Sun is shining, snow is melting, birds are singing; could it be that Spring is here? With the first few signs of Spring, many of us go straight to thinking of summer time activities and day dreaming of the beach filled days that are approaching. It is in this spirit that we are sharing our favorite beaches in Nova Scotia.
McNabs Island Provincial Park
Located a few kilometers from downtown Halifax, this is the largest island in the Halifax Harbor. It played a significant role in defending the area for many years, and is now a provincial park enjoyed by adventure seekers, history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
This five kilometer long island is not typically thought of as a beach destination. However, it does offer a great beach with views of the busy Halifax Harbor and city, which is typically not overrun by tourists. There are various sites to explore on the island, including forts that date back to the 1860's. And if those aren't enough reasons to explore this beautiful isle, you can also opt to stay overnight by bringing your own camping equipment (and making prior arrangements as necessary) to enjoy the tranquility of this nature filled destination.
The island has vault toilets and is accessible by kayak or boat; you can find various charters online leaving from different locations including Point Pleasant Park and Fisherman's Cove in Eastern Passage.
Arriving to this beach, you will likely take a double take before you realize you're still in Canada and haven't mysteriously transported to the Caribbean. Covered in magnificent fine white sand, with clear turquoise blue water, this beach is one of our favorites on Canada's East coast!
It is composed of three slightly different beach areas, each offering great sand dollar search potential for the children at heart and endless walking in shallow waters during low tide at this long beach.
Be prepared: there are no washrooms or change areas located at this beach. Also, the parking lot is smaller than ideal, often giving the illusion that it's packed when there really is lots of available space on the beach (so don't be fooled!).
Weather not cooperating with your beach plans? Check out these great things to do in Halifax!
Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park
If making the drive out to Carter's Beach isn't feasible, the next best option just might be Crystal Crescent Beach! Located only 35 minutes from Halifax, this area offers three beaches covered in white sand, the first two reachable by boardwalks. It also offers a hiking trail boasting gorgeous scenery of the coastline. The 13 kilometer hiking trail loop is mostly along the water's edge on a mostly rocky coastline, but also takes you through heavily wooded areas.
Finally, the parking areas are sufficiently spacious and there are two vault-toilet facilities on site.
Martinique Beach Provincial Park
If you're looking for a long white sandy beach to enjoy a calm salty walk, this is it! At 5km long, this crescent beach is Nova Scotia's longest beach of its kind. Located at approximately 1 hour drive from Halifax, this beach offers change houses, boardwalks and picnic areas. It is supervised for part of the summer, is a known surfing spot and is a protected area for the piping plover along with a wildlife refuge for migratory waterfowl.
Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park
Lawrencetown is likely the best known beach in Nova Scotia due to being renowned as a destination for international surfers and visitors alike. The beach is located only 25 minutes drive from downtown Halifax, offers breathtaking views and opportunities to surf for everyone (rentals and classes available if planned ahead of time). You can also decide to just take a swim or go for a walk on this rock and sand covered beach. Either way, you're sure to enjoy this beautiful spot!
Five Islands Provincial Park
Featuring 90 meters sea cliffs with views of the world's highest tides, this beach isn't like the rest on this list. It is located in the Bay of Fundy which boast magnificent views from the campsites located higher in the park and from the various hiking trails available. However, the beach is a must see due to the amazing differences from high to low tide. Additionally, this rocky and muddy beach offers the opportunity for clam digging (inquire with the park's desk regarding limits and any advisories).
Pack your shovel, bucket, a change of clothes and hiking shoes along with your typical beach belongings, and go dig for tonight's super!
What are you waiting for? Come visit us here on Canada's East Coast. And don't forget your beach apparel!
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