If you’re looking for a new Ontario road trip stop, the city of Kingston has more to offer than limestone buildings and historic monuments (but those shouldn’t be overlooked).

The city is about three hours from Toronto and two hours from Ottawa, making it an ideal meeting place to explore more of Ontario.

From unique tours to quaint restaurant terraces and scenic blue waters, there’s something for everyone. So maybe it’s time to park the car and head to that waterfront town.

Eat your way through town

Price: $89 per person for the Classic Kingston Tour and $99 per person for the Tapas Tour

Address: From 209 Ontario Street, Kingston, ON

Why you need to go: You can experience tons of different hotspots in Kingston without having to plan a thing with these food tours. Choose between a classic food tour or a tapas restaurant tour, where you learn about the area as you eat. Various samples and pairings are included.


Put yourself behind bars in a prison

Price: $40+ per visit

Address: 560 King Street West, Kingston, ON

Why you need to go: You can follow in the footsteps of former inmates and guards by joining one of four different tours of Kingston Penitentiary. Canada’s oldest maximum security prison is steeped in history, boasts stunning architecture, and is also a filming location for some shows you might even be familiar with.


Enjoy a sparkling boat cruise

Price: From $38+ per person

Address: 248 Ontario Street, Kingston, Ontario

Why you need to go: No matter what kind of cruise experience you’re looking for, you can hit the water and find it with Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises. You can learn about the history of the 1000 Islands while admiring the view or enjoy a magical ride at sunset while sipping cocktails.


Shop and stroll downtown

Price: Free

Address: Princess Street and Queen Street, Kingston, ON

Why you need to go: Kingston has a bustling downtown area with historic and even colorful buildings, signs and monuments, as well as plenty of shops and restaurants to visit. You can walk down Princess and Queen Street to take your photo with the “Kingston” sign and spend the whole afternoon shopping.


Discover a spooky story about a cart

Price: $30 per person or $39 per person for the Ghost and Mystery Tour

Address: 248 Ontario Street, Kingston, Ontario

Why you need to go: You can see all of Kingston’s highlights and discover over 300 years of history by riding in a vintage-looking red wagon. If you’d rather be spooked, you can take the Ghost and Mystery Tour where you’ll hear about ghost encounters and spooky stories.


Sip on a lovely terrace

Price: From $5.50+ per beer

Address: 675 Development Dr., Kingston, ON

Why you need to go: If you’re looking for a nice patio to sit and while away the afternoon, you can head to Spearhead Brewing Co. If you don’t like beer, they also have a long list of liquors, wine, and cider on their garden-like patio, as well as a rotating menu.


Take a ferry to a hidden beach

Price: $10 per adult visitor

Address: Big Sandy Bay Beach, Wolfe Island, ON

Why you need to go: Big Sandy Bay Beach is a hidden beach located on Wolfe Island and it will transport you to a tropical place. You’ll take a fast ferry from Kingston and follow a short walking path to a sandy beach with stunning blue waters.


Test your skills in a “Harry Potter” escape room

Price: $89.85+ minimum per group ($29.95+ per person for more than three people)

Address: 303 Bagot Street, Suite 16B, Kingston, ON

Why you need to go: You can test your wizardry skills and potion knowledge by immersing yourself in this magical escape room at Improbable Escapes. You will think you have received your acceptance letter.