Kingston's BEST Spots
Here is a mini guide (that isn't so mini!) where you will find the best spots to stay, eat, and enjoy your time in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Kingston is the cutest small city located on Lake Ontario with TONS of corners to explore. This city isn't classified as a big one but big enough to have everything you could need. Whether you're here for a weekend or a week, here are some of our favourite spots!
31 Places • ago
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Spots To Stay

If you're staying in Kingston you are absolutely going to want to stay downtown. Downtown Kingston has EVERYTHING you could need for a visit - historic buildings, waterfront spots, amazing restaurants, and tons of boutique shops. There aren't a crazy amount of hotels / accommodation options in the downtown area so during certain time periods (think university events / sports / ceremonies, concerts, sports, festivals, etc) places can be limited or prices can rise - try and book in advance when possible! Below are hotels that myself or close family have stayed in and recommend in the downtown area. 

Holiday Inn Kingston - Waterfront

Holiday Inn Kingston-Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
@twentyfivedaysayear
Located right on the water and super close to downtown, you really can't go wrong with this choice. The rooms are nice and the views are even better. The hotel even offers a patio on the Wharf overlooking Lake Ontario.
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Kingston Market Square Hotel

Kingston Market Square Hotel
@twentyfivedaysayear
Although not directly on the water, this location has a great view of Kingston's downtown and waterfront area and is super close to everything you could need and want.
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Confederation Place Hotel

Confederation Place Hotel
@twentyfivedaysayear
Another great option on the waterfront hotel is this spot! Again, right in downtown Kingston with access to everything you could possibly want, you cannot go wrong here. One of my favourite things about this hotel is they hold the annual polar plunge into Lake Ontario right behind the hotel (and they host the reception) which is a super cool event to participate, watch, and contribute to in support of charity.
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Delta Hotels by Marriott - Waterfront

Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront
@twentyfivedaysayear
Located right on the water, you are bound to have a great view and are guaranteed close access to all that downtown Kingston has to offer. This hotel also has a great restaurant (not listed below) called AquaTerra so you don't even need to leave the hotel to get a quality meal and dining experience - this could come in handy during Kingston's cold winter months.
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Residence Inn by Marriott - Waterfront

Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water's Edge
@twentyfivedaysayear
A bit further down the waterfront is the Residence Inn. On the water, great views, and a short walk away from downtown Kingston, this hotel is another great spot to stay at.
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Spots To Eat

My favourite thing to do in Kingston - EAT. After four years in Kingston, we hit up many food spots in the area, and below are just our personal top ones. The food here just feels like home to me with some of my absolute favourite dishes and all-time favourite restaurants in the world. Hopefully you will find some of your soon to be favourite restaurants too!

Olivea

Olivea
@twentyfivedaysayear
This place is close to my heart, being my husband and I's first restaurant date! But that's not the reason we continuously went back - the food is TO DIE FOR. This menu cannot be beat. If you're in the mood for Italian, this is THE place. I highly recommend the Garganelli (with crispy chicken leg and roasted garlic rosemary cream sauce - doesn't that just sound amazing?), but anything you order here is bound to hit the spot.
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Wooden Heads

Wooden Heads Gourmet Pizza
@twentyfivedaysayear
Another local favourite (and soon to be one of yours too). It's famous for its wood-oven pizza, but the dishes are definitely worth a try as well. ALL of my friends visit this restaurant when back in town - it's a popular spot. During the summer they have a patio open in the back which is worth a visit. If you plan on visiting this is a spot you will want to book well in advance, especially if on a weekend.
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Casa Domenico

Casa Domenico
@twentyfivedaysayear
If you're looking for a fancy Italian restaurant, this is the place. Situated right across the Kingston downtown square, the settings, ambiance, and most importantly, the food and drink will make for a perfect evening.
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Kingston Brewing Company

The Kingston Brewing Company
@twentyfivedaysayear
If you're feeling something a bit more laid back, the Kingston Brewing Co. has a ton of pub food and drink options to hit those cravings. They have indoor seating where the walls are covered in all types of posters and pictures that create the perfect setting, or outdoor seating on their patio's during the summer.
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Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse

Dianne's Fish Shack & Smokehouse
@twentyfivedaysayear
Tons of seafood inspired dishes can be found here (hence the name... but they do have some non-seafood options), all of which are YUM. The restaurant is located close to the waterfront too which could not create a better ambiance!
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Baja Craft Kitchen

