Sometimes, you just need to get out of your own city. Exploring somewhere unfamiliar is quite exciting, especially when it's so close to home. That's why Kingston is the perfect place to go when you just need to get out of the big city and when you're over feeling overwhelmed.

If you've never been to Kingston before, what are you doing? Get your SO or BFF and plan a day trip in this adorable town. You'll be surprised at how beautiful and how old it looks, without it actually being that old. The waterfront is the perfect place to clear your head, and the cute shops will keep you occupied all day.

The trip to Kingston is a short drive and exploring a new city will benefit you in times of stress. So hop in your car, drive a couple hours, and let this list of 14 things to do prepare you for your full, fun filled day ahead!

via @sabbles

1. Tour the Kingston Penitentiary

560 King Street West

This is one of Canada's most infamous prisons. They offer guided tours that last about 90 minutes, and this is a must if you're visiting Kingston!


via @itssungday

2. Get a delicious coffee and dessert at Pan Chancho Bakery

44 Princess Street

Pan Chancho Bakery is a European style bakery that is known in Kingston for their delicious pastries and desserts, as well as grab and go items. All of their items are made with local farm fresh produce and you'll want to dine there for breakfast, brunch and lunch every single day.


via @oliviajaneadams

3. Explore Antique Alley

207 Wellington Street

With over 4000 sq ft of inventory, you'll find everything you're looking for (or not) here at Antique Alley. This hidden gem is tucked away in Downtown Kingston but it's worth the mystery. They get new items in daily and you'll find one-of-a-kind items here to take back home!


via @msyuench

4. Eat your heart out at SIMA Sushi

66 Princess Street

Located on Princess Street, this sushi spot is a must try in Kingston. They have a unique maki rolls and dinner and lunch specials that won't break the bank. If you're a sushi love, you won't be disappointed here.


via @kingstontrolley

5. Take a Kingston Trolley Tour

1 Brock Street

If you're one of the few that's never been to Kingston before, it would benefit you to take a Kingston Trolley Tour! You get to see the most popular sites in Kingston and at night they offer a Ghost & Mystery Tour. Yes please!


via @kirstengraves_

6. Visit the Kingston Public Market

Springer Market Square

The Kingston Public Market is an awesome place to go for fresh and local produce. It's located right behind City Hall and it's open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from April to November. If you're taking a day trip during one of those days, it's definitely worth it to stop by!


via @aeartcentre

7. Check out the cool art at Agnes Etherington Art Centre

36 University Avenue

Agnes Etherington Art Centre is located on the Queen's University campus and has beautiful art scattered around the museum. If you're looking to tour a museum during your day in Kingston, I recommend this unique one.


via @britneysuffering

8. Go thrift shopping on Princess Street

353 Princess Street, 338 Princess Street

There are two amazing thrift stores on Princess Street, Phase 2 and What'll I Wear. What'll I Wear is more of a vintage and retro themed thrift shop, whereas sells what they call 'recycled clothing'. If you're looking to save money or just love thrift shopping for unique pieces, you'll love both of these thrift shops.


via @isabelle.lam

9. Walk along the Kingston Waterfront Pathway

1098 King Street

The Kingston Waterfront Pathway gives you gorgeous views of Lake Ontario as well as historic buildings along the way. Take it all in by walking along the 8.3 km (or just half, doesn't matter) and if you're courageous, you can get in a little exercise here too.


via @skinnboat

10. Take a cool and artsy Instagram with the Time monument

Queen's University 

The Time monument is a super artsy and fun piece of Kingston. It makes for a cool and unique photo for Instagram as well, since everyone will obviously need to know you're in Kingston.


via @victoriaspanton

11. Enjoy a mean seafood dinner at Dianne's Fish Shack & Smokehouse

195 Ontario Street

Dianne's Fish Shack & Smokehouse is an amazing Mexican inspired seafood restaurant that will leave you wanting to take a trip to Kingston every weekend. It's located right by the water and it's always super busy so get there early! If you can, get a seat on the patio so you can have views of the water. The food + the views = unreal.


via @brittanyalward

12. Grab an after dinner sweet treat at MioGelato

178 Ontario Street

MioGelato is a great gelato place located right downtown by the water. They have every option you could want and it's beyond delicious. Definitely needed for an after dinner snack.


via @milajanjic

13. Scare the shit out of yourself and go on the Haunted Walk of Kingston

200 Ontario Street

The Haunted Walk of Kingston is a fun way to end your night. This walk is a super popular part of visiting Kingston, as the town is filled with haunted places. They have different packages to choose from, but c'mon, choose the scariest one.


via @1heart1family

14. Treat yourself to a strong drink after that last experience at Tango Nuevo Tapas & Wine

331 King Street East

After the Haunted Walk of Kingston, you'll definitely need to treat yourself to a drink. Tango Nuevo Tapas and Wine has a great selection of drinks to try before you head home. Trust me, you'll need it to calm your nerves after that haunted walk.

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