There’s no better way to spend a summer day than to lounge at the beach with your best mates! Whether it’s cooling off in the clear water, playing beach volleyball, building sandcastles or simply reading a book, feeling the sand between your toes is good for the soul.

Here’s a look at over 20 beaches in South Eastern Ontario that isn’t Sandbanks! Grab your towel and get your beach on this summer.

Please visit each location’s website, or connect with their staff via email and telephone, for updates on COVID-19 procedures and operations.

Cornwall & SDG Counties

The largest sand beach on the St. Lawrence corridor is shrouded in beauty and intrigue. Mille Roches Beach spans a long arching bay and is on the biggest of the 11 islands connected by the Long Sault Parkway. These islands sweep in an arc through the St. Lawrence River like a necklace of green jewels, connected by causeways and bridges. In fact, the islands are the former hilltops of the Lost Villages, which were flooded to allow the International Seaway and Power Dam project in 1958. Parks of the St. Lawrence now operates the campground and beach at Mille Roches; look for signs of the underwater ghost towns like the former Hwy. 2 appearing out of the shoreline waters on Macdonell Island to return to the waters on the far shore.

Pack up a picnic, grab your swimsuit and go! Charlottenburgh Beach is quickly becoming known as a playground for visitors and residents with a beautiful sandy beach, nature trails and being located along a heritage highway with an accompanying bike path is the icing on the cake. The beach area here features mature trees and overlooks the St. Lawrence River.

Hot tip: Look here for a beach volleyball area!

Soak up the sun and build some sandcastles at Alexandria’s Island Park Beach. Falling in love with summer is encouraged at this free public beach, located right in the middle of town! Natural shade and sparkling water makes for the perfect afternoon. Hot tip: Your little ones will love this – there’s a splash pad and two full play structures right near the beach.

Another beach includes a miniature train experience to Upper Canada Village! Crysler Park Marina, located next door to the famous interpretive historical village, is the perfect place for family gatherings and office picnics. This site offers a beach for swimming, a playground, picnic areas and more. There are also a host of other fantastic public beaches through Parks of the St. Lawrence, including Farran Park Beach and Picnic Area and Glengarry Beach and Picnic Area.

Brockville

St. Lawrence Park, located at the west end of Brockville, offers a clean, sandy beach where there is even supervision provided during the summer. Washrooms, change rooms and a canteen are also available here; parking and day use at the park is free!

It’s easy to spend a family beach day at Brown’s Bay Beach and Picnic Area! This is the area’s largest sandy beach on the St. Lawrence River between Brockville and Mallorytown Landing. Before the St. Lawrence Seaway came into existence, Brown’s Bay was the only provincial park between Gananoque and the Quebec border. It continues to be a popular stopping point for travellers to enjoy some outdoor recreation and magnificent scenery. With children’s play structures, picnic pavilions, several beaches, accented by lots of parking and facilities, Brown’s Bay continues to cater to families.

Don’t forget your sunscreen! One of the most popular spots in Prescott during the height of summer, Kelly’s Beach is a favourite of adults and children alike. The water of the St. Lawrence River gives way to a meticulously maintained sandy beach area.

Hot tip: There’s also a municipal pool here that hosts water sports and activities, including swimming lessons, Aquafit and lane swims. The Prescott Centennial Pool is one of the top ways to beat the heat.

1000 Islands Gananoque

Charleston Lake Provincial Park near Lansdowne achieves the perfect recipe for Canadian natural eye-candy: rock outcroppings, trees and blue water. There are two beaches here – one for campers and the other one is only designated as the day-use beach. Buoyed off and sandy with a playground just up the road.

Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal, by nature, is all about water so it makes sense that some beaches with unique character are found along this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rideau Ferry Yacht Club Conservation Area on Lower Rideau Lake, claims to have the best beach on the Rideau. It features a sandy beach, picnic area, and boat launch, and other amenities like washrooms, a change house, a picnic shelter. Maintained by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority this public beach, boat launch, and picnic area is a popular summer hang out. Kendrick’s Park near Lyndhurst on Lower Beverley Lake also boasts a superb spot for a family day in the sun as part of the Rideau system for a family day in the sun with lots of amenities, as does Westport’s Lions Club Beach on Sand Lake.

Frontenac County

Picture a bright, sandy, secluded beach, perfect for recharging and enjoying nature. That’s what you’ll find at Big Sandy Bay Conservation Area. Park the car in Kingston and take the ferry by foot over to Wolfe Island where a shuttle bus will await you to take you to this gorgeous beach. Leave your stress behind and enjoy this jewel which has several kilometres of unspoiled beach great for swimming. The beach is accessible after a short hike and fees apply.

Small, well cared for public beaches dot the lakefronts and riversides of South Frontenac Township. Davidson Beach in Inverary, Gilmour Point Beach in Battersea, and “The Point” in Sydenham offer quiet opportunities to relax in the sun and splash about in clean, family-friendly waters.

READ ALSO: Beaches in Frontenac County

Lennox and Addington

Imagine sandy shores, miles of beach to explore, and clear water as far as the eye can see. That’s just a ferry ride away at Sand Beach Wetlands Conservation Area on the southwest end of Amherst Island. This hidden gem is the perfect spot for birding enthusiasts to spend the day – in addition to dunes and swimming, Sandy Beach is known for its many species of birds and wildlife.

Hot tip: Plan for a hike and check out the view from platforms overlooking the Big Marsh, as well as picturesque views of Lake Ontario and Long Point Marsh.

Dive into history! The UEL Campground – United Empire Loyalist Heritage Centre and Park has been a spot to camp since the late 1700s. The park is the site of the original landing of the first group of United Empire Loyalists, on the scenic shores of the Bay of Quinte. Find family fun here with a large sandy beach with trees for shade and the oldest monument to the Loyalists in Canada. Hot tip: The United Empire Loyalist Heritage Centre here brings the story of the Loyalists to life – from their lives in America, escape to Canada, and early settlement, particularly in the Quinte area.

Kingston

Kingston’s Grass Creek Park is also not to be missed – this riverfront park features a sandy beach with a swimming area, play equipment and picnic facilities. This park is free to attend and even has a large, fenced in dog park. Be sure to check out the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum at the entrance to the park for learning, crafting and special events. Recently renovated is Breakwater Park which includes a new promenade, pedestrian bridge and shade structure, pier upgrades, steps and seating, shoreline works including an upland beach, landscaping and tree planting, and accessibility improvements. Jump in and splash!

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life by slowing down to appreciate the beaches rooted in history and local summer culture. Feel the sand between your toes and slather on the sunscreen to explore local beaches with mystery and heart in South Eastern Ontario.

Explore On The Water

If you just NEED to visit the beaches in Prince Edward County The Sandbanks or North Beach Provincial Park in Consecon, take a look at this Visitor Check List and this Insiders Guide to Summer Holidays in Prince Edward County. Be sure to follow Visit The County for planning tips, travel alerts, and other info.