Baja Craft Kitchen
@twentyfivedaysayear
Hidden off the Main Street is a great downtown spot for tacos and Mexican food inspired by Baja, California. Mix and match your tacos to try a bit of everything!
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Sima Sushi

Sima Sushi
@twentyfivedaysayear
There are quite a few good options for sushi in Kingston, but Sima is recommended for a reason! In a cute restaurant located downtown (on Princess Street), this is a great place to get your sushi fix.
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Tommy's

Tommy's
@twentyfivedaysayear
Although they serve food all day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), my favourite things about this place are the following: the diner ambiance, the drinks, and the WINGS! This place is a great spot to hit up with some friends.
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Tango Nuevo

Tango Nuevo
@twentyfivedaysayear
Again, right downtown, is a cool and stylish spot that has a great selection of drinks and tapas! If you are looking for something light, creative, or multiple little dishes to try out (or just a fun night with friends) this is a great spot.
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Bubba's Poutine

Bubbas Pizzeria
@twentyfivedaysayear
At the very top of Princess Street (the main downtown street in Kingston) lies Bubba's. Fast food places don't often make it onto recommendations, but if you've had a night out (with a few drinks) and are craving some Canadian Classics, this is the place to come for a late night snack. My personal favourite - the chicken finger poutine.
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Crave

CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery
@twentyfivedaysayear
A favourite local spot to grab coffee! They have the most unreal cinnamon buns (you HAVE to try it), a huge selection of baked goods, smaller breakfast options (think amazing breakfast sandwiches and similar options), lots of healthy snacks, nibbles, and lunch options, and the STARS of the show are the line-ups of coffee, tea, and all types of beverages they have to offer.
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Toast & Jam

Toast & Jam
@twentyfivedaysayear
This place is pretty far out from the downtown area - you're either going to need to bus or take a car to this spot. But I included it because it is THE brunch spot in Kingston. Smoothies, juice, coffee, tea, sweet, savoury, this spot will not disappoint. However, because its super popular it's also usually super busy - plan accordingly!
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Pan Chancho

Pan Chancho Bakery & Café
@twentyfivedaysayear
Another local favourite right on Princess Street downtown is the Pan Chanco bakery and cafe. Come here for brunch or pastries and you will not regret it. This place does also get busy, so plan to come a bit earlier for brunch.
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Mio Gelato

Mio Gelato
@twentyfivedaysayear
All that walking around Kingston trying different restaurants is going to make you crave something sweet... THIS is the place to satisfy it. Mio Gelato has some of the HANDS DOWN best gelato I have ever had and you deserve to treat yourself to some too. Its located right across from the waterfront so grab a few scoops and head down to the water for the perfect activity.
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Beaver Tails

BeaverTails Kingston
@twentyfivedaysayear
If you're from Canada this will come as no surprise but if you're not from Canada and haven't tried a beavertail it is a must. Deep fried with the toppings of your choice (my personal favourites are the cinnamon and sugar, or the chocolate spread), this is the perfect post-dinner treat during all seasons (especially the fall and winter months!).
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Spots To Enjoy

ANY season of the year, Kingston has spots to enjoy and so many fun activities. Here are some of our favourites!

Fort Henry

Fort Henry is best known for it's historic value (which you can learn about my taking a guided tour) but our favourite parts are definitely the activities and the views. During my school days, we used to grab some ice cream (from the mcdonalds super close by) and head hear either at sunset or at night to admire the views over the military college and Kingston below. This is also a great spot to loop your run, but beware of the uphill to get here (but you'll likely enjoy the downhill portion).

The Fort also hold events, weddings, and activities here throughout the year which are worth a visit. A few favourites include the Kingston Beerfest and Fort Fright (during halloween festivities), but they hold a bunch! 

Fort Henry National Historic Site
@twentyfivedaysayear
Fort Henry has a ton of military history to learn about and they offer tours in French and English! They also hold activities throughout the seasons which are worth a visit. The views of the military college and Kingston are unbeatable.
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Kingston Penitentiary

If you're looking for a really unique activity the Kingston Penitentiary has to be it. 

