With so many great beaches near Halifax, it can be hard to decide which one is the best.  

To help narrow down your search, we’ve created a list of 9 of the best beaches near Halifax, each with its own unique features.

From Crystal Crescent Beach, known for its stunning views, to Lawrencetown Beach, perfect for swimming and surfing, there is something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax, swim, surf or explore, there’s sure to be a beach on this list that’s perfect for you.

So grab your sunscreen and your swimsuit, or your surfboard, and get ready to explore the best beaches near Halifax.

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9 Great Beaches Near Halifax

1. Crystal Crescent Beach

📍Sambro Creek Road, Sambro Creek NS

The beach at Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park is easily the best beach near Halifax!

While it’s a bit of a drive from the downtown area, it’s worth the drive!

With its sparkling blue water, gorgeous white sand beaches and stunning views, it’s no wonder this is a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

child running along the sand at crystal crescent beach - one of the best beaches near halifax

There are actually three beaches with a boardwalk connecting the first two beaches, making it easy to explore all that this beach has to offer.

You can also spot the Sambro Island Lighthouse from the beach, the oldest operating lighthouse in North America.

2. Lawrencetown Beach

📍NS-207, East Lawrencetown NS

Lawrencetown Beach is a well-known spot for surfing – summer or winter!

Located just 30 minutes from downtown Halifax, this beach is well-known for its strong surf and is a popular spot for both beginners and experienced surfers.

Lessons and rentals are available in the summer months from several nearby surf schools.

Rent a surfboard for the day or sign up for a lesson, or just grab a boogie board and try some body surfing in the waves.

Lawrencetown Beach is one of the best spots for surfing on the east coast of canada

If you’re not into surfing, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and relax on the beach. It’s a perfect way to spend a hot afternoon in the summer!

3. McNabs Island 

📍McNabs Island NS

The closest beach to Halifax is not the easiest to reach, but it’s worth it! And it’s a perfect beach to visit if you’re spending time in Halifax without a car.

One of Halifax’s best-kept secrets, McNab’s Island is located at the entrance to the Halifax Harbour and is accessible by ferry from Halifax or Dartmouth.

The island is home to several beaches, including Maugers Beach, which is a great spot for swimming and exploring the island’s many hiking trails or old military fortifications.

Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day!

4. Rainbow Haven Beach

📍2248 Cow Bay Road, Cow Bay NS

Rainbow Haven Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located just outside of Halifax on the Dartmouth side of the harbour.

Our personal favourite beach, Rainbow Haven Beach is tucked in a cove so it’s a bit more sheltered from the wind and waves that you’ll find at Lawrencetown Beach.

There’s plenty of sand to enjoy in the summer, or to walk along in the winter.

rainbow haven beach is one of the best beaches near halifax for families

A boardwalk brings you from the parking lot to the beach area. It’s accessible to the sand area, with a ramp down to the sand, although there are no mats along the sand.

Washrooms are available in the main pavilion and lifeguards are on duty in the summer months.

It’s a great spot to walk on the sand and search for sea glass, collect seaweed or shells, or just sit and listen to the sounds of the waves.

5. Chocolate Lake Beach

📍14 Purcells Cove Road, Halifax NS

Chocolate Lake is a great beach for swimming, with a roped off section for swimmers and a lifeguard on duty in the summer months.

It’s one of the nearest freshwater lakes to Downtown Halifax, and is accessible by bus or is just minutes away by car.

chocolate lake with beach surrounded by green trees in halifax Nova Scotia
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

While it’s not a large beach, the sand and water are clean and there are washrooms and change facilities, as well as paved paths and a beach mobility mat, making it accessible for all.

It’s a popular spot for families in the summer months.

6. Conrods Beach

📍Conrad Road, Lower East Chezzertcook NS

Conrod’s Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located on the Eastern Shore, about an hour from Halifax, just before Lawrencetown Beach.

It’s a bit of a hidden gem and not as well known as some of the other beaches on this list, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

condrods beach has white sand is one of the best hidden gems of beaches near halifax

Conrods (and no, that’s not a typo – there is no apostrophe!) is one of the nicest sand beaches in the area, with a large stretch of soft sand that’s perfect for relaxing on or walking along.

