Thank you to all who took the time to answer my call out for your favourite Nova Scotia beaches! In no particular order, here are your favourites!
Point Michaud Beach in Point Michaud, Richmond County, Cape Breton
Smooth, sandy and shallow for quite a distance so it is a great swimming location for kids and weak swimmers, with great scenery and warm water. There is a nice picnic area as well.
Queensland Beach, Queensland, Halifax County - At the back of St. Margaret's Bay, it is in a nice sheltered location. Fans of this beach note that the water can get quite warm and sometimes the waves are big, making it great for boogie boarding.
The Hawk Beach, The Hawk, Cape Sable Island, Shelburne County - Located on the most southerly tip of Nova Scotia, this white sand beach is part of the Cape Sable Important Bird Area, making it one of the best birding areas in the province. This beach is also home to the 1500 year old drowned forest, aptly named due to a broad area of petrified tree stumps still rooted in the original soil that are submerged in the ocean but exposed at low tide. While on The Hawk Beach you can see Nova Scotia's tallest lighthouse, Cape Sable Lighthouse, which stands 101 feet tall.
Crow's Neck Beach, Baccaro, Shelburne County - Like Conrad's Beach, Crow's Neck Beach is an important nesting beach for the endangered piping plover in Nova Scotia. This white sand beach is great for bird watching and beachcombing.
Lawrencetown Beach, Lawrencetown, Halifax County - This beach was named by 3 of you and is the first one listed as a favourite in the coldest month of the year - January! This Nova Scotia winter-beach-loving fan loves listening to the rocks tumbling under the waves at Lawrencetown Beach. She is not the first person to enjoy frequenting Nova Scotia beaches in the winter though. Our beaches are frequented year round. So much to do and see besides swimming.
Another Lawrencetown Beach fan lists this beach as his favourite in the summer as this is where his granddaughter learned to surf. I know some of you are wondering if you read that correctly - surf???? Yes, you can surf in Nova Scotia! In fact, Lawrencetown is the home of Nova Scotia's surfing scene. According to East Coast Surf School, "Its unique south facing direction make for the most consistent waves in the province, with only a handful of 'unsurfable' days a year." Look out California, we are your East Coast competition!
Crescent Beach, Lockeport, Shelburne County - Not to be confused with Crescent Beach in Bridgewater, some say Crescent Beach in Lockeport is Nova Scotia's best kept secret. This beach forms the causeway that joins Lockeport to the mainland. It has white sand that is soft like flour. It is always very quiet and has awesome waves and no seaweed! Crescent Beach was also featured on the back of the Canadian $50 bill in 1954! Warrell Alfred Hauk engraved a seascape scene onto the bill based on a photograph of the beach for the 1954 series.
Rainbow Haven, Cow Bay, Halifax County - A Bluenoser in Cole Harbour writes that she loves it because it is a great walk and only a 10 minute drive from her house. As I mentioned, our beaches are frequented during all seasons and Rainbow Haven is definitely a local favourite for walks all year round.
Taylor's Head, Spry Bay, Halifax County - This was listed as a favourite by a Bluenoser because not only do you get a great beach but you can walk trails while you are there. It is not too crowded, has white sand and very few rocks!
Caribou/Munroe's Island, Pictou, Pictou County - A Bluenoser who owns land in Pictou listed this beach as one of her favourites as it is 10 minutes away from her land, the park around the beach is great and the sand doesn't stick to everything because of the larger grains. Located on the Northumberland Strait, Caribou/Munroe's Island offers some of the warmest saltwater swimming north of the Carolinas.
Conrad's Beach, Lawrencetown, Halifax County - Referred to as Lawrencetown's best kept secret, one Bluenoser listed this as one of their favourites because it is just a nice stretch of beach and always a nice visit! Even bigger than Lawrencetown Beach, Conrad's Beach is part of the Nova Scotia Coastal Heritage Park System so there are boardwalks from the parking lot (which is on the smallers side) right down to the beach. Conrad's Beach is also a breeding ground for the piping pover, an endangered species of bird. If you visit, please heed the signs posted to protect the plovers.
Carter's Beach, Port Mouton, Queen's County, has been called Nova Scotia's Caribeean getaway because of its soft white sand and crystal clear water.
Water temperatures for the beaches taken from the daily sea surface temperature (SST) satellite readings from NOAA.