Kingston Penitentiary
@twentyfivedaysayear
Literally step into a jail and learn about the history of one of Kingstons most unique places (and take a picture in the jail cells of course!).
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Kingston Waterfront

One of the most charming things about Kingston to us is the fact that it is right on the water - the views all day and night are amazing. Here are a few places to enjoy the waterfront: 

Confederation Park

Confederation Park
@twentyfivedaysayear
This place is a great location to admire the boats, sunset watch, take a stroll, or just enjoy (best with an ice cream from mio gelato right across the street!).
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Gordie Downie Memorial Pier

Gord Downie Memorial Pier
@twentyfivedaysayear
This is a great spot to visit at all times of the day and a place you can enjoy the water and swim during the summer! However, it can get busy as it's a main spot for swimming near downtown.
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Kingston Market

The Kingston Market is located right downtown in the middle of cute restaurants and historic buildings. The best times to enjoy the market are of course when events are happening. It says market square rink below as during the winter they will have an ice rink for skating on to enjoy the city, and then head for a beavertail and some hot chocolate afterwards! In the summer they will have movie nights in the square. All year-round they have events so be sure to check it out! 

Market Square Rink
@twentyfivedaysayear
Be sure to check out the market when there are activities going on year-round (skating, movies, markets, etc) to see the area in it's prime in the midst of historic buildings, cafes, and all sorts!
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Take A Tour

Sometimes the best way to see parts of the city is to join the tour - especially in a place like Kingston where some of the best tours will teach you history of the city or take you on the water to see some incredible views. Below are some tours of the area that are sure to show you what Kingston has to offer! 

Kingston Trolley Tour

If you don't have a way to get around and don't feel like walking an immense amount of kilometres to see some of the historic view points (Fort Henry looks close but is a decent walk away from downtown!), then the Trolley Tour is the best way to see the main stops of Kingston's Old Town. Not only is it in a stylish red trolley cart, but there are 10 different stops with a hop-on, hop-off deal. 

Kingston Thousand Islands Tour

The Kingston 1000 islands is a popular sight to see off-land. Best done by boat, sailing to see the 1000 islands. In between the USA and Canada, lies a group of small islands with tons of history and sights to offer. If you're a fan of nature, this cruise (or helicopter ride for the adventurous) is the best way to take in all the sights this unique area has to offer. 

Princess Street

If you're looking just to meander and do what you please, Princess Street is the spot to do it. The stone buildings and Main Street have so many cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops to pop into. 

Concerts & Sports

Kingston always has SOMETHING on the go. At the Leon's Centre you will find concerts by big artists, the local hockey team (the Kingston Frontenac's) playing, the university team events (the hockey rivalry is a big one), and so much more. 

Leon's Centre
@twentyfivedaysayear
The Leon's Centre is Kingstons arena for hosting games, concerts, and fun events. Check out what's on at the Leons centre before you visit as they usually always have something going on! My favourite is the local hockey games between the universities - the rivalry ambiance mixed with the concession drinks and snacks is unbeatable.
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There is parking around the Leon centre and if it is a big event you may want to make a restaurant reservation nearby in advance!

University Campuses & Events

The Royal Military College and Queens Campuses both have some great spots to tour and it's well worth a visit. They boast some great campuses and you'll even pass some of these spots on the Kingston Trolley Tour (linked above) Queens homecoming and the Royal Military College obstacle course and sunset parade are some fun events to witness!

Queen's University
@twentyfivedaysayear
Queens University is a great school, and with it being centrally located near downtown it's a great spot to see their historic campus.
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Royal Military College of Canada
@twentyfivedaysayear
The Royal Military College of Canada is another campus with a historic campus. It is located on a peninsula and you can even see it from Fort Henry.
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Afternoon Drinks

Although we didn't list many of these spots in the food scene above, Kingston has a ton of great spots to grab an afternoon drink. They have some great patios and a great local brewing seen. Besides the Kingston Brewing Company we already mentioned, here are some other fun spots to hang out:  

Something In The Water Brewing Co

Something in the Water Brewing Co.
@twentyfivedaysayear
This spot is located centrally on Princess Street so it's another great spot to have an afternoon drink whilst walking around downtown Kingston. They have a great list of drinks and snacks for a fun afternoon!
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Daft Brewing

Daft Brewing
@twentyfivedaysayear
Daft Brewing Co is located slightly up princess street so you will have to get your walking boots on (or just end your meander further up the road to see a bit more of Kingston), but is worth the visit. I know nothing about good beer, but this spot is has a great ambiance with a fun vibe that stands out.
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Jack Astors

