The Kingston Waterfront

Historic Kingston Watefront

The city of Kingston has a jewel that is available and free to all who reside and visit. A picturesque waterfront creates a beautiful backdrop highlighting the downtown and its impressive limestone historical buildings. The city waterfront is bordered by an eight-kilometer walking trail stretching from one end of the city to the other, with awesome adventures sure to please everyone. A year-round way to experience all that Kingston has to offer.

During the winter months, the waterfront is a little cold and quiet, but it comes alive in spring, summer, and fall. The waterfront activities available seem almost endless! There are bike rentals, walking and hiking, picnicking in the parks, boating, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and paddleboarding; all water sports are available to rent. After a day of sightseeing, stop and enjoy a meal or beverage at one of Kingston’s excellent pubs or patios that overlook the water.

Take a 1,000 Island boat cruise from the downtown dock, or hop on over to Wolf Island on the free Wolf Island Ferry. The Old Train Station in Confederation Park and the heart of downtown is now the Visitor Information Centre. It is a one-stop shop for all things happening in Kingston and a convenient place to book, reserve, or buy tickets for top attractions. Many of the tours leave from the Centre. Check out the “Spirit of Sir John A., a restored antique steam engine, just outside the Old Train Station.

The Waterfront Trail connects with fantastic attractions, including The Rideau Trail ( a 900-kilometer trail from Niagara to Quebec), Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, Kingston Penitentiary & Museum, Bellevue House National Historic Site, Murney Tower, Pump House Steam Museum, City Hall, The Woolen Mill, and Fort Frontenac. There are many places to stop and enjoy the natural surroundings with benches, picnic areas, and a prier for summer swimming.

A fantastic way to tour the city is by hopping on the red Kingston Trolley Tour. Visitors can hop on and off at all Trolley Tour stops, which are at all top local attractions. The Trolleys provide commentary with great historical information by tour guides or the driver. The City Trolley Tour tells of Kingston’s past and runs for one hour round trip. They offer an evening Ghost and Mystery Tour that details some of Kingston’s most haunting history for the brave of heart.

Princess Street is the place for shopping. It is a long-running downtown street sloped downhill to the waterfront. It has a wide variety of shops from some big names to many small locally owned stores. Many are unique local artisans selling their hand-made wares, everything from baked goods, antiques, art galleries, jewelry, books, clothing to tattoos and great restaurants. Be sure to stop in for a pint at the “Public House” pub, Sir Johns A. MacDonald’s old law office, before becoming prime minister. 

The Kingston Waterfront has so much to offer, making it a day filled with history, fun-filled experiences, and maybe even a little ghostly. There is undoubtedly an adventure waiting for you on the waterfront.

Check out Kingston Bellevue House which is in Kingston ON too.

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