic province, Parlee Beach appeals to new and seasoned visitors. The 1 km oceanside spot sees thousands of sun and sand worshippers on any given day lounging lazily by the warmest salt water in the country.

After soaking up some rays, head to the nearby town of Shediac to see the World’s Biggest Lobster in the lobster capital of the world.

2. Grand Bend, ON

Leave the city blues behind and drive to a waterside paradise on Lake Huron. Ontario lakes provide the necessary relief city dwellers and suburban residents need in the summer and the Grand Bend community is one of the best during the summer months.

The Lambton County spot has a regular population of 2,000 but it grows to over 50,000 in the summer as visitors inhabit its beach and cottage spots, while enjoying its local market flair. Grand Bend has over 48 km of continuous beaches and warm water to enjoy.

3. Lake Champlain, QC/Vermont

Explore the best of what North America has to offer all in one place. Lake Champlain is located within the borders of Vermont but is positioned across the Canada-U.S. border in Quebec and there are some parks for enjoyment on the New York state side of it as well.

Enjoy the sights and sounds and adventures of the Adirondacks with the vast lake that’s perfect for fishing, boating, and more!

4. Toronto Island, ON

Sometimes escaping to a peaceful island destination doesn’t take much more than hopping on a subway and getting on a ferry. The Toronto Islands offer to city and suburban inhabitants. They give visitors a brief dreamy reprieve before heading back to the daily grind of the metropolis.

Highlights on the island include the Centreville Amusement Park where fun can be found for just about anyone, or the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse where you can see the oldest stone building in Toronto. End your day by relaxing on the beach, looking out at the sparkling blueness of Lake Ontario, and enjoying soaking up the city skyline from your nearby "vacation" spot.

5. English Bay Beach, BC

Meanwhile in the other metropolis of the country, Vancouver has English Bay Beach as a summer escape for locals and visitors.

The most popular beach spot in the city, the hot spot also features an icy Polar Bear Swim in the winter -- proof that a beach can still be the place to be no matter what the season. The Stanley Park Seawall runs along side the east side of the beach, so if sitting isn’t your thing, maybe take a run or go for a bike ride.

6. Grand Beach, MB

Find a little bit of freshwater peace in the Prairies. Grand Beach is located on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg on the northern part of Grand Maraise, MB. Enjoy a myriad of activities along three kilometres of white sand with bordering sand dunes that rise upwards of 12 metres.