Jack's Kingston
@twentyfivedaysayear
Although Jack Astors is a chain restaurant (which is one of the big reasons I didn't list it above) it still is a great place to catch the sports games, grab a dirty bite to eat, and my favourite part: grab a drink (my favourite are the fish bowls) on their roof-top patio that has great views of downtown Kingston. The restaurant is centrally located so easy to get to, but be aware that if there's a concert or a sports game going on, it will likely be busy.
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The Party Scene

Kingston is, after all, a university town during the school year when St Lawrence College, Queens University, and the Royal Military College are in town. At the end of Princess Street (away from the hotel scene) is where most of the bars, clubs, and drinking spots that students will go to. If you are looking to go there (or avoid there), the end of princess street with places like the Brass, Ale House, Spot, Stages etc will have spots for a night out at the bar or the club!

These are the spots I used to go to back when I was a student, however there are SO many pubs and drinking spots (i.e. The Merchant) closer to the hotel scene that will be a bit less crazy but just as much fun.

Things To Note

Travelling To Kingston

There is a small airport into Kingston, ON, however chances are you are going to fly into a bigger airport (i.e. Ottawa International Airport) and take a train or a bus to Kingston. Those modes of transportation do not bring you downtown, so a taxi, Uber, or public transport is the best way to get to your final destination. 

Do you need a car? Depends on what you want to do. But if you are just looking to stay downtown, it is a super walkable city and not having a car does not limit you. 

Parking

If you have a car, parking downtown is somewhat limited and expensive. You will likely be able to find parking (sometimes the best - but most expensive - options are the hotel parking lots, but it will come at a cost. 

Timing

Kingston is a fun city year-round, so it's important to note your timing depending on what you are looking for. If you're coming at the beginning or the end of the university school year, you may run into a lot of university events which can get really busy. Make sure to plan in advance and check your timing to avoid any crazy times of the year!

Looking for more?

If you are interested in seeing more locations we have written in just as much detail about, head to our website (linked below) or see more of our Thatch profile!

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With a full time job, there are twenty five days a year I want to FILL with travelling and have been doing so every year. We love to research, plan, and travel to new destinations around the world as much as possible. We travel at least twice per year and quite a bit for work, and love to share our favourite places along the way with everyone who wants it!
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Kingston's BEST Spots
Here is a mini guide (that isn't so mini!) where you will find the best spots to stay, eat, and enjoy your time in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Kingston is the cutest small city located on Lake Ontario with TONS of corners to explore. This city isn't classified as a big one but big enough to have everything you could need. Whether you're here for a weekend or a week, here are some of our favourite spots!
31 Places • ago
Free

Spots To Stay

If you're staying in Kingston you are absolutely going to want to stay downtown. Downtown Kingston has EVERYTHING you could need for a visit - historic buildings, waterfront spots, amazing restaurants, and tons of boutique shops. There aren't a crazy amount of hotels / accommodation options in the downtown area so during certain time periods (think university events / sports / ceremonies, concerts, sports, festivals, etc) places can be limited or prices can rise - try and book in advance when possible! Below are hotels that myself or close family have stayed in and recommend in the downtown area. 

Holiday Inn Kingston - Waterfront

Holiday Inn Kingston-Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
@twentyfivedaysayear
Located right on the water and super close to downtown, you really can't go wrong with this choice. The rooms are nice and the views are even better. The hotel even offers a patio on the Wharf overlooking Lake Ontario.
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Kingston Market Square Hotel

Kingston Market Square Hotel
@twentyfivedaysayear
Although not directly on the water, this location has a great view of Kingston's downtown and waterfront area and is super close to everything you could need and want.
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Confederation Place Hotel

Confederation Place Hotel
@twentyfivedaysayear
Another great option on the waterfront hotel is this spot! Again, right in downtown Kingston with access to everything you could possibly want, you cannot go wrong here. One of my favourite things about this hotel is they hold the annual polar plunge into Lake Ontario right behind the hotel (and they host the reception) which is a super cool event to participate, watch, and contribute to in support of charity.
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Delta Hotels by Marriott - Waterfront

Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront
@twentyfivedaysayear
Located right on the water, you are bound to have a great view and are guaranteed close access to all that downtown Kingston has to offer. This hotel also has a great restaurant (not listed below) called AquaTerra so you don't even need to leave the hotel to get a quality meal and dining experience - this could come in handy during Kingston's cold winter months.
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Residence Inn by Marriott - Waterfront

Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water's Edge
@twentyfivedaysayear
A bit further down the waterfront is the Residence Inn. On the water, great views, and a short walk away from downtown Kingston, this hotel is another great spot to stay at.
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Spots To Eat

My favourite thing to do in Kingston - EAT. After four years in Kingston, we hit up many food spots in the area, and below are just our personal top ones. The food here just feels like home to me with some of my absolute favourite dishes and all-time favourite restaurants in the world. Hopefully you will find some of your soon to be favourite restaurants too!

