Beach staycations on Ontario’s Great Lakes
Find traditional beach resorts that cater to families looking to make the most of the summer’s sun and long, leisurely days. Playful beachy motels and inns splashed with Miami pinks and Caribbean blues are perfect for friends or couples to gather for poolside snacks and cool cocktails.
If you’ve been craving the sound of waves lapping on the shore and sand between your toes, here’s a collection of renovated roadside motels, boutique inns and lakeside resorts that celebrate the carefree, sun-soaked summer beach vibe.
Don’t forget hats, sandals and sunscreen.
Lake Huron and Georgian Bay
The west coast of Lake Huron extends from St. Joseph Island just south of Sault Ste. Marie down to the Blue Water Bridge into Sarnia. The stretch of shoreline south of the Bruce Peninsula in Tobermory is renowned for its beautiful beaches and coastal communities.
In the northeastern portion of Lake Huron, the turquoise waters of Georgian Bay harbor sunken shipwrecks, unique stacked rock formations, limestone cliffs and long, sandy sections of beach.
Steps from one of Ontario’s longest and most popular beach destinations, The June Motel Sauble Beach embraces a vintage-style surf town ambiance with retro prints, poolside patios and balcony hammocks.
A sister property to the June Motel in Prince Edward County recently featured in Motel Makeover on Netflix, both spots make a great beachy staycation for couples or friend group reunions.
Location: 11 Sauble Falls Parkway, Sauble Beach
The pale cork flooring, shiplap walls, cozy wood-burning fireplace and rooftop patio make this relaxing, eco-minded oasis feel like a natural extension of the white sand and crystal waters of Lake Huron’s beautiful Southampton Beach.
Choose from 17 thoughtfully designed and detailed suites that range from a single-sized to a two-bedroom unit with a kitchenette and living space. After a day at the beach, indulge in a soothing spa treatment followed by beach-inspired cuisine at the SandBar.
If you’re in need of a peaceful, rejuvenating vacation, book your stay at The Beach Motel.
Location: 21 Huron Street South, Southampton
Located directly across from the Port Elgin main beach, Paradise Inn delivers epic family fun and surf-side adventure.
Take advantage of water toy rentals including kayaks and stand up paddle boards, organize a fishing charter or simply soak in the sun and sand on the beach. At the end of the day, gather for Lake Huron’s famous sunsets on the tiki patio overlooking the beach.
The inn is within walking distance from downtown shops, restaurants and kid-friendly attractions including a bowling alley and museum.
Location: 188 Mill Street, Port Elgin
Farther south along Lake Huron’s coastline, Grand Bend is one of Ontario’s most visited beach destinations. The long, sandy stretch and clean, swimmable waters attract beachgoers and sun lovers all summer long.
And the beach town of Grand Bend buzzes with shops, cafes, nightlife and seasonal events.
New to the scene, The Kiwi is a fresh, fun and vibrant boutique motel that sets the beach tone with palm motifs, crisp linens tropical fruit themed suites. Transition leisurely from the poolside lounge chairs and cabanas to the soft sandy beach just a short walk away.
Location: 40 Main Street East, Grand Bend
Originally established in 1922, Oakwood Resort has been providing perfecting the ultimate beach experience for over a century.
The resort offers Canadiana cabin-style rooms and cottages, onsite dining, an 18-hole golf course, full service spa and wellness facility, tennis courts, pool and even its own private beach area. It’s also just a short drive from more scenic beaches in Pinery Provincial Park. So, there’s lots to do, or do nothing at all.
The whole family is welcome, including your furry family members in select pet-friendly suites.
Location: 70671 Bluewater Highway, Grand Bend
Compliment a beachy getaway with a round of golf on an award-winning course and a romantic dinner with stunning views of Georgian Bay at Cobble Beach Resort, north of Owen Sound.
Guests can enjoy a small, private beach at the Beach Club for swimming, launching kayaks and canoes or lounging by the firepit.
Location: 221 McLeese Drive, Kemble
Close to three local beaches, this restored roadside motel retained its original name and chill 70’s vibe but upgraded everything else.
The rooms are airy and modern with heated bathroom floors, soft white linens and a splash of colour. Chat around the communal firepit or over craft beer and oysters at Apres Snack Bar.
It’s the perfect homebase for a Georgian Bay getaway with your friends, including your four-legged friends – Penny’s is dog-friendly.
Location: 141 King Street East, Thornbury
On the opposite shores of Georgian Bay, Balm Beach Resort is located just up the coast from Wasaga Beach, the world’s longest freshwater beach.
The family-friendly property enjoys full southern exposure with a sweeping view of sunny beach across the bay. A host of water and land-based activities including paddle boarding, an arcade, tennis and mini-putt are sure to keep kids entertained from sunup to sunset.
Location: 15 Tiny Beaches Road North, Tiny
Of the five great lakes, Lake Erie is the furthest south. It’s also the smallest by volume and the shallowest resulting in wonderful warm, swimmable waters that lap up to inviting, sunny beaches.
