A perfect sunset is practically a spiritual experience, transforming an ordinary summer day into a thrilling evening. When the sky lights up with vibrant colours, everything just looks, tastes, and feels better. Hikes are more invigorating, Muskoka chairs on the deck are more relaxing, and cold Coronas on your favourite beachside patio are more refreshing. So if you’re jonesing for some elusive sunset magic, here are ten picturesque places in Ontario that are sure to deliver.
With clear skies, a dry atmosphere, and an unobstructed view of the skyline, many of the west-facing towns along the shores of Lake Huron have the perfect conditions for a breathtaking sunset. Port Elgin, a Saugeen Shores community, has been earning rave reviews for years. For the best view, take a leisurely walk along the beach out to the harbour break wall.
This lookout point in Port Stanley is a well-known birder hotspot that’s packed with hawk enthusiasts during the day. But it’s also a great vantage point for watching the sun set over Lake Erie. And if a raptor happens to soar by as the sun sinks below the horizon, it’s a bonus photo-op.
Another Lake Huron community, Grand Bend is a bustling beach town that balloons from 2,000 people in the winter months to 50,000 during the summer. It’s not exactly the ideal spot for a quiet summer getaway, but it’s a great place to socialize as the sun goes down, and to mingle and party against the backdrop of a world-class sunset.
This popular beach stretches for 11 kilometres, and it reigns atop many polls rating it the best freshwater beach in Canada, thanks in part to its awe-inspiring sunset views. Located in Bruce County, Sauble Beach is surrounded by unique sandbar deposits that keep the water shallow and warm. So even when temperatures dip a little in the evening, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a sunset swim.
Craigleith Provincial Park
Craigleith Provincial Park in Collingwood is a small camping site that packs a big sunset punch. The fractured-shale coastline of its popular Shale Beach is sprinkled with tiny puddles that light up when the sun sets, creating a spectacular mirrored effect. For anglers, the beach is also the perfect spot to catch a late-night supper while you enjoy the view.
The port town of Goderich has proudly christened itself the “prettiest town in Canada,” and it certainly makes a strong case for the title. Nestled on top of the bluffs overlooking Lake Huron, Goderich is a historically rich town full of traditional charm. Visitors can enjoy its renowned sunsets while strolling along the boardwalk or enjoying an evening cruise through the harbour.
Another community in Bruce County, Kincardine offers the same beautiful sunsets with an added opportunity for whimsical fun. Tourists can head down to Station Beach and pile onto the big blue chairs situated on the sand. Families or couples can cuddle up for a snuggly sunset experience. On Saturdays visitors are in for an extra treat: a volunteer member of a Scottish pipe band, nicknamed the Phantom Piper, climbs the lighthouse and provides musical accompaniment as the sun goes down. Another great sunset option is the South Pier, a cliff style swimming location. Enjoy the panoramic view or dive in for a sunset adrenaline rush.
Photo credit: Steve Small
Lake Superior Provincial Park
At over 1500 square kilometres, Lake Superior Provincial Park is one of the largest provincial parks in Ontario, making it a perfect camping location for nature lovers. Spend your days hiking and exploring, checking out evidence of ancient volcanic activity at Red Rock Lake, and admiring the Ojibwa pictographs carved into Agawa rock. Then settle into your lakeside campsite, crack open a beer, and enjoy a picturesque sunset.
Photo credit: Pavels
Beamer Memorial Conservation Area
A hiking trail located on the Niagara Escarpment in Grismby, this conversation area looks out over Lake Ontario and the entire town. The route is 10 kilometres long with three viewing platforms located along the way, and it’s both pet friendly and wheelchair accessible. From the high vantage point you can see watch the whole sun sink below the horizon, reflecting beautifully off the lake.
Bay of Quinte
One sunset view not enough for you? Spend a few days touring the Bay of Quinte region, home to some of Ontario’s most magnificent beaches and provincial parks. Climb the impressive sand dunes and watch a sunset at Sandbanks Provincial Park. Stroll the rock beach in Presqu’ile while you ogle the sky, or windsurf over the giant waves of North Beach into the horizon.