The Niagara Region is home to some of the best beaches in Ontario! These beaches in Niagara are perfect for a day of family fun in the sun.
What’s better than building sand castles, splashing in the water, strolling long stretches of sand, finding seashells, or just lounging in the sun with a cool lake breeze?
Here’s my list of the best beaches in Niagara, from St. Catharines, Grimsby, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and beyond! No matter if you choose to lounge on the beaches of Lake Ontario or Lake Erie – I have you covered!
Niagara Region Water Quality Testing
It’s important to check Niagara Region’s Water Quality Testing prior to visiting these beaches in Niagara to learn whether or not it’s safe to swim.
Results are posted between Victoria Day and Labour Day.
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Best Beaches in Niagara for Swimming
- Sunset Beach
- Lakeside Park Beach
- Nickel Beach
- Long Beach
- Crystal Beach/Bay Beach
Beaches in Grimsby
Looking for a beach to head to near Grimsby but don’t want to travel too far? You’re in luck!
Casablanca Beach in Grimsby is one of my favourite places to enjoy a morning coffee before work. It’s right off the exit at Casablanca and there is a small parking lot off of the North Service Rd. Follow the paved trail down to the pebbly beach and take in the morning sunrise.
You can also follow the paved trail east along the waterfront to two other public beaches at Grimsby on the Lake with numerous interpretive plaques along the way.
The beaches range from sandy to rocky with plenty of benches to stop and enjoy the views from. There is also a small park pavilion to picnic at.
Address: 565 North Service Rd., Grimsby
Parking at Casablanca Beach: Limited parking – more will become available as greenspaces are completed.
Related: Why You’ll Fall in Love with Grimsby
Grimsby Beach is one of Niagara’s best-kept secrets. Would you believe many locals don’t even know it exists?
Historic Grimsby Beach is well-known for its incredible Painted Ladies – colourful gingerbread-esque Victorian cottages from the 1800s.
Even better is the hidden beach! Grimsby Beach is the perfect place for boating, fishing, beach volleyball, and walking along the waterfront. The beach is rocky but is swimmable, so bring water shoes!
Address: Park Rd N and Tupper Blvd.
Parking at Grimsby Beach: Limited parking at beach access. There is a parking lot in the Grimsby Beach community but I’ve often found it full. You can also park at Grand Avenue school (14 Grand Ave) on weekends and walk to it.
Beaches in Lincoln
Living in Lincoln, we’re fortunate to have access nearby to so many amazing beaches in Niagara. Lincoln is home to one of the region’s favourites!
Charles Daley Park Beach
Charles Daley Park in Lincoln is close to many communities, from Grimsby, Beamsville, Vineland, St. Catharines and more! The park itself has a playground, tons of open greenspace perfect for picnics, and two amazing beaches.
Both Fifteen Mile Creek and Sixteen Mile Creek flow in Lake Ontario at Charles Daley Park, making it an ideal location for canoeists and kayakers.
There is a bandshell which hosts free concerts during the summer as well as a pavilion available for rent.
Swimming in the lake is allowed at your own risk, but keep in mind there are no lifeguards on duty at any time.
Washroom facilities are open from Victoria Day through Labour Day. Propane BBQs permitted.
Address: 1969 North Service Road, Jordan
Parking at Charles Daley Park: 400 free parking spots
Beaches in St. Catharines
St. Catharines is home to some of the best beaches in Niagara! From sandy stretches of beach to perfect swimming water, awesome views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline, these beaches are a water-lover’s paradise.
Sunset Beach in St. Catharines is formerly known as Municipal Beach and is also commonly known as Port Weller Beach. It’s the largest beach in St. Catharines with 1200 feet of sandy paradise!
It’s one of the best spots to watch the sunset over the water, hence the name change to Sunset Beach in 2015. At Sunset Beach you’ll find a beautiful beach, playground, public washrooms (and new facility being built for 2022), and a public boat launch for small and personal watercraft. It’s also a great spot for picnicking!
Address: 1 Lombardy Av., St.Catharines
Parking at Sunset Beach: Paid parking is in effect from the beginning June through the end of September. Parking is $3 per hour for a maximum of 3 hours (150 vehicles). New for 2022: Parking passes available for residents for $15/season with no time limit. Parking for Sunset Beach is also found at Port Weller Community Centre (800 metres from the beach) or at Malcolmson Eco Park (1 km from beach with a connected trail).
Lakeside Park Beach
Lakeside Park Beach is located within historic Port Dalhousie in St. Catharines is one of the best beaches in Ontario to visit. Not only is it one of the most popular beaches in Niagara, but it’s in close proximity to plenty of restaurants, bars, ice cream parlours, and shops.
Stroll the pier and watch the boats leaving the harbour, play some beach volleyball, splash in the shallow water, build sandcastles, take photos of the historic lighthouses, walk part of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, or take in the summer sunshine on the beach.
Lakeside Park Beach is also home to the famous Looff Carousel, where you can take a ride on a historic carousel for just 5 cents! This special carousel was hand-carved between 1898 to 1905.
