Kingston, Ontario already boasts the title of Canada’s first capital and the beloved home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. Since it was first established as Fort Cataraqui in 1673, Kingston, Ontario has enjoyed a rich and eventful history as one of the province’s most vital political, military, educational and tourist centers.

While this vibrant city offers countless activities any time of year, summer is definitely the most popular time to visit Kingston attractions – for those looking to take in the full-scope of exciting seasonal events and starring attractions. In our opinion, no Kingston summer vacation is complete without immersing yourself in these attractions!

Top Summer Kingston Attractions

Kingston Buskers

Kingston Buskers. Every July a talented gaggle of entertainers hits the streets of downtown Kingston for a few colourful days of no-holds barred, non-stop fun. In a mere four days and four nights you can get your fill of jugglers, musicians, singers, magicians, dancers, acrobats and much more. Entertainers and audiences alike come from all over the world to be a part of this amazing and highly-anticipated annual event. Be a part of the spectacular and join the fun!

kingston buskers

Kingston 1000 Islands Poker Run

Kingston 1000 Island Poker Run. Witness the thrill of extreme performance speed boating by joining the thousands of people who come to Kingston every August for the 1000 Island Poker Run. We’re talking high octane entertainment that all starts in the heart of the Limestone City. In addition to the competition, you can also enjoy the street parties, incredible food and phenomenal downtown shopping.

kingston poker run

Kingston Sheepdog Trials

Kingston Sheepdog Trials. The Kingston Sheepdog Trials are enjoying almost three decades in the city and bring together the top 100 competitors from all over North America to vie for the coveted title of top dog. This Kingston summer vacation idea is perfect for the whole family, boasting the main event as well as interactive games and activities, a petting zoo, pony rides, play area, dog training seminars, a Sheep to Shawl competition, as well as a market featuring the wares of skilled artisans. Never been to a sheepdog gathering? Well, you’ve got to start somewhere, so why not come to Kingston for the third largest sheepdog gathering in the world this August.

The Haunted Walk of Kingston

The Haunted Walk of Kingston. Step back in time and get scared a little silly on Kingston’s famous Haunted Walk. This interactive evening walking tour explores Kingston’s darker history and regales participants with ghostly tales while taking them through some of the city’s most eerie haunts.

haunted walk of kingston

1000 Islands Cruises

1000 Island Cruise. No Kingston summer vacation would be complete without a cruise among the breathtaking and world renowned 1000 Islands. Cruises depart daily and range from 1 1/2 hour cruises to more extensive three hour tours. You can also choose to enjoy the waterways by day or on one of the sunset dinner cruises. All of the longer cruises offer live entertainment for your enjoyment and many serve up delicious dining options. Private charters are available for special events.

1000 islands cruises

Need a place to relax and unwind between all the fun?

Stay in one of our luxurious cottages or cabins for a home away from home feeling. The Loughborough Inn is located less than half an hour from downtown Kingston and Kingston attractions, so you can enjoy the peace of the lake and the party in the city. Who said you can’t have it all?