Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, boasts some impressive attractions including one of the world’s biggest malls, a thriving festival scene, and the largest urban park in Canada.
The beaches in Edmonton may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the city. But Edmontonions will be the first to tell you otherwise! And they would know – with only three months to enjoy hot weather, they definitely know how to make the most of summer.
Edmonton and its surrounding areas offer a surprising array of beaches to play in the water and soak up the sun. Whether you’re looking for a day trip out of town or a weekend getaway, there are plenty of spots around to enjoy some beach living.
Here are the 10 best beaches in and around Edmonton that are sure to make your summer a fun one!
Top Beaches In Edmonton
Ma-Me-O Beach At Pigeon Lake
While it’s not exactly in the city, Ma-Me-O Beach is the closest and one of the best beaches near Edmonton.
Only one hour away, it’s a great scenic drive to the beach, located on the east shore of Pigeon Lake. Ma-Me-O Beach is the perfect spot to pack the kids up and head out for a day in the white sand and warm shallow waters.
There are plenty of picnic sites around, a playground, and washrooms as well. After enjoying the beach, you can go to The Village at Pigeon Lake to roam around and grab some ice cream.
If you’re enjoying the Alberta country air too much and don’t feel like returning to the city, why not spend a night? The Village Creek Country Inn is a modern but rustic inn that provides all the amenities you could want, including a spa!
Summerside Beach Club (Private)
For those of you lucky enough to live in or know someone that lives in the Summerside neighborhood, Summerside Beach is one of the best private beaches in Edmonton.
Unfortunately, it is a members-only beach that is open to the residents and their guests.
This 32-acre man-made lake is a happening spot that makes it feel like you are not in the city at all. It has a huge sandy area and staff on hand to help you with paddleboard and canoe rentals.
If you’d rather stay out of the water, the basketball and tennis courts are a great option for dry-land activities, or you could just sunbathe on the golden sand.
The Best Western Plus South Edmonton Inn & Suites is a nearby hotel so you don’t have to take over your friend’s house after they already got you beach access. This hotel features a pool and hot tub if you didn’t get enough time in the water. It is also close to South Edmonton Common, a shopping center with many outlet stores and restaurants.
Edmonton Beaches In The River Valley
River Valley Beaches
Edmonton’s river valley is a beautiful area to explore during the summer. With more than 160 km of pathways, over 20 major parks, and three golf courses, there is so much going on down here.
If you’re in the right spot, you may even come across the rope swing that hangs from a tree overtop of the North Saskatchewan River.
Scattered throughout the river valley, you will also find some of the hidden gems of Edmonton beaches. While these are river beaches so you can typically expect more pebbles than sand, some of them do still have sand bars and provide a great easy way to cool off without having to leave the city. Make sure to walk with your water shoes just in case!
You may have heard of Accidental Beach, which formed in 2018 when the LRT construction was underway and created a vast sandy area in the Riverside neighborhood.
Cougar Island Beach, Skyline Beach, and Wolf Willow Beach are other great little beaches in Edmonton where you can find a little sand to sunbathe on and a lot of water. Use caution though – if the river is high, some of these spots may not be accessible.
Beaches Near Edmonton For A Day Trip
Alberta’s top party resort beach is only an hour and a half south of the city and is one of the best beaches around Edmonton.
The town of Sylvan Lake is a fun, busy beach and features every water activity you could ever want. Swimming, boating, fishing, aquatic parks, paddleboarding, kayaking, and more!
There are two beaches in town and you can head in for a swim or launch your boat at either. Many of the shops on Sylvan Lake’s boardwalks offer rentals for jet skis, boats, and paddleboards if you want to try them out. Or you could just chill out on a patio and enjoy a bite to eat and a cool refreshing drink.
As a favorite for locals, this is one of the busiest beaches near Edmonton and gets packed quickly. Make sure to head out early and don’t forget the sunscreen because you’ll be out all day adventuring!
If you want to turn the day trip into a night trip, the Best Western Plus Chateau Inn Sylvan Lake will help you do that. It’s highly rated, close to many amenities, and a short drive to Red Deer if you want to check out some central Alberta nightlife.