The southernmost corner of mainland Canada is getting a brand-new, reimagined retro roadside motel in the beachfront community of Colchester.
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Location: County Road 50, Colchester
With clean and comfortable water-facing suites, shade umbrellas, lounge chairs and a spacious wooden deck flanked by palm trees, and soft white sand and Caribbean blue water, Long Beach Resort checks all the boxes for a sun soaked beach destination. And that includes tiki torches and beach bonfires that light up the evenings after a magnificent sunset.
The warm, shallow water of Lake Erie is great for younger kids to splash in. For those wanting to get out farther on the lake, paddleboard, kayak, Sea-doo and Jet Boat rentals are available. A variety of cottages and suites will accommodate most family groups.
Location: 12265 Lakeshore Road, Wainfleet
Next door to Long Beach Resort, Lake Haven is a more intimate resort property with seven fully equipped two and three-bedroom housekeeping cottages facing the lake. The splash of surf inspired colours in fabrics and sun bleached wooden furniture add to the breezy beachside feel.
Shared facilities include a beach firepit, loungers and an upper deck seating area. As a bonus, they’ve curated a chill beach-inspired spotify playlist for you.
Location: 12343 Lakeshore Road, Dunnville
From Niagara-on-the-Lake to Prince Edward County, several of Ontario’s most populated communities and cities are dotted along the east and north shores of Lake Ontario alongside both urban and country beaches.
Just steps away from Lakeside Beach Park in Port Dalhousie, this intimate inn overlooking the water offers six uniquely themed rooms including the Flamingo and Palm suites.
Enjoy the neighbourly feel in this waterfront community and explore shops, cafes and wineries nearby. It's a great spot to escape for small-town, lakeside R&R.
Location: 38 Lakeport Road, St. Catharines
Nestled on the east end of Victoria Beach in the historic town of Cobourg, Breakers is a family owned property with comfortable rooms, housekeeping-style suites and a cozy cottage.
Colourful Muskoka chairs facing the lake invite you to relax on the lawn and listen to the sound of the surf. Take advantage of the private beach area or wander down the beach to the splash pad and kid’s play area. Breakers on the Lake will easily become a summer tradition for your family … your whole family if you select the pet friendly rooms.
Location: 94 Green Street, Cobourg
Experience ultimate peace and tranquility at this modern beachfront property overlooking West Lake in Prince Edward County.
After a day at the pool and on the beach, retreat to one of ten lakeside and poolside cabins that blend minimalist design and Scandi aesthetic with luxurious comforts and privacy.
The two bedroom units are suitable for both adult groups and families with full kitchens, heated floors, cozy indoor living spaces with boardgames and private outdoor showers.
Location: 15841 Loyalist Parkway, Bloomfield
Inspired by the laidback culture of Prince Edward County, The Lakeside Motel invites you to enjoy good company and expansive waterfront views over a glass of local wine or craft beer.
The two acre property takes full advantage of its scenic, rocky beach with a large viewing deck, sunken fire pits, a sparkling swimming pool with loungers, cabanas and bar and even a luxurious eucalyptus scented sauna.
Located close to the Wellington public beach, Sandbanks Provincial Park and wineries, breweries and cideries, The Lakeside is the perfect spot to soak in the sun and toast happy hour with your best friends or soulmate.
Location: 349 Main Street, Wellington
Mirazule is a new, strikingly modern luxury lakeside inn in the southeast corner of Prince Edward County. Floor to ceiling windows and a walkout terrace provide stunning water views from both inside and out.
Beyond the slip of beachfront, the property is surrounded by forest and under a half hour drive from the sandy shores of North Beach Provincial Park or the cobble stone beach at Little Bluff Conservation Area. The plethora of scenic and innovative wineries and restaurants nearby make it a sublime adult destination for a couple or a getaway with friends.
Location: Southbay, Milford
The largest freshwater lake in the world is nothing short of breathtaking.
Ontario is blessed with the stunning and wild Lake Superior shoreline between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie characterized by rugged and rocky outcrops, pristine forests beautiful windswept beaches.
Perched on the edge of Lake Superior’s wilderness coastline at the mouth of the Michipicoten River Rock Island Lodge is a cozy four-room bed and breakfast style accommodation with a shared lounge area and fireplace.
In addition to epic water-based excursions including sea kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddling, the property features a sandy beach area mixed with Canadian shield boulders and rock.
Enjoy a sundowner at sunset and a relive the day’s adventures around the beach campfire. Guided paddling trips and rentals are offered by Naturally Superior Adventures.
Rock Island Lodge is the place to be this summer for adventure travellers and nature enthusiasts.
Location: 10 Government Dock Road, Wawa
Voyageur Lodge is a landmark stop on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Trans Canada Highway along the Lake Superior Coast.
The General Store, gas station and Deli, Bake Shop and Gift Shop have been serving travellers for decades. In addition, motel-style housekeeping accommodations invite you to stay a while longer and enjoy the soft sand and refreshing waters of Batchawana Bay beach.
Location: ON-17, Batchawana Bay
Last updated: August 22, 2023