The Best Beaches in Nova Scotia, Canada

Popular with locals, Crystal Crescent beach is easy to reach from downtown Halifax
Popular with locals, Crystal Crescent beach is easy to reach from downtown Halifax | Courtesy of Kate Horodyski

Almost entirely surrounded by ocean, it’s no surprise that there is a wealth of great beaches in Nova Scotia, Canada, with white sands, crystal clear waters and world-class surfing conditions. Here are our all-time favorites.

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1. Crystal Crescent

Park, Natural Feature

Crystal Crescent Beach in Nova Scotia.
© Rusty / Adobe Stock

This series of three crescent-shaped beaches is located just 40 minutes from downtown Halifax and is a favorite among locals. The third and furthest beach is a naturist beach.

2. Carter's Beach

Natural Feature

Aerial view of Carters Beach on the Southshore of Nova Scotia, Canada. August
© Nature Picture Library / Alamy

When you get to Carter’s Beach, you may think you’ve somehow wound up in the Caribbean by mistake. The soft white sand and clear waters make it one of the most beautiful beaches in Nova Scotia.

3. Martinique Beach

Natural Feature

Martinique Beach Provincial Park, Nova Scotia, Canada
© All Canada Photos / Alamy

Martinique is the longest beach in Nova Scotia, with 5km (3mi) of white sand. One of a number of great beaches on the Eastern Shore, it’s also a protected area for the piping plover and a wildlife refuge for migratory waterfowl.

4. Rissers Beach

Natural Feature, Park

The sun sets beside a campground on Rissers Beach, Nova Scotia
© Rustycanuck / Alamy

Rissers is a perfect family-friendly option with calm waters and clean, well-maintained shores.

5. Bayswater Beach

Park, Natural Feature

© Steve Anderson / Unsplash

Pack your towel, sunscreen and hot dogs! Bayswater Beach, just outside of Halifax, is equipped with outdoor barbecues, making it the perfect place to spend a full day of beaching and grilling.

6. Melmerby Beach

Natural Feature

Boardwalk to sandy beach. Wooden walkway over sand to sea. Sunny beach with wooden walk floor. Vacation background. Summer vacation concept. Copy spac
© bohemama / Alamy

On the Northumberland Shore you’ll find Melmerby Beach, with some of the warmest waters in the province. Stroll along the boardwalk, dip in the warm waters and enjoy beautiful coastal views.

7. Lawrencetown Beach

Natural Feature, Park

Aerial view of kiteboarders at Lawrencetown Beach in Nova Scotia on a sunny day.
© Bill Kennedy / Alamy Stock Photo

Head to the Eastern Shore’s Lawrencetown Beach for some of the best surf, not only in Nova Scotia, but in all of North America. Bring your own board or sign up for one of the on-site surf lessons.

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8. Conrad’s Beach

Natural Feature

Conrads Beach, Lawrencetown, Halifax County, Nova Scotia,
© Allan Coutts / Alamy Stock Photo

Conrad’s Beach is situated between the more popular Lawrencetown and Rainbow Haven beaches and is a favorite spot with locals looking to get away from the crowds that can overwhelm its neighbors.

9. Clam Harbour Beach

Park, Natural Feature

Clam Harbour Beach, Nova Scotia, Canada
© Laszlo Podor / Alamy

This lovely family-friendly beach is on the Eastern Shore and features boardwalks, hiking trailers, changing rooms and showers. It’s popular for the warm streams that flow into the ocean – they’re a great place to hang out, and are a great alternative to the chillier ocean water.

10. Inverness Beach

Natural Feature

Inverness Beach Boardwalk, Nova Scotia, Canada
© Ernst Mutchnick / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re in Cape Breton (and you should be), you need to make at least one visit to Inverness Beach. Visitors fall in love with its long stretch of soft sand, warm waters and idyllic boardwalk.

11. Rainbow Haven Beach

Natural Feature

© Frank Mckenna / Unsplash

Despite its chilly waters, Rainbow Haven is popular with locals and features white-sand beaches and a long boardwalk. Its close proximity to the city is appealing, too, and it’s just a 15-minute drive from Dartmouth.

12. White Point Beach

Natural Feature

Beach, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
© All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

This private beach is owned by the White Point Resort Lodge, but you don’t need to be staying at the resort to enjoy it. For a fee, you’ll get a day pass to the white-sand beach and its facilities. You’ll find this beautiful spot on the South Shore, near the town of Liverpool.

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