Just 35 minutes from downtown, you can enjoy the soft, white sand at Conrad's Beach.

10 beautiful beaches within an hour of downtown Halifax

You don't need to drive far in order to enjoy some of Nova Scotia's best sand, salt and sun.

This article was independently produced by our editorial team with financial support from Develop Nova Scotia, connecting our city to the water. Visit Halifax waterfront this summer for food, art, shopping and adventure. Find a list of things to do and see here.

Whether you like to surf, swim or sunbathe, Nova Scotia has you covered. And we Haligonians are lucky enough to live fairly close to some truly stunning ocean beaches. With only a quick cruise to the coastline you'll be breathing salty air, feeling the sand between your toes and experiencing the chill of the North Atlantic in no time.

In order from closest to furthest from downtown—but all within a 60-minute drive—here's our guide to Canada's Ocean Playground.

Black Rock Beach
You don’t even need to leave the peninsula to lay down a towel on the sand and swim in the Atlantic. Black Rock Beach is conveniently located in Point Pleasant Park, for whenever you need a quick ocean fix.
Distance from downtown: 5 minutes
Amenities: Washrooms

Dingle Beach
While this beach may not be the most beautiful on the list, it is close by. Dingle Beach is located in Sir Sanford Fleming Park, right next to the Dingle Tower. Climb the tower for some stunning views of the Northwest Arm, explore the nearby trails and then chill out on the sand.
Distance from downtown: 10 minutes
Amenities: Washrooms, playground, picnic areas

Rainbow Haven Beach
The closest proper beach to Halifax, Rainbow Haven is extremely popular. Luckily, the beach is huge, so there’s plenty of room for everyone. The water is shallow but cold.
Distance from downtown: 25 minutes
Amenities: Washrooms, showers, lifeguards, canteen

click to enlarge 10 beautiful beaches within an hour of downtown Halifax
The Coast
Lawrencetown is great for surfing and sunsets.

Lawrencetown Beach
This beach is definitely the most popular surf spot for Haligonians. Don’t know how to surf? Take a lesson on site and you’ll be catching waves in no time. You can also walk the nearby trails for some breathtaking coastal views.
Distance from downtown: 35 minutes
Amenities: Washrooms, change rooms, showers, equipment rentals, lifeguards

Conrad’s Beach
Right next to Lawrencetown beach, Conrad’s is a less busy alternative with calmer waves perfect for stand-up paddleboarding. Enjoy a beautiful boardwalk and soft, white sand. This beach is also a protected breeding area for piping plovers.
Distance from downtown: 35 minutes
Amenities: None

Cleveland Beach
The lesser-known sister of Queensland Beach, Cleveland offers white sand and lots of picnic room.
Distance from downtown: 35 minutes
Amenities: None

Crystal Crescent Beach
Crystal Crescent is aptly named, boasting three crescent-shaped beaches with white sand and yes, crystal-clear turquoise water. The furthest beach is used as a nude beach. Toss in the incredible trails in the area, and Crystal Crescent is the whole package.
Distance from downtown: 40 minutes
Amenities: Outhouses

Queensland Beach
One of the more popular beaches on the South Shore, Queensland Beach is postcard perfect with its white sand and turquoise water. Get there early to beat the crowds.
Distance from downtown: 40 minutes
Amenities: Lifeguards, washrooms

Martinique Beach
Another beach known for its surf, Martinique is the longest beach in Nova Scotia. Stroll along the sand and search for sand dollars.
Distance from downtown: 50 minutes
Amenities: Equipment rentals, lifeguards, outhouses, change rooms

Bayswater Beach
Bayswater is a large sandy beach with a view of the open ocean. There are barbeques on site, so it’s a great spot for an outdoor lunch.
Distance from downtown: 55 minutes
Amenities: Washrooms, lifeguards, picnic areas with barbeque grills

Honourable Mention: Clam Harbour Beach
You’ll be rewarded for making the trip out to this big, beautiful beach. Bring an inflatable, and float down a warm, shallow tidal stream on one side of the beach. Clam Harbour Beach isn’t crowded like some of the closer options, except for during the annual sandcastle contest, happening August 21 this year, which draws hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators.
Distance from downtown: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Amenities: Washrooms, change rooms, picnic areas, lifeguards

About The Author

Kaija Jussinoja

Kaija Jussinoja is a news reporter at The Coast, where she covers the stories that make Halifax the weird and wonderful place we call home. She is originally from North Vancouver, BC and graduated from the University of King’s College in 2022. Jussinoja joined The Coast in May 2022 after interning at The Chronicle...

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