For a place without a sun-and-sand reputation, Canada certainly has an abundance of shorelines, stretching farther than in any other country in the world. Add to this the thousands of kilometres of lakeshores big and small, and you have a waterfront scene that could take lifetimes to explore. Here are our picks for the best beaches in Canada — those with the warmest water, the best sand, surf and swimming, the tiny hidden gems and the bountiful aquatic wonders, all right under our noses, from coast to coast.
6 of 20
Manitou Beach, Little Manitou Lake, Saskatchewan
The Prairies’ answer to the Dead Sea, this resort village draws people looking for a relaxing spa getaway at a unique site. Bathers “take the waters,” absorbing the therapeutic minerals (magnesium, carbonate, potassium, mineral salts, sodium, calcium, iron, silica and sulphur) concentrated in this shallow saltwater lake. The water is too dense for any real swimming — there’s five times as much salt here as there is in the ocean — but the floating is fun and it’s virtually impossible to sink.
Wow factor: Experience weightlessness without having to sign up for a NASA shuttle.
Where it’s at: From Highway 2 at Watrous, drive north on 365.