8 Islands In Canada With White Sand Shores & Sparkling Waters For A Dreamy Getaway

No need for a tropical vacation with these spots right here at home! 🏝

​A person stands on a beach on Prince Edward Island. Right: Tribune Bay in B.C.

A person stands on a beach on Prince Edward Island. Right: Tribune Bay in B.C.

You don't need to stray far from home to find white sand beaches, turquoise-blue waters and island vibes — all of this can be found right here in Canada.

There are many islands in Canada with pristine shores, incredible beaches and sparkling waters that'll make you forget you're in the True North.

If you don't have time to fly to the Caribbean, consider checking out one of these stunning Canadian islands for a picture-perfect getaway.

Sable Island

Location: Nova Scotia

Why You Need To Go: Sable Island is an isolated island located 290 kilometres off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The wild island is a place of "untouched beauty" — here, you'll find around 500 wild horses, over 350 species of birds and an abundance of grey seals, which are frequently seen on the island's beaches.

The island is truly unique — according to Tourism Nova Scotia, some of the flora and fauna on the island are found nowhere else on Earth.

The island also features stunning white sand shores surrounded by brilliant blue waters that almost look tropical.

The island is only open for day trips and is only accessible by air or sea. You can plan a trip with a Parks Canada licensed operator or by private vessel to get there, but you must have permission from Parks Canada before your visit.

Sable Island website

Hornby Island

Location: B.C.

Why You Need To Go: Surrounded by the Salish Sea, Hornby Island in B.C. is a lush island with stunning beaches and crystal-clear water.

The island is home to three provincial parks, including Tribune Bay Provincial Park, where you'll find Caribbean-blue waters and a pristine white sandy beach.

The area is so tropical-like that it has even earned the nickname of Canada's "Little Hawaii." According to BC Parks, the waters here also meet near tropical temperatures during the summer, with the bay considered to be one of the warmest saltwater swimming areas in the province.

In addition to stunning shores, you'll also find 70 hiking and biking trails on the island and tons of opportunities for water activities, like snorkelling, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

It's no wonder the island was one of B.C.'s top summer vacation spots for 2023!

Hornby Island website

Pelee Island

Location: Ontario

Why You Need To Go: Pelee Island has been called one of "Canada's best-kept secrets," thanks to the many sights and activities its offers visitors.

The island, which lies south of Point Pelee National Park between Canada and the U.S., is the southernmost point of Canadian land and is home to beaches, hiking trails and historical sites.

The island is regarded as the birthplace of winemaking in Canada. It's also where you'll find Canada's Southernmost Estate Winery, Pelee Island Winery.

On the island, you'll find quaint shops and restaurants, a historic lighthouse, and a number of beaches.

To get to the southernmost point of the island, you'll want to head to Fish Point Nature Preserve, where you'll find a sand spit and dune system extending into Lake Erie.

Pelee Island website

Calvert Island

Location: B.C.

Why You Need To Go: This island in B.C. has been dubbed the "Canadian Caribbean," and one look at the landscape explains why.

The remote island located on the southern edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, about 400 kilometres north of Vancouver, is home to secluded bays and lagoons with water that can oftentimes look almost jade green.

Here, you'll find remote beaches with ultra-fine white sand perfect for watching the sunset.

The island is also home to tons of marine life. In the lagoons and on the beaches you'll find starfish, crabs and other sea life, while the waters are home to harbour seals, sea lions, and orcas.

Offshore, you may be able to spot gray, and humpback whales as well as porpoises and dolphins.

Calvert Island can be reached by boat or seaplane. Scheduled air service and chartered boats are available from Vancouver, Port Hardy, Bella Coola, and Bella Bella.

According to BC Parks, visitors can also use BC Ferries’ Discovery Coast Passage service, which travels between Port Hardy and Bella Coola, and disembark at Bella Bella.

Calvert Island website

Wolfe Island

Location: Ontario

Why You Need To Go: Located near Kingston, Ontario, Wolfe Island is a hidden gem along the St. Lawrence River.

The island is the largest of the Thousand Islands, and is home to beautiful sunrises, breathtaking sunsets and spectacular night-time skies.

Ringed by stunning blue waters, here you'll find a lesser-known beach called Big Sandy Beach.

The secluded beach has pristine shores, rolling sand dunes and sparkling blue water, and is like a little slice of paradise in the summer.

The island also has many cycling trails with beautiful waterfront views, birdwatching opportunities and golfing.

You can reach Wolfe Island by a free ferry from Kingston, which takes about 20 minutes.

Wolfe Island website

Prince Edward Island

Location: Prince Edward Island

Why You Need To Go: An island seemingly of endless beaches, P.E.I. is definitely a Canadian island you'll want to visit at least once in your life.

The island is home to miles of gorgeous sandy beaches with some of the warmest waters north of the Carolinas.

While you'll definitely find beaches with soft white sand perfect for sunbathing, the island also has unique red-sand shores, like Chelton Beach Provincial Park, and massive rare sand dunes, like those found in Prince Edward Island National Park.

Beyond beaches and pristine shores, you'll also find picturesque views, quaint small towns, sprawling farmlands, and unique attractions on the island.

One such spot is the Green Gables Heritage Place, where you can visit the idyllic farmstead that inspired author Lucy Maud Montgomery to create Ann of Green Gables.

Prince Edward Island website

Manitoulin Island

Location: Ontario

Why You Need To Go: The largest freshwater island in the world, Manitoulin Island is definitely worth a visit this summer.

The island is commonly called one of Ontario's best-kept secrets thanks to its stunning natural features.

The island is chock-full of crystal-clear inland lakes and offers many scenic swimming spots.

For instance, on Manitoulin Island you'll find the breathtaking Bridal Veil Falls, an easily accessed waterfall with a natural pool at the bottom perfect for taking a dip.

If you're after beaches, you'll definitely want to check out Providence Bay Beach, a beautiful stretch of sand set on a bay of Lake Huron with warm, shallow waters.

Manitoulin Island website

Cape Sable Island

Location: Nova Scotia

Why You Need To Go: This beautiful island about 3 hours from Halifax is home to beautiful white sand beaches with Caribbean-blue water.

The island is the most southern part of Nova Scotia and is also home to the province's tallest lighthouse, the Cape Sable Lighthouse.

Here, you'll find many stretches of white sand to enjoy, including Stoney Island Beach and The Hawk Beach, which is the most southern point of the province. The two beaches are also some of the best birding spots in Nova Scotia.

Nearby, you'll also find Sandhills Provincial Park, as well as the Shag Harbour Incident Interpretive Centre, which chronicles the sighting of a UFO that crashed into the waters of Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, in 1967.

Cape Sable Island website

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Katherine Caspersz
Katherine Caspersz is a Creator for Narcity Media focused on evergreen travel and things to do, and is based in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.