When you think of traveling in Canada, a beach vacation usually isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Pine forests and serene lakes perhaps, but most of us opt for more southerly locales when we want to feel the sand between our toes. That’s why the beaches of the Bay of Quinte region are one of its’ best kept secrets – pristine provincial parks and private sand beaches line the bay in all directions, with unique niches to suit every type of sun seeker.
With 2.5km of public beaches, Presqu’ile is tucked out of the way of city life only 1.5h from Toronto. Travel further into the park to find the rock beaches, lighthouse and interpretive centre, and the marsh boardwalk. Presqu’ile is a birding paradise and is also the site of multiple historical reenactments and events throughout the year. After you’ve had enough sun, head back out into Downtown Brighton for all the amenities of a true beach town (aka: homemade ice cream).
The sportier set will love the giant waves at North Beach – while the bay side is calm and protected, the lake side is a wild ride – who knew how many hours of entertainment some good waves could provide? On your way back, head up Loyalist Parkway to hit up Lala’s Perogies for some post-beach nosh – fighting those waves is hard work!
One of the Bay of Quinte’s better-known summer destinations is the Sandbanks, where giant natural sand dunes form two of the largest natural baymouth sand bars in the world. Some of the naturally occurring dune plants once disturbed by farming are being fostered into growth once more, making this beach one of the top destinations in the area for weddings, parties and good ol’ fashioned relaxing in the sand.