Address: 1 Lakeport Rd., Port Dalhousie
Parking at Lakeside Park Beach: Paid parking is in effect from the beginning June through the end of September. Parking is $3 per hour for a maximum of 3 hours (80 vehicles). New for 2022: Parking passes available for residents for $15/season with no time limit.
Jones Beach is one of my favourite beaches in Niagara. This quieter and tucked-away beach is located in a protected bay and offers the perfect peaceful spot to watch the sunrise. It’s a small stretch of beach but what makes it special is the beautiful walking trail along the canal and along the bay.
Walk along the George Nicholson Memorial Trail to visit a lighthouse at the very end and take in scenic views of Lake Ontario. This is a great spot to visit for birders and dog-walkers, and is the spot to come to watch freighters enter the canal heading to Port Colborne to get to Lake Erie!
Location: 142 Broadway St, St. Catharines
Parking at Jones Beach: There is a small parking lot for 8 cars for free. You can also park down Seaway Haulage Road on the shoulder.
Beaches in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Not only is Niagara-on-the-Lake one of the most historic towns in Ontario, it’s also home to to unique beaches in Niagara.
Niagara Shores Park
Niagara Shores Park is a hidden gem amongst locals. It’s not well-marked nor apparently of where it is, but it’s owned by Parks Canada. Niagara Shores Park is a prime wildlife viewing location.
Access to the beach is down a narrow fire lane. There are wooded trails and beach access with greenspace above a cliff.
It’s important to note there are no washroom facilities but provides amazing views of Lake Ontario and is a quiet spot to enjoy a sunset. Pets are permitted.
Address: Firelane 1, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Parking at Niagara Shores Park: Parking is free at this beach but has limited parking available (roughly 5 vehicles). The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has been pushing Parks Canada to expand access to Niagara Shores Park to help ease congestion around Ryerson Park Beach. As of 2021 Niagara Shores Park was awaiting environmental assessments.
Ryerson Park Beach
Ryerson Park is tucked down a gorgeous community on Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This small but beautiful rocky beach has plenty of greenspace and benches, and offers prime views of the water over to Toronto. Sunsets here are magical!
Ryerson Park is a beautiful spot for family picnics and beach strolls, plus the surrounding community is filled with amazing homes to marvel at.
There is limited parking for 5-7 cars. Please be respectful of the homeowners in the surrounding area.
Queen’s Royal Park Beach
Queen’s Royal Park in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a beautiful spot to come and enjoy a morning coffee from a local coffee shop or a place to relax after strolling through the historic downtown.
This is also the only beach in Niagara-on-the-Lake that is available for public swimming! It offers beautiful views of the Niagara River and Fort Niagara State Park across the river.
Queen’s Royal Beach is popular for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Pets are permitted.
The Town of NOTL monitors the water quality levels three times a week during the summer.
Address: 45 Front St., Niagara-on-the-Lake
Parking at Queen’s Royal Beach: Paid parking by the hour. There is plenty of parking nearby.
Beaches in Fort Erie
Fort Erie is home to some of the most popular and historic beaches in Ontario!
Crystal Beach/Bay Beach
Crystal Beach, also known as Bay Beach, is known for its stunning crystal clear water. This gorgeous stretch of sandy beach is no stranger to tourism, as it was once the site of an amusement park for almost 100 years until the late 1980s.
Crystal Beach is ideal for swimming, watersports, picnicking, and enjoying a day in the sun. Stroll the beach and pop into antique markets or enjoy one of the many dining options in the area.
There is a playground on site, a pavilion, washroom and change room facilities, and access ramps to the beach. There is also a viewing deck over the beach.
To access Crystal Beach, beachgoers will be required to present one of three Bay Beach passes (resident, commercial or day). Beach entry will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis, and proof of residency will not be required. Day passes are $5 and can be purchased at the Bay Beach main entrance or at a Bay Beach electronic terminal. Children under 10 are free.
There is a playground on site, a pavilion, washroom and change room facilities, and access ramps to the beach. There is also a viewing deck over the beach.
Address: 4155 Erie Rd, Fort Erie
Parking at Crystal Beach: Paid parking at the municipal parking lot at Erie Rd and Eastwood Ave between May 1 and September 30 ($4/hour or flat rate of $15/day). Metered street parking is also available from Victoria Day through Labour Day ($2/hour or $10/day).
Waverly Park Beach
Located at the east end of the Friendship Trail, Waverly Park Beach is a fun location for families and dog walkers. There are walking trails through historic remains of what was once the Erie Beach Amusement Park, including the dance hall, promenade, and “world’s largest swimming pool.”
Waverly Beach offers a sandy beach to cool off on a hot summer’s day, numerous benches to take in the views of the Buffalo Skyline, and shady areas to enjoy a quiet afternoon.
Washrooms are available.
Address: 271 Helena St, Fort Erie
Parking at Waverly Beach: Free parking
Beaches in Port Colborne
Port Colborne is home to popular beaches along Lake Erie, and for good reason! These long stretches of sandy beach offer ideal swimming and sunbathing with nearby access to great restaurants and shopping!
By far the most popular and one of the best beaches in Niagara is Nickel Beach. With soft, sandy shores along Lake Erie stretching more than a mile long, it’s great for swimming, relaxing, picnicking, and more!
