Summertime Things To Do In Kingston Ontario ~ The city of Kingston in Ontario, Canada has lots to offer for young and old during a summer visit!
It has been a very busy summer! I just recently returned from a two week visit to one of my favourite cities in Canada. I live on the west side of this huge country so it was a real treat to fly to Kingston, Ontario for a relaxing fun experience exploring this fabulous city.
You may wonder what brought me to Kingston? I had previously visited the city a few times when my daughter attended Queen’s University to complete her undergraduate degree. That was when I started to fall in love with it. She is now living in Australia attending medical school. I wrote about how we got her organized in The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Apple Tree. She is back in Kingston on an exchange for a few months studying at one of the hospitals. We were happy that at least she was in the same country and made vacation plans to spend a few weeks with her.
Just A Bit About Kingston, Ontario
It is one of Canada’s oldest cities and is located on the east end of Lake Ontario where it flows into the beginning of the St. Lawrence River. It has a population of about 120,000 people. It is a great tourist destination in the summer because it offers loads of summertime activities being on the water and it is at the beginning of the picturesque 1000 Islands. When all of the tourists leave at the end of the summer, thousands of students move into the city because it has three different post secondary schools. There is Royal Military College which is a beautiful campus filled with history, St. Lawrence College and Queens University located in the city centre right by Lake Ontario.
Just A Bit About Where We Stayed ~ Green Acres Inn
I discovered a fabulous place to stay in Kingston that fit our plans perfectly. Green Acres Inn is a ‘hidden treasure’! It really has all of the special qualities of a country inn. I loved how I could park right in front of the room and it was well located in the city making it fast and easy to get to where we wanted to go. The room had comfy beds, free wifi which is essential for a blogger, and it was equipped so we could cook and wash up some simple meals in the room. We didn’t use it, but there were also a few gas barbecues on the property. Another convenience was the laundromat facilities. It really met the basic needs of being a temporary home away from home!
There were also special touches that made it a great place to stay! All the staff were excellent by being friendly and accommodating. It was lovely to relax by the well kept pool. If you know me I love gardening so I loved being surrounded by all of the beautiful flowers. Even though this inn is on a busy street, you wouldn’t know it because the property was just like a big park. It was quiet and tranquil place to stay.
Summertime Things To Do In Kingston Ontario
When I go on a vacation I like to relax, tour, learn some history, dine and shop and make sure I get in some fitness. I was able to do all of these things in Kingston. I relaxed by the pool at Green Acres Inn and at some of the parks in the city. I visited several museums and shopping areas and went walking everyday for several hours to burn off the calories I ate while eating at some of the great restaurants. Apparently, Kingston has more restaurants per capita than any other city in Canada!
Here are the highlights in alphabetical order….
This park is located close to the lake and Queen’s University. It has a water park and playground equipment nearby with public washrooms. Perfect for a family outing.
The fort is a National Historic Site and World UNESCO Site. It is now a museum showing what life was like for the soldiers and their families during the 1800s. It has excellent exhibits and demonstrations throughout the day. We also went to the Sunset Ceremony in the evening which was wonderful. The fireworks at the end were a pleasant surprise!
Lake Ontario Park
Located on Lake Ontario, it has loads for families to do. There is playground equipment, a waterpark and large sand areas for the children to play in. It is a large park that runs along the lake so it’s great for walking and running. It also has picnic tables and washroom facilities.
This park is a conservation area great for walking, cycling and running. It also runs along the lake and has picnic and washroom facilities. It took me 90 minutes to walk the entire park through all kinds of interesting terrain.
Marine Museum Of The Great Lakes
The museum has lots of exhibits some of which are hands-on. I really enjoyed touring The Museum Ship Alexander Henry built in 1959. It used to operate as a coast guard ship. Being from the prairies, this was a new experience for me!
At one time there were 10 penitentiaries in Kingston including Kingston Penitentiary which was Canada’s first one built in 1833. It has exhibits and artifacts from penitentiaries across Canada making it a very interesting visit. Admission is free but a donation is appreciated. It’s just my opinion, but I did think it would be best for older children and adults to visit.
Princess & King Street
These two streets are where all of the shops and restaurants are located. It’s a lot of fun to browse through the different boutiques and enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee. Many of the restaurants have sidewalk seating or hidden outdoor patios in the back.
The public market is held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Market Square. There are lots of vendors selling produce, flowers, baking jewelry and even good old Canadian maple syrup. There’s also live entertainment in the same square some evenings so it is a very busy place in the summer.
I mentioned earlier that Kingston is located at the beginning of the 100 Islands on the St. Lawrence River. There are several types of cruises you can take up the river to view this beautiful area with all of the islands. Since we had done this on a previous visit we decided to catch a ferry over to Wolfe Island. There are 83 wind turbines on the island! It’s a lovely place to drive around and a quaint place to stop for lunch. The ferry is free and can be caught about every hour throughout the day.
There are many more things to do in Kingston, Ontario but I wanted share what were my highlights. It was a great vacation loaded with things to see and do and a lot of relaxation in the parks and Green Acres Inn!
And this is me waiting for the Sunset Ceremony to begin at Fort Henry!
Disclosure: Although I did receive some compensation for this post all opinions, voice and content are of course…. my own.