One of Ontario’s favourite summer destinations, Sauble Beach has long been famed for its gorgeous sandy beach, warm shallow waters, epic sunset vistas and laid back vibes. Home to the second-longest freshwater beach in the world, clocking in at an impressive 11 km, Sauble Beach has been beloved by holidaymakers for generations.
Sauble Beach is located on the shores of Lake Huron in the South Bruce Peninsula. It’s best visited by car, with limited public transit out to the peninsula and none within the vicinity of the town itself.
Most popular in the warmer months, when the sunny weather, exciting water and land-based activities and sandcastle building contest brings people to its shores, Sauble Beach is also beautiful in the off-seasons.
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More about Sauble Beach
One of those places where you can almost feel like you’re in the Mediterranean—without the plane ticket—Sauble Beach has been a popular vacation destination since the early 20th century. Meaning “beach of sand”, during the summer months, the shores here are filled with holiday-makers coming to soak up the sun.
However, Sauble Beach’s location on the western edge of the South Bruce Peninsula means that it is not only a great destination in its own right, it’s also a good spot to explore the rest of the peninsula. So if the beach is a little busy, just hop in the car and head north to find a nice secluded spot.
Still, even on Sauble Beach’s busiest days, there’s always room for one more to join in the fun! If you want to get out on the water, there are all sorts of water activities available, including stand up paddleboarding, waterskiing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and kayaking. You can also join fishing trips or hop on a boat over to the nearby Fishing Islands in Oliphant.
Those who prefer keeping their feet firmly on dry land also have no end of options, including golf and mini-golf, lawn bowling, tennis, beach volleyball, yoga, hiking, family movie nights, camping or just honing their skills for the annual sandcastle building contest. Daredevils won’t want to miss the outdoor Ascent Aerial Park, the Sauble Speedway or a chance to explore over 160 km of trails on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Whichever way you choose to spend your days, make sure you don’t miss the sunset. The perfect time for a late afternoon stroll or a sundowner drink at one of the bars, Sauble Beach is one of the best places in Ontario to catch the sunset, with an uninterrupted view of it sinking below the horizon across Lake Huron.
There are also plenty of shops to stock up on much-needed essentials, restaurants and cafes to fuel up or grab a good feed, and cottages, holiday accommodation or campsites for those looking to extend their visit. Just be warned, they get booked up pretty quickly, especially for long weekends and during school vacations. The campsites have all the usual amenities, including laundry and showers, so you are all set for a weekend, a week or even longer.
Off-season, Sauble Beach is becoming an increasingly popular destination too, with snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and the annual Winterfest, which is held over two weekends every January. It’s also a beautiful spot to visit in fall and spring when the trees and flowers are at their finest and the weather is perfect for hiking.
A little further afield, Sauble Falls Provincial Park is well worth a visit. These impressive falls used to power a timber mill, but now they’re better known for hiking, fishing, biking, boating and kayaking. They make for a great swimming and picnicking day trip from Sauble Beach. There is also a great shady camping spot in the forest if you prefer being close to nature ... but still near enough to the beach to top up your tan. On the way, stop off to visit the Sauble Beach Sand Dunes.
In addition, the Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park are easily accessible on a day trip from Sauble Beach. Dominated by towering rugged cliffs and thousand-year-old forest, Bruce Peninsula National Park is a gorgeous natural getaway, whereas the waters of the Fathom Five National Marine Park are home to shipwrecks, heritage light stations, and crystal clear waters that are perfect for exploring.
There are plenty of other stops you can make along the way too, including Wiarton, Lion’s Head and Tobermory, which have lots of gorgeous galleries, shops, cafes and interesting spots to explore. You can also visit the caves at Greig’s Caves and the ruins at Spirit Rock Conservation Area. Intrepid adventurers might also want to try their hand at tackling the famous Bruce Trail, but you can also break it down into sections or just try out some of the side trail hikes, which are pretty impressive in their own right.
Other areas of interest close to Sauble Beach include Southampton, which is the closest ‘big’ settlement to Sauble Beach. Just 21 km away, this historic town—originally known as Saugeen—was an important trading spot for the Anishinaabe People for many years before the French explorers arrived in the region in the early 19th century.
Sauble Beach also has a long history. Home to the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation for thousands of years before the arrival of the first Europeans in 1877, there have been ongoing disputes about ownership of the land. Now, all the land south of the Sauble Beach sign to Southampton belongs to the Saugeen First Nation, with the beach here known as South Sauble Beach Park.