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Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Kingston

Best Places to Visit in Kingston

Affectionately known among locals as the “City of Limestone” – earning this city for the building material used in the construction of many 19th century stately homes – Kingston, Ontario is well worth a trip internationally and is appreciated by tourists and day-trippers.

The city also has a long and rich history. At the eastern end of Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River’s mouth gives it great strategic importance and was originally a French trading post and stronghold in the 1670s. The area was then known as Cataraqui and gave the French control over all the major trade routes in the area. Fast forward 100 years and control passed to the British, who gave the city a new name and greatly expanded its military importance with the addition of Fort Henry, as well as further settlements.

Kingston was so important to the British that it served as the colony’s capital for several years before Ottawa received the honor. From historic city walls and public buildings to major transportation hubs like the Rideau Canal, visitors to the city today have many reminders of Canada’s vital role in shaping the young country of what was once the gateway to Ottawa and a major transportation hub for Europe. inland Ontario. Currently busy with recreational boat traffic.

Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Kingston and make your trip enjoyable.

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Kingston

Here are the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Kingston:

1. Visit Fort Henry National Historic Site

Catalaki and St. High on Cape Henry overlooking the Lawrence Rivers, the Fort Henry National Historic Site should definitely be at the top of your Kingston itinerary.

Named after the former governor-governor of Quebec and built on the site of an early fort built during the war with the United States in 1812, the impressive fortifications you see today were built in the 1930s and have been used to guard gold for decades. The mouth of the Rideau Canal connecting the Royal Naval Shipyard at Ston and Lake Ontario to Ottawa.

Since its opening as a “living museum” in 1938, the castle has become a popular tourist attraction in the early 1800s, giving visitors an authentic taste of life and the castle’s strategic importance. It was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 2007. Known as the Fort Henry Guard, its informative uniformed staff recreates the lives of the fort’s former residents and industries through demonstrations and guided tours (self-guided tours are also available).

In addition to displaying trades and artifacts from these eras, staff offer historic military reenactments and exercises, including an exciting garrison parade. Other highlights for families include the opportunity to involve the kids in an authentic Victorian classroom experience, including period costumes and lessons.

If you’re visiting in August, check the fort’s official website for details on the famous sunset ceremony, which includes music and ball shows. The attraction is open year-round and offers a variety of interesting seasonal programs.

Address: 1 Fort Henry Road, Kingston, Ontario

Official website: www.forthenry.com

2. Experience Life Behind Bars at Kingston Penitentiary

Another type of castle – this one was designed to take people in, not out – Kingston Gaol is another must-see in Kingston. It was a maximum security prison built in 1835 and was the world’s oldest prison in continuous use when it closed in 2013. Now a museum, the “Kingston Pen” offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of inmates and guards from the 1800s to the late 1900s.

There are all kinds of great guest experiences here, including informative guides. Extended tours that offer multiple languages ​​are a good option. These in-depth tours are 2.5 hours (not recommended for children) and include the main cell dome and various study areas, as well as the gym and hospital. Along the way, you’ll learn about famous prisoners, fugitives, and prison riots as well as time.

Adjacent to the prison is the Canadian Correctional Services Museum, which is worth a visit. Often referred to as the Canadian Prison Museum, this fascinating attraction contains exhibits and artifacts from many of Canada’s finest prisons and is best known for its location in Kingston Gaol Warden’s Home (built 1870).

Address: 560 W King Street, Kingston, Ontario

Official website: www.kingstonpentour.com

3. Explore the Thousand Islands

Just a short drive (or better, a boat trip) from downtown Kingston, the Thousand Islands have long been a tourist attraction. This beautiful area is the mighty St. Lawrence River in Canada and America and is actually made up of more than 1,800 islands of various sizes, most of which are home to huge cottages of the wealthy elite on either side of the border.

The waterways and waterways around the islands are formed by the devastation of once-high mountain peaks and can be explored on a leisurely sightseeing cruise, private boat rental or – for some of the largest islands – even by car.

A great place to start exploring is the Thousand Islands National Park, a pristine cove and tree-lined granite archipelago easily accessible by car from Kingston. Rent a canoe or kayak from here, enjoy a peaceful paddle, observe wildlife, and then spend the night in a comfortable lodge in the park.

Alternatively, you can take the famous Wolfe Islander III ferry, which is particularly popular with day-trippers. Launched in 1976, this large vessel can transport cars and people to picturesque Wolfe Island, the largest of the region’s many islands (also accessible by ferry from the American side of St. Lawrence). Various interesting sightseeing tours also depart from Kingston to the Thousand Islands.

Address: 1088 Thousand Islands Highway, Mallorytown, Ontario

Official website: www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/1000

4. Get to know Canada’s first prime minister at Bellevue House

The former home of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, Bellevue House is a fine example of preserved Victorian architecture and a way of life for the developing country’s wealthiest citizens.

Built in 1840 as MacDonald’s residence from 1848 to 1849, it is one of the first Italian villa buildings in the country and has been well preserved in its appearance when he and his family lived here.

Highlights of visiting this national monument include exploring the grounds as well as an informative tour led by a costumed guide who is knowledgeable about the lifestyle and history of the time. Beautiful especially in the spring and summer, the extensive gardens actually include a kitchen garden and a delightful ornamental garden, as well as examples that predate the country’s Commonwealth. The original orchard is also intact.

