I have been living in Kingston for 6 years now. It was never a place I thought of moving too. It wasn’t even on my radar until work brought me here and I met my husband. The rest is history.
I love Kingston for many reasons but most importantly I feel like it offers a great small town feel with the bright lights of a bigger city. For someone coming from a town with a population of 8,500 people, that is very important to me. It also offers a fantastic downtown area, great shops, some of the best restaurants you will ever eat at, wonderful farmers markets, it’s right on the water and it is smack dab in the middle of some of the prettiest areas of Ontario like Westport, Ottawa and the Valley and Toronto. For anyone that loves the outdoors in the summer, these are places you just can’t miss and Kingston is right up there.
Here is my personal list of things you should see and do with your family in Kingston this summer!
1. Confederation Basin – This park is right downtown on the water. Here you can watch the boats come in, relax on a park bench and eat some delicious street meat from the nearby vendors, feeds the ducks, listen to some live music, check out the train or just lay under a tree. It’s all up to you.
2. Springer Market Square – This is the perfect place to come on a Saturday morning and get your fresh farmer’s market produce. On Thursday’s in the summer there is also “Movies in the Square” where at dusk, a movie is played over a blown up screen. Just bring a lawn chair and enjoy a night under the stars with your family.
3. Thousand Islands Boat Cruises – You really must do a boat cruise when you come to Kingston. My husband and I had our wedding reception on the Island Queen and it was the greatest. People still talk about it. Down in Confederation Park you can get your tickets and chose from different boats and adventures you want to go on. There are sunset dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises just to name a few.
4. Downtown Kingston – If you are looking for unique shops or something delicious, then this is where you need to be. From the Limestone City Bluesfest to Music in the Park and beyond; this is what Kingston is all about in the summer.
5. Fort Henry – If you are looking for a fun AND educational day while you are here in Kingston, then the Fort is where you need to be. You and your family will be transported into 19th century military life. There is a museum, raising of the flag, cannon blasts, sunset ceremonies, parades and tours just to name a few. In the fall, it is transformed into Fort Freight that you really have to see to believe.
6. Lake Ontario Park – This beautiful park is something you will want to check off of your list while you are here. It is minutes from downtown and offers amazing trails right along the water, a splash pad, playground equipment, washroom facilities, beach volleyball court and boat launch. This whole area got a complete facelift and it’s the perfect place to have an afternoon picnic or cool off with your little ones on a hot summers day.
7. Wolfe Island Ferry and Big Sandy Bay – If you are really up for some adventure and a bit of walking, then this is right up your alley. Take the Ferry over to Wolfe Island and check out Big Sandy Bay. A day pass is $9 for an adult and it will take you approximately 20 minutes to walk to the beach but once you reach the sand you will be in awe! You can walk out in the water, lay on the white sandy beach or explore the rare trees and plants that make this area so special.
8. Haunted Walk – Now this isn’t for everyone if you scare easily but if you are curious about Kingston’s darker history, including local ghost stories then this may be something for you. The tours start in the evening where you walk through the streets of Kingston by lantern.
9. Mission Street North – OMG! This has to be Kingston’s best food truck! My husband and I would eat here everyday if we could. If you are walking around “The Hub” in Kingston, you will find them and their very colourful truck at the corner of Princess and Division Streets serving up some amazing burritos and fish tacos. They are a must eat! You won’t be disappointed.
10. Ahoy Rentals – You can’t come to Kingston without spending some time on the water. Here you can go kayaking, canoeing, try a stand up paddle board or even go sail boating. If you would rather stay on land then you can rent bicycles as well.
11. Go Green Baby – I would recommend popping into this store just because it’s so darn cute! It is Kingston’s only Natural Baby Store. Here you will find cloth diapers, natural and ecofriendly baby products, wooden toys and one of a kind items for mother and child. They also offer momma and baby groups and classes like making your own baby food. The stores owner is such a nice woman, obviously passionate about what she does and is very helpful.
12. Pan Chancho – Yummy yummy! A must try in Kingston. If you are looking for a delicious brunch on a courtyard patio, homemade salads, sandwiches and freshly baked breads and scones then you need to stop by. They also offer one of a kind kitchen items, scrumptious desserts and even gluten free options. This spot is a Kingston staple for sure.
I hope this has been helpful and inspired you to make some memories this summer!
Maybe I will see you around the streets of our beautiful city!
Disclaimer: I am not being endorsed for any of the comments or recommendations. These are my own thoughts and I wanted to share my love for this city with my readers and offer you some things you may be interested in doing if you live here or are travelling here over the summer.