Beaches, boat cruises and breweries
Experience the perfect summer trifecta of beautiful beaches, boat cruises and local breweries in five of Ontario’s favourite destinations.
If you are looking for a truly unique destination, head to Mantioulin Island. Board the MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry in Tobermory for a two-hour cruise to South Baymouth, breathe in the beautiful fresh air and admire the mesmerizing blue green colour of the waters of Georgian Bay.
Manitoulin Island is the largest of a group of islands in Lake Huron and the largest freshwater island in the world, with over 100 inland lakes within the island itself.
With all this water, you bet they have beautiful beaches, such as Providence Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in Ontario. While touring the island, stop in at Split Rail Brewing Company in scenic Gore Bay, on the shores of Lake Huron’s North Channel. And check out Mantioulin Brewing Co., who has partnered with the famous Anchors Inn, in Little Current, together they serve up great food and Manitoulin Brewing brews. Anchor Inn has been providing tourists with food, rooms and entertainment since the end of Prohibition, in fact the building dates back to 1888.
Another great destination is Thunder Bay, known as a gateway to Northern Ontario’s magnificent outdoors, with views of Lake Superior and the famous Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Not far from your hotel room, you can slip your kayak into the largest freshwater lake in the world for a paddle at sunrise. Or set sail with Sail Superior. You and your closet friends can board the boat and cruise in style in Frodo, a true-blue water cruiser/racer. Private cruise includes cheese and local brew and half day or longer zodiac adventures.
Thunder Bay is also making waves for its exceptional culinary experiences and local breweries, from the famous Finnish pancakes to the Sleeping Giant Brewing Company and Dawson Trail Craft Brewery. Thunder Bay is full of other delightful surprises like Gouda Cheese and Persian Donuts. And definitely visit Fort William Historic Park one of the largest living history attractions in North America.
You don’t have to look far to find a beautiful beach, this city is located on the magnificent Lake Superior. Take a dip or read a book on a blanket on the sand at Chippewa Park Beach. Just look up and take in the views of the Sleeping Giant. Spectacular.
Embark on a three hour boating cruise and take in the amazing 30,000 Islands. The Island Queen departs from the picturesque city of Parry Sound, approximately 2.5 hours north of Toronto, 2 hours south of Sudbury, 1.5 hours from North Bay and just an hour drive from Huntsville or Bracebridge.
Waubuno Beach in Parry Sound features gentle slopping clean sand, a playground, beach volleyball courts, washroom facilities and of course a gorgeous view. Lifeguards are on site from July 1 until the weekend before Labour Day. Located just 1.5 km from the Island Queen boat tour means you can take in the morning boat cruise, and have a great afternoon at the beach.
Trestle Brewing Company is located downtown, where the Sequin River flows into beautiful Georgian Bay, with views of the historic CPR Trestle Bridge from the patio. The tap room serves delicious local brews along with a small, tasty menu, so sit back relax and soak up the views at this beautiful spot.
Ottawa, our nation’s capital, is located on the breathtaking Rideau Canal, a UNESCO heritage site that a boater’s dream in the summer and an epic skating rink in the winter. The Rideau Canal Boat Tour will afford you unique views of the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Chateau Laurier and other architectural gems along with a commentary of Canada’s colourful history.
After the Rideau Canal Tour, head to Mooney Bay Beach, Ottawa’s only public beach on the Rideau River. This beautiful sandy beach has all the amenities including barbecue pits, picnic tables, park area, washrooms, lifeguards, beach volleyball and even stand-up paddle board
Next you’ll want to “tap” into the Ottawa brewery scene. The Clock Tower Brew Pub and Lowertown Brewery are both located in the famous Byward Market, which is a must visit in Ottawa.
Muskoka is renowned as one of the most scenic destinations for lakeside summer fun in Canada. So, naturally, it also boasts epic boat cruises. Visit Muskoka Steam Ship Company and choose from sightseeing tours and themed tours. The fleet includes the Royal Mail Ship Segwun which is North America’s oldest operating steamship. The Wenonah II, a larger replica steamship, operates daily from the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst.
Not far from the wharf, you will find the famous Muskoka Brewery. Not only do they have brews for every palate, but they also have gin and their own hard sparkling water. Stop by for taste or two. Next stop is Bracebridge, to the Lake of Bays Brewing Company’s newest location, the Barrel House.
About 30 minutes drive north of Bracebridge is Arrowhead Provincial Park and Arrowhead Lake. This lake has three different beaches that are great for long walks and motorboat-free swimming. Canoe, paddleboard and kayak rentals are available, as well mountain bike rentals. If hiking is your thing, there is a great hike to Stubbs Falls.
Last updated: January 3, 2023