Kingston, Ontario was never on my “places to visit bucket list”, let alone on my list of places where I would end up living and raising a family. All I knew about Kingston was that it was home to a number of prisons, including the famous Kingston Penitentiary. When I met my husband back in University, I made my first trip up to Kingston to visit his family and it was love at first visit. I loved EVERYTHING about Kingston from the culture, to the food, to the history, Kingston became one of my favorite places to visit. In December 2017, we had the opportunity to move to Kingston and we have never looked back. If you haven’t put Kingston on your summer bucket list, you need to and here’s why!
Where to Stay
Kingston is located on in the heart of the Thousand Islands. There are a number of hotels with spectacular views of the water including the Holiday Inn Kingston Water Front, Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront, and the Residence Inn. These hotels are perfect for those wanting to be downtown and within walking distance to all the tourist attractions. For those who enjoy a more intimate and unique lodging experience there are a number of B&Bs in the area including Laura’s Bed & Breakfast, Hochelaga Inn, and Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast Inn.
Where to Eat
Okay, my favorite thing about Kingston is definitely the food! Did you know that Kingston has the most restaurants per capita in Canada?! I have to say I could do an entire blog post on places to eat in Kingston, but I’m going to stick to a few of my favorites.
Hands down my absolute favorite place for breakfast or brunch is Toast and Jam. The buttermilk biscuit with raspberry jam is to die for! After filling your belly head on over to Bread and Butter next door and pick up some scrumptious treats (I love the butter tarts!). Another popular and delicious spot is Pan Chancho downtown. A favorite of mine is the french toast and granola banana split.
If your looking to keep it casual, one of my favorite restaurants is The Rustic Spud. The Spud has the most incredible flavors combined with a cool and rustic atmosphere. The artichoke dip and pizza’s are an absolute must when dining at the Spud. If your in the mood for a fiesta, head down to Dianne’s Fish Shack and Smoke House where you will have some of the best tacos you’ve ever experienced (the margarita’s are also the best in town). If your seeking a modern and cool dinner vibe I highly recommend Atomica which specializes in Mediterranean food. Newly added to their menu, the Donari Pizza is an absolute treat! If your looking for something a littler fancier and upscale my favorites include Casa (if your craving Italian), Chey Piggy (which has the most adorable outdoor alleyway patio), and Tango Nuevo (for a unique Tapa experience).
What to Do
When I first came to Kingston, it amazed me how much there was to do. There are a few things that Kingston is best known for. 1. The Thousand Islands, 2. The Kingston Penitentiary, 3. Our food, 4. Our tight knit community and downtown vibe.
The Thousand Islands are absolutely breath taking. Enjoy a dinner sun set cruise sailing the waters of Kingston, or simply enjoy a day cruise…both are great options. Ever wonder what the inside of a prison looks like? Explore the famous Kingston Pen, a maximum security prison home to some of Canada’s worst criminals. Want a sneak peak at some of Kingston’s famous restaurants? Get a taste of Kingston on the Classic Kingston Food Tour. Or if you simply want to chill, enjoy our beautiful downtown and experience the rich culture and community the city has to offer. Experience our local food at the Farmers Market and explore the downtown shops (Fancy That is one of my absolute favs!). If you’re a history buff, than Kingston is the place for you. Enjoy a scenic walk through Fort Henry, visit the first Prime Minister of Canada’s grave, or get a history lesson during a Kingston Historical walking tour.
Enjoy your stay!