Jet Ski Rideau Canal,1000 Islands & Lake Ontario…

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston

Old Fort Henry Photo © by Craig Nicholson

Related: Ride 1000 Islands


You can do plenty of great Sea Doo riding and recreational boating out of Sea Doo Friendly Kingston, Ontario. And also enjoy many outstanding restaurants, attractions and sights on your PWC adventure. So what makes Kingston a great Sea Doo, jet ski, waverunner PWC and recreational boating destination?

Firstly, this scenic Eastern Ontario city is strategically positioned where the St Lawrence and Cataraqui Rivers meet Lake Ontario. In yesteryear, that made the “Limestone City” (so called because so many of its unique heritage buildings are constructed with limestone quarried locally) an important fur-trading hub, guarded by Old Fort Henry. Here are some of the reasons, Kingston is on my top 10 list of Ontario day rides

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston Variety

For today’s PWC riders and recreational boaters, Kingston’s location places you at the western gateway to the famous 1000 Islands (see ride article). It’s also the southern gateway to the renown Rideau Canal (see ride article). And, it also enables you to jet ski west into the Bay of Quinte to Picton, Belleville or even Trenton (see ride article). Of course, if you want a truly big water PWC adventure, Kingston also offers access for Sea Doo riding on Lake Ontario. Directly across the lake is the mouth of New York State’s Oswego Canal, connection to the Erie Canal. By my count, that’s many cruising days to be had staging out your Sea Doo tour out of Kingston.

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston

Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Marina Photo © by Craig Nicholson

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston Harbours Marinas & Launches

A second reason that Kingston is a great Sea Doo tour and recreational boating destination is its harbours, marinas and launches. The City of Kingston provides seven boat launches. Six of which are free for Sea Doo riders (see How to Launch Safely). The seventh is Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Marina, which charges a launch and parking fee. But it is probably the best choice for anyone planning to park overnight for a multi-day ride. Both Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Marina and the city-run Confederation Basin (see below) offer transient overnight docking. (Note: Portsmouth has fuel. Confederation does not.) In addition, there are at least nine private marinas or yacht clubs at or near Kingston. So recreational boaters and Sea Doo riders are well served and can always find fuel, dockage and service.

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston

Confederation Basin Photo © by Craig Nicholson

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston Tourist & University Town

A third reason that Kingston is a great Sea Doo tour and recreational boating destination is that it’s a vibrant tourist and university town (Queen’s). The city base population is almost 125,000. This means that every major big city amenity and service is readily available to Sea Doo riders and boaters. All offered up with small town charm and hospitality that for many marine visitors, starts at Confederation Basin. Kingston’s historic waterfront is what every city’s should be like, but mostly are not. Beautiful, accessible, well preserved, unobstructed and people-friendly. And Confederation Basin is its heart and soul. Disembark there from your Sea Doo ride and you’re literally right downtown, with restaurants, shops and nightlife within sight. What’s more, street events and entertainment often take place in the shoreline Confederation Park and its immediate downtown area.

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston Riding Choices

And the fourth reason Kingston is a great Sea Doo tour and recreational boating destination is choices. You can choose to trailer, stage and stay there for a series of day rides. Or start and finish there on a multi-day ride. Or visit by water while on route elsewhere. If arriving in town by trailer, you’ll likely find it more convenient for parking to stay at a hotel that’s not downtown (where truck & trailer parking can be limited and costly). We stayed at the Comfort Inn on Warne Crescent, which provides plenty of free parking. From there, it’s only a convenient 10-minute drive to launch and park for the day (or days) at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Marina.

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston

Confederation Basin Photo © by Craig Nicholson

If you’re arriving to stay overnight by water, there are several chain hotels within sight of Confederation Basin. Note that the day docks for recreational boating are located at the south end of Confederation Basin (closet to the lake). Get to them at the green & white harbour marker through a breakwater entrance to the far left of the Martello Tower (red-roofed, circular fort that landmarks Confederation Basin). Check out their online booking form.

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston Good Eats

Whether by sea or by land, check out Sir John’s Public House downtown for dinner. Or for something totally unique, the Battery Bistro, situated on a high terrace at Old Fort Henry. It offers a magnificent overlook of Kingston and the St. Lawrence River.

Sea Doo Friendly Kingston

Confederation Basin Photo © by Craig Nicholson

If I haven’t listed enough great reasons that Kingston is a great Sea Doo tour and recreational boating destination, here’s a biggie for me. Kingston is home to the world’s best ice cream at the White Mountain Ice Cream store. It’s located across the street from Confederation Basin. Nothing like a scrumptious cold cone on a hot, day of Sea Doo riding!

I’ve visited cities like Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and many other towns from the water. But none of them can compete with the total package that Kingston offers marine visitors. That’s why I consider it a must-visit destination when planning my Sea Doo tour itinerary each summer, and so should you!

#ontariowaterways #ygk #Visitkingston

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The tips and advice in this article are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.


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