5 must-visit Kingston beaches

By Visit Kingston

It’s time to hit the beach! Whether you enjoy playing in the sand, jumping in the lake, or basking in the glorious rays of the sun, you’re sure to enjoy any (or all) of these five Kingston waterfront beaches.

1. Breakwater Park & Gord Downie Pier

200 King St W

Nestled along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, just west of downtown Kingston, you’ll find Breakwater Park. The park’s main highlight is the Gord Edgar Downie Pier, named in honour of the late Canadian musician and lead singer of the Tragically Hip, Gord Downie. The pier is a convenient entry point for swimmers to enjoy the water. It boasts an upland sand beach, ideal for building sandcastles or playing beach games, and an accessible cobble beach area to ensure everyone can enjoy the waterfront.

The park’s lakeside location makes it a popular destination for water activities, including kiteboarding and windsurfing. After enjoying a swim in Lake Ontario, you can take a stroll down the Waterfront Pathway, which runs through the park. If you are curious to see how busy the pier is, you can view the live webcam to see activity at the pier. For your convenience, washrooms and changing areas are open from 8 am to dusk daily.

2. Richardson Beach

Macdonald Memorial Park, 9 King St E

Richardson Beach offers a welcoming cobblestone shoreline, making it a favoured destination for swimming. This beach has convenient access points to the water, comfortable wooden seating along the beachfront, and a picturesque lookout over Lake Ontario. Whether you bring your own kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, or opt to rent from the nearby Ahoy Rentals and paddle your way to the beach, the area is an ideal place to relax while exploring the lake.

Ascending from the beach, you will find the historic Richardson Bathhouse, which is open from 9 am to 9 pm daily and is home to accessible washrooms and changing rooms for public use. For your convenience, Richardson Beach also offers a live webcam, allowing you to check how busy the beach is before you visit.

Grass Creek Park

3. Grass Creek Park

2993 Highway 2 E

Grass Creek Park, a 95-acre rural park about 20 minutes east of Kingston, is an ideal beach destination. Located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, the park boasts a spacious sandy beach with designated swimming areas. Notably, the park welcomes our four-legged furry companions as the area includes Kingston Dog Park, an off-leash haven for dogs to enjoy the outdoors.

The park also has a picnic area, boat launch, and playground perfect for family gatherings and children’s playdates. The park’s entrance is home to the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum, where you can enjoy woodworking workshops and learn more about the history of woodworking in Canada. The park operates daily from 9 am to 9 pm, with washrooms available until dusk.

4. Lake Ontario Park

920 King St W

Escape the heat of summer by venturing to Lake Ontario Park, Kingston’s largest urban waterfront park. With its natural attractions including a cobble beach, this park is a must-visit on scorching days. Accessing the beach is a breeze thanks to the park’s network of accessible trails that span the shoreline. After taking a refreshing dip in the lake, you can explore the park further by bike or on foot. For fishing enthusiasts, the park’s lookouts present numerous spots to cast your line and reel in one of the many fish species found in Lake Ontario.

Beyond the beach, the park has various outdoor activity areas to keep you entertained. Jump onto the splash pad, let your children enjoy the playground, launch your boat, have a delightful picnic, or engage in a friendly game of beach volleyball. For your comfort, washrooms are open daily from 8 am to dusk.

5. Crerar Park & Reddendale Beach

39 Park Cres

Discover a hidden beach in Kingston at Crerar Park. This park is situated along the shore in the city’s west end and is home to Reddendale Beach. The scenic sand and rock beach has a gradual sandbar leading into Lake Ontario. Facing southwest, the beach provides a tranquil ambiance accompanied by gentle breezes and waves that encourage you to unwind. It is an ideal site to launch your canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. Park amenities such as a play structure, swings, and picnic tables make it a perfect place for a picnic or get-together.

Bonus beach!

Big Sandy Bay Beach

Big Sandy Bay Trail, Wolfe Island

Embark on a short ferry trip from Kingston to Wolfe Island, where you’ll discover what some consider the most beautiful beach along Lake Ontario: Big Sandy Bay Beach. Whether you choose to bike or drive, board the ferry (295 Ontario Street) that crosses the river to Wolfe Island. If you need a bicycle for this adventure, visit Ahoy Rentals or Frontenac Cycle for bike rentals.

Once you arrive on Wolfe Island, a scenic 10 km journey to Big Sandy Bay Management Area awaits you. From there, a pleasant 1.3 km stroll guides you to the beach. The effort is worthwhile, as this tranquil shoreline provides an ideal escape to unwind and enjoy the pristine views. To access the area, you must obtain day or seasonal passes, available for purchase with cash. Wagon and wheelchair rentals are available on request.

Please consult the KFL&A Public Health website for the safety status and water quality of beaches.

Looking for more outdoor spaces and adventures in Kingston? Read 7 ways to explore the 1000 Islands from Kingston.