© Société du parc Jean-Drapeau
A golden sandy beach located just minutes away from downtown? Yes! The beach at Parc Jean-Drapeau is the perfect playground to build a sand castle, splish-splash around in some water, and then roast in the sun for a couple of hours. Cool off and have fun on the Parc Aquazilla obstacle course, with its 30 x 35-metre inflatable structure complete with slides and platforms for jumping into the water (starting June 23). You can also rent canoes, kayaks and pedal boats. Did we mention there’s free Wi-Fi throughout the beach?
© Yves Kéroack - Ville de Montréal
Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques
For the adventurous urbanites that feel like making a trek to Montréal’s largest park with a nice sandy beach, make your way to Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques. It’s a popular spot, so don’t expect to be alone – but it’s a blast. Bring the whole family to this beach less than an hour away from Montréal, where you can rent kayaks, pedal boats and canoes – you can even do archery, experience a forest survival workshop, and try your hand at an obstacle course.
Pointe-Calumet Beach has family-fun written all over it, with two trampolines on the lake, inflatable bouncy games for kids, and activities like face painting and treasure hunts most weekends of the summer. Sports lovers can go mellow with pedal boat rides or more serious with kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing or beach volleyball.
© Old Port of Montréal
Clock Tower Beach at the Old Port of Montréal
Okay, so maybe you can’t swim at Clock Tower Beach, but it’s a gorgeous urban beach. Right smack bang in the Old Port of Montréal, this is the city’s quintessential urban beach, complete with soft sand, great beach fare courtesy of the nearby food trucks and a scene that makes people watching so, so fun. There are chairs and parasols that nicely make up for the fact that swimming isn’t allowed. Relax in the sun, have a few drinks, and Instagram some #MTLmoments until the sun goes down.
© Eva Blue
Just behind the Verdun Auditorium and Parc Arthur-Therrien, you’ll find the beautiful Verdun Beach, an urban project that gives locals and visitors a lovely place to hang, chill and bake on either sand or grassy knolls. Swim in a beautiful stretch of the St. Lawrence River, laze in a hammock or get sporty on the slides or climbing wall.
La plage de l’Est
This Pointe-aux-Trembles beach sits at the junction of Rivière des Prairies. Located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, the Plage de l'Est is the perfect place for canoeing, kayaking or just chilling next to the water with a snack and a good book.
Plage de Saint-Zotique
It may be a 45-minute drive away, but Plage de Saint-Zotique is worth it for the great swimming. It’s also a hot spot for water sports rentals, from kayaks to canoes to pedal boats, not to mention the water games, ice cream shop, bike paths, soccer fields and tennis courts. In other words, all-day fun!
RécréoParc, on the South shore of Montréal, is heaven for fun in the sun with beautiful clear water (its quality was recognized by the Ministry of Environment) and a bunch of volleyball courts and play areas. All this, and it’s only 20 minutes from downtown Montréal.
Parc-nature du Bois-de-l’île-Bizard
Away from the noisy radios and the smell of coconut oil, you’ll find this natural haven. After a cooling plunge into the beautiful lake, chill a while on the smooth, sandy Parc-nature du Bois-de-l’île-Bizard beach before exploring the nature park’s trails, either by foot or by bike. There are many different types of wildlife (including beavers) to watch. Just remember the old saying: “take only pictures, leave only footprints!”
Parc national d’Oka
Just over an hour away from downtown Montréal, Parc national d’Oka has a beloved beach where you can rent kayaks, SUPs and even family-sized canoes. You can also rent bikes and explore the extensive bicycle path, 10 km of which is paved.
Beach of the Regional Park of the Saint-Timothée Islands
The golden sand of the Beach of the Regional Park of the Saint-Timothée Islands is a great spot to park your party and relax a while, but there are also fun picnic areas for more elaborate get-togethers. You can also rent kayaks and pedal boats, plus there are play structures for the kids and a full-service chalet with snack bar and restrooms.
© Haba Waba
Aquatic Complex at Parc Jean-Drapeau
If a sandy beach isn’t your cup of iced tea (it really does get everywhere), then check out the legendary pool at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The massive aquatic complex includes a pool with a gradual slope for children, a competition-sized pool and a diving tank. During the summer there are trampolines and water games on the water – sometimes there are even on-site shows!
This public pool is amid the urban oasis of Parc Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier, in the heart of the Plateau-Mont-Royal. There’s everything for family and friends to have fun in this park: a soccer field, a baseball field, picnic tables, trees, grass, and other general park things.
Plage de la Sablière
In sunny Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, this beach is a great family-friendly option with a smooth, easy descent into the water, perfect for toddlers learning to wade. Plage de la Sablière has a picnic area and beach volleyball.
Want a guaranteed beach party? Beach Club in Pointe-Calumet is the epitome of summer, with a capacity of 10,000 bathing-suit clad spectators for its open-air live music. Watch for your favourite acts and join in the fun – they’ve hosted biggies including Dada Life and Tiesto – and take a load off on the deck chairs or in the pool, drink in hand.
Village des Écluses
Uniting culture, nature and outdoor time, Village des Écluses was a retreat created for Expo 67 on Lac-Saint-Louis that today comprises a beach, an open-air theatre and an outdoor bar. Time your visit with a show, or just go for a stroll along the lighthouse path and a refreshing drink after.
This Venise-en-Québec getaway is a popular camping ground on the shores of Lake Champlain, but you needn’t stay overnight to enjoy it – you can relax and enjoy yourself on the clean sandy beach, where you can enjoy water sports ranging from fishing to pedal boating and kayaking. Camping-Plage Kirkland has a cantina, a volleyball court and hammocks onsite too.
Rawdon Municipal Beach
Rawdon Municipal Beach is a small but outstanding natural attraction near Montréal. This golden sandy beach on the shores of Lac Rawdon has a natural slope leading to a designated swimming area, overseen by a lifeguard. Feel free to bring your fishing rod!
For a full list of all the city-run pools, check out the Ville de Montréal website. And for a complete guide to hotel pools, head here!