The Perfect Spots (and Things to Do) for Summer Fun in Bruce County
There is something about Bruce County’s brilliant coastline with the variation of rocks and sand. It’s as if the perfectly-timed waves reveal your playfulness to others and release an inner peace that few other experiences do! With Lake Huron to the west and Georgian Bay to the east, Bruce County is fortunate to have a plethora of beaches! However, it’s not the number of beaches that’s intriguing it is the fantastical diversity. Whichever side you choose, these Lake Huron beaches are a fantastic way to enjoy the long summer days in Bruce County!
Best Beaches on Lake Huron in Ontario
Lake Huron is known for its sandy shores and warm water. These gorgeous, long strands of the beach include the perfect mix of action-packed adventure, adorable beach towns and quiet, shallow coves to lose yourself in a moment of zen. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a spot for you at one of these Lake Huron beaches!
It comes as no surprise that Sauble Beach is at the top of this list as it’s the world’s second-longest freshwater beach! Featuring 11 kilometres of beautiful shoreline and multiple access points, it’s the perfect spot for visitors of all ages. You can swim, surf, paddle, SUP and kiteboard until your heart’s content! Not only is Sauble Beach easily one of the best beaches on Lake Huron, but there is plenty to see and do close by including Sauble Beach Provincial Park, Ascent Aerial Park and more. Sauble Beach Main Beach will not only leave visitors with fluffy sand between their toes and lots of space to throw a frisbee with friends, but a lasting special feeling in part due to the vibrant local community, its downtown, and the unique businesses it has to explore.
Bruce County is home to a variety of festivals and folks flock to Sauble Beach every year in early August for Sandfest. Enjoy a weekend of live music, children’s activities such as sandcastle building, great prizes and even a classic car show!
This unique beach stretches for kilometres along the Lake Huron shoreline and is protected by the Fishing Islands. With sand as far as the eye can see from the tiny intersection of Oliphant, it’s a fantastic spot for fun in the sun. The shallow water goes for miles, making it the perfect spot for young children to splash around and play. There’s so much to explore, whether in the water or along the sand, that you’ll instantly love Oliphant. And if there’s wind, you’ll see the kitesurfers’ colourful kites as they skim along the top of the water! If you’d like to give kiteboarding a try, IKO offers lessons that are perfect for beginners!
Just 10 minutes east of Oliphant, you’ll find the Georgian Bay community of Wiarton. It may not have a beach, but it is home to the Bluewater Park Splash Pad where kids can frolic and play right along the shore of Georgian Bay. Wiarton Willie may have put this town on the map, but it has plenty to offer with a number of fantastic restaurants and hiking trails. Pop by and say hello to Willie too and snap a selfie with his statue!
Known to the locals as Sandy Beach, Black Creek Provincial Park is home to the aptly named Black Creek Beach and is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the masses in Tobermory. This is a lovely little place to enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool Lake Huron waters. While the beach itself isn’t your traditional sandy beach, the forest and hiking trails will allow you to work up a sweat to inspire a dip into the water.
A mix of sand and rock beach, Lion’s Head is located on Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay along the eastern side of the Peninsula. Showcasing some of the iconic turquoise waters and the dramatic cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, Lion’s Head Beach is a must-see! It’s a popular spot for both locals and visitors to bring foldable chairs or a few soft towels to get comfy in the summer sun while admiring the town’s lighthouse. It won’t take long for you to get toasty and want to go for a dip! Be warned though, Georgian Bay tends to run a few degrees cooler than Lake Huron so while they look tropical, a quick dip will remind you that we are in Canada!
What also makes Lion’s Head such a hit is the adorable town just steps from the beach. Not only will you find boutique shops but also scrumptious meals and a welcoming community. Make sure you stop to admire the picturesque lighthouse before continuing to explore Bruce County!
If you’re really looking for a small town gem that’s off the beaten path, head to Hope Bay Beach. Encircled by the Niagara Escarpment on both sides of the bay, this small sandy beach is the perfect place to spend a day. Bring your summer gear and set up shop for the day or head across the road to the Hope Bay Campground to grab ice cream and rent a kayak to explore the beauty of the area.
