On the picturesque shores of the St. Lawrence River lies the historic city of Kingston. Home to impassioned curators and creators, a place that embraces new ideas – it’s authentic, vibrant and never stops surprising. The waterfront is brimming with activities, festivals, pathways and eateries. Kingston boasts more restaurants per capita than nearly any city in Canada, so make sure to come hungry. With an abundance of casual outdoor patios, fine dining restaurants, and pubs – you’ll find something delicious at every turn. The fun doesn’t slow down at night with a vibrant theatre, arts, and events scene.
Take in the sights and sounds of the city’s waterfront by touring the 8km waterfront pathway that passes right along the popular downtown harbor. Hop aboard the free, 20-minute Wolfe Island Ferry and Explore Wolfe Island. If you are looking for a new perspective the city takes on a different vista from the water – especially on a leisurely dinner or sunset cruise. At Kingston 1000 Island Cruises, it’s all about food, fun and entertainment! They are committed to fine food services, interactive entertainment and first rate service aboard all of our vessels.
A 300-passenger paddle wheeler. With interior oak panels and antique tin, this beautifully restored triple-decker will remind you of those classic cruise ships on the Mississippi. Suitable for leisure cruises but perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
This 150-passenger beauty is a regular site in and around the 1000 Islands. It’s a replica St. Lawrence Steamer with two decks that’s used for Discover Cruises and charters. It can accommodate 60 passengers for a sit down meal or 125 for an evening reception or informal barbecue.
One of the most recognized 1000 Islands cruise ships, likely due to its unique translucent glass canopy. Similar to the Bateaux-Mouche style boats popular on the Seine in Paris, this 180-capacity model puts you closer to the water than any other type of cruise ship. With a full kitchen on board, the dining menu offers a choice of entrees cooked to order, making this ship a popular option for lunch, dinner and panorama cruises.
Choose between daily sightseeing cruises, private charters or a complete dining experience, departing from the wharf at 1 Brock Street, downtown Kingston.
Kingston Downtown at a Glance
A visit to Kingston wouldn’t be complete without at trip to the bustling downtown core. During tourist season you’ll find everything from street performing, live music, and cooking demonstrations to boats and fireworks. There is something for everyone to enjoy at downtown Kingston’s many events and festivals.
Here are just a few of the many events happening downtown:
Springer Market Square Has Got It Going On
Right in the hub of downtown, you’ll find Springer Market Square. In the cooler months, you can skate under the stars on a beautifully kept skating rink. In tourist season, check out Movies in the Square, where most Thursday evenings, this unique space is transformed into a free, outdoor movie theatre. There’s also free Local Chef Cooking Demos every Saturday, where Kingston’s best chefs come together with local producers to share their knowledge and passion of local food with the public. Another great find in the square is Kingston’s Public Market, where fresh, local produce and other products are sold every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, April through November.
Confederation Park for Great Views and Activities
Located across from City Hall on the shores of the St. Lawrence River you’ll find Kingston’s most happening park. From mid June through September hear Music in the Park. Kingston’s most talented musicians perform over 50 concerts in an array of musical genres. Taste of Kingston and Chilifest; two amazing events both celebrating one of things Kingstonian’s like best; food! Taste of Kingston, in July, allows you to sample the wares from some of the city’s best restaurants. Chilifest, in September, allows local restaurants show off their chili making skills.
Kingston Buskers Rendezvous
Street performers from all over the world come together in Kingston for this action packed event that will leave you awed and entertained. You’ll see everything from juggling to dancing to jaw dropping magic. Find them from July 6 – 9th 2017, when Kingston turns downtown streets into a stage for performers.
Check our Events section to see the dates and times of these and other great happenings.
Sightseeing Made Easy with Trolley Tours
Hop On, Hop Off tours are offered by Kingston Trolley Tours and are a great way to get to know historic Kingston, Ontario. Just hop aboard any of the four comfortable, thirty-two passenger trolleys and you’ll begin a journey that will engulf you in Kingston’s rich history and take you to some of the best attractions.
This informative and engaging trip will give you an overview of Kingston’s more than three hundred years of history. The Trolley route covers all of Kingston’s historic old town and downtown shopping district, as far East as Fort Henry and as far West as the Kingston Penitentiary.
