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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Beaches close to home make the cut of best in Montreal.


Sandy Beach Hudson


Lonely Planet's list of best Montréal beaches included Oka and Saint-Zotique's beaches, who don't stray too far from the West Island. Hudson's Sandy Beach, Parc Cap-Saint-Jacques and the Village des Écluses are some gems to explore. Always check the websites to be sure water quality is safe before heading out.


Here's a guide to the best strips of sand near Montréal.


Hudson Beach


Sandy Beach is located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Hudson. It stretches a while, allowing for a nice short walk along rocky surfaces, fine sandy areas, nice grassy areas and even over a little creek flowing into the river. There are no lifeguards on the premises so proceed at your own risk. There are no boat/equipment rentals or boat launches but feel free to bring a raft and float on the river softly. There are grassy areas in the shade and in the sun, offering picnic areas for everyone, according to taste. There is one porta potty at the entrance of the pathway leading to the beach. No vehicles are allowed to park at the entrance but parking is offered further up Beach Rd, a 15 minute walk from the beach entrance. The water is shallow allowing for kids to splash around.


Parc Cap-Saint-Jacques Park Pierrefonds


Enjoy a natural sandy beach in a bay surrounded by a rich natural environment. Supervised swimming in water whose quality is measured weekly. Please visit the website of the city of Montreal www.montreal.ca/en/ for rates and more information. Location here


Village des Écluses


The Village des Écluses is quite the hidden gem, with multisport rentals for those who wish to spend some time in the water or bike around the premises and a terrasse and micro brasserie located on their beach area for those looking to enjoy a relaxing evening. The on-site bar and restaurant are open from Thursday to Sunday until 11 pm.


Halte Plein Air offers kayak, stand-up paddle board, electric surfboard, and bike rental booths to enjoy the Village des Écluses site. They are open every day from 10 until 6 with reservations made on-site.


Live shows and themed evenings are also offered; check out their Facebook page for the upcoming events and shows: https://www.facebook.com/desecluses


PHOTO: Village des Écluses


Saint-Zotique Beach


Less than an hour from Montréal is stunning, straw umbrella-dotted Saint-Zotique Beach. A destination for relaxing sunbathers and aquatic adventurers, Saint-Zotique Beach is an unexpected (almost tropical) gem in Quebec. Bounce on the floating waterpark of Eau Défi, swim in the wading pool, rent a pedalo, hike along the riverbanks, or rent a charcoal BBQ and picnic table for a post-sun dinner. In the winter kids can go hunting for elves on the beach as part of the Christmas celebrations. This beach is accessed by paid reservation, so be sure to book your entry beforehand.

Oka Beach

Located in the Parc National d'Oka less than an hour drive from Montréal (in a town famous for being the hometown of Oka cheese) Oka Beach nestles on the edge of the Ottawa River. The contrast of the gray-blue waters, soft yellowy sand and backdrop of thick forest is beautiful in every season. Sometimes on summer nights you can gather around bonfires and watch performances, and in warm weather, you can indulge in the usual assortment of beach activities, including a popular floating water obstacle course.

PHOTO: Facebook, Sépaq

Verdun Beach

Imagine having a beach getaway in the middle of Montréal? At Verdun Beach, you can! This little slice of summer can be accessed via the De l’Église metro station and two different bus routes, making it easy to hit the sand. Depending on water conditions, you can swim here too, thanks to a man-made rock dike by the sparkly, golden sand. In the cooler months, head to pretty Bar Verdun Beach, a Parisian-inspired guinguette (suburban drinking hole) with a beachy vibe.


PHOTO: Facebook, Bar Verdun Beach

Jean-Doré Beach

Easily accessible on the Montréal metro, Jean-Doré Beach in Parc Jean-Doré has an absolutely massive swimming area that is regularly cleaned, so it’s great for water babies and activity-inclined grown-ups. As well as swimming in 15,000 sq feet of calm water, you can play beach volleyball, rent a paddleboard or kayak, or perhaps bounce on the floating inflatable obstacle course at Aquazilla


Clock Tower Beach


PHOTO: Vieux Port de Montréal


Located in the Old Port of Montréal, this easy-to-reach artificial beach is a welcome respite from the hot, sunny days of summer. Littered with adorable blue parasols, it’s the perfect place to tan and browse a novel without ever leaving the city center. Although the water here is not suitable for swimmable, you can complete the beach experience at "beachside" restaurants and refreshment stands nearby. It's a great vantage point for watching Montréal's regular firework shows, and the beach also hosts some popping adults-only DJ nights, as well as morning yoga sessions to help the hangover. St Timothée Islands Regional Park Beach

Sitting majestically in the St Lawrence River, the St Timothée Islands are located less than an hour from Montréal. What makes these beaches so special (other than the soft sand and crystal clear waters) is the network of surrounding hiking trails. After a morning of working up a sweat tramping in the forest, you can take a leisurely swim and sunbathe on the beaches after. In the winter a covered outdoor ice rink opens up.


For another few weeks, West Islanders can cast aside visions of frozen lakes and winter activities, as we set ourselves up to squeeze the last little bit out of summer! SOURCE: LonelyPlanet


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