Best beaches of the Great Lakes: USA Today list includes Bayfield, Ontario
Well, whaddya know? A USA Today list that is not only useful but also includes Canada!
I've often railed at U.S. studies and lists that ignore those of us who spend 11 months of the year huddled in our igloos and watching curling highlights. But I spotted a nice one today at USAToday that talks about the best beaches in the Great Lakes, and one of the five is Bayfield Main Beach in Ontario.
Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University who calls himself Dr. Beach, picked the following as top beaches in the Great Lakes:
Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan (which also, bizarrely, got the nod from Good Morning America viewers as the most beautiful place in the U.S.)
Presque Isle State Park (not ours in Ontario) on Lake Erie, between Cleveland and Buffalo
Sand Point Beach on Lake Superior in Michigan
Oak Street Beach, Chicago
As for Bayfield, Leatherman cited the sunsets over Lake Huron from the Bayfield Pier, the "Blue Flag" status as a clean beach and amenities near the shore. He also said crowds are never a concern, which is probably a surprise to some locals.
The Star profiled the area in one of our "Perfect Weekend" features earlier this summer.
Actually, though, Leatherman said he didn't visit Bayfield, which I find rather odd.
"The area is so vast, I couldn't get everywhere. But if we're doing the Great Lakes, I thought we shouldn't leave out Canada."
Nice of him to include us, as I said, but strange that he's basing his ratings on descriptions from other people...
Leatherman usually sticks to rating ocean beaches but finally this year did something on the Great Lakes.
Asked why, he responded, "Years and years of being battered by all the people who were from the Great Lakes."
Definitely some good stuff. I love the beaches along Lake Huron and also enjoy Sandbanks. Closer to home, there are great beaches on the Toronto Islands, of course, as well as all along Lake Ontario on both sides of Toronto.
As for Sleeping Bear Dunes being the most beautiful place in the U.S., I don't think so. The picture in USA Today (see photo at left) is quite boring, I thought. I went online and found some nice ones, but I don't think it's a place you can compare to Pt. Reyes, California or the Grand Canyon or the Grand Tetons, which might be as fantastic as the Canadian Rockies.
Of course, that's what make lists fun to dream up. And write about....