Kingston Attractions and Tours
Spend a lovely weekend in Kingston and the surrounding area. There is plenty to do, eat, and see. With Canada Day around the corner, Kingston is bound to be full of life and exciting activities!
Recognized as one of Canada’s leading universities, Queen’s University Kingston was established in 1841 – 26 years before Canadian confederation. Today, the student body of more than 22,000 represents 83 different countries. The beautiful campus is close to the hotel, an easy walk away
Royal Military College of Canada
RMC is situated on Point Frederick just east of downtown, and a short drive from the Residence Inn Kingston. Its beautiful location overlooks the city, the entrance to the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Visitors are encouraged to walk the grounds of the campus at their leisure.
Springer Market Square
A short 5-minute stroll along the water’s edge brings guests of the Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston to Springer Market Square – the center of Kingston and year-round venue for community activities. Home to summer concerts, winter skating, movie nights – and, of course, a true outdoor market for local craftspeople – this is the oldest and longest running market in Ontario.
The largest of the Thousand Islands, Wolfe Island is easily accessible by ferry at no cost, and the ferry dock itself is just a short walk from the Residence Inn Kingston. The island is a popular tourist destination for cycling, bird watching, fishing, golf and annual events including plowing matches, the Chili Fest and a Crime Writers Festival. Go to the beach, or stop by for an ice cream!
The Thousand Islands
Did you know there are actually over 1,800 islands (1,864 to be exact) that make up the 1000 Islands region? To be official, an island must meet two criteria: it must be above water 365 days a year and it must support two living trees. Ferries or bridges provide access to Wellesley, Hill, Wolfe and Howe Islands.
The islands are unique, offering a wonderful recreation experience that spans two nations. Each island has its own individuality with features such as stately granite cliffs, soft sandy bays, tall dark pines and vibrant maple trees – it’s a sightseer’s paradise. Many islands are privately owned but ample public access can be found at island parks and villages throughout the region.
Museums & Historic Sites
Guided tours of Kingston City Hall allow you to explore one of the city’s most notable architectural sites while costumed interpreters welcome you to the home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. City Hall is only a few blocks away from the Residence Inn Kingston.
Kingston Penitentiary Tours and the Penitentiary Museum
Tours through Kingston Penitentiary will offer a rare and unique opportunity to go behind the walls of Canada’s oldest and most notorious maximum security prison. Closed in 2013, the guided tours will provide an up-close look at KP as an amazing historical building and a national historic site, which predates Canadian confederation.
One of Canada’s premiere historic sites and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fort presents a fascinating “live” reproduction of 19th-century military life. Easily accessible from the hotel, enjoy Fort Henry’s guided tours, musical performances by a military band and military and marching demonstrations by the Fort Henry Guard.
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes
Located on Ontario Street, the Marine Museum is now home to the Alexander Henry, a light icebreaker built for the Canadian Coast Guard in 1959. Visitors can learn about ice breaking in Canadian waters and see steam engines built in 1891.
Kingston Mills As a World Heritage Site, Kingston Mills is a beautiful spot to escape just outside of Kingston. Enjoy being surrounded by nature, the quiet Cataraqui River, and the historic locks. You can even hike up the hillside for an amazing view!
Bellevue House Historic Site
Built in the early 1840s, Bellevue house is a National Historic Site, just west of Kingston’s downtown core and very close to the hotel. Sir John A. Macdonald lived in the house for a time, and wrote of the “…complete quiet and seclusion of the house, which is completely surrounded by trees and has a fresh breeze ever blowing on it from Lake Ontario…” Today, the house and grounds provide a glimpse into Canada’s historic past.
Art and Culture
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Located in the heart of the Queen’s University campus, The Agnes Etherington Art Centre is a flourishing centre of art and culture. View contemporary, Canadian, African and European art, and more. Notably, the Agnes has acquired three Rembrandt pieces in the past several years.
The Isabel Bader Centre is a hub for performing arts including drama, film, speaker series, jazz, piano, and ensemble. Check their website for available tickets – you’re bound to find something to suit your fancy.
The Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre is located in Downtown Kingston. Concerts, ballets, plays, comedians and more visit the Grand. Check out what’s coming to town by visiting their web page!
The Screening Room
This independent movie theater is a Kingston treasure. Playing movies of new, old, independent, and mainstream, the Screening Room will have something great for a rainy night in.
Skeleton Park Arts Fest
Skeleton Park Arts Fest is a fun weekend at the end of June where musicians, vendors, and the community come together. This is a great experience for all ages!
This Summer Arts and Crafts festival is from July 1-3 this year in the heart of Kingston – City Park. Get involved in the activities or simply enjoy the walk through the park and along the waterfront.
Kingston Farmer’s Market (Tues, Thurs, and Saturdays)
The Kingston Public Market is a farmer’s market located downtown in Springer Market Square. Buy local fruits, vegetables, flowers, meats, cheeses and more. Check the website above for more information including a list of what’s in season. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 9am to 6pm.
Kingston Antique Market (Sundays)
This antique market also takes place in Springer Market Square. Check it out on Sunday, 8am to 4pm. You never know what you might find!
Canada Day Celebrations
More information coming soon.
Lake Ontario Park
Lake Ontario Park is a great space to walk by the water, let the kids play on the playground and enjoy the splash pad!
Grass Creek Park
With a little beach and lots of green space, Grass Creek Park is the perfect little getaway from the bustling city. Just a short drive from downtown Kingston!
Sail/Canoe/Kayak/SUP on Lake Ontario
Take advantage of the waterfront, and the wind! Sailing and stand-up paddle boarding are ever popular afternoon activities.
June is just in time for strawberry season! Pick some delicious raspberries or strawberries at one of the berry farms around Kingston.
Rock Dunder is an amazing place to hike and catch the sunset view.
K & P Trail
The K&P Trail is an expansive set of walking trails in Kingston. Go for a run, or enjoy the surrounding nature with a long walk.
If you are looking to go a little farther and turn your weekend into a camping trip, check out the nearby Frontenac Park!
1000 Island Cruises
A choice of cruises let you enjoy the islands at your pace. These include Sunset Dinner cruises and a Discovery Cruise, providing an insight into the sights and history of the 1000 Islands region and Kingston’s historic waterfront.
The Confederation Tour Trolley
Just steps from the Residence Inn Kingston, you can step aboard Kingston’s only trolley and listen as guides take you on an exploration of Kingston’s waterfront and charming limestone heritage. Don’t forget your camera.
These popular evening walking tours are led by costumed, lantern-carrying guides. No urban myths – all stories are thoroughly researched! Choose a walk through the streets of Kingston or an exploration of Old Fort Henry.