Best beach for catching waves
Location 20km south of Tofino, Vancouver Island
The Vibe While the pristine sands make you want to lounge on shore, you can’t visit Long Beach without enjoying the surf. Rent a wetsuit and surfboard and see if you can get upright before the day is through.
The Details Nestled between the rainforest and Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim, Long Beach is popular for surfers of all levels because of its gentle tows and mellow winds.
Best beach for taking it all off
Location Where the Strait of Georgia mingles with the English Bay in B.C. (that’s West Vancouver for you non-west-coasters)
The Vibe This prime-location stretch of sand is one of North America’s top nude beaches.
You’ll get a great glow sans tan lines (but don’t dare skip on the sunscreen). Plus, it’s in a great location – where else can you spend the morning skiing and the afternoon baring your buns?
Best beach for a trip back in time
Location Four hours’ drive west of Edmonton.
The Vibe Yes, it’s surrounded by aspen forest and the slopes of Pyramid Mountain rather than silky sand, but Patricia Lake is ideal for the tourist who’d rather explore its historic shores.
The Details This was once the test site for a top-secret Second World War project to build an unsinkable aircraft carrier, and bits of the prototype vessel can still be found at the lake’s bottom.