When in season, the Trolley makes nine stops in the heart of the most popular visitor destinations, including Fort Henry, the Penitentiary Museum, and Queen’s University; you can hop off at any stop, stay for as long as you like, then hop back on and tour. Hop off and grab a bite to eat, take a cruise, shop or relax by the water. Then hop back on and continue your tour.
Dining, Best Enjoyed Fresh
You can’t visit Kingston and not rave about the food. With more restaurants per capita than nearly any city in Canada, you’re guaranteed to find something new and delicious! Casual & fine dining, unique creations and pub fare – you’ll find it all and more in Kingston 1000 Islands!
Listing every amazing restaurant would be next to impossible but here are few that offer something unique:
Woodenheads Gourmet Pizza This is the place to go for delicious and unique food, including the best wood-fired pizza around. Relax on the patio or chill inside by the bar, just make sure to call ahead because this is one busy spot. Located at 192 Ontario Street, Kingston.
Dianne’s Fish Shack & Smokehouse Downtown Kingston, just steps away from the waterfront you’ll find Dianne’s. This is a seafood extravaganza that celebrates the quintessential Canadian east coast with a hint of Baja Mexican flavouring. Dianne’s has embraced the local food movement and is a big supporter of local farmers and breweries such as Gananoque Brewing Company and Muskoka Brewery. Located at 195 Ontario Street, Kingston.
The Kingston Brewing Company This is Ontario’s oldest brew pub, established n 1986 and is Canada’s oldest wine-producing pub. Housed in an 1800’s-era brick and stone building, they produce beers, wines, ciders and soda pops right on the premises. Food is pub style with beer used in many of the recipes. Located at 34 Clarence Street, Kingston.
Chez Piggy Tucked away in the heart of downtown, you’ll find Kingston’s beloved Chez Piggy. Since opening in 1979, food quality and amazing tastes have been their priority; this made them a favourite destination for food lovers in this area. The menu is inspired by the flavours of world and they are dedicated to bringing only the freshest ingredients to your table. Located at 68R Princess Street, Kingston.
Geneva Crepe Café Bistro If you have never tried a crepe before, this is the place to do it. At Geneva Crepe Café Bistro, they specialize in French crepes (savory & sweet), Belgian waffles, homemade soups and seasonal salads. Once you’ve had one of these crepes, you’ll never look at a pancake again without wanting so much more. Located at 297 Princess Street, Kingston.
Fort Henry is one of Canada’s premiere historic attractions, along with the Rideau Canal and the Kingston Fortifications, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built from solid Kingston limestone and armed with an arsenal of cannons and Snider Enfield rifles, Fort Henry was constructed to guard Kingston against foreign invasion. Today, Fort Henry is both a museum and a spectacular historic site. Once inside the fortification’s wooden gates, visitors enter a marvelous reproduction of 19th century military life. Thousands of international guests are welcomed with hands-on programs for kids and adults, musical and sporting events, daily half-hour tours and live interpretations. Plus, summer evenings feature Fort Henry Guard music and artillery performances!
Kingston has a rich heritage and local pride that is showcased in the 24 museums and historic sites that you can enjoy and discover. Here are a few of the museums worth checking out:
Bellevue House Natural Historic Site of Canada Visit the 1840’s restored house and gardens of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister. Exhibits in the visitor centre commemorate his life and career, and costumed staff present the daily life of the Macdonald family. Located at 35 Centre Street, Kingston.
Canada’s Penitentiary Museum Built in 1873 as the Kingston Penitentiary Warden’s residence, “Cedarhedge” now houses Canada’s Penitentiary Museum. Investigate the history of Canada’s federal penitentiaries. Located at 555 King Street West, Kingston.
Fairfield House and Park Built in 1793, this house preserves the building skills of the Loyalist settlers. Visit for a guided tour. The park on the lakeshore is a pleasant picnic area. Located at 4574 Bath Road, Kingston.
MacLauchlan Woodwork Museum This museum holds the most extensive, nationally significant collection of woodworking tools in Canada. The Museum is located 16km East of Kingston at the entrance of scenic Grass Creek Park.
What a whirlwind month! When I was first approached to travel through The Great Waterway with the ‘On the Way’ team, I knew this would be a rare and unique opportunity. After 32 days of amazing moments, wonderful adventures and awesome food, I have no regrets, it was truly incredible.For 32 days we hit the road and explored the regions of The Great Waterway, which include; The Bay of Quinte, Prince Edward County, Land O’Lakes, Rideau Heritage Route, Kingston 1000 Islands, Ganano...