One of Kingston's Hidden Gems
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What top attractions Kingston is home to?
Kingston has many attractions to experience. Some of the top attractions include:
Agnes Etherington Art Centre; Bellevue House; National Historic Site; Breakwater Park; Canada’s Penitentiary Museum; Fort Henry; National Historic Site; The Grand Theatre; The Haunted Walk of Kingston; Isabel Bader Centre for The Performing Arts; Kingston City Hall; Kingston Food Tours; Kingston Pen Tours; Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises; Kingston Trolley Tours; Leon’s Centre; Rideau Canal; Marine Museum of the Great Lakes; Military Communications and Electronics Museum; Miller Museum of Geology; Museum of Health Care; The PumpHouse; The Screening Room; The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning;
visitkingston.ca is a great resource for things to see and do in Kingston, restaurants, and attractions.
What’s Kingston’s culinary scene like?
With more restaurants per capita than almost any other city in Canada, Kingston has something for everyone. Whatever you’re craving, you’ll find it here, from bāo to roti, comfort food to haute cuisine.
Book a table or grab some takeout for a picnic by the waterfront. Take a guided food tour or take part in a food and wine pairing event. Fuel up at one of Kingston’s independent coffee shops, cafés, and bakeries. Grab a latte or a cup of tea, add some freshly baked treats, and plan the rest of your day. Make sure you don’t miss out on a Canadian staple – the restaurant patio. Kingston has plenty of options, from rooftop patios to cozy courtyards. Kingston is also located in the heart of Frontenac County farmland. Frontenac farms feed Kingston tables, and Kingston chefs utilize fresh, seasonal ingredients from local growers and producers.
What’s Kingston's Brewing history?
Kingston has a long history of beer brewing. The first breweries in the city operated in the 1790s. Rideau Street, in the city’s downtown, was then known as Brewery Street. Farther west, Morton’s Brewery and Distillery was established in 1832. One of its original buildings is now home to the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning. Established in 1986, the Kingston Brewing Company is Ontario’s oldest brewpub and Canada’s oldest wine-producing pub. It is now one of nine beer and cider makers in the city. You can sample some of Kingston’s brews at bars, restaurants, and festivals across the city. Several beverage makers also offer take-home and delivery options.
What things are there to do in Kingston during the spring?
In the spring, you can experience: Agnes Etherington Art Centre; Hike or cycle the K&P Trail; Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market; Kingston Food Tours; Kingston Public Market; Maple Madness; Queen’s University Arboretum.
Enjoy pancakes with warm maple syrup at Maple Madness at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. This family-friendly event takes place every March. Bring your family for a guided sugar bush tour, wagon rides, scavenger hunts, and more. And of course, sample some maple syrup.
Tapping sugar maple trees for their sap in the springtime is an ancient tradition in this region, originating with the Indigenous Peoples, who traditionally harvested and celebrated the gift of “sweet water.” Learn more at the Maple Madness interpretative talks and demonstrations. In May, Kingston parks, community spaces, and gardens come alive with tulips, daffodils, lilacs, and more. Explore the Queen’s University campus, where you will see curated gardens set against the backdrop of historic limestone buildings. The green space in front of Summerhill, Queen’s oldest building (1839), was also once the site of Canada’s first botanical garden. Today, this space is home to the Queen’s arboretum, featuring a wide variety of trees.
What things are there to do in Kingston during the summer?
There’s so much to do in Kingston in the summer, from golfing and boating to diving and fishing to hiking and biking. Kingston’s waterfront trail is easy to navigate on foot or by bike. Keep an eye out for the wayfinding signs along the trail, which will provide directions and teach you about the history of the region. If you didn’t bring your bike or kayak, don’t worry. You can rent one! Discover the unique shopping experiences in Kingston’s walkable downtown. You can explore the city and learn its history with a guided trolley tour and take in the beauty of the Thousand Islands on a sightseeing boat cruise. A number of hotels and inns offer special packages that bundle Kingston experiences and attractions with your stay.
In the summer, you can experience: Breakwater Park; Fort Henry; Kingston Pride; Kingston patios; Kingston Pen Tours; Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises: Kingston Trolley Tours; Cool off this summer with a dip in the pool – or in the lake. Breakwater Park in downtown Kingston offers an accessible lakeside beach, as well as picnic amenities. Grass Creek Park, in the city’s east end, also offers a large sandy beach and swimming area (plus an off -leash area for your canine friends). To the west, Lake Ontario Park, Kingston’s largest urban waterfront park, has a cobble beach, splash pad, beach volleyball court, and boat launch. Kids will enjoy the wading pool at McBurney Park and the Outdoor Aqua Park at the Memorial Centre.
What things are there to do in Kingston during the fall?
Autumn is the perfect time of year to take in Kingston’s architecture and historic sites. Take a guided tour or explore on your own. Today, some of these historic limestone buildings are home to restaurants, bookstores, boutiques, and more.
In the fall, you can experience: Ghost and Mystery Trolley Tour; The Haunted Walk of Kingston; Improbable Escapes Kingston; Kingston WritersFest; Open Farms; Pumpkinferno at Fort Henry; Skeleton Park; Thrifting; and antique shopping.
Kingston is home to more than 20 museums, national historic sites, art galleries, and archives. Explore geology, Canadian history, baroque and modern art, hockey, technology, medicine, and more. Enjoy hands-on learning with the kids or savour a quiet moment with a favourite painting.
What things are there to do in Kingston during the winter?
Kingston loves winter. As the winter evenings grow darker, downtown Kingston lights up in response. Enjoy the ambiance as you window-shop. Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Bring your skates and take a spin around the public rink at Springer Market Square.
Outside of downtown, there are plenty of other opportunities for you to get active in Kingston this winter! Go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, or tobogganing. Or stay in and explore the many Kingstonlicious prix fixe dining options offered throughout the city.
In the winter, you can experience: Art After Dark; Holiday markets; Kingston Canadian Film Festival; Kingstonlicious; Reelout; Queer Film Festival; Winter lights in downtown.