Great Lakes Direct

Grand Bend, Ontario

Welcome to Grand Bend, Ontario - a hidden gem nestled along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Huron.

Known for its stunning Blue Flag beach, a symbol of eco-friendliness and safety, this charming beach town is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Grand Bend has something for everyone, whether you're looking to relax to the soundtrack of gentle waves or seek the thrill of water sports and lively local events.

Where is Grand Bend?

Grand Bend is located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron in the Canadian province of Ontario.

It's situated within the municipality of Lambton Shores in southwest Ontario. Grand Bend is particularly known for its sandy shores.

Approximately 2,100 people call this area home, with a large influx of tourists during the summer months due to the local beach and the Grand Bend Motorplex.

The harbour at Grand Bend in Ontario
The harbour at Grand Bend in Ontario

The Pinery Provincial Park is one of the major points of interest nearby, providing outdoor recreation for visitors and locals alike.

How to get to Grand Bend

Nearest airport to Grand Bend

The airports at London and Windsor are more suitable for internal flights within Canada (with connections to Toronto and Calgary). The 'International' in their name comes from the vacation charter flights offered during the summer season.

Those flying long-distance will probably find the airports at either Toronto or Detroit to be of most use.

Distance to London International Airport: 47 miles
Distance to Windsor International Airport: 127 miles
Distance to Toronto Pearson International Airport: 124 miles
Distance to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport: 154 miles

Driving to Grand Bend

The ON-21 state highway runs north and south along the shoreline of Lake Huron, connecting to Sarnia (and the US border) to the south and Goderich and other Lake Huron destinations to the north.

The ON-81 state highway leads south from Grand Bend in the direction of London.

History of Grand Bend

Grand Bend can trace its history back to the 1800's when it was first settled by European immigrants.

The area was originally known as "Settler's Grove" due to the abundance of trees in the area. The current name is thought to originate from a prominent bend in the Ausable river.

In the late 1800s, the community began to develop as a popular summer retreat for wealthy families from Detroit and Windsor.

Woman walking a dog on a beach near Grand Bend
Woman walking a dog on a beach near Grand Bend

The construction of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1872 further boosted tourism in the area. Today, Grand Bend remains a popular tourist destination known for its sandy beaches and lively nightlife.

Things to see and do in Grand Bend

Visitors to Grand Bend should make a stop at the Visitor Information Centre on Crescent Street. It is open every day in the main summer season and weekdays only during the off season.

Visit the beach

Grand Bend Main Beach is located just a short walk from the centre and Main Street. It stretches for about a mile and a half and is known for its clean, warm water and soft, golden sand.

There is a paid parking lot right on the beach, with free parking available a little further away.

The beach is well maintained and offers a variety of amenities including washrooms, changing rooms, showers, and a boardwalk with shops and restaurants. It has enjoyed Blue Flag status since 2009.

Video of a visit to Grand Bend | Mademoiselle Vanilla

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball, and other water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

The beach is also home to several annual events such as the Grand Bend Music Festival and Sandfest.

Grand Bend Lighthouse

The Grand Bend lighthouse was built near the beginning of the 20th century and stands at the end of a jetty at the mouth of the Ausable river.

The lighthouse is not open to the public but it is a popular motif for sunset shots across the lake and is the start (or finish!) of the Lake Huron Lighthouse Trail.

Pinery Provincial Park

The Pinery Provincial Park is a nature reserve only a few miles southwest of Grand Bend.

The reserve offers 10 different walking trails through the rolling sand dunes and out to the miles of beach, while cyclists have a nine-mile bike route.

The shoreline at Pinery Park near Grand Bend
The shoreline at Pinery Park near Grand Bend

When winter rolls around, there is some of the best cross-country skiing in southwestern Ontario on 24 miles of groomed trails.

A little further down the Lake Huron shoreline is Ipperwash beach, one of the longest freshwater beaches in Ontario. There are no lifeguards on duty here and parking is available just off the beach in Ministry of Natural Resources lots.

Other Lake Huron Towns in Ontario

Goderich, ON


Goderich is a charming town in the heart of Huron County, Ontario. It is known for its picturesque architecture and stunning natural beauty. Founded in 1827, Goderich has a well-preserved downtown area with historic buildings such as the Huron Historic Gaol and the Huron County Museum.

Kincardine, ON


Kincardine is a small town located on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County, Ontario. It is known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque lighthouse and Scottish heritage. Founded in 1848, Kincardine has maintained its small-town charm while offering visitors a variety of attractions and activities.

Sauble Beach, ON

Sauble Beach

Sauble Beach is known for its sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and lively summertime atmosphere. Established in the late 1800s, Sauble Beach has grown into one of the largest freshwater beach destinations in the world, stretching over seven miles.

Tobermory, ON


Tobermory is a picturesque village located on the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. It is an important link to Manitoulin Island and remains an important center for commercial fishing, diving and ecotourism. Visitors can hike along the rugged coastline or take a boat tour to see Flowerpot Rock.

Grand Bend Links

Grand Bend :
Beach and town information
Ontario Parks | Pinery Provincial Park: