There are hundreds of swimming holes and beaches at northern parks, lakes and resorts, but you don’t have to travel far from shopping, restaurants and museums to enjoy a dip.

You’ll find a sandy beach, playground and picnic tables at Turnbull Beach, just four kilometres south of Leaf Rapids. Swim in one of the world’s few true-blue lakes at Clearwater Lake at The Pas. Three beaches, at Camper’s Cove, Pioneer Bay and Sunset Beach, have picnic and changing areas, volleyball courts and other amenities.

Snow Lake also has a Sunset Beach, with tennis courts, washrooms, a playground and a dock, or you can head to Purple Sandy Beach for a long day in the northern sun.

Thompson’s Rotary Park splash park, designed with a boreal forest and wildlife theme, is a great place to cool off with the kids on a summer day.

There’s a beautiful beach at Paint Lake Provincial Park, just 32 kilometres south of Thompson. Head northeast from Thompson on PR 280 to Gillam and make a stop at the sandy Troy Lake beach, just west of Split Lake.

Gillam’s Pumphouse Beach is within easy walking distance — a mere two kilometres from town — and there’s a 15-metre (50-foot) swimming pool with a waterslide at the Nelson River Aquatic Centre in town.

Flin Flon has a wealth of beaches. Channing Beach is three kilometres from the town centre and Blondies Beach, near Flin Flon airport, is an excellent swimming spot, with change rooms and picnic tables.

Flin Flon’s Aqua Centre boasts a 25-metre pool with a one-metre diving board, saunas and weight room. And Thompson’s Norplex Pool is a destination in itself, with a 25-metre, six-lane pool, sauna, gym and Big Splash waterside, with acres of recreational options, including tennis courts, nearby. The Pas’ Winton Pool offers a 25-metre indoor pool and sauna.