Address: 35 Downtown Street, Kingston, Ontario

Official website: www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/bellevue

5. Enjoy nature at Frontenac Provincial Park

The 13,000-acre Frontenac Regional Park in the small town of Sydenham, just 40 minutes north of Kingston, is a great place to visit for those who want to experience nature. Designated a “natural environmental park”, it spans a unique area known as the Frontenac Axis, where the rugged Canadian Shield meets to the north and the Adirondacks to the south.

The park’s vast mixed forests and wetlands, surrounded by rugged granite outcrops, are ideal for a variety of outdoor adventures. Popular activities include kayaking and canoeing on the North and South Otter Lakes (or any of the 20 other lakes found here), hiking on its 100-mile trails, and country camping.

Visitors can also join a guided wilderness adventure or start their adventure with basic survival skills training. Along the way, you may be lucky enough to spot wildlife such as gray wolves, black bears, red foxes, minks, and otters.

Other popular activities include fishing and swimming. The park is open year-round, and winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Address: 6700 Salmon Lake Road, Sydenham, Ontario

Official website: www.ontarioparks.com/park/frontenac

6. Shop, Dine, and Have Fun in Historic Downtown Kingston

Centered around Queen and Princess Streets — two bustling thoroughfares that both begin (or end) at Kingston Harbour — downtown Kingston is easily walkable and a wonderful place to spend time. You’ll find plenty of great places to stay here, many of them with views over the water and within easy striking distance of key attractions.

Begin your exploration at the waterside Confederation Park, across from which you’ll find perhaps the best known (and most photographed) landmark in the downtown core: Kingston City Hall. Set overlooking historic Market Square, this wide-open public space is reminiscent of the traditional city squares of Europe and is the scene of numerous events year-round, as well as regular farmers’ markets. In the summer months, free movies are screened here, while in winter, a skating rink provides plenty of family fun.

In addition to its great shopping and dining experiences, the downtown area is also home to a number of other important landmarks. These include Fort Frontenac, parts of which date back to the time of the French settlement in 1673, and two splendid churches: St. George’s Anglican Cathedral (1825) and St. Mary’s Cathedral (1848).

For those wanting to park their car and use public transit, the handy hop-on, hop-off “K-Pass” can be purchased at various locations around the city. It also provides access to the city’s top attractions, as well as a fun Thousand Islands cruise.

Official site: www.downtownkingston.ca

7. Visit Historic Kingston City Hall

Built in 1844 when Kingston was, briefly, the seat of the Province of Canada, Kingston City Hall is now home to the city’s government and is regarded as one of the most striking and important neoclassical heritage buildings in Ontario. It’s also one of the biggest. Filling an entire city block in the downtown core and just steps away from Lake Ontario, its most notable feature is its tall dome, designed — like the rest of the building — by renowned architect George Browne.

The building’s interior is equally compelling, and can be visited as part of a guided tour, available on a first-come, first-served basis (self-guided tours are also available). Highlights include the Council Chambers and the Memorial Hall. Afterwards, be sure to spend time exploring the city’s historic Market Square and nearby Centennial Park.

Address: 216 Ontario Street, Kingston, Ontario

Official site: www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/about-city-hall

8. Explore History at Murney Tower National Historic Site of Canada

Built in 1846 in the style of the famous Martello Towers of southern England, the Murney Tower was a response by the British to growing tensions with the USA. An integral part of the Kingston Fortifications built to protect the city’s Royal Naval dockyard and Kingston Harbour, as well as supply depots and the entrance to the Rideau Canal, the Murney Tower continues to dominate the shoreline.

Designed specifically to discourage American troops from setting up artillery on nearby Gardiners Island, it became the city’s first museum in 1925 and features an impressive collection of weapons, including artillery, as well as artifacts and displays portraying the building’s role in history.

Address: 2 King Street W, Kingston, Ontario

Official site: www.kingstonhistoricalsociety.ca/the-murney-tower/

9. Get All Steamed Up at the PumpHouse

Notable as Canada’s oldest original waterworks, the PumpHouse is a must-visit when in Kingston for those who get excited about old machinery — and especially old steam-powered machinery. Built in 1851 in response to devastating fires and cholera outbreaks, the PumpHouse is one of only six such facilities to have survived in North America.

For close to 100 years before they were retired in favor of electric motors, the PumpHouse’s engines provided fresh running water throughout Kingston, playing a major role in the city’s growth and development. Opened as a museum in 2006, it offers a fascinating look at the history of building through interactive games and displays suitable for all ages.

Address: 23 Ontario Street, Kingston, Ontario

Official site: www.kingstonpumphouse.ca

10. Visit the Military Museum

If you are interested in military history, be sure to visit the Royal Canadian Military Academy Museum. The museum is located on the campus of the Royal Military College of Canada and is administered by the college.
The museum displays a range of artifacts, research and records from the RMCC, including the Royal Naval Shipyard in Kingston. The museum is home to more than 7,000 objects, some dating back to the First World War.
See loot, planes and tanks, including Sherman, Centurion and Leopard tanks. There are also the HMCS Huron (G24) X Guns, the Bloomfield SBML 32-pounder Gun and the SBML 32-pounder Guns.

Conclusion:

Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Kingston. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Kingston, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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