The great place for families and young children is down by the dunes, at the Long Dock which is also the home of the only fast-food outlet on the beach. According to local lore, this seasonal take-out restaurant cooks up and serves THE best fries along the shoreline. Milkshakes, soft drinks, ice cream, burgers and hot dogs are other items on the menu. The beach stretches for kilometres and is home to rare dune grass. Dune grass helps the area serve as part of the Appellation and Songbird Migration Routes. There are no beach shelters along the Southampton shoreline, so remember to slather on the sunscreen several times during the day, wear a hat and tote an umbrella to the beach. Change rooms and washrooms share space with the restaurant. Here, too, is the site of the former Long and Short Docks, built during Lake Huron's shipping heydey. Southampton's icon, the Chantry Island lighthouse, sits majestically across from this beach. The wooden Long Dock once connected Chantry Island to the shore, with a gap allowing boats to travel through. The cribs are still visible at the water's edge and, with well-worn paths down the centre of each, make a great place for youngsters to explore with net and bucket in hand. One lone leafy tree graces the beach here, so if you're looking for a shady spot, you need to stake your claim early. To reach the Long Dock Beach, park in the parking lot beside the restaurant and simply head toward the water, where the two former docks flank the swim area on either side.