We might not be able to head south at the moment, but if you’re craving sun and sand, the St. Zotique beach near Montreal has all that — and more.
About a 30-minute drive from the West Island, the huge site features a long sandy beach complete with thatched umbrellas; perfect for that “I’m away from everything” feeling. Get there early to snag a shady spot, toss down your bags, and sink into the water. Bliss!
Activities for everyone
Ideal for kids, there is a gradual entrance from the beach into the water, there are minnows to catch, and sand that is great for castle making. Once you’re tired of swimming, make sure to explore the rest of the site as there is tons to do. Visit the playgrounds and fenced wading pool; run through the new splash surrounded by miniature models of local attractions; or play in the soccer fields, or on the beach volleyball or tennis courts. You can also rent kayaks, pedal boats, and more, or go all out and treat the kids to an hour on the huge Eau Défi inflatable obstacle course that’s floating just offshore.
When everyone has worked up an appetite there is a canteen and terrace as well as a refreshing ice cream shop. Both are cash or debit. Alternatively, bring your own meals or food to barbecue because there is plenty of space and hundreds of picnic tables.
The site is also wheelchair-accessible with adapted washroom facilities, a wooden walkway on the edge of the beach, free rental of Hippocampe chairs, and an all-terrain beach wheelchair. See the website for full details.
Get there early
On our most recent visit, we arrived right when the site opened at 9 a.m. and had the place almost to ourselves before the lifeguards opened the beach at 10. We played in the sand, searched for “special” rocks and mussel shells in the water, strolled along the beach, splashed in the splash pad, and explored the playgrounds. By midday, the place was absolutely packed and we headed home; sandy and exhausted from having so much fun.
105, 81st Avenue Saint-Zotique, J0P 1Z0
The beach opens for the season on June 19, 2021. Tickets can be purchased online starting June 1 at www.plagest-zotique.com. You can find admission prices, rental rates, activities, rules, and more on the Saint-Zotique Beach website. You can also check their Facebook page in case of weather closures or for up-to-date announcements and events.
The site is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Swimming hours are 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Swimming is only allowed when lifeguards are on duty.
In order to comply with health measures, the site has a maximum capacity of 2,500. While tickets can be bought at the gate, it is highly recommended to reserve your date and pre-purchase them online to avoid disappointment.
All photos by Christine Latreille
Related read: 4 unique vacation spots near Montreal