Everyone loves a good beach day, whether you’re road tripping with friends, bonding with family, or looking for therapeutic alone time by the water. Fortunately, you’re never too far away from a beach in Toronto. That means you can reap the benefits of vitamin sea almost anytime you want. But of course, these perks come second only to the memories one can make at the beach. With so many beaches near Toronto, how do you know which ones are the best? Read further to find out about the beach day trips from Toronto.
Toronto Area Beaches
Centre Island Beach
A mere 15 minutes away from downtown Toronto (via ferry or water taxi) is Centre Island, one of Toronto’s top tourist destinations. Besides typical attractions like the Centreville Amusement Park and acres of picnic-friendly lands, the island is also home to some of the best beaches in the vicinity. A rock breakwall formation surrounds the deeper parts of the shore, which keeps its water calm, shallow, and slightly warmer. It’s often crowded, but locals know to keep going west of the shoreline until they come across a bit of open water. Ward’s Island Beach on the easterly section of the islands is usually not as crowded.
Hanlan’s Point is Toronto’s only official nude beach— and definitely not the place for conservative types. But for those looking for something different, look no further than this one-kilometre stretch of beach. Hidden by some sand dunes, Hanlan’s Point is certainly a unique and liberating experience. Of course, it goes without saying that taking photos are highly discouraged to maintain privacy. But if you prefer to stay covered up, Hanlan’s also has a separate shoreline for the clothed.
If you are looking for beach day trips from Toronto that are not as well known, just drive one hour east of Toronto to one of Ontario’s best-kept secrets: Cobourg Beach. While it’s arguably one of the most-visited shores among the locals, it is not heavily frequented by Toronto residents. When you arrive, you’ll notice how clean and fresh the water is and there is usually lots of space on the beach to relax. But if you’re looking for some activity, you can wait to catch their yearly volleyball and sandcastle-building competitions.
Cherry Beach, previously known as Clarke beach before 2003, is a lakeside beach park located just south of Unwin Avenue in the Port Lands. There’s no boardwalk or proper picnic area, but plenty of people visit to fly their kites or ride their surfboards. However, its literal cherry on top is the annual Promise Cherry Beach, the city’s biggest EDM beach party to close the summer. In fact, this September, we’ll be seeing some big names like Kevin Saunderson, Azari, and NXNE to kick off the event’s 19th season.
Rock Point Provincial Park
This beach, which is located on the north shore of Lake Erie, is made for picnics and sightseeing, rather than a swim, but it is no less interesting. This sandy beach has a gradual drop off that’s littered with fossils (open for touching, mind you), hiking trails, and some nature programs for children looking for an awesome summer camp. It’s also one of the few dog-friendly beaches in Ontario.
Things to Bring
Now that you probably have your ideal beach in mind, make sure you have your essentials in tow.
Sun hats are a necessity if you want to protect your face against harmful UV rays. Bring a folded hat, like this braided bucket hat by Mango, which can easily fit into your tote or beach bag. Plus, this cute accessory can spruce up your photos too.
For any beach trip, sunscreen is the one thing you should never forget. Just make sure that whatever sunscreen you use has no harmful chemicals in it (like oxybenzone and octinoxate), especially if you’re planning to take a dip. And if you’re planning on spending a lot of time in the sun, make sure your sunscreen is at least an SPF 30.
Bring a towel that can not only keep you dry, but will ensure you have something on which you can spread out on the beach. Moreover, it’s also worth getting something sand-repellent and a towel that won’t stain as easily.
Bar soaps are easy to store and bring with you on a day trip, plus they have a variety of options available depending on your skin’s needs. In fact, Pretty Me’s Snail White Whipp Soap review notes that some even contain natural skin whitening options like bearberry extract. This is great for staving off the effects of the sun and ensuring your complexion stays radiant.
Storing your belongings in a small, waterproof dry bag will give you peace of mind in case you’re bringing anything valuable close to the lake, such as electronics and books. A personal favourite of ours is this light and affordable yellow tote bag from ZOOEASS. Plus, it has multiple pockets to hold your smaller items.
There’s no doubt that the Toronto area is home to some of the best beaches in Canada. Whether you want to relax, swim, or do all kinds of activities beachside, you’ll enjoy taking these beach day trips from Toronto to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.