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Your Complete Guide To Visiting the Beach in Prince Edward County in Summer 2021

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Gone are the days where you could head to Prince Edward County’s Sandbanks Beach at a moment’s notice. Without a care in the world other than whether you had remembered to grab the sunscreen and a pool noodle on your way out the door. The beautiful beach is still here for you to enjoy - but “beach day” has become a highly organized, carefully executed event. As of summer 2021, you have to jump through some extra hoops to arrange a carefree day at the beach - but believe us when we say it’s worth it! We’re here to help make the process as smooth as possible for you. So, on that note, here’s everything you need to know about planning your beach trip in Prince Edward County.

If you’re heading to Sandbanks Beach or North Beach: 

As of now (July 2021), you need to arrange access to Sandbanks Beach and North Beach in advance on a first-come, first-served basis, pending availability.  

Accessing the beach is subject to park capacity limits. Showing up with a seasonal park pass without a reservation for the day of your visit does NOT guarantee entry; you may be turned away. Even with a reservation, we suggest you arrive before 10am to secure a good spot on the beach. (Please note, you will enjoy in/out privileges for the day you book.)  

You cannot reserve your spot on the beach any sooner than 5 days in advance.  

When you’re ready to do so, here’s how to arrange your beach access: 

  1. Book your spot online at https://reservations.ontarioparks.com or over the phone by calling 1-888-668-7275 between 7am and 9pm EST.  
  2. If you are staying at a Sandbanks Vacations rental property, your stay includes the use of a Seasonal Vehicle Permit (Beach Pass) to get into the beach for free. When reserving your spot, you’ll need the serial number we provided you in your Welcome Package email. You will also need the license plate of the vehicle you are taking (otherwise, you must check in at the gate upon arrival to update the license plate and will very likely have to wait in line.
  3. You may only use our Seasonal Vehicle Permit to get in for free when you are staying at your Sandbanks Vacations rental property – once you check out, you will not have access to the pass. Instead, you’ll have to pay for parking and beach day use (around $20 for the day). 
  4. Extra vehicles may arrange for a daily pass in the same way as Step 1 above (extra vehicles are at your expense). 

A few important things to note: 

  • When booking, select the Day Use option from the tabs, not Camping 
  • When you see a map of the park, select the Day Pass option. If available, it will show as green 
  • It will look like you have to pay for parking, don’t worry, proceed to checkout 
  • Create an account or log in to your account 
  • Go through the steps and eventually you can select “Seasonal Vehicle Permit holder” from a list of options, otherwise if not selected, you pay for parking – we cannot refund you for mistakes here, you must contact Ontario Parks 
  • When entering the Seasonal pass number, exclude all letters and special characters: NUMBERS ONLY 
  • When printing your pass, just print the last page below the dotted line to save paper 
  • When you arrive at the park to enjoy your visit, please be sure to display the Seasonal Vehicle permit we provide AND the printed copy of the Daily Vehicle Permit that allows you entrance into the park on that day. You need to display both, or fines apply 
  • If you cannot print the Daily Vehicle Permit, go to the Main Gate (Outlet) or West Lake Campground Gate (Dunes), and they can print one for you. (West Lake tends to be less busy.) 

If you’re heading to Wellington Beach: 


There is a small public (Rotary) beach in downtown Wellington that offers up to 
350 spots for day use only on a first-come, first-served basis. (There is no camping here.)  

You do not have to reserve your spot on Wellington Beach as you do at Sandbanks Beach and North Beach. Here’s how it works: 

  • It costs $10 per person to access the beach on weekends and holidays (from 9am to 5pm, or when the gate is staffed). The beach is free to access during the week (unless it’s a holiday day).  
  • You do not get in/out privileges – once you’re there, you can’t leave and come back without paying again 
  • There are food trucks, water stations, and public washrooms onsite for you to enjoy  

Please note, the municipality will have additional seasonal by-law enforcement officers on duty to monitor and issue $400 tickets for illegal parking around provincial parks and elsewhere. Park wardens and by-law enforcement officers will also monitor other nuisances like littering.   

Other things to consider during your visit to Prince Edward County:

 

The summer season in Prince Edward County is extremely busy, and the current situation has brought changes to not only beaches but also other amenities such as boat launches and parking. You can visit The County’s Summer Hub to learn more about navigating these changes during your visit.  

Above all, remember to be safe and stay kind. We can’t wait to see you around The County enjoying the beaches this summer! 

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