It’s also one of the few remaining (and quite rare!) beaches that allow parking directly on the beach. It’s a great spot for families to visit since the water is quite shallow.
Since the sand on the beach is soft and fine, it’s a great place to play and build sandcastles, go for a walk barefoot, or just to sit and watch the day go by.
There are washrooms, but pack a picnic since there are no other facilities here. Nickel Beach is only a few minutes’ drive from downtown Port Colborne which has tons of great restaurants and take-away spots to bring a snack to the beach!
Address: 69 Lake Rd., Port Colborne
Parking at Nickel Beach: Free for Port Colborne residents. Beachfront daily parking for Niagara residents: $20-$25; non-residents $50-$55.
Beaches in Wainfleet
Long Beach in Wainfleet features a beautiful sandy beach with plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the summer.
This is a popular beach in Niagara to visit with families, and is a great spot to fish, sailboard, jet ski, swim, and enjoy a day in the sun. The beach is sandy and pebbly with shaded areas along the shoreline.
For those looking to make a weekend out of it, campsites are available at Long Beach.
Address: 12965 Lakeshore Rd, Wainfleet
Parking at Long Beach: Admission is $13 per vehicle (including driver). Additional adults per vehicle are $4.50. Maximum $26.50 per entry.
Wainfleet Lake Erie Public Beach (Regional Beach)
The Wainfleet Lake Erie Public Beach is an isolated but fantastic beach for those looking for peace and tranquility. The water can be quite warm in the summer but be sure to bring beach mats or towels and water shoes since the shoreline contains pebbles.
The beach is shallow enough for children to play safely.
Address: 12463 Lakeshore Rd, Wainfleet
Parking at Wainfleet Lake Erie Public Beach: Free parking lot located at beach
Morgan’s Point Conservation Area Beach
Morgan’s Point is a gorgeous beach to come and view the sunrise. It’s mostly all rocks (no sand) and swimming is not recommended.
However, it’s an ideal spot to come for some inner peace, enjoy the sun, picnic, or sit and read a book.
There is a large park with picnic tables and benches and winding trails through old growth forest and over boardwalks. A sand dune complex and rock shoal outcrop provides natural protection for the shoreline and is home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife.
Address: 11420 Morgan’s Point Rd, Wainfleet
Parking at Morgan’s Point: Free parking.
Wainfleet Wetlands Quarry Beach
While this beach isn’t along the Lake Erie shoreline, it’s a unique spot that deserves to be seen! The Wainfleet Wetlands Quarry is a popular spot during the summer for swimming, fishing, and lounging along the expansive beach.
The Wainfleet Wetlands was once a shallow sea 300-450 million years ago, and was used as a limestone quarry in the late 1800s until the 1960s. If you look hard enough during your visit to this beach, you may even see fossils of plants and animals that lived during this period embedded in the quarry walls!
Address: 10638 Quarry Rd., Wainfleet
Parking at Wainfleet Wetlands Quarry: free limited parking
Beaches in Niagara Falls
While Niagara Falls doesn’t have any beaches where you can swim at, it does have quite a peaceful beach to visit if you’re up for the challenge it takes to get there!
I almost didn’t include this beach since it’s not frequented by many families during the summer, but it’s unique and worth seeing!
Whirlpool Beach at the Niagara Gorge is something to be seen! It’s not a swimming beach as the water currents are dangerously strong, but you’ll often find hikers and fishermen down there. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Niagara!
It’s a gorgeous rocky beach with stunning views of the Niagara Gorge and Niagara River.
The wooden stairs down might be a bit much for small children but for those who love hiking, it’s a must-see in Niagara! Continue along the Whirlpool trail past boulders and through winding trails for views worth the effort!
Bring a picnic and take in the views of the azul blue water under the canopy of trees – and be sure to bring lots of water to keep you fueled for the hike back up!
Address: Access at the Upper Whirlpool Trails at 4009 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls.
Parking at Whirlpool Beach: Parking lots at 3600 Niagara Parkway (also known as Fishermen’s Lot) but is generally always full. Just a bit further down across from the golf course is parking along the road. There is also parking at the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve and you can either follow the trail along the Niagara Parkway or head down the staircase at Niagara Glen and end up at the beach at the end of your hike. Paid parking is $1.25 an hour (or if you’re a local, a Niagara Parks annual parking pass is 100% worth it!)
Things to remember while visiting Niagara Beaches
- Properly dispose of garbage
- Alcohol and smoking is not permitted
- Respect wildlife and do not feed birds or waterfowl
- Be respectful to staff
- Properly dispose of any garbage
- Vehicles may be searched upon entry at paid beaches
Are Ontario beaches safe for swimming?
Beaches are unsafe for swimming when water tests show unacceptable levels of E.Coli bacteria. High levels of E.Coli are affected by numerous factors, including birds and wildlife, and large numbers of swimmers. Swimming in water with high levels of E.Coli can cause infections of the ears, eyes, nose, throat, and skin, along with diarrhoea if the water is swallowed.
Beaches may also become unsafe for swimming due to excessive algae growth, flooding, debris and garbage, spills, and bad smells.
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