Skip the salty sting and float free from riptides at a freshwater beach next time you need to cool off.
70 Penhorn Drive, Dartmouth
Head to the City of Lakes to find this small oasis that's great for swimming. Tired? Take a break on one of the many benches. The beach is supervised by a lifeguard and regularly tested for E. coli. Hop on the 62 Wildwood bus or the 10 Westphal to get there.
Kidston Lake Beach
End of Fieldstone Street, Spryfield
The sandy beach near the Kidston Island
Lighhouse has both a lifeguard and covered picnic tables. Take the 14 Leiblin Park bus to get there.
Papermill Lake Beach
46 Lake Drive, Bedford
This lake isn't sandy, but a grassy area with steps built-in down to the lake, making it perfect for swimmers. Clean and supervised, this spot is popular for families with kids. Catch the 91 West Bedford bus or the 8 Sackville to get there.
Kinsmen First Lake Beach
71 First Lake Drive, Lower Sackville
A very kid-friendly beach with a playground and a gazebo overlooking the lake. There's a splash pad onsite open 10am-7pm. Note HRM will not have a lifeguard here for the 2020 season. Board the 84 Sackville to get there.
Dollar Lake Beach
5265 Old Guysborough Road, Wyses Corner
This beach is surrounded by serene woodland providing the perfect escape from reality. There's tons to do like hiking the nearby trails, boating, camping or fishing, or just hanging out with your pals for the day. No buses head this way, but it's about a 55km drive from downtown Halifax.
Lions Beach Park
10 Nowlan Street, Dartmouth
A sandy beach on the shores of Lake Banook, you can jump in for a swim or take a paddle at the Aquatic Club. Sullivan's Pond geese are nearby to gaze upon from afar. Nearby restaurants make it easy to spend an entire day at the lake. Grab the 56 Dartmouth Crossing bus or the 68 Portland to Cherry Brook to get there.
Birch Cove Beach
Oakdale Crescent, Dartmouth
Located within Birch Cove Park on the opposite side of Lake Banook, this park has shaded picnic tables and a wharf great for launching kayaks and paddle boards. Walk the short trail that winds by the lake, or dip your feet in the water. Hop on the 56 Dartmouth Crossing bus or the 10 Westphal to get there.
Campbell Point Beach Park
187 Lakewood Drive, Brookside
A sandy beach on Hatchet Lake off Prospect Road surrounded by shady spots to spread out a blanket and relax. There's enough space to play volleyball, and a few nearby trails to explore. No buses go out this way, but it's about a 20km drive from downtown Halifax.
Corner of Old Sambro Road & Dunbrack Street
Located within Long Lake Provincial Park, this beach is known for its rocky shores. Bring a group of friends and hike for an afternoon in the wilderness. The lake is huge, so there's plenty of space to find a spot all your own to lay out a towel or take a dip. Catch the 22 Armdale or the 9B Herring Cove bus to get there.
14 Purcells Cove Road.
One of the closest freshwater lakes to downtown, Chocolate Lake is a popular family spot whose steep dropoff is owed to its past life as a quarry. Named after a chocolate factory that once sat on its shore, this spot has a tennis court, basketball court and playground. Take the 22 Armdale or the 14 Leiblin Park bus to get there.
Swim all day without worry—you can't be swept out to sea on a lake. ALEXA CUDE