Providence Bay Beach

Providence Bay Beach is one of Ontario's best-kept secrets and has crystal clear waters

Providence Bay Beach is often referred to as "the best beach in Ontario," featuring gorgeous sandy shores and crystal-clear blue waters stretching as far as the eye can see.

Located on Manitoulin Island's southern shore, the beach is set on a long, curving bay of Lake Huron, and is one of Ontario's longest freshwater beaches.

Providence Bay originally was given the name "Bebekodawangog" by early inhabitants of the area, which translates to "where the beach curves around the water". Later, survivors of a shipwreck offshore gave it the name "Providence".

With fine golden sand and unspoiled natural surroundings, the beach is a beauty to behold.

There's a good chance you'll come across various plant and animals near the beach, including rare orchids, migratory birds, and even the occasional turtle, which thrive in the protected habitat.

The beach offers a variety of recreational activities, too, including volleyball nets, picnic areas, and a playground. There's a long, accessible boardwalk to stroll down, and Lake Huron's warm, shallow waters make it an excellent location for water activities, like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Facing west with unobstructed views, you may also be treated to some of the most breathtaking sunsets around.

Nearby, the town of Providence Bay has a ton of quaint shops, restaurants, and cafes to explore or grab a bite to eat from once you're done basking on the beach.

As Manitoulin Island is a 6.5 hour drive from the city, you'll also likely want to spend the night there. The good news is there are numerous bed and breakfasts and inns near the beach where you can rest your head.

Visiting the beach is free, and there's plenty of free parking a short walk away. While on the island, be sure to explore some of its other treasures, including a magical waterfall you can swim under or a breathtaking hike with panoramic views.

Lead photo by

Municipality of Central Manitoulin


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