Dig your toes into the soft, white sand at one of the finest beaches in North America and say, "Aaah."

Plant your blanket at the family-friendly east beach or go for the energetic groove of the west beach for sunbathing, swimming and people-watching - either way, that sand stretches for three glorious kilometres along the eastern shore of Lake Winnipeg. 

Paddle offshore or enjoy some of the best windsurfing on the lake. Stroll on the boardwalk, climb sand dunes as tall as eight metres and traipse over to a lagoon and marsh area that shelters shorebirds including the endangered piping plover. 

The varied landscape of this 24.9-square-kilometre park will inspire more than sun worship -  soak up some natural history and enjoy the forest scenery along the short Spirit Rock and Ancient Beach trails, pick saskatoons or blueberries in season and fish for northern pike, walleye and bass off the causeway.

Perfect your backhand on the tennis court, treat yourself to ice cream at a concession or take in happy hour on a restaurant deck just off the beach. 

Located 80 kilometres north of Winnipeg on Hwy. 59, the park has picnic shelters and wheelchair access to the beach. Camp out or ask about cottage rentals nearby. 

Web: http://www.manitobaparks.com/

Grand Beach Provincial Park