Written by two people who have been to a beach only a handful of times in their lives.
To spare you the pain of driving hours to visit Niagara’s sub-par beaches, we took it upon ourselves to visit them for you and come up with a list of our favourites. As two people who are wholly unqualified to review beaches, we decided on the following five criteria to help us distinguish which one was the best: cleanliness, crowdedness, sketch-factor, the “Is there actually sand?” factor, and “Would we get in the water?” factor.
Our cleanliness ratings are based off of the general cleanliness of the beach and whether or not there’s a lot of litter; a score of 10/10 being the most clean. Our crowdedness ratings are based off of how busy the beach is with a score of 10/10 being extremely and unbearably crowded. Our sketch-factor ratings relate to the overall sketchiness of the beach, with a 10/10 score meaning that this beach gives us some very questionable vibes. The last two criteria are pretty self-explanatory and take the form of two questions that can be simply answered with a yes or no.
Sunset Beach- Overall Rating of 4/10
For God knows whatever reason, whenever someone suggests going to the beach for a day, Sunset Beach is always brought up. Why, you might ask? That was a genuine question because we truly don’t understand why someone would choose to go to this beach out of all the other beaches in the Niagara region. This is the St. Catharines version of the Jersey Shore, but it doesn’t even do that well. It is littered with high school students and their draw string bags, that are most-likely holding their one Mike’s Hard Lemonade. If we’re at the beach, we have no desire to see sixteen year olds talking about “how much they feel it” after one cooler.
Niagara-On-The-Lake Beach- Overall Rating of 5/10
This location is undoubtedly picturesque. With a little bit of image-doctoring, VSCO presets, and Lightroom, you can convince your friends that you’re actually further up in Northern Ontario. The only downside is that you probably will have a tourist sitting on the rocks behind you in your photos. With a tiny strip of sand, this is not the best place to go to if you’re looking to sunbathe, however, the water is much cleaner than anywhere else in this region.
Port Dalhousie Beach- Overall Rating of 2/10
The Port Dalhousie beach gives us strong Florida vibes, but not in the white sandy beaches and turquoise-water type of way. What’s similar about these two places is the lack of understanding that we are in a pandemic, and that social distancing is a requirement to protect the safety of ourselves and others. Packed with an inappropriate amount of sunbathers, children, and volleyball players, this beach is truly a circus– even equipped with a functional Merry-Go-Round.
Centennial Beach- Overall Rating of 7/10
We have very low hopes for any beach in Niagara, but this beach truly surpassed our expectations. Pleasantly surprised that the water was clean, we actually were bold enough to go in. This beach made us forget that we were actually in Lake Ontario– because we were in Lake Erie. With a perfect ratio of sand and water, this is really Port Colborne’s hidden gem and we’ll definitely be back.