A visit to one if not all of the best beaches the Niagara region has to offer is needed when temperatures become hot and sticky.
Whether you’re planning weekend getaways, a camping trip or just looking for ways to cool off or with friends, these beaches in the Niagara region are a quick subway, ferry, or bus trip away.
If you have a car and want to venture further out, check out our guide to the best beaches Ontario has to offer.
Beaches in Niagara Region Water Quality
Niagara Region's Public Health Department is responsible for water sampling at Lakeside Park Beach and Sunset Beach, between the Victoria Day weekend in May until the Labour Day weekend in September, to determine if they are safe for swimming.
Check the beach water sampling results online before swimming and learn more about potential unsafe conditions, bacteria counts and E. coli levels.
Beaches in St Catharines
1. Fort Niagara State Park Beach
A beautiful location next to the fort. Gorgeous beach on Lake Ontario with amazing views of Toronto's skyline.
The park offers a picnic area, playground, pool, and sports grounds. Very family and dog friendly.
2. Sunset Beach (St. Catharines)
Located at 1 Lombardy Ave., Sunset Beach sits along the shores of Lake Ontario with 365 meters (or 1,200 feet) of sandy beach to enjoy.
A lovely beach, often not busy, with a long beachfront to explore. If you're fond of picking up rocks or sea glass, you'll find lots along the shore.
- On-site paid parking (free for St. Catharines residents with a Resident Beach Parking Pass) with a capacity of 150 vehicles
- Three off-site, free long-term parking areas
- Public washrooms
- Picnic area
- Public boat launch ramp, used for small and personal watercraft during the daylight hours of boating season
- Ten boat launch paid-parking spaces
3. Lakeside Park Beach (St. Catharines)
Located at 1 Lakeport Rd on the south shore of Lake Ontario, the picturesque Lakeside Park Beach offers stunning views of the Port Dalhousie harbour, lighthouse, and north shore of Lake Ontario.
A great little clean sandy, gradual, beach. The place is in very good condition. Parking is very close to the beach.
- On-site paid parking (free for St. Catharines residents with a Resident Beach Parking Pass) with a capacity of 80 vehicles and five accessible spaces
- Two off-site, free long-term parking areas
- Public washrooms
- Picnic area
- Snack bar
- Volleyball courts
- Great Lakes Waterfront Trail
4. Charles Daley Park (Lincoln)
Beautiful park to spend the summer days! Great beach to hang out with the whole family. The playground area is great for small kids.
The beach has a beautiful view of the Toronto skyline and sunsets.
Parking in St Catherine’s Beaches
During the months of May through September, parking at Lakeside Park and Sunset Beach requires a fee. However, there are options for free parking in the nearby area.
During the months of May through September, paid visitor parking is available at Lakeside Park Beach and Sunset Beach from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The cost is $3 per hour, with a maximum stay of three hours. The revenue from paid parking helps to maintain and operate the beaches, with the cost being covered by beach users.
St. Catharines residents who have obtained a Resident Beach Parking Permit can park for an unlimited time without incurring an hourly fee.
St. Catharines residents can apply online for a Resident Beach Parking Permit, which allows for unlimited parking at Lakeside Park Beach and Sunset Beach from May through September, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Each household is eligible for two permits, but only one permit can be used at a time at either of the designated beach parking lots.
The permits are only valid for St. Catharines residents (proof of residency is required). The cost of the permit covers the administrative fees for the program.
Rules at St Catherines Beaches
To ensure a pleasant and safe experience for all beachgoers, we ask that you follow these rules:
- Respect staff and other beachgoers.
- Dispose of any trash responsibly.
- Barbecuing is only allowed at designated areas with permanent structures.
- Smoking and vaping are not allowed on the beach.
- Alcohol is not permitted on the beach.
- Follow wildlife signage and do not feed the geese, seagulls, or ducks.
- You may be subject to a search upon entry.
- Public performances require approval from the City before being held at beaches or parks.
Best Beaches in Niagara FAQs
Lake Erie is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes, making it the warmest. Crystal Beach by far the town of Fort Erie's biggest draw. Go for a swim, lounge on the white sand, sail around the bay, go fishing, try out the water-sports galore, or explore the quaint town of Fort Erie.
lakes are confined to smaller fetches which limit wave size, but the Great Lakes are large enough to produce frequent swells up to several meters.
While ocean waves are created by distant storm systems, waves on the Great Lakes are formed by localized winds.
Generally, the water is clean and safe for swimming. However, to ensure public safety, the water is tested for contamination by bacteria. If problems are found, signs advising the public are posted at affected beaches.