Waterfronts and shorelines are everywhere in Hamilton Halton Brant, which is home to Lake Ontario, Christie Lake, Valens Lake, Kelso Lake, Crawford Lake, Pinehurst Lake and the Grand River.

We’ve got six recommendations for great waterfront destinations that are the best spots for sun and sand, dining with a view, shoreline strolling, fresh air eats, outdoor fun and getting active. Whether you want to dig your toes in the sand or sit on a patio and enjoy the lapping of the waves, there is no shortage of ways to spend a water-filled day in our region.

  • 1

    Hamilton’s Waterfront

    Best for: outdoor fun, fresh air eats, getting active, setting off from the shore, shoreline strolls

    Hamilton’s Waterfront, sometimes bustling and sometimes serene depending on the hour, is a convenient escape just blocks from the city’s downtown. For a good walk, bike ride or roller blade, head to the west harbour and waterfront gems like Bayfront and Pier 4 Parks and the Hamilton Harbour Waterfront Trail, lined with trees, viewpoints, beaches and picnic areas.

    You don’t have to travel the trail by foot.  Take the Hamilton Waterfront Trolley, a rubber tired trackless trolley that follows the shoreline of the western part of the harbour, or board the Hamiltonian tour boat.  The Hamiltonian offers a leisurely 50-minute tour with unique views of the natural, recreational and industrial faces of Hamilton and one of North America’s most noteworthy harbours.

    You can also cycle the trail on a 2 or 4-seater surrey bike or tandem bike from Waterfront Wheels bike rentals. Serious cyclers can access the HamBur Loop here, a 50-km cycling loop through Hamilton & Burlington that features stunning lookouts, waterfront cycling and great restaurants.

    Once you’ve finished exploring, enjoy a bite at the café, grill or ice cream parlour, or go retro with a spin at the seasonal outdoor roller skating rink.

  • 2

    Spencer Smith Park and Discovery Landing, Burlington

    Best for: dining with a view, getting active, shoreline strolls

    The Waterfront at Downtown Burlington (Spencer Smith Park) is a short walk from the heart of Burlington’s downtown, and is home to Discovery Landing, a 14,200 square foot landmark building that faces out to the lake and offers prime storm and weather watching views. This architecturally stunning landmark is the perfect place to play and relax by the lake, and houses Spencer’s at the Waterfront restaurant, serving fresh local fare with spectacular lake views.

    The complex overlooks the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, a 10,000 square-foot year-round water feature. In the spring, summer and fall it is a reflective pool ideal for model boating and in winter it offers free recreational skating on an artificial ice surface with skate rentals available on weekends.  You’ll also find the Dofasco Waterjet Plaza, where kids can splash around the thirty water jets that shoot up intermittently from the ground in summer.

    While at the Waterfront, don’t miss the Brant Street Pier, extending 132 metres over Lake Ontario with breathtaking views of the lake and Burlington’s shoreline. A concrete walkway connects it to the promenade at the east end of the park. Nearby attractions include the Joseph Brant Museum, the Art Gallery of Burlington, and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

    Burlington’s waterfront is also part of the HamBur Loop, a 50-km cycling loop through Hamilton & Burlington.

  • 3

    Fifty Point Conservation Area, Stoney Creek

     Best for: sun and sand, getting active

    Fifty Point is a magnificent 80-hectare park on Lake Ontario with superb marina facilities. It’s the place to be for a swim in Lake Ontario, family camping or a picnic. Visitors can enjoy a fabulous lakefront view by walking the promenade or relaxing at the beach.

  • 4

    Paris Riverside

    Best for: setting off from shore, shoreline strolls, dining with a view

    Located against the backdrop of two rivers, where the Grand and Nith rivers meet, the waterside location of Paris is just one reason why its been called the “Prettiest Little Town in Canada”. The town is also known for its cobblestone buildings, tranquil country setting, mix of historic architecture and an attractive downtown with specialty shops and boutiques.

    Walk across the William Street bridge and enjoy a delicious meal or café au lait at one of the many riverside restaurants and coffee shops, including 2 Rivers Restaurant and Stillwaters! Plate and Pour, take a Grand River dinner cruise, or explore the rivers by kayak or canoe.

  • 5

    Confederation Beach Park, Hamilton

    Best for: sun and sand, outdoor fun, fresh air eats

    If you like your beaches with a side of fun, head to Hamilton’s Confederation Park, located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The Park boasts plenty of park space, outdoor attractions from go-karts to mini golf, and restaurants like Hutch’s and Baranga’s on the Beach.  It’s also home to Wild Waterworks, a waterpark with four wild tube slides, two exhilarating body slides, one of Canada’s largest wave pools, a lazy river, and safe water fun for smaller children at Little Squirt Works.

  • 6

    Bronte Village, Oakville

    Best for: setting off from shore, getting active

    On the shores of Lake Ontario in Oakville, the picturesque village of Bronte offers one-of-a-kind boutiques, dining options, art galleries and museums. For active types, the trails and shoreline are the place for a variety of outdoor and water activities, from cycling, fishing and boating to paddle boarding and kayaking.

    The marina here is home to Boomers Sporting Adventures, which offers trips on a professionally crewed, well appointed and fully equipped sporting yacht to fish for Chinook Salmon and trout.

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