7 Best Halifax Beaches Near The City

Crystal Crescent Beach

With a prime location near the centre of Nova Scotia’s southern coast, Halifax is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in Canada. And while there are some small beaches near the city centre that offer a quick respite from the summer heat, more extravagant stretches of shoreline can be found just a short drive from the downtown area. From world-class surfing hot spots to quiet, family-friendly coastal getaways, these are the best Halifax beaches to visit during your summer holiday.

1. Rainbow Haven Beach

Distance from downtown Halifax: 30 minutes

While there are a handful of smaller beaches located a little closer to the city, Rainbow Haven Beach is the nearest destination for those looking for a proper family beach day. Protected within the Cole Harbour-Lawrencetown Provincial Park, this beautiful stretch of shoreline promises a blend of soft sands and rocks ideal for sprawling in the summer sun or taking a walk along the water. The beach is equipped with boardwalks, changing rooms, and showers. Lifeguards are on duty, offering supervised swimming between the months of July and August.

2. Crystal Crescent Beach

Distance from downtown Halifax: 40 minutes

Located just slightly further along the coast south of Halifax, Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park is easily one of the most beautiful stretches of Shoreline in Nova Scotia. Consisting of three distinct crescent-shaped beaches and 11 kilometres of hiking trails, this striking destination invites visitors to explore the coastal landscapes along a morning trek before unwinding along the soft sands and crystal clear waters of the beaches, which consist of boardwalks and vault-toilet facilities.

Lawrencetown Beach

3. Lawrencetown Beach

Distance from downtown Halifax: 45 minutes

Famous as the top surfing spot in Atlantic Canada, Lawrencetown Beach makes for an exciting beach day just a short drive from Halifax. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the southern shoreline of Lawrencetown Lake, this beautiful stretch of beach promises plenty of striking views along its coastal road. While strong rip tides and currents may not be the best suited for a family outing, Lawrencetown Beach is a great spot for catching a wave, with several board rentals and surf schools found near the park.

4. Queensland Beach

Distance from downtown Halifax: 45 minutes

With beautiful white sands meandering their way into the turquoise waters of St Margaret Bay, Queensland Beach is one of the most popular beaches near Halifax. The beach is home to some of the warmest waters in the province, making it the ideal destination for swimming, complete with on-duty lifeguards between July and August. Further amenities offered along the beach include bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers for the perfect family beach day. Just be ready to arrive early, as Queensland Beach’s popularity can often result in heavy crowding during the peak summer season.

5. Martinique Beach

Distance from downtown Halifax: 1 hour

Famed as the longest beach in Nova Scotia, Martinique Beach is a narrow stretch of shoreline that connects Bayers Island to the mainland while being surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The 5-km crescent-shaped beach offers plenty of space to claim your own stretch of sanded shores while enjoying a variety of traditional beach-going activities. On-duty lifeguards between July and August make Martinique Beach a great spot for swimming or surfing, with surfing schools and rental companies operating from the park’s entrances.

Clam Harbour Beach

6. Clam Harbour Beach

Distance from downtown Halifax: 1 hour

Famous for its annual Clam Harbour Beach Sandcastle Competition, Clam Harbour Beach is a beautiful, family-friendly destination found about an hour’s drive east of Halifax. The beach promises wide open spaces with a picnic area, boardwalks, and hiking trails that lead to spacious beach areas. Meanwhile, the natural harbour results in warmer and calmer waters than the Atlantic Ocean, promising safe swimming conditions for the whole family.

7. Psyche Cove Beach

Distance from downtown Halifax: 1 hour 30 minutes

Tucked away in Taylor Head Provincial Park, Psyche Cove Beach is a bit further from downtown Halifax but rewards one of the best beach-going experiences in Nova Scotia. The beach boasts 16 km of undeveloped coastline consisting of a sweeping white sand peninsula and 14.2 km of hiking trails. When visiting in the summer months, the beach truly feels like you have escaped to a tropical island. Start your day off with a relaxing trek along one of the park’s numerous routes before finding your own secluded stretch of shoreline to sprawl out in while soaking along the beach’s white sands or dipping into the turquoise waters of the cove.

From beautiful beaches to historical landmarks and an iconic waterfront boardwalk, there is so much to explore when visiting Halifax. The trick to planning the perfect visit to the Nova Scotian capital is to book the right accommodation. At Cameo Suites, guests enjoy a budget-friendly base in the downtown area that is perfect for experiencing it all.

Be sure to reserve your room now.