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Things to do in

Kingston, Ontario

Our most recommended things to do in Kingston, Ontario

Kingston: Thousand Islands Riverboat Cruise

1. Kingston: Thousand Islands Riverboat Cruise

The world-famous 1,000 Islands begin in Kingston, and span the St. Lawrence River for miles. Your route onboard the triple-deck Island Queen winds its way through the small cottage islands of the Admiralty group, which feature Napoleon’s Hat, the Wanderer’s Channel, the Bateau Channel, the opulent Mandalay Mansion and the historic sights of Kingston.  This cruise is one of the most in-depth cruises of the 1,000 Islands, and is the perfect way to explore the scenery that has made the region famous throughout the world. Onboard, enjoy live entertainment and listen to commentary about the history and folklore as you pass by spectacular scenery and island homes. You will also have access to a full-service canteen and bar.

1000 Islands: 10, 20, or 30-Minute Scenic Helicopter Tour

2. 1000 Islands: 10, 20, or 30-Minute Scenic Helicopter Tour

Experience the 1000 Islands from the air on a breathtaking helicopter tour. Choose your own adventure with three unique tour options ranging from 10 to 30 minutes. Depart from Gananoque Heliport, located within a 20-minute drive east of Kingston via Highway 401 in beautiful Gananoque, Ontario.  Check in at the front desk then relax in the lounge before your pre-flight briefing. Feel the thrill as you rise above lush greenery, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs, admiring the sights from your guaranteed window seat.  Wear audio headsets complete with microphones for easy communication. Enjoy pilot-narrated commentary in English or select one of the recorded multilingual audio tours. The duration depends on your selected option. Choose the 10-minute tour for a taste of the 1000 Islands, including the town of Gananoque, the Admiralty Islands, Navy Islands, and the Lake Fleet Islands. Explore further on an Ontario Signature Experience: a 20-minute tour that includes both the U.S. and Canadian spans of the Ivy Lea Bridge, and Boldt Castle on Heart Island.  The most popular option is a Canadian Signature Experience: an extended 30-minute ‘Two Castle’ tour that sends you flying over sunken shipwrecks and nation-spanning bridges, as well as Boldt and Singer Castles.

Kingston: Ghost & Mystery Trolley Tour

3. Kingston: Ghost & Mystery Trolley Tour

Discover Kingston’s lesser-known and difficult-to-access haunted spots on an evening trolley tour. Learn about the city's mysterious past, darkest stories, and best-kept secrets over 1.5-hours. Kingston is one of the oldest cities in Ontario and has amassed an impressive list of hauntings and mysteries. Hear them all from your entertaining guide as the tour winds through downtown Kingston, around the back of Fort Henry Hill and Deadman’s Bay. The tour will also take you by the Kingston Penitentiary and the Rockwood Asylum.

Kingston: Sightseeing Red Trolley Tour with Guide

4. Kingston: Sightseeing Red Trolley Tour with Guide

Discover the history and architecture of Kingston on a sightseeing trolley tour through downtown. Step back in time as your guide tells you stories from the city's past. See sights like Queen's University and the notorious Kingston Penitentiary. Hop aboard a red trolley at the conveniently located trolley stop in downtown Kingston. Enjoy a family-friendly ride and capture some selfies on a bright red trolley. Roll through the streets pas art galleries and museums.  Take in the old buildings at Queen's University, one of Canada's oldest degree-granting institutions. Ride the iconic trolley by sights like the Maximum security Kingston Penitentiary which was built in 1835 and is now a museum.  Pass by visitor attractions and historic sites like Fort Henry which is perched atop Point Henry. Return to your starting point at the end of your tour. 

Kingston: Haunted Night Walking Tour

5. Kingston: Haunted Night Walking Tour

Experience Kingston like never before. Go on an adventure that takes you through Kingston’s old Sydenham Ward and hear some of the most spine-tingling ghost stories from the earliest days of Kingston. This night tour departs from the ticket office on Ontario Street. Your cloaked tour guide will lead you from the heart of the historic city to the oldest residential area. Listen to chilling tales and see a darker side to Kingston's history. Immerse yourself in haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds, grave robbings, hangings at the old courthouse, and Kingston's haunted bed and breakfasts. You will never look at the city in the same way again. After being led through the streets of Downtown Kingston, your guide can walk you back to the start location, or leave you to enjoy a sleepless night in the city.

Thousand Islands: Helicopter Tour with Cider Mill and Lunch

6. Thousand Islands: Helicopter Tour with Cider Mill and Lunch

There’s no better way to experience Thousand Islands than the sky. Head to the heliport in Gananoque and hop onboard your helicopter for your 30 minutes aerial adventure.  Soar through the skies and soak up panoramic views of the many islands below. From the helicopter, see famous landmarks including Boldt Castle, Singer Castle, Millionaires Row, Thousand Islands International Bridge, and more. Back on land, visit BUSL Cider, the region’s newest cider mill. Enjoy a guided tour of the mill and learn how cider is produced while tasting a selection of ciders. Wander through the mill’s sprawling orchards, and stop at a nearby bakery. End the experience with a light lunch, and sample the region’s world-famous Thousand Islands Dressing.

Kingston: Historic Downtown Walking Tour

7. Kingston: Historic Downtown Walking Tour

Head downtown on a walking tour with leader Arthur Milnes, known as Kingston’s chief storyteller. He’s also one of the most unique Kingstonians you’ll meet while in town. Arthur and his wife hosted an American President and his First Lady for an overnight at their Kingston home, and he served as a speechwriter to the Prime Minister of Canada. With Arthur as your guide, enter into the Kingston world of the ever-controversial Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister. Learn the inspiring story of Kingston Indigenous hero, Molly Brant. Hear about the visits to the city by Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway, and, laugh along as Arthur describes the zany night he spent at a local pub with the Speaker of the British House of Commons. The tours last 45 minutes to an hour – or longer once you get Arthur talking.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kingston, Ontario

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What people are saying about Kingston, Ontario

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 233 reviews

The cruise is a must when visiting Kingston! We bought the “sightseeing” ticket which placed us on the top (third) open deck. There is a covering over the middle isle if it rained a bit. Luckily, it was a perfect day! It was a perfect balance between live education on the islands as we pass by, live music, and some time for silence to enjoy the scenes. The second level is enclosed and serves a meal which looked amazing while we watched the captain be served her meal through the upper deck door! The 1sr deck is a dance floor with some seating I would imagine (I did not visit that deck). I normally get seasick on a rocky boat, and this one was smooth so I was perfectly fine. If you’re on the fence, DO IT!

I highly recommend this tour. The operator was fantastic. The selection of sights was perfect. You get a little bit of everything and from there you can decide what you want to spend more time at or return to later.

My partner and I had a fantastic time. The boat ride was smooth with a gorgeous scenery. We enjoyed every minute of the boat cruise . Thank you for an incredible experience.⚓❤️⛴

great for adults...a bit long for children. beautiful boat, well maintained very friendly staff

It's eas great our guide was very knowledgeable and very interesting