Port Elgin and Southampton
Beat the summer heat at Port Elgin’s expansive Main Beach. While it’s become more popular over the years, visitors will still find plenty of room to spread out with their beach towels. Put up a sunshade, bring a book or a frisbee to throw around and just chill. With washroom and change facilities as well as plenty of parking, Port Elgin makes beach-going a breeze. And with all the amenities of Port Elgin itself, just a 15 minute walk from the waterfront, we think this makes Port Elgin Main Beach one of the best beaches in Lake Huron.
Less than three kilometres south of the main beach, you’ll find Gobles Grove. If you’re a fan of quieter stretches of beach, this spot is for you! It’s the perfect spot for beachgoers of all ages with its white sand, shallow water and swing sets for children of all ages. A unique feature of Gobles Grove is its beautiful sand dunes! An important element of the beach, make sure to stay on the designated pathways and not walk on them as they are fragile.
Of course, there is always MacGregor Provincial Park for an amazing beach day. The park offers some fantastic hiking trails along the shoreline to beautiful lookouts. It’s also a great spot for birders as over 200 species of birds have been spotted in the park! Pack a picnic lunch and set up shop along the shores of Lake Huron.
If you’re looking for a little change in scenery during your stay, Southampton Beach is just a 15 minute drive north of Port Elgin. Over four kilometres of shoreline await you as seagulls soar overhead. Though the beach is sandy, the lake’s bottom can get rocky so water shoes are best utilized here if you plan to do a little exploring in the water. Be sure to pop by the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre before your visit is done.
The museum hosts the Marine Heritage Festival in July. The annual three-day festival celebrates the rich history of the Great Lakes. With ghost walks, live music, a pancake breakfast and plenty of activities for the kids, it’s a great event for the whole family. You certainly won’t want to miss the cardboard boat races!
However, if you really want to kick off your summer, head inland to the town of Paisley during the first weekend of June for the Paisley Blues Festival. Named one of the top 100 festivals and events in Ontario, jam out to live music all day long at Paisley’s Rotary Park. There are plenty of great eats and local artisans, plus talented musicians galore. The best part? Admission is free though donations are strongly encouraged as proceeds go to support community projects such as the Paisley Splashpad campaign.
Station Beach in downtown Kincardine has it all; boardwalks, playgrounds, waves, piers and more. Amazing for the little ones, this sand beach has a nice gradual slope into Lake Huron that any age can enjoy. Tiny Tot Park just north of the pier is an amazing place for the kids to expend some energy and a boardwalk along the shoreline is a great place for a slow stroll or a jog. With co-ed beach volleyball every Friday night during the summer, Station Beach is always happening. And since it’s situated right in downtown Kincardine, all the amenities of the great town are a short walk away.
Kincardine is also home to a number of festivals which will have you planning a trip to its sandy shores! The Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games is held in early July every year and celebrates all things Scottish including hammer throw competitions, sword dances and plenty of jigs. For a dose of Scottish heritage throughout the summer, keep your eyes and ears peeled Saturdays at 8 p.m. as Kincardine’s Pipe Band parades throughout town. Plus, there’s Kincardine Pride, Market in the Park and Kincardine Cruise Nights… let’s just say that Kincardine is bumpin’ in the summer!
Home to one of the most pristine Imperial-style lighthouses on the Great Lakes, Point Clark has a stellar beach that’s the perfect destination for a day trip. Lay down and relax as you listen to the waves of Lake Huron roll in. Grab a couple of friends and play a round of beach volleyball on the nearby court. Take a peek at the lighthouse and if you’re lucky, climb the more than 100 steps for a bird’s eye view of the area!
You might just catch a glimpse of the quaint town of Lucknow. Home to its epic country festival, Music in the Fields. Held during the last weekend of August each year, Lucknow sees octuple its population as folks from all over beeline to the city for great music to support a fantastic cause. Since 2008, they have donated over $1.3 million to local schools, hospitals, organizations, and charities as well as the ongoing fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Snag a campsite, grab your festival pass and put on your dancing shoes for one rocking weekend in Bruce County!
Of course you are, everybody loves the beach! The combination of sun, sand and water is the perfect recipe for summer fun no matter your age. And since Bruce boasts some of the best beaches in the province, if not the country… visiting them is a must!
What makes these Lake Huron beaches so fantastic is not just their pristine nature but their proximity to even more fun. Chase lighthouses along the shoreline, pop in for a bite to eat where the locals go, stretch your legs with some incredible hiking trails and reward yourself with a craft beer afterwards. The possibilities are endless so come for a visit and see what you’ll discover at these Bruce County beaches!