Fun in the summer sun

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Spend a day getting away from it all at one of Manitoba’s beaches

Imagine: squeezing the fine sand between your toes as the sun warms your body and the gentle waves lap against the shore, building sandcastles and racing along the water’s edge with your children, fishing off of the pier early in the morning with a warm cup of coffee, or paddling along rocky shores hunting for wildlife with your camera. This is summer, Manitoba style.

With temperatures that can dip below -40C in the winter, it may be difficult for people to believe that Manitoba has some pretty amazing beaches. During the summer months the mercury rises as if in defiance, proving that while Manitobans may need to endure cold they will also be rewarded with the ultimate in beach weather during the summer months.

We are home to one of the best beaches in North America, Grand Beach, where sun seekers pack the large sandy shore by the thousands every year. But hidden along the shores of our many lakes lie numerous beautiful beaches offering grand vistas, cool waters and harbours for boating enthusiasts. Many of the areas surrounding our beaches are unspoiled, perfect for taking a break from the heat and exploring the natural flora and fauna. The Interlake, located between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, provides several options from quaint beach towns and provincial parks to hidden gems that offer more seclusion, all within a reasonable driving distance from the city. Now, to just find your perfect beach….

for Marinas and Boardwalks:

Enjoy long sandy beaches, local harbours to dock watercraft and boardwalks perfect for strolling and people watching. These quaint summer resort towns offer visitors unique shops, delicious local restaurant fare and camping or hotel amenities.

Winnipeg Beach on Lake Winnipeg Highway 8 or Highway 9. The rare 86-year-old water tower is a reminder of days gone by when this bustling town was built by CP rail employees. On Saturday evenings you can enjoy live concerts on the bandstand in the park.

Gimli Beach on Lake Winnipeg – Highway 8 to Gimli turn-off or Highway 9 turn east at Centre Street in Gimli. Don’t miss H.P. Tergesen’s & Sons Store, a fourth generation family-owned establishment. Gimli hosts some fun summer festivals: be sure to check out the Gimli Film Festival or the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba.

Hecla Beaches on Lake Winnipeg Highway 8 to Hecla Island; follow signs to Gull Harbour area for beaches From camping to luxury resorts, this series of islands between the east and west shores of Lake Winnipeg has something for everyone.

Dunnottar Beach and Pier on Lake Winnipeg Highway 9 to provincial road (PR) 225 east to the village. On these sandy shores you won’t find a harbour, but you will find a breath-taking sight. Each year fresh cut poplar trees are sharpened to a point and pounded into the sand, forming a unique pier. At the end of the year the trees are donated to a local artist. While you’re here visit the Whytewold Emporium – an eclectic restaurant featuring wood-fired pizza and Brittany-style crepes, an antique shop, greenhouse and gift shop.

For Family Fun & Camping:

These quieter locales offer shallow waters perfect for splashing around, playgrounds for the kids and camping services near the beach.

Spruce Sands on Lake WinnipegHighway 8 to Spruce Sands Road, 10 km north of Gimli; or Highway 9 turns into PR 222 at Gimli. Continue on to Spruce Sands Road. This trailer park offers public access to the beach, and the Beach Sands restaurant and store where you can stop and refuel.

Lundar Beach Provincial Park on Lake ManitobaHighway 6 north to Lundar, west on PR 419 at Lundar to the park. Walking trails and the surrounding marshlands are ideal for spotting wildlife. The nearby town of Lundar is perfect for shopping, dining and golfing.

For Stunning Beauty:

Steep Rock Beach on Lake ManitobaThree hour drive: Highway 6, turn west on PR 239.Explore the breath-taking limestone cliffs with their pebbled and rocky shores or take to the water for a different view. Paddle boats and kayaks are available to rent at Government Dock. The community owned park and campground, close to the town site of Steep Rock, offers sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring the cliffs. There is something for everyone here, a beachside summer restaurant, playground, marina for the boating crowd and amazing sunsets.

For Quiet Hideaways:

These pristine, near-natural spots highlight the unspoiled beauty of Manitoba beaches. What you lack in amenities will be made up for in raw beauty. The sandy beaches on these shores are perfect for small boats, canoes, wildlife viewing and lazy days fishing in the sun.

Sandy Bar Beach on Lake Winnipeg Highway 8 to Riverton, turn east at first exit to Riverton, continue east to the beach. While this beach offers no modern amenities, the beautiful white sand is a perfect setting for a picnic by the water.

Patricia Beach on Lake Winnipeg Highway 59 to PR 319 west. Nature lovers can revel in this tranquil refuge exploring the woodlands and nearby lagoons or marshes.

Laurentia Beach on Lake Manitoba Highway 6 to north end of St. Laurent. Follow signs turning west off highway to the beach.

Norris Lake Provincial Park – Highway 7 to Teulon, west on Highway 17 and proceed north following signs. This is a great getaway for quiet family camping, picnics or just cooling off while traveling through the heart of the Interlake.