Olivea

Olivea
@twentyfivedaysayear
This place is close to my heart, being my husband and I's first restaurant date! But that's not the reason we continuously went back - the food is TO DIE FOR. This menu cannot be beat. If you're in the mood for Italian, this is THE place. I highly recommend the Garganelli (with crispy chicken leg and roasted garlic rosemary cream sauce - doesn't that just sound amazing?), but anything you order here is bound to hit the spot.
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Wooden Heads

Wooden Heads Gourmet Pizza
@twentyfivedaysayear
Another local favourite (and soon to be one of yours too). It's famous for its wood-oven pizza, but the dishes are definitely worth a try as well. ALL of my friends visit this restaurant when back in town - it's a popular spot. During the summer they have a patio open in the back which is worth a visit. If you plan on visiting this is a spot you will want to book well in advance, especially if on a weekend.
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Casa Domenico

Casa Domenico
@twentyfivedaysayear
If you're looking for a fancy Italian restaurant, this is the place. Situated right across the Kingston downtown square, the settings, ambiance, and most importantly, the food and drink will make for a perfect evening.
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Kingston Brewing Company

The Kingston Brewing Company
@twentyfivedaysayear
If you're feeling something a bit more laid back, the Kingston Brewing Co. has a ton of pub food and drink options to hit those cravings. They have indoor seating where the walls are covered in all types of posters and pictures that create the perfect setting, or outdoor seating on their patio's during the summer.
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Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse

Dianne's Fish Shack & Smokehouse
@twentyfivedaysayear
Tons of seafood inspired dishes can be found here (hence the name... but they do have some non-seafood options), all of which are YUM. The restaurant is located close to the waterfront too which could not create a better ambiance!
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Baja Craft Kitchen

Baja Craft Kitchen
@twentyfivedaysayear
Hidden off the Main Street is a great downtown spot for tacos and Mexican food inspired by Baja, California. Mix and match your tacos to try a bit of everything!
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Sima Sushi

Sima Sushi
@twentyfivedaysayear
There are quite a few good options for sushi in Kingston, but Sima is recommended for a reason! In a cute restaurant located downtown (on Princess Street), this is a great place to get your sushi fix.
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Tommy's

Tommy's
@twentyfivedaysayear
Although they serve food all day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), my favourite things about this place are the following: the diner ambiance, the drinks, and the WINGS! This place is a great spot to hit up with some friends.
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Tango Nuevo

Tango Nuevo
@twentyfivedaysayear
Again, right downtown, is a cool and stylish spot that has a great selection of drinks and tapas! If you are looking for something light, creative, or multiple little dishes to try out (or just a fun night with friends) this is a great spot.
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Bubba's Poutine

Bubbas Pizzeria
@twentyfivedaysayear
At the very top of Princess Street (the main downtown street in Kingston) lies Bubba's. Fast food places don't often make it onto recommendations, but if you've had a night out (with a few drinks) and are craving some Canadian Classics, this is the place to come for a late night snack. My personal favourite - the chicken finger poutine.
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Crave

CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery
@twentyfivedaysayear
A favourite local spot to grab coffee! They have the most unreal cinnamon buns (you HAVE to try it), a huge selection of baked goods, smaller breakfast options (think amazing breakfast sandwiches and similar options), lots of healthy snacks, nibbles, and lunch options, and the STARS of the show are the line-ups of coffee, tea, and all types of beverages they have to offer.
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Toast & Jam

Toast & Jam
@twentyfivedaysayear
This place is pretty far out from the downtown area - you're either going to need to bus or take a car to this spot. But I included it because it is THE brunch spot in Kingston. Smoothies, juice, coffee, tea, sweet, savoury, this spot will not disappoint. However, because its super popular it's also usually super busy - plan accordingly!
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Pan Chancho

