Look no further for the best beaches and water filled day trips in Alberta that you’re going to want to add to your list of places to discover. From sandy white Alberta beaches to mountain getaways and those reachable by small hikes, you can discover them in your own backyard – and you’re going to want to add a few of these to the rest of your summer to explore list.
Devonshire Beach, Lesser Slave Lake
A sandy white beach is just a little more than a day trip away. The popular Devonshire beach also plays host to the Sand Sculpture championships of Alberta, with the 2014 theme of Superheroes. The natural beach of white sand is one of the lesser known beaches in the province, and is a great destination for the weekend. Get the details about Devonshire Beach.
Long Island Lake Beach
Long Island Lake Beach has a concession stand, easy parking and a playground close to the beach, making it a popular choice for families. Located near Westlock, it’s just over an hour outside of the city – making it a great choice for families looking for an impromptu beach day. It gets quite crowded though, so make sure you’re coming early if you want a spot close to the water.
Blue Ridge Recreation Area
The Blue Ridge recreation area is one of those gems that we’ve just discovered this summer. The gravel pits turned natural area has water that was immediately inviting for the kids to jump off of the dock, the pond is stocked for fishing and there’s bike trails to bike (or walk) around and explore through the area. It’s a must-stop by if you’re heading out to the River Slides in Whitecourt, about twenty minutes before you get to Whitecourt. If you’re nervous about the kids being unable to swim, the water is deep bring life jackets if you’re going to play in the first pond there’s a big drop off. Our brave ones immediately stripped off their clothes jumped in, and swam back to the ladder.
Quarry Lake, Canmore
A canmore must-do while you’re visiting, Quarry Lake is a popular hangout for the locals. Best for swimming in the month of July and August, you can visit the lake while you’re checking out all of the other fun things to do in Canmore with kids. There are benches, picnic tables and washrooms and 5K+ of trails in the area to check out while you’re there. Get the details and directions.
Johnson Lake, Banff
Right outside of Banff, you will find hiking trails and a small sandy beach perfect for the kids to play on as you enjoy a picnic in the midst of the mountains. For bigger and braver kids, there is a rope swing across the way (not my jam!) and you can even take a small hike to explore more lakes, with the surrounding trails. Get the details and directions.
Aspen Beach, Gull Lake
Fun boardwalk, lots of sand and shallow, kid-friendly water make this the perfect beach for a quick day trip. It’s just over an hour from Edmonton, making it a great choice for families with young children that don’t yet tolerate those long road trips for a fun day out.
Discovery Canyon, Red Deer
One of our favorite places to spend summer days, we make sure and go during the week and earlier in the day to avoid the rush. The small beach area is shallow enough through the middle straight across for even toddlers to walk all the way through, and you can bring your own tube to make it a free day out for the family. If you don’t bring your own tube, bring cash – you’re going to need between $5-10 for a tube rental, and a $20 deposit. It’s so much easier to bring your own floaties. Get the details and directions.
Allan Beach Resort
Close to Edmonton, Allan Beach is about thirty minutes outside of the city and one of the only beaches that we’re choosing that comes with admission. Admission is $10, but you can get a family pass for $25. Go early, it gets busy! No alcohol, no glass bottles while using the day passes to the beach. It’s a favorite for many families, as the water was nice and clean when we stopped by recently on the way home from Whitecourt.
Whitecourt River Slides at Rotary Park
Similar to Discovery Canyon, Whitecourt River Slides has two tubing courses perfect for children, a couple of hours outside of Edmonton. Lots of green space means that you’re going to be able to skip the sand for the day and they’re open from Mid may to the end of September, every year. While you are there, you can make a day of it, play in the fantastic playground and enjoy the paddleboats, fishing and other features of the park. Get the details and directions.
Hike and Wade to Cat Creek Waterfall
Located in Kananaskis, this hour long easy hike brings you to a wonderful family friendly waterfall that’s perfect for a family day out. Best suited for the weekend, since it’s a three hour+ drive outside of the city, it’s a great addition to your weekend out of town. It’s easy enough for young kids and there are lots rest stops along the way. Get the details and directions.