Best done with the obligatory ice cream cone in hand, sunset viewing is one of the most popular and affordable pastimes on the Lake Huron Shoreline! Purples, reds, oranges and yellows, streak across the sky each clear evening at sunset time. It's a different colour combination every night...a delight for professional and amateur photographers alike. Benches line the shoreline in most areas for your viewing pleasure or, bring your own lawnchair or blanket. On warm nights, take a refreshing dip before watching the sun go down. Stroll, drive or bike to the nearest waterfront and take in Mother Nature at her most creative! (By the way, the sunsets are sometimes even more spectacular during fall, winter and spring!)
By far, the most popular sunset viewpoint in Southampton is down by Millard Boulevard at the west end of High Street. Arrive early to snag a bench for a front row seat or perch on the stone wall at the foot of the flag. On Friday evenings throughout the summer, a lone, kilted figure stands on the shoreline playing the bagpipes as the sun sinks below the horizon. Take part in another Southampton tradition--High Street. Cruise west on High Street to Millard Boulevard and follow the curve down by the lake and enjoy the expansive panorama of beach and water.
Anywhere along the Southampton shoreline is perfect sunset viewing. Relax on one of the many benches lining the boardwalk, bring a blanket or towel and sit closer to the water's edge. Take in the sunset pushing the kids on the swings. Park at any public access point to the beach north or south of the Saugeen River to seek your perfect viewing spot.
Pioneer Park has a spectacular view of both lake and the mouth of the Saugeen River...watch the boats head back into the river silhouetted against the brilliant summer sky.
The shore road between Southampton and Port Elgin has several public access points to the waterfront, offering less populated, quiet areas from which to contemplate the magnificent Lake Huron sunsets. Public benches are scarce in this area, so bring along a lawnchair or blanket for sunset viewing in comfort.
No doubt about it....the stroll out to the harbour breakwall past the moored boats is the sunset tradition in Port Elgin. From Northshore Park to the harbour and along the public beachfront, sunset viewing vistas are plentiful. The hard surface pathways make easy walking, too. Rest awhile on lakeview benches from Northshore Park, along the harbour path and to the beach. Or, bring a blanket or lawnchair and lounge on the grassy areas (not, however, the dune grass areas!) while taking in the view. Sunsets are spectacular viewed from a boat moored in the harbour, too, or out on the lake for a peaceful sunset cruise. On Sunday evenings during July and August, take in an outdoor evening concert by local talent performing at the beach bandshell just before the sunset hour.
South of Port Elgin, watch the sunset along the beach at Gobles Grove, Eidt's Grove or anywhere there is a public access point. And, again, as public benches are few and far between here, bringing your own seating is recommended.
Between Port Elgin and Kincardine, explore along the shoreline at public access points for other, less sought out sunset viewing lookout points. Stick with a well-loved favourite or choose a different vantage point each night!
One of the most unique and fun spots from which to view a sunset is one of the Big Blue Chairs on Kincardine's Station Beach. Four people can sit cheek to cheek and watch the sun go down from one of these chairs located right on the beach. Ask a passerby to take your picture to show the folks back home! Take a seat on one of the benches found along the boardwalk or perch in the boardwalk gazebo to enjoy the last rays of the day. Blankets, sand and water just seem to go together for sunset gazing; dip your toes in the water while the sun goes down. Added bonus: listen to the haunting tunes of the Phantom Piper as he serenades the sun to sleep from his post atop the lighthouse every night but Saturday. On Saturday, the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band Parade and Concert starts at 8 p.m. in downtown Kincardine.
At Dunsmoor park and beach, enjoy a sunset promenade through the rock gardens and Lover's Lane. Benches at Queen's Lookout, west of Victoria Park, face west over the lake--perfect for catching the last of the glowing sun!
All other Kincardine beaches are beautiful spots to end a perfect summer's day--blankets or lawnchairs required as benches are not located on all town beaches.
Prefer the morning's rays to those of the evening? Paisley's lengthy dyke system along the Saugeen River offers a beautiful and unique vantage point to catch the sun rising on a peaceful summer morning. Sit on one of the benches along the dyke or bring your own lawnchair to choose that special viewpoint. An exquisite spot for that first cup of coffee too!
MacGregor Point Provinical Park
Still yet another beautiful location from which to take in a sunset! Pack a picnic supper, your bathing suit and cruise on down to the day use area of this provincial park located just south of Port Elgin. (Follow the provinical park signs from Hwy 21). Bring your own blanket or lawnchair or make use of one of the picnic tables along the water's edge for your pre-sunset dinner. There is no charge for the park's day-use beach. (Note: the park is closed to visitors at 9 p.m., so sunset viewing time may occur after 9 p.m. in early summer).
Inverhuron Provincial Park
A sandy beach and a beautiful sunset--absolute perfection! During the summer, take a pre-sunset dip before the sun goes down over Lake Huron. A day-use only park, Inverhuron's one-kilometre beach is a quiet and peaceful spot to contemplate Mother Nature in her glorious evening finery. User's fee applies.
An imperial lighthouse silhouetted against the setting sun and the dancing waters of Lake Huron....a sight beyond price and free for the taking! The sandy beach at Point Clark is one more vantage point for sunset viewing beyond compare. Again...pack a meal, go for a swim and make your sunset viewing a night out to remember!
A Different View
Lake Huron Shoreline sunsets are equally spectacular viewed over a farmers' field, especially after the crop has been harvested in late summer or early fall. Watch the field turn to gold right before your very eyes as the sun sinks downwards. Travel north to south (or south to north--your preference!) on any side or back road, pull over and park and take in the amazing colours from the comfort of your own vehicle.