Pan Chancho Bakery & Café
@twentyfivedaysayear
Another local favourite right on Princess Street downtown is the Pan Chanco bakery and cafe. Come here for brunch or pastries and you will not regret it. This place does also get busy, so plan to come a bit earlier for brunch.
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Mio Gelato

Mio Gelato
@twentyfivedaysayear
All that walking around Kingston trying different restaurants is going to make you crave something sweet... THIS is the place to satisfy it. Mio Gelato has some of the HANDS DOWN best gelato I have ever had and you deserve to treat yourself to some too. Its located right across from the waterfront so grab a few scoops and head down to the water for the perfect activity.
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Beaver Tails

BeaverTails Kingston
@twentyfivedaysayear
If you're from Canada this will come as no surprise but if you're not from Canada and haven't tried a beavertail it is a must. Deep fried with the toppings of your choice (my personal favourites are the cinnamon and sugar, or the chocolate spread), this is the perfect post-dinner treat during all seasons (especially the fall and winter months!).
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Spots To Enjoy

ANY season of the year, Kingston has spots to enjoy and so many fun activities. Here are some of our favourites!

Fort Henry

Fort Henry is best known for it's historic value (which you can learn about my taking a guided tour) but our favourite parts are definitely the activities and the views. During my school days, we used to grab some ice cream (from the mcdonalds super close by) and head hear either at sunset or at night to admire the views over the military college and Kingston below. This is also a great spot to loop your run, but beware of the uphill to get here (but you'll likely enjoy the downhill portion).

The Fort also hold events, weddings, and activities here throughout the year which are worth a visit. A few favourites include the Kingston Beerfest and Fort Fright (during halloween festivities), but they hold a bunch! 

Fort Henry National Historic Site
@twentyfivedaysayear
Fort Henry has a ton of military history to learn about and they offer tours in French and English! They also hold activities throughout the seasons which are worth a visit. The views of the military college and Kingston are unbeatable.
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Kingston Penitentiary

If you're looking for a really unique activity the Kingston Penitentiary has to be it. 

Kingston Penitentiary
@twentyfivedaysayear
Literally step into a jail and learn about the history of one of Kingstons most unique places (and take a picture in the jail cells of course!).
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Kingston Waterfront

One of the most charming things about Kingston to us is the fact that it is right on the water - the views all day and night are amazing. Here are a few places to enjoy the waterfront: 

Confederation Park

Confederation Park
@twentyfivedaysayear
This place is a great location to admire the boats, sunset watch, take a stroll, or just enjoy (best with an ice cream from mio gelato right across the street!).
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Gordie Downie Memorial Pier

Gord Downie Memorial Pier
@twentyfivedaysayear
This is a great spot to visit at all times of the day and a place you can enjoy the water and swim during the summer! However, it can get busy as it's a main spot for swimming near downtown.
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Kingston Market

The Kingston Market is located right downtown in the middle of cute restaurants and historic buildings. The best times to enjoy the market are of course when events are happening. It says market square rink below as during the winter they will have an ice rink for skating on to enjoy the city, and then head for a beavertail and some hot chocolate afterwards! In the summer they will have movie nights in the square. All year-round they have events so be sure to check it out! 

Market Square Rink
@twentyfivedaysayear
Be sure to check out the market when there are activities going on year-round (skating, movies, markets, etc) to see the area in it's prime in the midst of historic buildings, cafes, and all sorts!
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Take A Tour

Sometimes the best way to see parts of the city is to join the tour - especially in a place like Kingston where some of the best tours will teach you history of the city or take you on the water to see some incredible views. Below are some tours of the area that are sure to show you what Kingston has to offer! 

Kingston Trolley Tour

If you don't have a way to get around and don't feel like walking an immense amount of kilometres to see some of the historic view points (Fort Henry looks close but is a decent walk away from downtown!), then the Trolley Tour is the best way to see the main stops of Kingston's Old Town. Not only is it in a stylish red trolley cart, but there are 10 different stops with a hop-on, hop-off deal. 

Kingston Thousand Islands Tour

The Kingston 1000 islands is a popular sight to see off-land. Best done by boat, sailing to see the 1000 islands. In between the USA and Canada, lies a group of small islands with tons of history and sights to offer. If you're a fan of nature, this cruise (or helicopter ride for the adventurous) is the best way to take in all the sights this unique area has to offer. 

Princess Street

If you're looking just to meander and do what you please, Princess Street is the spot to do it. The stone buildings and Main Street have so many cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops to pop into. 

