Hit the Beach
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1. De La Salle Park Beach
On the shores of picturesque Lake Simcoe, De La Salle Park Beach offers a welcome respite from city heat.
“Georgina is known for its beautiful beaches and parks and is a prime destination for those looking to kick back and relax with some sand between the toes or plan that special family time with a picnic at the beach,” says Robin McDougall, director of recreation and culture for the Town of Georgina.
Make a day of it and access amenities such as the swimming area, picnic tables, picnic shelter, washrooms, playground and beach volleyball. Find the park at 1940 Metro Rd., Jackson's Point.

2. Franklin Beach
Once parked at De La Salle Park, venture on foot to nearby Franklin Beach at 743 Lake Dr. E. in Sutton. Owned by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) and managed by the town, Franklin Beach offers a small sandy beach and a grassy area for picnicking. Just grab your sunscreen, pack a lunch and go!

3. Willow Beach Conservation Area
Sutton's Willow Beach Conservation Area is another good vantage point from which to enjoy views of Lake Simcoe, the fourth largest lake wholly in Ontario. Take the family — there's a playground for the little ones, a sandy beach, picnic tables and flush toilets. As with most beaches in the area, local residents park for free with a resident parking pass. Paid parking is available for non-residents. Visit at 1506 Metro Rd., Willow Beach.

4. Holmes point Conservation Area
Located north of Pefferlaw at 131 Holmes Point Rd., this park also overlooks Lake Simcoe, part of the Trent-Severn Waterway system. The locale boasts a sandy beach, picnic tables and a playground. As with all public beaches in the area, look for a blue sign to indicate that water bacteria levels are within acceptable limits. York Region monitors the water quality at public beaches from mid-June until the end of August. If high bacteria levels make the water unsafe for swimming, you'll see a red sign posted at the beach.

5. Bonnie Park Beach
Located in Jackson's Point, at 1 Bonnie Blvd., Bonnie Park Beach is available to the public throughout the summer. Swim in the waters of Lake Simcoe and grab a picnic table to enjoy your lunch while the kiddies play at the playground. Don't have time to pack a lunch? Not a problem, says McDougall. “Georgina has many options when it comes to dining that are within close proximity to the beaches.” Stroll to the nearby Jackson's Point Village to shop and dine.

6. North Gwillimbury Park
Get to the beach in under an hour. Even on a work day, you could be dipping your toes in the waters of Lake Simcoe by dinnertime. North Gwillimbury Park, located at 775 Lake Dr. N. in Roches Point, offers amenities such as picnic tables, a picnic shelter, portable washrooms and a playground. “Come visit, we guarantee that you will be back,” says McDougall.

7. Georgina Island
Home to the descendants of the Lake Simcoe region's first inhabitants, the Chippewas, Georgina Island is the largest island on the lake. The island welcomes visitors to walk or hike the Nanabush Trails, the historic paths the Chippewa ancestors used daily. View wildlife, wetlands and an authentic wigwam village. Pay a $10 parking fee at the Eagle's Nest restaurant and access the beach at the Neezh Meegwunun Family Campground. Stay overnight at one of the campground's cabins or pitch a tent on-site. The island is accessible to visitors by way of the Aazhaawe ferry, departing from Virginia Beach Marina, at 7751 Black River Rd., Sutton West, in summer.

8. Sibbald Point Provincial Park
Hang out for the day or camp overnight at Sutton's Sibbald Point Provincial Park. With ample sandy beaches, large grassy picnic areas and a forested hiking trail, this Ontario park is a popular summertime destination for York Region families. History buffs will want to visit Eildon Hall, the Sibbald family home, now a museum that explores rural life in the mid-19th century. Another historic structure, St. George's Anglican Church, is adjacent to the park. The church cemetery is home to the graves of writers Stephen Leacock and Mazo de la Roche. Visit at 26071 York Rd. 18 (Park Road) in Sutton West.

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