There are no lifeguards on duty and no official parking lot, but you can park along the side of the road and walk along the boardwalk to the beach.

7. Martinique Beach

📍East Petpeswick, NS

Martinique Beach is Nova Scotia’s longest sandy beach, stretching for over 5 kilometers.

Relax on the beautiful white-sand beach or bring a picnic to enjoy in the wooded areas behind the sand dunes.

During the summer months, there’s a surfing school here, as this is another of the best places to surf in Nova Scotia.

The beach is supervised during the summer months and change facilities are available.

There are several parking areas stretching along the length of the beach, with boardwalks to access the beach.

Martinique Beach is located about an hour from Halifax, on the Eastern Shore.

8. Queensland Beach

📍9600 Highway 3, Queensland NS

One of the most popular beaches on the South Shore, Queensland Beach is a gorgeous beach with white sand and some of the warmest water along this stretch of the coast.

This is one of the smaller beaches, but it’s also one of the busiest, especially on hot summer days.

Queensland beach on a foggy morning - its one of the best beaches near halifax for its warm water

Change facilities and vault toilets are available, and lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. 

Parking is available just steps from the beach, although it does fill up quickly in the summer months.

9. McCormack’s Beach

📍1641 Shore Road, Eastern Passage NS

McCormack’s Beach is located about 30 minutes from Halifax on the Eastern Shore.

It’s a smaller beach with a 1km wooden boardwalk path that loops around the point, providing some fantastic views of Downtown Halifax.

When the tide is low, you can walk along the sand and even dig for clams.

child standing on a rocky beach at mccormacks beach in eastern passage Nova Scotia

Beside the beach is Fisherman’s Cove,  a historic fishing village that’s worth exploring. Browse the boutique stores, pick up some seafood or enjoy an ice cream while you walk along the boardwalk.

Be sure to try moon mist – a flavour only available in Nova Scotia – it’s a combination of banana, grape and bubblegum. 

3 Beaches that are Worth the Drive from Halifax

Clam Harbour Beach

📍158 Beach Road, Lake Charlotte NS

Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park is located about 1 hour from Halifax on the Eastern Shore. It’s a beautiful white sand beach with warm water, perfect for swimming.

It’s a great beach for kids, as it’s pretty shallow for quite a ways out. It’s also home to an annual sandcastle competition, which takes place in August.

Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months and there are washrooms and change facilities available.

Bayswater Beach 

📍4015 NS-329, Hubbards NS

Bayswater Beach is located just over an hour from Halifax on the South Shore. It’s a beautiful white sand beach with warm water, plenty of picnic tables and a great view of the ocean. 

bayswater beach Nova Scotia

Washrooms and change facilities are available during the summer months.

Across the highway from the beach is the SwissAir Flight 111 memorial, dedicated to the passengers and crew of the flight that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 1998.

Carters Beach

📍89 Carters Beach Rd, Port Mouton NS

While Carters Beach is just under 2 hours away from Halifax – which, I know, doesn’t really count as one of the beaches near Halifax, but it’s just too beautiful of a beach not to mention.

carters beach is one of the best beaches in nova scotia

Carters Beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches in Nova Scotia, and with its soft white sand and clear water, it’s like a scene from the Caribbean.

It’s definitely worth the drive!

Final Thoughts: Best Beaches near Halifax

Halifax’s location on the coast means that there are some great beaches nearby.

Choose from the white sand beaches of Crystal Crescent, the warm waters of Queensland Beach, or the waves at Lawrencetown and Martinique Beaches.

Then there’s the sheltered cove at Rainbow Haven Beach and the hidden gem of Conrods Beach, or the boardwalk trail at McCormacks Beach and the freshwater beach at Chocolate Lake.

And if you’re up for a longer drive, Carters Beach is an unforgettable destination with its Caribbean-like waters. 

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax, swim, surf, or explore, there are some great beaches near Halifax that are perfect for you. 

pin image for this post - 9 of the best beaches near halifax Nova Scotia

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