Concerts & Sports

Kingston always has SOMETHING on the go. At the Leon's Centre you will find concerts by big artists, the local hockey team (the Kingston Frontenac's) playing, the university team events (the hockey rivalry is a big one), and so much more. 

Leon's Centre
@twentyfivedaysayear
The Leon's Centre is Kingstons arena for hosting games, concerts, and fun events. Check out what's on at the Leons centre before you visit as they usually always have something going on! My favourite is the local hockey games between the universities - the rivalry ambiance mixed with the concession drinks and snacks is unbeatable.
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There is parking around the Leon centre and if it is a big event you may want to make a restaurant reservation nearby in advance!

University Campuses & Events

The Royal Military College and Queens Campuses both have some great spots to tour and it's well worth a visit. They boast some great campuses and you'll even pass some of these spots on the Kingston Trolley Tour (linked above) Queens homecoming and the Royal Military College obstacle course and sunset parade are some fun events to witness!

Queen's University
@twentyfivedaysayear
Queens University is a great school, and with it being centrally located near downtown it's a great spot to see their historic campus.
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Royal Military College of Canada
@twentyfivedaysayear
The Royal Military College of Canada is another campus with a historic campus. It is located on a peninsula and you can even see it from Fort Henry.
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Afternoon Drinks

Although we didn't list many of these spots in the food scene above, Kingston has a ton of great spots to grab an afternoon drink. They have some great patios and a great local brewing seen. Besides the Kingston Brewing Company we already mentioned, here are some other fun spots to hang out:  

Something In The Water Brewing Co

Something in the Water Brewing Co.
@twentyfivedaysayear
This spot is located centrally on Princess Street so it's another great spot to have an afternoon drink whilst walking around downtown Kingston. They have a great list of drinks and snacks for a fun afternoon!
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Daft Brewing

Daft Brewing
@twentyfivedaysayear
Daft Brewing Co is located slightly up princess street so you will have to get your walking boots on (or just end your meander further up the road to see a bit more of Kingston), but is worth the visit. I know nothing about good beer, but this spot is has a great ambiance with a fun vibe that stands out.
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Jack Astors

Jack's Kingston
@twentyfivedaysayear
Although Jack Astors is a chain restaurant (which is one of the big reasons I didn't list it above) it still is a great place to catch the sports games, grab a dirty bite to eat, and my favourite part: grab a drink (my favourite are the fish bowls) on their roof-top patio that has great views of downtown Kingston. The restaurant is centrally located so easy to get to, but be aware that if there's a concert or a sports game going on, it will likely be busy.
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The Party Scene

Kingston is, after all, a university town during the school year when St Lawrence College, Queens University, and the Royal Military College are in town. At the end of Princess Street (away from the hotel scene) is where most of the bars, clubs, and drinking spots that students will go to. If you are looking to go there (or avoid there), the end of princess street with places like the Brass, Ale House, Spot, Stages etc will have spots for a night out at the bar or the club!

These are the spots I used to go to back when I was a student, however there are SO many pubs and drinking spots (i.e. The Merchant) closer to the hotel scene that will be a bit less crazy but just as much fun.

Things To Note

Travelling To Kingston

There is a small airport into Kingston, ON, however chances are you are going to fly into a bigger airport (i.e. Ottawa International Airport) and take a train or a bus to Kingston. Those modes of transportation do not bring you downtown, so a taxi, Uber, or public transport is the best way to get to your final destination. 

Do you need a car? Depends on what you want to do. But if you are just looking to stay downtown, it is a super walkable city and not having a car does not limit you. 

Parking

If you have a car, parking downtown is somewhat limited and expensive. You will likely be able to find parking (sometimes the best - but most expensive - options are the hotel parking lots, but it will come at a cost. 

Timing

Kingston is a fun city year-round, so it's important to note your timing depending on what you are looking for. If you're coming at the beginning or the end of the university school year, you may run into a lot of university events which can get really busy. Make sure to plan in advance and check your timing to avoid any crazy times of the year!

Looking for more?

If you are interested in seeing more locations we have written in just as much detail about, head to our website (linked below) or see more of our Thatch profile!

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CURATED BY
With a full time job, there are twenty five days a year I want to FILL with travelling and have been doing so every year. We love to research, plan, and travel to new destinations around the world as much as possible. We travel at least twice per year and quite a bit for work, and love to share our favourite places along the way with everyone who wants it!
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