At work during my residency, vacation talk is all the rage. Everyone’s talking about where they’re going to go, what they’re going to do … with their TWO WEEKS OF VACATION. Yeah, the real world. Grad school isn’t the real world, it’s harder. It’s harder in almost every way. But you know one way it isn’t harder? You, to a large extent, get to choose when you work in the summer. (* I’d like to apologize to all those reading right now who will be stuck in labs for the summer. That’s a bit of a rip-off, but I’m sure you love what you do. Nonetheless, I’m sure there’s still lots here for you. Please keep reading.) That means you get to plan your work around fun things. That’s where this post comes in. This post is going to zero in on some really great stuff to do in the summer in Kingston.
You know what bothers me about the Internet, is that so many people write the same thing over and over, and they pretend they’re saying things for the first time. It creates a lot of clutter, and I don’t want to add to the clutter. The esteemed Dr. Sharday Mosurinjohn, and former commander-in-chief at Gradifying, compiled an excellent compilation. I’m reposting her redux for this for this 2017 edition, and then adding my own addition. Here we go.
To start, if you’re looking for a day-trip out of town but not too far away, check out my old post, The Day Tripper. It’s a what-to and how-to guide that will take you to and through Wolfe Island, the 1000 Islands, and Prince Edward County – all places that you ought to experience when there’s time for experiencing.
What to Do in Kingston This Summer Redux
For the next series of posts, we’re going to retrieve those topical gems hidden in the sands of time, before going on a short hiatus and then resuming in August.
I had annotated the post below with new information, updates, and images, but somehow, after having saved a draft and then trying to publish, I lost it all and I don’t have the stamina to do it over again. So without further ado, I bring you a very relevant post from two summers ago, the only essential corrective to which is that Rockin’ the Square seems to be gone this year, and instead there’s Music in the Park.
What to do in Kingston this Summer…. Part 3
This is my fifth summer in Kingston, and it is definitely my favourite time of the year. Here are my picks:
Best Summer Eats
This city has no shortage of great food and there are a number of excellent patio spots. My favourites are the Kingston Brewing Company and The Wolfe Island Grill (bonus: catch the sunset ferry on the way back – the ferry is free and leaves beside the Tim Hortons on Ontario by the K Rock Center). My personal favourite is the Socialist Pig in Gananoque. The coffee is excellent and the food is always outstanding, and you can also long-distance cycle highway 2 or country roads to get there (if that’s your thing).
Best Ice Cream Place
My personal favourite is Mio Gelato on Ontario Street. They have tons of flavours to choose from, though I’m a sucker for chocolate and hazelnut, and the waterfront makes for some excellent scenery while you devour your ice cream (sadly, they are open only seasonally, as I learned during an intense ice cream craving last winter).
Best Spots for Drinks
All of the restaurants I mentioned above are great places for drinks. The Jack Astor’s on King Street has a nice looking rooftop patio that overlooks City Hall and beyond. If you’re trying to impress a craft beer fan, I would recommend the patio at the Alibi. Other favourites also include the Iron Duke of Wellington and Sir John A McDonald.
Best Summer Locations
This is a hard one. Wolfe Island is an excellent outing. You can take your bike or car on the ferry (for free!). There’s lots of green space for a picnic or you can pedal or drive your way to the Big Sandy Bay Conservation Area beach (admission is $8). If you have a car, you can take a trip to Sandbanks Beach in Picton, which I love to do. The waterfront near Queen’s University also makes for a great swimming and picnic outing.
Best Summer Festivals
There’s a surprising abundance of festivals and events in Kingston in the summer (I recommend bookmarking this page!). The Wolfe Island Music festival looks quite promising this year (Aug 8 & 9) with K-OS, Shad, and the Rural Alberta Advantage. The city also puts on Movies in the Square on Thursdays (see the link for the schedule), which has a really nice, community feel to it (tip: bring your own lawn chair and snacks!).
Dustin’s Addition to 2017’s Summer Edition
Maybe you have kids and want to do something fun with them!!
If you’ve got little lil’ ones, check out some of the splash pads and wading pools in Kingston. You wanna see your kids have fun? Take them here. The best part: Doesn’t cost a cent.
The City of Kingston website list some other programs they put on as well for children and families. Note at the bottom of these pages that there’s a Fee Assistance program that helps folks like us get involved in things that cost money.
Life is long, take it all in.