Sometimes a girl just has to get away. Kingston is a perfect summer day trip or weekend getaway for women looking for some serious downtime in one of Ontario’s prettiest towns. If you like quaint hidden laneways and beautiful limestone architecture, you’ll love Kingston.
This historic town has serious pedigree, founded in 1673, it holds the title of the first capital of the Province of Canada and it even has a full time ‘World Champion’ Town Crier.
Kingston’s historic inns, fantastic food scene and elegant spas/retreats places this region at the top of our list of ‘must visit’ towns to tour with your gal pals. Here’s our list of The Best of Kingston for your next girls’ getaway.
- Historic Farmers Market
Established in 1801 Kingston’s Public Market is Ontario’s oldest continuously run open air Farmers’ Market. The market is located behind City Hall in Market Square and runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, April through to November.
On our recent visit we drooled over endless supplies of maple syrup, bunches of pretty spring pussy willows and snapped one or two or three pieces of jewelry from Underground Designs (stall 68).
- Lots and Lots of Historic Inns
Kingston is spoiled for choice when it comes to pretty places to stay. Here are five beautiful inns we think any woman would love to call home while touring the town.
Secret Garden Inn – This inn has a turret, and who doesn’t love turrets?! Visions of Rapunzel are dancing in my head. And be still my beating heart, it boasts fainting sofas in the guest parlour, love It!
Rosemont Inn – Rosemont has an on-site spa, how perfect is that? Vinotherapy Spa offers up all sorts of ‘wine-themed’ spa treatments. For more great information about staying at Rosemont, click on Laura Byrne Paquet’s story to read all about her Kingston girls’ getaway in this ‘pretty as a picture’ inn.
Hochelaga Inn – Another Inn and ANOTHER turret! Plus cookies, lots of yummy cookies and tea. Oh the choices.
Green Woods Inn – ‘Minutes away, away from it all.’ If you’re looking for fresh air and luxe country living while on your Kingston travels, head to Green Woods Inn. This restored country manor is perfectly situated, close to the Thousand Islands area but is still only 5 minutes from the city, a match made in heaven.
Frontenac Club Inn – Located just one short block from Kingston’s Market Square this former bank/gentlemen’s club and now BnB is centrally located in downtown historic Kingston. Add in lovely soaker tubs and Aveda products and this inn is an easy choice for your next weekend getaway.
- Shopping Indie Style
Kingston has the usual retail chains like Lululemon, Urban Outfitters and Roots but don’t miss out on Kingston’s unique, independent boutiques. We loved the bright pink world of Made You Blush cosmetics, the retro glam dresses in Agent 99 and the Herschel Supply bags from Blueprint.
A girl can never have enough shoes right? We were happy to learn that Kingston has a couple of fun indie shops where you can pick out the perfect heel. Head to Princess Street’s Heel Boy, or find Felicity and Fritz just a little further up the street, both stores promise to satisfy any fussy shoe fashionista.
- Sumptuous Yoga Time
Located on Wolf Island and only a short 20-minute ferry ride from Kingston, the Shanti Yoga Retreat offers retreat weekends guaranteed to relax, rejuvenate and unwind your body and spirit. To celebrate their 10th anniversary Shanti will be hosting many special yoga retreats throughout the summer. With beachside yoga and waterside cabins the retreat promises to be a top girls’ getaway spot.
- Divine Dining
Kingston is stuffed to the brim with great dining options. With over 100 restaurants in a 9-block area, there’s a lot to choose from, we’ve made it easier with our pared down list of must visit cafes and restaurants in Kingston.
Chez Piggie is a Kingston institution and is definitely worth a visit for two reasons, its beautiful interior courtyard and the seared sea scallop appetizer. We fell in serious love with Chez’s sister bakery/cafe Pan Chancho during our stay, it was our go-to spot for a leisurely breakfast or lunch, I’m still dreaming about the raspberry macaroon I had for dessert.
Le Chien Noir – The Duck Poutine, OMG!
Le Chien has got the casual French bistro vibe nailed with its pretty tin ceiling, warm brick walls, and chi chi French posters. It also scores with its menu, using locally sourced food when possible and delivering deliciousness with every bite. It’s the perfect place to languish over a bottle of wine and a few shared plates.
Sometimes the best food experience can be the simplest, a walk along the Kingston waterfront with some homemade ice cream from the White Mountain Ice Cream Parlour, magical.