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Your guide to Grand Bend
All About Grand Bend
Perched on the shore of Lake Huron, around 2.5 hours southwest of Toronto, Grand Bend is home to the largest beach in the region and a laid-back coastal community. This is one of Canada’s premier beach communities with 25 miles of soft sand and one of only 27 within the country with Blue Flag status, satisfying exacting safety criteria and water quality standards. You can soak up the atmosphere of this waterfront hotspot with a host of activities ranging from low-key sunbathing and swimming to more adventurous pursuits, including parasailing and skydiving.
But there’s more to this scenic spot than the water. Lambton Shores is also visited by thousands of tundra swans in March and hundreds of species of other birdlife, from red-tailed hawks in winter to great blue herons in summer. Grand Bend draws visitors to its many festivals and beachfront concerts that run through much of the summer season — join in the fun and watch fireworks light up the night sky on July 1 for Canada Day. The town and surrounding area also offers art galleries, several golf courses for a relaxing afternoon away from the water, and the Shoreline Sipping Route for epicureans.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Grand Bend
Temperatures and weather conditions here vary drastically throughout the year. The summer months provide plenty of sunshine and warmth — optimal conditions for heading to a Grand Bend rental cottage and making the most of the beach. When visiting during this time, be sure to pack a swimsuit and cool clothing for riding the waves and taking in concerts on the beach. The spring and summer months are also the best times to explore Pinery Provincial Park’s biking trails to spot turtles and salamanders. During the winter, temperatures often drop well below freezing, and the area sees regular snowfall and occasional freezing rain. This makes snow boots, a warm, waterproof jacket, and gloves essential if visiting at this time of year and heading to one of the area’s ski hills or tubing runs.
Top things to do in Grand Bend
Angling opportunities abound in the lake’s open waters and the many rivers and creeks dotting the coastline. You can bring your own equipment or hire one of the outfitters in the area for a fully guided experience in search of king salmon and rainbow trout. Sailboat rentals are plentiful, and captains can be hired for the less experienced. Ski boats and pontoon boats are also readily available.
Over a dozen golf courses are within easy reach of Grand Bend along the Huron coastline corridor. You can rent a golf cart and hit the fairway or take it easy at one of the clubhouse spas. Several tournaments take place through the summer if you would rather take in the scenery than take to the course.
The Shoreline Sipping Route
Sitting on the same latitude as Tuscany, the wineries surrounding Grand Bend are well regarded for their cool-climate varieties, especially Chardonnay and Riesling. Icewine is a particular specialty in this region, with grapes left to freeze on the vine after temperatures start to drop after the fall to produce an intense dessert wine. Chauffeured routes and even helicopter tours are available to sample the goods from local vineyards, breweries, and cider makers.