8 Sandy Beaches & Blue Lakes To Visit Without Leaving Ottawa

With summertime just around the corner, Ottawa has plenty of beautiful beaches and bodies of water right in our own backyard. Go soak up the sun whether it’s by relaxing by the water, enjoying a picnic, or getting active playing outdoor activities. Check out these 8 great spots to catch some sunshine and kick back in Ottawa. Unfortunately, no swimming is currently allowed but the beaches and parks remain otherwise open - enjoy while maintaining physical distance!

1. Petrie Island Beach 

Location: 795 Trim Rd, Orléans 

Located east of the city in Orleans, Petrie Island has got an extensive beach as well as plenty of park space and picnic areas. You can take in a beautiful view of the Ottawa River while relaxing on the sand. Petrie Island is considered as significant wetlands so keep your eyes open for some unique species of wildlife.

2. Mooney’s Bay Beach

Location: 2960 Riverside Dr, Ottawa

A city favourite, Mooney’s Bay Beach is at the heart of Ottawa right next to Hog’s Back Park. It makes for a great place to catch the sunset along the Rideau River and is always a crowd pleaser.

3. Westboro Beach

Location: 745 Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, Ottawa

Right in the city, Westboro Beach is a small beach tucked just off the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. It’s at the Kitchissippi Lookout on NCC property and evidently lets you soak in some great views of the Ottawa River! Less than a 15-minute walk to the stores on Richmond Road, you can finish your day exploring the quaint Westboro neighbourhood.

4. Britannia Beach

 Location: 2805 Carling Ave, Ottawa

 Britannia Beach is nestled in Ottawa’s west end on the Ottawa River. The beach and swimming area are closed for the season due to construction, but the Britannia pier and picnic areas remain open and are excellent spots to spend some leisure time.

5. Shirley’s Bay Beach

Location: Shirley Blvd, Ottawa 

Less than half an hour west from downtown Ottawa, Shirley’s Bay is a rocky beach that offers 7km of hiking trails and two pathways all within the conservation area. It’s another significant wetland and marshland in the Greenbelt, making it a prime location for hiking, boating, cycling, picnicking and bird watching.  

6. Andrew Haydon Park

Location: 3169 Carling Ave, Nepean 

Farther out in Ottawa’s west end in Nepean, Andrew Haydon Park is waterfront on the Ottawa River and has a multitude of recreational spaces from park lawns, a picnic pavilion and a manmade waterfall. The marshy edges along the river attract many wildlife species and the park is great for bird sighting.

7. Dow’s Lake 

Location: 1001 Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa

Another city classic, Dow’s Lake is a manmade lake on the Rideau Canal. Rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, pedal boat or canoe and paddle your way down the canal while enjoying all the beautiful sights Ottawa has to offer!

8. McKay Lake

Location: Pond St, Rockcliffe Park 

In the Rockcliffe Park neighbourhood, the McKay Lake and pond have plenty of wildlife for being located in the city centre. It’s a perfect place to relax or hike along the surrounding path passing through the Caldwell-Carter Conservation Area.



Photo credits to Ticket Gateway, Attractions Ontario, NCC, Wikipedia, marinas.com, Naturally Ottawa

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