Newfoundland is wild, romantic, and intoxicatingly beautiful! As Canada’s youngest province — it didn’t join Canada until 1949 — Newfoundland has retained its own unique culture that will captivate any visitor. Venture out of the city and far away from the buzz of modern life! The beaches in Newfoundland dotting the rugged coastal wilderness make for memorable and relaxing vacations.
We’ve already told you about our favourite road trip in Newfoundland. Detour to great beaches in Newfoundland as well! We’ve selected our five favourite NL beaches to share with you. Where will you go?
Salmon Cove Sands
Beaches are some of the most romantic places in the natural world. This beautiful beach is particularly romantic – it’s actually heart-shaped! If you’re looking for a great place to go for an anniversary or even a proposal, Salmon Cove Sands is your next destination.
Located 125 km north of St. John’s, the cozy town of Salmon Cove is named for the original settlers’ fishing roots. With only about 680 inhabitants, a trip to Salmon Cove feels cozy and homey. The beach itself stretches ½ km, with 1,600 feet of boardwalk for taking a stroll.
The beach is set against the dramatic backdrop of rocky cliffs plummeting into the Atlantic Ocean below. Its dark grey sand adds a feeling of allure and mystery to a visit to this sandy beach in Newfoundland. Take your picnic basket and make your own lunch at the cooking chalet, or visit the concession for a treat. Wheelchair accessible facilities mean Salmon Cove Sands can accommodate everyone's needs.
If you want to get a better view of the beach, you can hike up to the cliffs and admire the sweeping view below. Bring a camera!
Shallow Bay Beach
Gros Morne National Park has a lot of wonderful attractions, and Shallow Bay Beach is at the top of our list as one of the best sandy beaches in Newfoundland. The nearby town of Cow Head is no slouch, either!
Every year in July, Cow Head hosts the Cow Head Lobster Festival. Travel to this quaint beach town for days of lobster dinners, community breakfasts, and local entertainment. The Gros Morne Theatre Festival starts in May and ends in September, so be sure to catch a show from some of Newfoundland’s best actors after a hot day at the beach.
Shallow Bay Beach’s sandy dunes stretch 10 km along the coast — it’s one of the longest beaches in Newfoundland. The soft white sand and tranquil atmosphere make this beach a smart choice for a laid back weekend visit to Newfoundland. Come here to hunt for sand dollars and seashells, or to watch the migratory shorebirds who visit each fall. Locals love clam digging and mussel picking on Shallow Bay Beach!
The water at Shallow Bay Beach is clean and clear, but the water has a noticeable tide that exposes a number of large rocks. High tide may be the better choice for young swimmers — they’ll be able to wade close to the beach.
Middle Cove Beach
Any time of the year, this is a great beach to visit! Middle Cove Beach is close to St. John’s — just a ten-minute drive from downtown —and admission is free.
Summer’s sunshine brings the typical beach fun, such as sunning on the shore and fishing in the water. Visit in mid-June to July for a chance to catch the annual capelin run! Capelin are a small silvery fish that migrate to Middle Cove Beach to spawn. Their arrival attracts birds and whales who feed on the fish, making this a spectacle that everyone should experience at least once.
Winter’s chill winds bring the most breathtaking beauty to this lovely beach. Middle Cove Beach’s frozen waterfall crystallizes in the winter — come see the cliffs dressed in snowy white robes!
Winter, fall, or otherwise, check out the Middle Cove Beach Trail. Also known as the Silver Mine Head Path , this 2.4 km trail starts at Middle Cove Beach and ends in the town of Torbay. Take a hike to end your day at the beach and grab a bite at The Traditional Coffee House and Deli in Torbay.
Deer Lake Beach
Deer Lake Beach is a popular beach in Newfoundland to do yoga. Why not visit and join one of the yoga classes on the sand?
If you’d rather not get your flex on, Deer Lake Beach is a great place for relaxing, too. Soft sand and shallow waters are perfect for sunbathing and wading. The beach features picnic tables and fire pits — bring hotdogs for the kids! When you feel like exploring, get a glimpse of local Newfoundland wildlife along the Humber River, where birds congregate.
This beach is an ideal spot for families on summer vacation. Introduce young ones to fishing at the Deer Lake Powerhouse Tailrace, where oxygenated water attracts crowds of salmon for easy catching.
If you’re in the mood for fresh strawberries, visit Deer Lake Beach during the Deer Lake Strawberry Festival! Every July, the local community celebrates strawberry production in the region. Local entertainment, a craft market, and family-friendly fun take over the nearby town.
Bottle Cove Beach
Experience wild Canada when you visit Bottle Cove Beach! As one of the most beautiful rugged beaches in Newfoundland, this is a must-see location.
Here, you can hike to the top of the grassy cliffs to watch the waves thunder powerfully on the rocks below. The Bottle Cove/Island Cove Hiking Trail is an easy 2 km, perfect for solo or group hikes. If you’ve been looking for what to see in Newfoundland, locals describe the view here as right out of a movie set!
You can also spend time in the calmer waters by the beach, where you’ll find solitude and views of some of the most beautiful marine scenery in Newfoundland. Migrating whales are visible from the beach from mid-May to mid-September. Bring a beach blanket and settle in to watch the spectacular sunsets as some of Newfoundland’s most majestic wildlife passes you by.
Lark Harbour is a quaint fishing village that will charm you after your beach day. Pubs like Myrtles on the Bay serve up local dishes that you’ll love!