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.
Skaha Beach, Penticton, British Columbia
The Okanagan valley has some of the most beautiful beaches around, but family-friendly Skaha Beach is exceptional. On the south end, you’ll see teenagers setting up beach volleyball nets and kids running around the adjoining big grassy park, which has picnic tables, tennis and basketball courts, a watersplash park, and a playground marina.
Wow factor: During Penticton’s annual Peachfest in August, Skaha Beach is the site of a sand art competition, and the beach is dotted with intricate creations worth checking out.
Where it’s at: Head south from Penticton on the 97.
Originally published May 2018; Updated May 2019.