Kingston boasts four Rembrandt paintings, two film festivals, and one vibrant downtown shopping scene. Home to Ontario’s oldest public market and Canada’s hippest live music scene, Kingston is a walkable city, where hidden alleyways contain antique markets and restaurant patios. With dozens of museums and historic sites, and dozens more unique shopping and dining experiences, Kingston offers you something old and something new around every corner.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Kingston, scroll down or visit the city's tourism website.
Where is Kingston?
Kingston is located on the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat and the Mississauga of the Ojibways. To the local Indigenous peoples, this place has long been known as Katarowki, meaning “a place where there is clay.” In Anishnaabowin, it is “Gaadanokwii.” In Mohawk, it is “Ken’tarókwen.”
Kingston/Katarokwi acknowledges the everlasting presence of other Indigenous nations, the Metis, Inuit, and other First Nations. We are grateful to reside in and visit this territory and acknowledge that each of us has a responsibility to honour these lands by walking gently and respectfully upon them and enjoying the immense beauty of the natural landscape.
Kingston is located in South Eastern Ontario where Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the historic Rideau Canal meet and right in the middle between Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Syracuse, New York. The city is easily accessible via Highway 401.
Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.
Many tourism experiences require advance bookings or have restrictions in place due to COVID 19. It is important to check directly with the business operator before you travel. Get the most up-to-date information now.
Things to Do in Kingston
Pair the grand heritage, history, and architecture of Kingston with the city’s dynamic cultural life for a truly distinct getaway. Leave the car behind as you explore the pedestrian-friendly downtown core’s limestone streetscapes dotted with restaurants and bars offering some of the best food and drink you’ll find anywhere, and an abundance of independent shops and boutiques offering only-in-Kingston finds.
Enriched by an active arts and culture scene, Kingston offers dynamic festivals and events year-round. Cinephile? Experience the country’s best films at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival or explore issues of identity at Reelout Queer Film Festival. Bookworm? Connect with your favourite authors at Kingston WritersFest. Foodie? Check out YGK Craft Beer Fest or Corks & Forks. Music lover? Limestone City Blues Festival and Back to the Farm Beer and Music Festival are must-dos, plus you can find live music wafting from Kingston’s many pubs, taverns, and cafes pretty much any night of the week.
Kingston is also for the kids! Events like Maple Madness, Feb Fest, Buskers Rendezvous, and Movies in the Square offer family-friendly fare, while Kingston’s many museums have engaging children’s exhibits and programming that the whole family can enjoy, including the Museum of Healthcare, the PumpHouse, and Frontenac County Schools Museum. Or pack a picnic and hit up one of the city’s many beaches, parks, or hiking trails. Grass Creek Park and Breakwater Park, which features an accessible beach, are both favourites.
Kingston Neighbourhoods & Districts
The City of Kingston is made up of several distinct neighbourhoods, however, the city can be divided into four major areas geographically.
Downtown and inner suburbs
A historical centre of the city, downtown and the inner suburbs are home to some of the most important heritage places of interest in Kingston, including Sydenham and Downtown Kingston, the Inner Harbour, Queen’s University, and Portsmouth Village – home to the oldest federal penitentiary in Canada.
Things to Know About Visiting Kingston
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Kingston, it’s nice to learn what the locals know about the city.
Little known fact
Great way to get around
Where to watch the sunset
Last updated: December 14, 2021
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