If you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of a city with the warm and inviting atmosphere of a town, then look no further than Kingston! Kingston offers fun and enjoyment for all ages, using its historical background and booming economy to foster a place of enjoyment, learning and adventure.
Make sure you check out these top spots on your next trip through Kingston!
Visit and explore one of Canada’s oldest and most notorious prisons. Step inside one of the most prolific buildings in Canada to learn what it would have been like to live inside the limestone prison over the mid to late 1900’s. Guided by expert Kingstonians, the tour of Kingston Penitentiary will be an experience unlike anything you could imagine. A must-have on the bucket list for true crime lovers!
2. Cruise The Waterway In Style
Get ready for some fun when attending one of the 1000 Islands Cruises or St Lawrence Cruises offered in Kingston! Whether you are travelling alone, with friends or with family, there is a cruise for you. Choose from a variety of daily cruises including sightseeing, dining or a private charter and prepare to be entertained.
If you are a history buff, you’ve got to check out the Fort Henry National Historic Site here in Kingston. Built during the war of 1812, Fort Henry was Kingston’s main defence due to its location between the three waterways: Rideau Canal, St. Lawrence River, and Lake Ontario. Renovated into a living museum in the 1930’s, Fort Henry is a blast from the past with genuine cannons, jail cells and hidden passages to explore.
The epic Sunset Ceremonies at Fort Henry are a must-see in Kingston! Fort Henry continues to impress as a museum and historic site, showcasing the realm of 19th century military life. During the Sunset Ceremonies, witness the Fort Henry Guard take the Parade Square for a show of military precision, highlighting marching manoeuvres, rifle drill, military music, cannon firing – and the big finale of breathtaking fireworks! Couple that with unparalleled scenic views of Kingston and it will be an evening to remember.
Do you consider yourself a foodie? Check out Kingston’s walking tour of the delicious and detailed downtown area. Enjoy tastings at the best local eateries and gain inside knowledge on the culture and history of the limestone city. If you love to live local, you will enjoy what Kingston Food Tours delivers. From chatting with local business owners to meeting the farmers who help sustain our unique shops, you and your brain will walk away from this tour full of knowledge and delicious food!
Can’t decide what you want to do while visiting Kingston? Check out the offerings from Kingston Destination Group. Operating the 1000 Islands Cruises, Trolley Tours, K-Pass, Wheelhouse Culinary and Waterfront Gifts & Apparel, the Kingston Destination Group will find the perfect activity for you! Take a full tour of Kingston on the “Hop on Hop off” Trolley Tours, where you can experience 9 different attractions in the Kingston area. Or grab a K-Pass and find your perfect mix of cruises, tours and museum adventure.
One price, one pass – all of Kingston! The ever-popular K-Pass has been on hold for the past few years, but it returns in 2023 to grant access to Kingston’s attractions. The K-Pass is an all-inclusive ticket to Kingston and the 1000 Islands, taking the guesswork out of getting around and exploring the city. Get out there and discover Kingston!
Prepare to be spooked! The Haunted Walks of Kingston is back for another sinister summer, haunting newcomers and local. With the Original Haunted Walk of Kingston, tour guides tell of haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds, hangings, and Kington’s famous haunted courtyard. These secrets of Kingston’s past won’t be found in any history book!
The Haunted Walk Experience at Fort Henry explores Kingston’s 19th century fortress with your guide focusing on its history. From hangings to authentic supernatural encounters, you’ll be talking about this trip for years to come. Psst! There are even late-night tours available on select evenings throughout the summer!
Improbable Escapes is the perfect way to get your fill of adventure. If you and your pals have a thing for mystery, puzzles and creative-thinking, then this is your jam! Book a private adventure with your favourite people and get locked in a room for 60 minutes, then put your heads together to escape before the buzzer goes off. Choose between indoor and outdoor escape rooms such as: ‘Kingston Is A Ghost Town’ and ‘Legend Of The Mayan Temple.’
8. Cheers For Beers
Kingston has long since been passionate about pints. Local brewing companies dotted the landscape here before it was trendy and the insight, flavour and originality that is evident in every sip are unmistakable. Most breweries welcome visitors to sip and savour in unique atmospheres, and new up-and-coming breweries are joining the landscape with established ones! Take a look at our Google Map at the end of the blog to plan out your next beer tour.
9. County Sips
10. Catch Live Performances By Local Talent
Music is a language that everyone speaks, and if you have heard of The Tragically Hip, then you know that Kingston produces incredibly talented musicians. Many of the bars and restaurants feature local talent throughout the week and weekends all summer long. Take a look at our Google Map at the end of the blog to see our top picks for live music!
11. Learn About The Cultural History
Explore more than 30+ museums, art galleries, and historic sites. Have a look at the Kingston Museums website to plan your next visit.
Discovery doesn’t stop on land in Kingston! Dive into the intrigue and explore ancient shipwrecks, lying in silence in the depths of Lake Ontario. Neptune & Salacia Diving showcases Kingston and the region’s underwater wonders – known as some of the finest freshwater shipwreck diving in the world. Neptune & Salacia Diving offers scuba diving charters and PADI courses ranging from beginner to Divemaster, as well as other specialties, including private chartering and even snorkelling tours! Hope aboard the PADI-authorized boat, Dorothy J, and explore underwater windows to the past.
Join the welcoming team with kids as young as 10 to learn how to scuba dive! For $100 you can get an introductory course on how to explore the deeps. If you are already an experienced diver, or want to commit to longer learning they also offer advanced open water diving courses and master scuba diver courses! If you already have a scuba diving certification then you can join in on one of their “Walk-On” charters to check out a local shipwreck in the Kingston area.
13. Indulge In Local Flavors And Art
Make the next stop Kingston for the love of food. Since 1801 farmers from Kingston and area have congregated in Market Square for the Kingston Public Market. Friends and neighbours continue to gather here today, in the city’s historic downtown. Grab a bouquet of sunflowers, a tin of maple syrup or anything that strikes your fancy!
Picture it: the products of more than 30 local farmers in one beautiful weekly market! Are your taste buds tingling? It happens at the Memorial Centre Farmers Market. All products are grown and produced in the Kingston foodshed – within about 100km of the market. During the colder months, the market went solely online, but the open-air market opens for the season on May 7!
Get ready for a feast for the senses every Sunday once the weather warms in Springer Market Square. The Katarokwi Indigenous Art & Food Market features local Indigenous artists, artisans, and musicians. Look for handcrafted art, jewellery, and clothing for sale, while enjoying freshly made food and live music and demonstrations, with different artists featured every week.