Grand Bend Canada, on the southern shores of Lake Huron, is a holiday town with a fine beach and a number of equally fine beaches nearby.
The town is about an hour's drive from the Canada - US border, at Sarnia (Canada) and Port Huron (USA), and consequently is popular with American visitors too.
There aren't too many large Ontario population centers nearby so the beach isn't as busy as you might expect. It's generally very accessible.
It is, however, popular with students and is busy when the colleges are out.
If Wasaga Beach is Ontario's party beach in the north, Grand Bend's Main Beach, off Main Street, is the party beach of the south-west. And it is a lot of fun with plenty of night-life as well as the inevitable parties at cottages and other spots.
Grand Bend is about an hour's drive west from Stratford, Ontario and a bit less than an hour driving south from Goderich, Ontario.
From Toronto, it's about 3 - 4 hours. Follow Highway 401 west to London then branch off onto the 402. At exit 34, take Hwy 21 north, and follow the road past Ipperwash Beach, Pinery Provincial Park, and Port Franks to reach Grand Bend.
There are other great beaches nearby, at Port Blake, Bayfield, Pinery Provincial Park, Ipperwash, and St. Josephs.
Grand Bend is a popular spot with young people (most beaches are because you can be practically nude all day without anyone complaining).
The town itself is small with the local businesses mainly along Highway 21 while the beach businesses are all along Main Street.
Main Street has all the restaurants, bars, and candy stores, that are the hallmark of a serious beach resort. Grand Bend even has my favorite of all the ridiculous things these places offer -- 'deep fried mars bars' -- which I've only tried once (it isn't something to try often!) but recommend it to everyone.
Grand Bend has a harbor at the mouth of the Ausable River. You can rent sea-doos and other boats there, as well as take fishing charters.
A 'must-do' in Grand Bend is visit one of Ontario's last drive-in cinemas, the Starlite Drive-in Theatre. A great way to finish a day of sunning on the beach!
Surrounding the town are cottages, condos, campgrounds and other summer accommodations that swell the population each year.
For the latest information about what's on in Grand Bend, visit their tourism page here.
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