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Outdoor Adventure June 16, 2020

10 Halifax Beaches You NEED to Visit

One of the best parts of Halifax’s location on the Atlantic coast is the stunning beaches in the surround area. From warm waters and white sand, to big waves and killer surf, we’re sharing some of the best beaches in the Halifax Region!

TIP: Want to experience the beach without the crowds? Take a trip to the beach during the week, or better yet, plan an evening trip and enjoy the crashing waves while you watch the sunset!

1 – McNabs Island Provincial Park

Not many people are aware that McNabs Island has a beautiful beach. Located just a couple km’s from downtown Halifax, McNab’s is usually an afterthought because you need a boat to get there. Being on McNabs is a unique experience in itself, with old forts that date back to the 1860’s. The best beach is located at McNabs Cove, where you can sit and watch the boats come in and out of the Halifax Harbour.

Getting there: You can get there by boat/kayak or you can charter a boat from downtown Halifax or Eastern Passage. Learn more about getting to McNabs Island.

See map

2 – Chocolate Lake Beach

Location: West End Halifax

We’re heading inland for this one. Located just 5 minutes from Downtown Halifax, Chocolate Lake is the perfect spot on a nice warm summers day for a quick getaway, as well as a great spot for families.

NOTE: Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months from 11am-5pm. 

See map

3 – Conrads Beach

Location: Eastern Shore Region

Just a 25 minute drive from downtown Halifax, Conrads Beach is a great spot to take off your shoes and walk in the sand. Located just a few minutes before Lawrencetown Beach, Conrads is one of the nicest sand beaches around. You can also take a stroll around the corner towards Stoney Beach (to your left, if you’re looking at the ocean) and explore one of the best spots on the east coast for kite/wind surfing and standup paddle boarding.

Getting there: The only downside is the parking lot can only fit about 6 cars, so you may have to park and walk a little bit. 

See map

4 – Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park

Location: Eastern Shore

Home of an annual Sandcastle Competition, Clam Harbour features a long white sand beach with a unique shallow tide stream that often means warmer water for swimmers.

A true gem, located just 1 hour from downtown Halifax. 

See map

5 – Bayswater Beach, South Shore

Located just outside Halifax city limits on the scenic Route 329 drive, Bayswater is yet another picturesque white sand beach. Sitting on the beach, you can even look across St. Margaret’s Bay and see the world famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in the distance.

This gem is located about 1 hour from downtown Halifax, but the drive is well worth it. Give yourself some extra time and enjoy the coastal views and unique shops along the way.

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6 – Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park

Location: Peggy’s Cove Coastal Region

Not only is Crystal Crescent a beautiful white sand beach (actually three beaches), it also features a great hiking trail along a diverse coastline. The trail takes you on a 13km loop mostly along the ocean, through some wooded areas and massive ocean rocks (similar to Peggy’s Cove).

Located just 35 minutes from downtown Halifax, this is a must-see area. As you are lying on the beach and soaking up the sun, you can see the Sambro Island Lighthouse, which is the oldest surviving lighthouse in North America (1759).

See map

7 – Rainbow Haven Beach Provincial Park

Location: Eastern Shore

This is definitely one of the most popular “beach bum” spots on a hot summer day, and for good reason! Rainbow Haven simply can’t be left off this list.

Located 30 minutes from downtown Halifax, Rainbow Haven is tucked away in a cove which can often mean less wind, and thus more heat from the sun. On a hot summer weekend, make sure to get there early!

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8 – Martinique Beach Provincial Park

Location: Eastern Shore

As the longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia, Martinique Beach stretches over 5km long and is a popular surfing spot (rentals available).

In addition to the amazing sandy beach, there are plenty of boardwalks and wooded areas to explore. Martinique is also a protected area for the piping plover, as well as a wildlife refuge for migratory waterfowl.

It is about a 1 hour drive from downtown Halifax and definitely one of my favourites.

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9 – Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park

Location: Eastern Shore

Lawrencetown is probably one of the most well known beaches in Nova Scotia, primarily gaining popularity for its world-class surfing conditions.

Lawrencetown is also the quintessential Nova Scotia beach, featuring sand, rocks, cliffs, beach grass, big surf and surrounded by wildlife. Whether you come here to surf, swim, soak up the sun, walk the dog, or just sit and breathe in the ocean air, Lawrencetown is a must-visit destination.

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10 – Sable Island National Park Reserve of Canada

Did you know that Sable Island is part of the Halifax Region? Located approximately 300km from downtown Halifax in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Sable Island is 42km in length and only 1.5km at its widest.

The island is literally a sandbar (the second largest in the world) and is well known for causing over 350 recorded shipwrecks. It is also one of the most beautiful and natural places I have ever seen. It is home to over 500 wild horses, numerous tropical birds and butterflies, sharks, whales and is one of the worlds largest breeding grounds for grey seals.

See 3 Ways to Get to Sable Island from Halifax and 11 Facts About Sable Island That May Surprise You for more information!

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Stay in touch! Whether you’re still planning your trip or you’re already here, check us out on social media for travel ideas, adventure inspiration, and an inside look at all things Halifax.

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Rediscover Halifax

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Tag @DiscoverHalifax on Instagram and Facebook, and @hfxnovascotia on Twitter, or simply use #DiscoverHalifax to share your Halifax adventures with us!