Whether we are traveling internationally or domestically we love to explore new places. We hardly ever go back to the same destination as there is just so many new places to see and experience. However, there are a handful of places that just keep drawing us back in. For instance, we love every visit to New York and the America Southwest. Domestically, we visit Niagara Falls at least once a year. But our go-to summer family destination is always exploring what to do in Sauble Beach Ontario, Canada.
Where is Sauble Beach?
Most people in Ontario look to Wasaga Beach as their go-to getaway. But just an hour north, on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County, the crowds and noise disappear and all that is left is beautiful sand and relaxing waves. Sauble Beach is the second longest freshwater beach in the world at just over 11 km long. The title for 1st is held by Wasaga Beach. It is also known as Retro beach as it has been retrofitted to match the decor it once had during the 1950’s.
Sauble Beach is a public beach made up of a combination of native land (Saugeen First Nations), private land, and municipal land. This means although it is free to use the beach, you must pay for parking during summer season (June – August). The beach is a 230 km drive from Toronto. During off-peak times, we can get from the city to the beach in about 3 hours. However, during the busy summer weekends, the highways heading north can be very busy so you will need to plan accordingly.
What to do in Sauble Beach Ontario
What we love most about Sauble beach is that even though the secret is out and a lot of people know about this awesome beach, the large size means it is still possible to find your own spot to relax. As you enter via the sign off of Main St., you can turn left to enjoy the beach on the land of the Saugeen First Nations or turn right for the municipal portion. Whichever we choose, the boys spend hours building sand castles using the golden powder. And everybody enjoys swimming in the crystal clear blue waters. The shallow shores of Lake Huron mean that the children can walk and splash around quite far into the waters, about 12 m actually before it gets very deep. And for the first time last year, D even tried to go out on his boogie board.
From the beach, we always make the walk into the town. During the off-season, the town has a population of around 2000 locals. But come summer, the numbers easily reach 60,000 people, especially on long weekends. If you are looking for what to do in Sauble Beach Ontario, heading into town is the perfect place to start.
Sauble beach town retains the vibe of small-town Ontario, Canada. For those that want to go shopping, there are loads of fun shops and arcades to pick up typical beach fare, cottage items, and other trinkets at reasonable prices. There are fantastic antique and vintage clothing stores, and you can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, boogie boards and other gear not far from the beach. Oh, and of course, there is also ice cream!
Where to Eat
There are several options for beach fare at Sauble Beach. But you won’t find any fine dining options here, which is just fine by us! Our all-time favorite spot to eat in Sauble Beach is Casero Taco Bar. The flavorful Mexican fare is served from a double-decker van turned kitchen on wheels. The food is fresh and the homemade guacamole is definitely worth leaving the beach for. There is limited seating with a few picnic tables on the property.
Where to Stay
There are several accommodation choices at Sauble Beach depending on your budget. In town, there are inns, motels, and cottages for rent. There are also several cottages on the beach that are for rent. This is normally what we do as it means the beach is only a few minutes away and we don’t have to worry about parking. Unfortunately, overnight camping is not allowed at Sauble Beach, but it is allowed at nearby Sauble Falls Provincial Park.
Sauble Falls Provincial Park
Just outside of the town of Sauble Beach is Sauble Falls, Provincial Park. When looking for what to do in Sauble Beach Ontario, this spot should definitely be on your radar. The park is one of the best day trips in Bruce-Grey county if you can manage to tear yourself away from the beach for a few hours. The falls used to power a timber mill and generating station. Today, Sauble Falls makes for a fantastic place to splash in the shallow waters and sit under the series of small falls that cascade among the surrounding young forest.
Also, Sauble Falls has great picnicking areas, a short 2.5km hiking trail and in the spring and fall, feature Chinook and Salmon runs. Fishing is not allowed at the Falls itself. But, a spot adjacent to the park allows for angling during the fishing season. Additionally, the shores of the river make for the boy’s favorite spots to meet the local wildlife.
Although we have not yet done it, another way to experience Sauble Falls Provincial Park is by canoe with rentals on site. We have canoed at several other Ontario Provincial Parks, including Bon Echo and Killarney. Canoeing with kids is an amazing way to explore Ontario parks. So, we are definitely going to tick canoeing of our what to do in Sauble Beach Ontario list this year!
Having experienced over 20 countries across 4 continents Christina is well versed at travel planning and thrives on sharing that information with others with the hopes of encouraging more families to experience this incredible world that we live in.