Set along Lake Huron, Saugeen Shores is a small-town retreat that attracts visitors of all ages and interests all four seasons. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, spend time at one of the 12 beaches or enjoy camping, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, cycling and birding.
After a day in the sun, explore some of the town’s communities where you’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Learn more about the area’s history at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre and the Pioneer Cemetery in Southampton. In Port Elgin, catch one of the three famous cycling trails, and don’t miss the award-winning annual Port Elgin Pumpkinfest.
Where is Saugeen Shores?
Set along Lake Huron and at the base of the Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores is about 225 km northwest of downtown Toronto and a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).
Things to Do in Saugeen Shores
Saugeen Shores’ main attraction is its sandy lakefront. You’ll find 12 beaches lining its shores. Some of the favourites include those in the Southampton community, such as the sandy Main Beach and Dune System. Near Port Elgin is the more secluded and quiet Eidt's Grove and Shipley Beach. Others include rockier varieties like Pioneer Park Beach, North Shore Park Beach (dog-friendly) and South Street Beach (a favourite spot to watch the sunset).
While spending time at the beach, you can enjoy several water sports. All the area’s designated beaches are great for swimming, and many offer opportunities to fish, canoe or kayak. Saugeen Shores’ central communities (Southampton and Port Elgin) offer marinas, boat rentals and fish-cleaning stations. Much of the lakefront is calm enough to boat, but you can also enjoy the Saugeen River Canoe Route. Many outfitters offer equipment rentals and shuttles for water sports and activities.
When you’re ready to explore Saugeen Shores beyond the lakeside, you can trek or cycle along some of the town’s famous trails. The paved Southampton Boardwalk is perfect for a light stroll while enjoying views of Lake Huron, Chantry Island and the Imperial Lighthouse. The 30-km Saugeen Rail Trail is another family-friendly route that stretches from Southampton to Port Elgin. It’s an excellent option for strolls, walking, running, cycling and even cross-country skiing when it snows.
At the southern end of the town is MacGregor Point Provincial Park. This popular lakeside green space has a main beach, several trails, campgrounds, a children’s playground and a pet area. It’s a prime spot for birdwatching, as are the shores and marshes of Miramichi Bay. Stroll along the North Shore Trail for the best views here. Other outdoor activities include visiting the area’s lighthouses or playing a round of golf.
Saugeen Shores is a nature lover’s paradise, but there are also other attractions to enjoy including cinemas, children’s play areas, the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, live music venues and seasonal events in the town’s neighbourhoods. In the fall, check out the award-winning Port Elgin Pumpkinfest. In the summer months, there’s a weekly car show and farmers’ markets.
Saugeen Shores Neighbourhoods & Districts
Saugeen Shores has two prominent neighbourhoods: Southampton to the north and Port Elgin along the central lakeside. Both sit near the shore of Lake Huron and offer countless activities. In the southeast corner of the town is the small district of Turners, which is home to a beautiful conservation area.
This is the central hub of Saugeen Shores and where you’ll find the famous Southampton Beach. You can choose between a few campgrounds and other accommodations like hotels and cabin rentals for overnight stays. The neighbourhood sits at the Saugeen River’s mouth, so several parks and the Southampton Range Lighthouse are easily accessible. Learn a bit about the area’s history by visiting the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre and the Pioneer Cemetery.
Along the central shoreline is Port Elgin, a slightly smaller community than Southampton. The beaches are a bit quieter, but the town still buzzes with activity, offering several restaurants, shops and accommodations. This Bruce Trail and the Saugeen Rail Trail intersect in Port Elgin, and you’ll find a few campgrounds and parks to enjoy. The most significant nearby greenspace is MacGregor Point, Provincial Park.
A much smaller and more rural neighbourhood is Turners, which sits near the Saugeen River. Here you’ll find Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area, a beautiful nature reserve that offers hiking, horseback riding, fishing, boating and camping.
Things to Know About Visiting Saugeen Shores
There is so much to offer in Saugeen Shores, start your visit with some local favourites and follow the inspiration from there:
Favourite local beach
With 12 beaches, opportunities to sunbathe, watch the sunset or simply stroll along the sand are limitless.