Ottawa is a city best known for its history and culture, rather than as a beach destination. Therefore, spending time on the beach is possibly not your first thought if you are visiting this location. However, there are some amazing beaches in this city, so you should try to include some in your vacation itinerary. To help you plan your trip, here is a traveler’s guide to the beaches in Ottawa.
According to Cansumer, the best beach to visit in Ottawa is Westboro Beach. It is located within the city, and it is the most popular beach with locals and tourists alike. Westboro Beach is open all year round, and there are lifeguards on duty from 12 noon until 7 pm. It is a busy beach that has activities to enjoy, and there is a bike path that runs along the beach. If you are hungry while you are at the beach, you will find multiple places to eat along the shore. One of the best options is the café at Westbrook Beach Yacht Club.
Mooney’s Bay Beach
If you are visiting Ottawa during the summer months, then a popular spot is Mooney’s Bay Beach, which is open from the middle of June to the middle of August. There is a good stretch of golden sand along the river at this beach, and it is popular with families who enjoy using the beach to play sports such as volleyball. There is also a small playground on the beach for younger children to enjoy. The swimming area is supervised, and it is a lovely place to take a stroll.
Narcity lists Brittania Beach as one of the best beaches at which to spend time in Ottawa. It is another beach that you can access without leaving the city, and it has picnic tables and BBQ pits. There are washrooms and free water fountains at this beach, and there is a volleyball net that is free to use. While at this beach, enjoy an ice cream from The Beachconers ice cream shop.
Mille Roches Beach
Although Mille Roches Beach is an hour outside Ottawa, it is a popular day trip from the city. It is located along the St. Lawrence Seaway, and it is open throughout the summer. Not only can you spend time on the beach, but you can also take to the water as it is possible to rent boats and kayaks. Other facilities on the beach include changing rooms, a picnic area, a playground, and an island-themed snack bar.
Lemay Lake Park
Just outside Ottawa in Gatineau is Lemay Lake Park, which has a family-friendly beach. Between the middle of July and early September, there are lifeguards along the shore for supervision, and swimming is allowed. It is a fantastic beach for enjoying some family fun, as there are two volleyball courts and a children’s playground. There are also concession stands where you can buy food. The only downside to this beach is that it is often packed.
Parc du-Lac Beauchamp
If the reason you want to spend time at the beach is to watch nature and enjoy the surroundings rather than playing on the sand, then a good option is the beach at Parc du-Lac Beauchamp. It is just outside Ottawa, and the beach is open all year round. There are picnic tables on the beach, and visitors can hire BBQs. The beach connects to several trails, so it is a good starting point for taking a coastal hike. Every July, the beach hosts a sandcastle festival.
La Peche Lake at Gatineau Park
The largest lake at Gatineau Park is La Peche Lake, and its beach is popular with locals and tourists throughout the summer. A large area of the beach is devoted to sunbathing, so it is a good option if you just want to relax. However, you can also have a lot of fun at this beach, as there are canoe rentals and swimming is permitted when the lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer months.
Petrie Island Beaches
The Petrie Island beaches offer a variety of experiences that will suit different tastes. It is a fantastic place to see local wildlife, there are various watersports to enjoy, or you can simply relax on the sandy beaches. There are several popular hiking trails around the two beaches, and fishing is permitted at some points. Throughout the summer, there are lifeguards supervising the beach. You can enjoy a picnic at the beach, as there are more than 40 picnic tables, and you can hire volleyball and paddling equipment at the weekends. Close to the beaches, there are some excellent places to grab a bite to eat, including Take Out and Bananas Beach Grill & Rum Shack, says The Culture Trip.
You will find The Pond in Rockliffe Park along Pond Street in the heart of Ottawa. It is a secluded beach that is perfect for visiting if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The water in the pond is perfect for swimming as it is so clean. However, you can only swim within the designated hours of 7 am and 2 pm, and there are other rules to which swimmers must also adhere. Trees surround the pond, so it has a sense of privacy.
Cedar Park, also known as Parc des Cedres, is just outside Ottawa in Gatineau. The beach at the park is open from mid-June to early September, and lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer for safety reasons. People who visit this beach either relax on the sand or go for a dip in the cooling waters. Others hire a bike and go for a cycle along the bicycle path that runs alongside the beach. There is also a children’s playground on the beach, and there are showers for those who want to rinse off after a swim.
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Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson