active family travel,  family,  family travel,  Travel

How to Enjoy Ontario Beaches When You Totally Dropped the Ball

Disclosure: This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Ontario’s Southwest Tourism #BeachInOSW sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. 

Ontario’s Southwestern beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches in North America. As a child, we visited the beaches every year. Ontario’s beaches have the most beautiful sunsets, my mom would say, and I played on many of these beaches as a child. At some point as a teen, I began to think she was exaggerating, but now, as an adult I’ve travelled a lot of beaches throughout the continent and I can tell you Ontario’s Southwest beaches are close to home, easy on the budget, and world class.


Anyone in Ontario knows, our winters can be truly bone chilling. So when the warm weather hits, we love to flock to parks and beaches. I appreciate that several of our beaches are less than an hour’s drive from our home in London, and many are less than a two hour drive from Toronto. The beaches of southwestern Ontario make summer affordable and memorable. We can easily throw a beach bag in the van and head out spontaneously in the summer. In fact that’s exactly what we did on Victoria Day long weekend.

We are committed to seizing every moment of our short summers and shaking them for all they are worth in this area of Canada. I’m especially aware of the fact that summer passes too quickly so it’s important to make the most of our short season. Beaches are a big part of our summer routine, and it’s not just our family that feels that way. In fact, Ontario beaches are so coveted that reservations for Ontario Parks start filling up as early as five months in advance.

So what happens if you are a camper, but you let the whole “planning” thing fall through the cracks. Of course, you’re going to have to deal with the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the children and their whining about missing the beach… Or will you? The following list can help save you from cranky, whiny children and a summer devoid of Ontario beaches.



How to Enjoy Ontario Beaches When You Totally Dropped the Ball

I’ve been there. Things get crazy in the summer. The world zooms by like a speeding train, and before you know it, you’ve lost your booking window. Fear not, overworked parental figure! Below are some great ways to ensure you can still enjoy a getaway complete with Ontario beaches!

These alternatives allow you to get to the Ontario beaches you love even if you miss booking well in advance. There are fantastic campgrounds where you can stay nearby the same prized beach camping areas, and every one of these campgrounds have their own private beaches, but even if they don’t, you can get day passes to enjoy access to the nearby provincial park.

Easy Alternatives

Rock Point Alternative

Rock Point is a popular area when the weather gets warm. If you’ve missed the boat, as it were, on that one, consider staying at Knights Beach Resort or Byng Island Conservation Area.

Port Burwell Alternative

Big Otter Marina & Campground or Sand Hill Park are both excellent alternatives to Port Burwell. Both of them are situated close to the same area, making it easy to enjoy the beaches even if you aren’t staying at the resort proper.

Pinery Alternative

Great Canadian Hideaway is a perfect substitute if you missed your booking on Pinery. Like the other grounds on this list, it’s nearby and offers easy access to the beach.

Rondeau Alternative

If Rondeau isn’t an option, you can always head to Clearville Park or C.M. Wilson Conservation Area. Both of these alternatives are beautiful in their own right, offering gorgeous views, beautiful terrain, and, of course, access to Ontario beaches.

Turkey Point Alternative

If your chances of staying at Turkey Point have taken flight, consider staying at Backus Heritage Conservation Area or Norfolk Conservation Area. Both of these lovely grounds offer the same beautiful terrain as Turkey Point.


Ontario Beaches are in Reach Even if You Dropped the Ball

Again, no judgement here. I’ve missed my fair share of planning deadlines and the like. Stuff happens, and that’s okay. The choices above will help you salvage summer if you missed your booking window. All of the alternatives above are beautiful, clean, and offer access to gorgeous Ontario beaches.


How would you and your family like to have a splashing good time at the beach?
Ontario’s Southwest features some of the best beaches in the world and now they want one family to get their beach on in the “Best Beach Adventure” contest.
You’ll be able to play all day and night on Lake Huron in this three-day getaway for four, filled with fun-in-the-sun, wakeboarding adventures, and delicious meals. It’s a prize valued at $2,000.
Seas the day and enter now. Contest ends September 1st!

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Annemarie LeBlanc

    Thanks for the list. We always make sure to enjoy a day or two at the beach during summer. We have to check out your suggestions. They look like great places to take the family to.

    • Paula

      Yes you should come to Ontario some day soon. I will drop everything and come meet you if you do. I’d love to see you again.

  • Aeryn Lynne

    Oh, love this list!! I’ve been wanting to hit a beach for ages, but don’t have the time to go anywhere far right now. Am sharing this with Jay and hopefully we’ll explore one or two of these real soon! ❤?❤

  • Babita

    We make sure to visit the beach every year too. This year however, it has been different. Every time we planned the weather did not permit.

  • Little Miss Kate

    I still haven’t booked a night away for camping and was getting worried that everything might be booked up completely. Thanks for sharing some alternatives to popular beaches and camp grounds. I am going to check them out and hope I can fit in a night of camping with the kids before the Fall

  • Jenna Em

    We love Ontario beaches, and go most weekends to one. The kids love playing the sand, and we all enjoy swimming together and then having a picnic.


    I would also suggest early in the season, late in the season, and mid-weeks for impulse vacations without booking so far in advance. Obviously with school age children, September can be hectic – but what a great time to enjoy an Ontario beach with the warm late summer days but without the crowds.