My favourite Southwestern Ontario beaches this year have got to be The Pinery and Grand Bend. Hands down.
I spent sooo much time at both this summer that I fear I may be addicted. If I’m not at either once a week I get irritable and twitchy. No joke. Just ask Darren.
Grand Bend is sooo easy to get to. It’s an hour from London and just off the main road, making it really easy to stop by just for an hour or two. The sandy beach stretches on and on and is bordered by gardens made of native plants and grasses.
There’s lots of shops and restaurants if you want to spend the day there. I highly recommend the Schoolhouse Restaurant, though check the hours, we’ve often shown up to find them closed. The food and the vibe are lovely. Definitely order the buttertart sundae for dessert, you won’t regret it.
The beach at the Pinery Provincial Park is a lot more rustic than the one at neighbouring Grand Bend, but in the best of ways. This is a place I can spend all day at. Heck, all week.
Now, the thing is, it’s a provincial park. So what it lacks in restaurants and shops (there’s none, save for the camp store), it makes up for in trees and walking trails.
The beach is a 20 minute drive off the main road, through beautiful Carolinian forest. Parking is plentiful and there’s nine beaches to choose from, even some that are dog-friendly.
It’s wonderfully quiet here compared to Grand Bend. And though the beach isn’t as wide, it’s bordered by natural sand dunes and the trees. Plus, when I’ve had enough of the sun, I wander in the woods for a little forest bathing.
Have you been to Grand Bend or the Pinery? What favourite beach did you visited this year, Ontario or otherwise? What do you love about it?
PS. Shop more beach photographs here >