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Crystal Crescent named one of North America's Top 50 Beaches

FlightNetwork says white sands and clear blue water at the provincial park's three beaches make them look tropical
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Crystal Crescent Provincial Park (Meghan Groff/

Sambro Creek's Crystal Crescent has been named one of North America's Top 50 Beaches by FlightNetwork.

The travel website says, despite having an annual average temperature of 18C, the soft, white sands and clear blue water at the provincial park's three beaches make them look tropical.

It's ranked 16th on this list, which highlights its birding and wildlife viewing, along with access to the hiking trail at Pennant Point.

Author of Best Nova Scotia Beaches, Allan Billard, agrees it's one of the best options near Halifax.

"It has beautiful white sand, it's lovely to walk on," he told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show. "The water's pretty cold, but hey, you go to the beach to be on the beach. You don't necessarily have to get wet."

Crystal Crescent was one of 4 Nova Scotian beaches to make the list.

Meat Cove placed highest in spot 14. FlightNetwork points to the stunning views that can be experienced from nearby kayaking, camping and hiking spots.

Billard said the gravel beach at the northern tip of Cape Breton isn't anything special for Nova Scotia, but the surrounding landscape is certainly worth the trek.

"A heck of a drive into there, just a fabulous bit of coastal scenery. I wouldn't go for the beach but I would sure recommend people go to Meat Cove."

Cape Breton's Ingonish Beach came in 35th.

"During the summer months, the water is clear and blue, hedged by rolling green hills that end right at the water's edge," said FlightNetwork. "If you tire of the saltwater, hop over to Freshwater Lake just a few steps away across the barachois connecting the two areas."

Billard said they're referring to a smaller beach that's part of Cape Breton National Park.

"The bigger community of Ingonish, it has a much longer and quieter beach. It's not quite as nice sand, but a much bigger beach and that often times is referred to the North Beach," he said.

The south shore's Carters Beach is the lowest ranked Nova Scotian beach on the list at number 37, with FlightNetwork calling it a "beautiful, sparkling beach experience that is stunning and one-of-a-kind."

The website points to it's "white sands and Caribbean turquoise waters."

For those same reasons, Billard said he'd place it at #1 on his list of beaches.

"The sand is gorgeous, the water is reasonably warm and when the tide is out, you get to walk from one beach to another beach to another beach," he described. "The further you get away from the parking lot, the fewer people there are."

The big downside according to Billard, is lack of parking and facilities. Also, due to its growing popularity, Carters has become quite crowded in recent years.

New Brunswick's Hopewell Rocks placed 27th on the list and Prince Edward Island's Cavendish Beach is 33rd.

According to FlightNetwork, Mexico's Tulum Beach is the best in North America.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for
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