So you’re thinking about Sandbanks Provincial Park?! We have lived in Ontario our entire lives and only stumbled across Sandbanks within the last few years. We had always heard our friends raving about the park but couldn’t really imagine a sandy ocean-like beach in the middle of Canada. However, once we moved closer we decided to pay a visit and were completely blown away. If you are um-ming and ah-hing, Sandbanks is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a visit this summer for a day trip, weekend, or week long adventure!
Where to Stay?
This may seems kind of obvious, but I like staying in Sandbanks Provincial Park. Reservations open several months prior to the summer and usually sell out immediately. It is a really popular place! We tried to book another weekend this summer the day after reservations opened and unfortunately did not get a spot. They also leave a handful of “first come first serve” sites for day-of visitors who are looking to get a camping site (we might try this!). I would recommend booking your recommendations early in the season and/or calling ahead to see if any campsites are left for walk-in visitors. You can also visit for a day trip but I would recommend getting there a bit early so you don’t have to wait in the (sometimes large) car line through the front gate. Now lets jump into some fun activities for your weekend:
1. Watch the Sunset
Everyone needs to head down to the beach to check out the sunsets at Sandbanks. The sun sets right along the water and the sky consistently turns into beautiful pastel colours. We made a point of walking/driving down each night after dinner to see the different sunsets with our friends. My favourite part is watching the sky and lake blend together as the sky changes colour!
2. Take a Hike
We weren’t really expecting Sandbanks to have any significant hikes since Eastern Ontario is pretty flat. But we tried out the Sandbanks Dune Trail and we pleasantly surprise. We ended going mid-day and it was a pretty hot, moderate level hike – I would recommend early in the morning or late afternoon if you want to avoid the heat. I raced Ryan to the top of the biggest sand dune (I lost – shocker!) and we found the prettiest aerial view of the lake at the top. The guys also had a fun race down the hill, which I avoided since it would have probably ended in me rolling down the hill.
REMEMBER – bring some drinks on your hike! It is hot and dry and there is nowhere to get a drink.
3. Hang out at the Beach
This is definitely the best part about Sandbanks! There are so many beautiful white sand beaches for you to enjoy! We spent each afternoon on the beach playing sports, swimming, reading, and goofing off. The water is really shallow for a loongg way out so you can bring your kids or dogs in the water comfortably. It also means that the water heats up really quickly and is a nice temperature for swimming even if Lake Ontario is a bit cooler.
4. Relax and Explore!
We decided to spend most of our weekend at the beach and exploring around Sandbanks! However, you can also check out the surrounding Prince Edward County for wine tours, delicious ice cream, drive-in movies and many other fun activities if you are looking to leave the park for an adventure. We had such a relaxing and we can’t wait to go back soon!
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