Three of the Best Beaches in Cape Breton

Ingonish beach

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There’s a magical quality to the beaches of Cape Breton that can only be experienced firsthand. The soft, powdery sand under your feet, the cool breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean, and the mesmerizing sound of waves crashing against the shoreline all come together to create a sense of peace and serenity that is truly remarkable. Whether you’re lounging on the beach with a good book, taking a stroll along the water’s edge, or simply basking in the beauty of your surroundings, there’s something undeniably special about the beaches in Cape Breton.

The best beaches in Cape Breton provide endless opportunities for seaside (or lakeside…or even riverside!) adventures, whether you’re visiting Cape Breton for the first time, or the beach is right in your backyard.

How did we pick the best beaches in Cape Breton?

Choosing just three beaches to highlight on Cape Breton Island was no easy task! With over 80 beaches to choose from, each offering something unique, it was a challenge to narrow it down. Whether you prefer freshwater or saltwater, white sand or pebble beaches, there is something for everyone on this beautiful island. We hope that by sharing three of the best beaches in Cape Breton, you will be inspired to explore the diverse coastal landscapes and plan your visit soon!

So, grab your sunhat and water wings, here we go!

Ingonish Beach and Freshwater Lake

ingonish beach

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Looking for the perfect beach getaway? Look no further than Ingonish Beach on Cape Breton Island! With its 2.5 kilometers of shoreline, it's no wonder this beach is a favorite among visitors. But there's more to do than just soak up the sun and splash in the waves.

One unique feature of Ingonish Beach is its proximity to Freshwater Lake. Just a few steps across the Barachois (coastal lagoon) will take you from saltwater to freshwater in no time. Accessible change houses, washrooms, and a hiking trail make this beach suitable for visitors of all abilities. And if you need a break from the sun, there's a playground, tennis courts, a soccer field, a picnic area, and a canteen concession to keep you entertained.

For those who require additional accessibility, you can go to Freshwater Lake or Broadcove beach. Simply contact Parks Canada to reserve the chair free of charge: at or by phoning 902-285-2535

And don't forget – dogs are not allowed in the supervised area of the beach.


whale watching

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If you're looking for more adventure, consider taking a zodiac boat tour with Keltic Express Zodiac Adventures. You'll have the opportunity to spot whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and more along the rugged shores of Ingonish. And for a bite to eat, check out Salty Roses and the Periwinkle Café for a delicious meal. Make sure to check their website for hours of operation. 

Cape Breton highlands

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Hiking enthusiasts will love the abundance of trails in the area, ranging from coastal walks to highland ascents. It’s not just about summer vibes, don't miss the Hike the Highlands Festival in the fall, where hikers of all levels come together to explore the natural beauty of Cape Breton Island.



(Picture: Cape Smokey)

And for an unforgettable bird's eye view of the area, take a ride on the Atlantic Gondola at Cape Smokey. From the summit of Cape Smokey Mountain, you'll enjoy panoramic views of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Atlantic Ocean, Keltic Lodge, and Ingonish. And don't worry – the gondola is wheelchair accessible for all to enjoy.

Whether you're a golfer, animal lover, or simply looking for a relaxing beach day, Ingonish Beach has something for everyone and has certainly earned its place as one of the best beaches in Cape Breton. 


Point Michoud

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Point Michoud Beach Provincial Park

If you're looking for sand and surfing, look no further than Point Michaud on Cape Breton's south-eastern shore. This 3.3 km (2 mi) sandy beach is backed by marram-covered dunes and large cranberry bogs. Offering supervised swimming (July – August/STC), this gem offers everything from hiking to surfboard rentals in the summer, making it the perfect destination for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike. 

The long sandy beach at Point Michaud rivals the beaches of the Caribbean, with crystal clear waters and soft golden sand. The beach is equipped with change houses, showers, and picnic tables, making it the perfect spot for a day of sunbathing and beach activities.

In addition to the beautiful beach, Point Michaud also offers stunning scenery, secluded coves, and opportunities for bird and seal watching. The sandy eastern beach is the ideal spot for surfing lessons, sandcastle building, swimming, and shell gathering. 

Overall, Point Michaud is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for the perfect beach getaway. Whether you want to relax on the sand, catch some waves, or explore the area's history and culture, Point Michaud has something for everyone. Plan your visit today and experience the beauty and adventure that this stunning beach has to offer. Be sure to visit before Labour Day.


Chimney Corner Beach

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Chimney Corner Beach

If you're looking for a hidden gem to spend a relaxing day at the beach, look no further than this stunning spot located just a few kilometers south of Margaree Harbor on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Chimney Corner Beach is tucked away in a cove with long, shallow water areas and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. A freshwater stream crosses the beach and empties into the ocean, providing a perfect spot for children to splash around in.

A favorite with locals, this beach is truly one of the best beaches in Cape Breton because of its privacy, size, and cleanliness. With rocky points to explore, driftwood to collect, and fossils to discover, there's plenty to keep you busy during your visit.

Surrounded by grassy dunes and dramatic cliffs, this beach offers a perfect combination of natural beauty and tranquility. The soft sands and clear warm waters make it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing.

Chimney Corner Beach is a short drive from Inverness and Margaree, making it easy to combine a visit with other activities such as tubing down the Margaree River or grabbing a bite at the Dancing Goat Café and Bakery, described as the “The Vincent van Goat of Cafes, serving the best from scratch breakfast, lunch and baked goods”.


Margree river

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So, whether you're looking for a peaceful spot to relax by the water or a place to explore and have some fun, this hidden gem of a beach has something for everyone. Make sure to visit this natural paradise and create unforgettable memories!

Final Words

There is so much more to Cape Breton, but it’s arguably home to some of the best beaches in Canada, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. From the sandy shores of Ingonish Beach to the surfing paradise of Point Michaud and the hidden gem of Chimney Corner Beach, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're a sun seeker, an adventure enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful escape, Cape Breton's beaches have it all. 

Grab your sunscreen, pack a picnic, and make the most of the upcoming beach season on this beautiful island. See you at the beach!

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