We set out from Montreal at 9:40am in the morning on VIA Rail, arriving in Kingston a bit past noon. The train station is a few kms away from the downtown, so for a $2 fare, we took the #4 bus that passes across the street from the train station. Kingston Transit passes by the VIA Rail station on the half-hour up until about 7pm Mon-Sat (then hourly 'till 11pm Mon-Fri); it takes about 1/2 hour to get into downtown; there's no service Sundays. Otherwise, cabs are $12 more or less to the historic centre.
From the moment of the bus ride, as my friend & I chatted with the driver and other passengers, we were struck by how friendly ("oh yeah it's 'Ontario-friendly' another friend of mine told me later, whatever that means) everybody was. People seemed most pleased that we'd decided to spend the day in their town. Coming into the center, I was impressed with how vibrant and buzzing Princess Street seemed to be as we approached the downtown core.
For the rest of the day, we were on foot. We caught a cab back (they ply down Princess Street or sit in front of City Hall). It is most definitely possible to have a great day or weekend visit to Kingston without renting a car.
Yes, get there by car and walk around once in town. I do not recommend driving around in Kingston. It can get very crowded in the afternoon hours. Just park your car for the day and walk around on foot. Kingston is not that big.
You see many tourists around. Even Americans. Like the car you see on this image is from the United States. I parked my car on a side street and grabbed a bottle of water and my wallet and left to town.
Make sure you lock your car and don't leave anything obvious inside, like camera, money, purse, etc. There is also a local, public (bus) transportation and a train station. However I still recommend getting there by car. It's the fastest and most convenient way.
Parking on and around downtown can be a real pain in the butt, if you know what I mean. You have two choices. Park your car on the main street and throw a bunch of coins in the parking meter or pay for private / pay parking by the hour. The other one is what we did: Drive a little further out and park on a side street and walk back on foot.
Follow Highway 401 east to Interchange 661 (which is Highway 137/Bridge to USA). Take Interchange then turn right off Highway 137 to 1000 Islands Parkway. Turn left on Parkway and proceed 3.2 km/2 miles to Rockport. Your Best Boldt Castle Connection! The Island Heritage has been giving tours of the1000 Islands since 1929. Half way through your tour you may disembark at the wonderful, world famous Boldt Castle. Spend an hour or two, or more, your schedule is up to you, as the boats are at the Castle every thirty minutes. Fares $10.00 CDN Departure Schedule May 10 - October 19 Every Hour 10:30a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
June 21 - Labour Day Every ½ Hour 10:00a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
11km after the pier where the ferry from Kingston arrives, you can take a ferry to Cape Vincent, NY. The trip takes 10 minutes and it costs 2 US/2 CAN per adult (on foot) and 13US/13 CAN if you travel with your vehicle. Remember to take your passport and have your visa in order (if applicable).
I always find a ferry ride makes for a nice break in a long driving trip, so I was glad to be able to use the Glenora Ferry service after we had covered about half the length of the isthmus of Prince Edward. This service across a 1.6-km (1-mi) wide channel near the town of Picton has been in service for over 200 years, ever since the United Empire Loyalists arrived on these shores after fleeing the American colonies in 1784.
We did not have long to wait near the front of the line for this free service provided by the Ontario government, with departures scheduled from both sides of the channel every 15 minutes during the summer tourist season of mid-May to September. We sailed across on the 39-meter (127-ft) Motor Vessel 'Quinte Loyalist' and this view shows her sister vessel MV 'Glenora' approaching as they met in mid-channel. Both of these vessels entered service on this crossing in 1953-54 and each can carry 21 cars with a maximum load of 18-tonnes. We exited our car and wandered around on deck with some of the other passengers as we took in the sights in the 2nd and 3rd photos. After landing on the Adolphustown side, we were soon off on our final approach to Kingston.
The hours of operation from Mid-May to September are:
30-Minute Service – 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
15-Minute Service – 10:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
30-Minute Service – 7:30 p.m. to 1:15 a.m.
The ferries depart Glenora on the hour and the half-hour
and Adolphustown at a quarter to and a quarter after the hour
The best way to get to Kingston is via the 401. As long as you can find Ontario on a map you'll be able to drive here with no difficulty. For American visitors, don't forget that our speed limits are posted in kilometers instead of miles.
You can fly into our small airport or ride by train. However, in either case you'll need transportation to get into the city -- a short taxi ride.
I suppose you could also sail or cruise on the Great Lakes. If you can afford this means of transportation I'd suggest simply docking right in the heart of downtown -- see the City of Kingston web site for details.
Once you've gotten downtown, simply walk around. You will usually be able to find parking, but if you don't feel like hunting for a spot there are a few pay parking lots here and there.
Taxis and buses are quite reliable. However, you might need some help figuring out the bus routes.
Train: Via Rail stops in Kingston. Take the train and avoid the hassles of driving.
Bus: CoachCanada/Trentway-Wager Bus Lines operates about 25 departures a day to many different cities and towns
Also Voyageur Bus Lines has about 9 daily departures.
Airport: There's a small airport, Norman Rogers Airport, and is serviced by the regional airline. Connections can be made to Toronto's Pearson International Airport
Car: Kingston is on a major highway, the 4-0-1, and is easily accessed.
For info on Kingston's public transit click here: Local Transit
Bus,Car,Bike or I guess there is a train stop also. There are 3 turn off's the 401 the major highway so you should plan ahead which one you need to take to end up with the shortest route.
By foot if your downtown. By car if you want to see the country side. Or perhaps a bike in summer.
There is a free commuter ferry between Wolfe Island and Kingston. The trip takes about 30 minutes and departs on the hour from Kingston and on the half hour from Wolfe Island (I think).
Don't use the public transport. Too few lines, too little service make this an unreliable way of visiting Kingston
A friend of mine likes firemen..SO!!!
I went in the fireplace..ASKED the guys to take a truck OUTSIDE..then pose for me...and they did...(I'm a great friend..no?)
Oops, not this one! As we've told you it's the boat not a train. We just saw this train somewhere near the town. No railway station in sight actually.