If Sylvan Lake is a little too busy for you, you can turn off a few exits before and head to Gull Lake. This large lake has tons of room for swimming and chilling in floaties or for boats to head out fishing or water skiing. Many sandy beaches line the shores of Gull Lake and the warm, shallow waters are ideal for little ones.
For a great central Alberta experience, stay a night at the Best Western Plus Lacombe Inn & Suites. The town of Lacombe has a cool, old feel to it and you can hit up The Cone for some of the best ice creams around.
Another favorite for locals is Wabamun Lake, an hour west of the city. This is one of the most spectacular beaches near Edmonton for wildlife watching, fishing, and boating. It also has a ton of sand and swimming areas, so don’t worry if boating is not your thing.
Wabamun is a beautiful area filled with nature and you may just want to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside at the Shoreside Inn and Suites.
Long Lake Provincial Park
Just an hour and a half northeast of the city will bring you to yet another great beach. Long Lake is located in a provincial park and is known for being one of the best beaches around Edmonton for recreational activities. It’s a local secret so don’t tell them we told you.
The lake is large and clear and if you are a fan of camping, there are many well-spaced-out spots. Long Lake is surrounded by forests and there are plenty of day-use areas, hikes, beaches, and boat launches along the shores. With how big it is, it never really feels crowded, even on the hottest days.
If you’re not in the camping mood and too tired to drive back to the city, the Twilight Country Motel is your best bet for accommodations. It’s in the nearby town of Boyle and we recommend hitting up the burger drive-in on your way there.
Beaches Near Edmonton For A Weekend Getaway
Cold Lake is a huge lake three hours northeast of the city and is one of the best beaches around Edmonton for a getaway. You will find Kinosoo Beach on the shores of Cold Lake and is a must-see, as it made Canadian Geographic’s Top 25 Beaches List.
Sometimes one day just isn’t enough at the beach, so why not two – or even three? Just make sure to bring sunscreen and pace your sunbathing so you don’t get heat stroke!
There are endless activities to do besides swimming and lounging in the sand. You will find a dope splash park, beach volleyball courts, picnic areas, concession stands, and water sports rentals. The main feature is a zipline that drops off right into the water.
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cold Lake can be your home away from home. There is also a pool at the hotel so if the beach is too hot, you can head back, hit up the pool, and take a nap until it cools down a bit.
Slave Lake is just under three hours from the city and features two of the best beaches near Edmonton. On the western shore, you’ll find Shaw’s Point which is great for waterskiing, windsurfing, and boating. There is a whole resort here so they have an array of activities for family members of all ages.
Over on the opposite end of the huge lake, you’ll come across Devonshire Beach. The serene blue waters are surprisingly warm to swim in and the sand is powder soft. You will want to spend all day here so be sure to bring a beach mat so you can lounge around in paradise in style.
The town of Slave Lake has a few great places to stay but check out the trusty old Holiday Inn Express and Suites Slave Lake. It’s not actually old, it’s new and modern and will offer a great sleep after your day in the sun.
The only thing better than a beach getaway is a combo beach and mountain getaway. Annette Lake near Jasper is surrounded by a few other lakes and is one of the best ways to hit up multiple beaches near Edmonton in one shot. You will find Lake Edith, Beauvert Lake, Pyramid Lake, and Mildred Lake extremely close by.
The beautiful views Annette Lake offers are in two words: very Canadian. You will be surrounded by stunning mountain peaks, turquoise waters, and wildflowers in the green grass. It’s the best place to go on the hottest days to recharge and invigorate yourself in the cool mountain lake.
Keeping on trend with the outdoorsy Canadian vibe, you might as well stay at the Overlander Mountain Lodge. It’s just outside the town so if you’re up late enough, your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are great!
Enjoying The Beaches In Edmonton
We hope you’re excited to check out the beaches in Edmonton now that you know they exist. The great outdoors has never felt better than when you’re on a warm Alberta beach after a long, cold winter.
So pack your beach bag, hop in the car, and head out to one of the many Edmonton beaches to enjoy some fun and sun. While you are at it, be sure to check out all the famous landmarks in Edmonton as well!