Sandbanks Provincial Park provides three beautiful beaches, Outlet, Sandbanks, and Dunes, that bustle with visitors all summer long, many from nearby Quebec, which gives the beach a nice cosmopolitan sound and feel.
It also has plenty of walking trails if you grow tired of the beach.
As well, there's also a shallow lake that's ideal for canoeing so be sure to bring your canoe or kayak when you visit.
You can reach Sandbanks best from Hwy 401, driving west from Kingston (less than an hour) or east from Toronto (about 2 hours).
Outlet Beach is the biggest and best of the three beaches. It's about 2 km long with shallow waters lapping its pale, fine sand, which is ideal for making sand sculptures.
Outlet Beach is backed by Cedars Campground. Both of these sit on the narrow sandbar that exists between Lake Ontario and East Lake, which outlets into Lake Ontario and gives the beach its name.
For those who want to have their dog with them on vacation, Outlet Beach has a designated dog beach near the mouth of the Outlet River.
Outlet River is also the designated watercraft launching area and the place from which craft get out onto the lake, like these two small boats.
Not all the watercraft launched here are so relaxing and quiet, seadoos (or jetskis or waverunners) are the most popular craft.
However, for the safety of swimmers, all motorized craft must keep more than 400 metres off the beach once they're out on the lake.
Sandbanks beach is not so large as Outlet beach but it makes up for it by having finer sand and wonderful dunes backing it. The water is also still shallow for metres out into the bay, which makes these beaches very safe for families with smaller children.
Sandbanks beach has its own campground, Richardson's, alongside it, for those of you who enjoy camping and want to stay longer in the Park or on the beach.
Like Outlet Beach, Sandbanks also has a designated dog area on the beach so you don't have to be without your pet.
Dunes beach is the smallest of the three beaches, with grittier coarser sand and more vegetation around. The forest presses close in on the water, which means more shade but also more leaves and generally less sunshine. Unlike the other two, however, it is situated on West lake and not Lake Ontario.
As with all the Sandbanks Provincial Park beaches, Dunes faces south-west so it has the sun most of the day until evening when it sinks below the high sand dunes behind Sandbanks beach.
Sandbanks, being a Provincial Park, charges an entrance fee that helps ensure the facilities and grounds are well-maintained.
The Park rules also forbid pets and alcohol on the beaches and there are Park employees to watch out for infractions. See their website for latest details.
For what's on at Sandbanks right now, visit their site here.
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