Port Stanley is a community in Elgin County, province of Ontario, in the country of Canada. It is located on the north shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of Kettle Creek.
Lake Erie is one of the Great Lakes in the centre of Canada.
If you can find Toronto, drive west on the 401 highway for 2 hours, and once you get to London Ontario, head south for another 30 minutes.
You will be in Port Stanley, aka Port, to the locals. It has a population of 2,148.
During the summer months of June, July, and August, the population increases, because the tourists invade this delightful lakeside town, especially for the beach.
Port Stanley Beaches
Port Stanley’s Main Beach is a long beach, with a great stretch of sandy on Lake Erie’s north shore. It is right in the centre of town. Just cross the lift bridge and turn left.
Port Stanley’s Main Beach is one of a few in Canada to have earned the official Blue Flag because of its strict water quality and safety criteria.
This beach even has mats to make the beach more accessible to those who have a wheelchair or stroller.
Port Stanley’s Little Beach is another option. Instead of crossing the lift bridge, drive straight ahead and park once you get close to the water.
Little Beach is seclude and protected by a cliff.
You won’t regret it. Little Beach is 185 metres of heaven. The water is perfect for family swimming. Expect crowds on a hot summer day.
Jackson’s fish factory outlet is right there too, so don’t forget to purchase some fresh yellow perch.
Erie Rest Beach
BeachBabyBob and his family have been visiting Port Stanley for over 50 years. Their favourite strip of sand and water in Port Stanley is Erie Rest Beach.
It is west of the Main Beach maybe 1 km or so. Cross the life bridge, and drive through the village heading west. Drive halfway up Picnic Hill and then make a sudden sharp left turn down toward the water.
If you can’t find it, just stop and ask. The people in Port are very friendly and they might even share the directions to Erie Rest. This beach is the gem of Port Stanley.
There is parking for about 20 vehicles, so arrive early especially on the weekends. ‘Erie Rest’ is about 250 meters wide and has a beautiful sand beach with waters dropping off gradually in the first 100 meters.
There are no lifeguards and facilities are limited to a portable washroom. It’s best suited for those hoping to find a beach that’s less busy than Main Beach on a hot sunny day.
Enjoy the warm shallow water but watch out for rip tides. There is a sign on the beach that will explain what to do if a rip tip catches you. The drift wood is very artistic. The sand is soft.
The dunes and grasses might have fish flies which are harmless. The kids don’t seem to mind.
Treasures are everywhere so bring a bucket, a towel, an umbrella, and of course, food and drinks, because there is no concession stand on Erie Rest.
Erie Rest Beach Port Stanley Ontario Canada – Jack, BeachBabyBob, and Sue love this beach!
Thousands of people walk the entire Port Stanley beach shoreline to soak in the beauty of the area.
It’s about a two kilometer walk from the east end of Main Beach to the cliffs at the end of the secluded sandy beach west of the Erie Rest Beach.
Hallowe’en in Port Stanley
On Valley Drive in Port Stanley’s west end, very near Erie Rest Beach, there is a house that is decorated for Hallowe’en. It is especially wonderful after dark.
Not only is the entire yard outlandishly decorated with very scary creatures, but the owners show movies i.e. Ghostbusters.
On your way to Erie Rest Beach, check out the house. You won’t be able to miss it. Be prepared to stop awhile. Your kids will love it.
BeachBabyBob and Jack call this house … “Stanley’s Graveyard”. Every day, the owner adds something new.
Other things to do in Port Stanley Beach
Elgin Hiking Trail – If you like to hike, you will love this 41 km trail. It is a Carolinian Forest experience of beauty.
Fisherman’s Museum – This is a memorial to the lives and times of Port Stanley fishermen. i.e. Earl Robertson
Glover Park – Sit, relax and watch the maritime traffic slip by in this special park next to the lift bridge. You might even be there when a live musician is practising.
Historical Walking Tour of Port Stanley – Discover the history of Port on this very interesting tour.
King George VI Bascule Bridge – Watch this special Port Stanley’s trademark bridge do its thing.
Lake Erie Salmon & Trout Club –Just outside of Port Stanley at 4255 Thomas Road, you can be sure to catch a fish. The kids will be all smiles.
Lions Landing Marina Park –Public picnic tables, BBQ pits and a covered seating area for all and its free. You bring the supplies.
Moore Water Gardens – For more than 75 years, water lilies and aquatic plants for wholesale and retail sales are waiting for all the gardeners who live and visit the village..
Port Stanley Jail – Across from the Legion just over the King George VI bridge, check out the 1870’s jail.
Port Stanley Festival Theatre – This 150 seat theatre located in the former Town Hall building produces appealing, summer theatre.
Port Stanley Terminal Rail – Ride the ‘railway running between Port Stanley and St. Thomas. It’s been in operation for 25 years and is Elgin County’s longest running tourist attraction.
The Cork Kiln – Near the south end of Main Street, this pottery kiln was built around 1915 during the boom of the fishing industry and was instrumental in drying the cork floats used for the fishermen’s nets.
The Stork Club Big Band Museum & Hall of Fame – BeachBabyBob and his wife use to dance in the Stork Club, back in the 1960’s. This museum displays Big Band memorabilia. Ferry boats from the U.S.A. use to bring 1000’s of dancers to this massive dance hall on the beach until it burned to the ground in 1979. Visit and find out why!