Planning Your Trip To The Thousand Islands
When planning your trip to the 1000 islands you will want to check out the many places to eat along the river as well as the fun things to do. Many things to do are kid friendly from zoos to festivals. If you are interested in the history of the thousand islands then please visit the museums and read the history of the thousand islands dressing in Alexandria Bay and the history of the thousand islands dressing in Clayton. There are also a lot of books about the 1000 islands.
If you are an adventurous type of person then try some scuba diving or rafting and kayaking. Another fun thing to do is to take a boat tour throughout the river like on the famous Uncle Sam Boat Tours. Visit and explore huge beautiful castles on islands like Boldt Castle.
The 1000 islands has inspired many to fall in love and get married. The 1000 islands is a beautiful place to have a wedding. If you are planning on getting married then check out the many wedding planning options in the thousand islands.
If you are planning on visiting sites in both the United States and Canada be sure the have your passport with you.
Best Things To Do In The Thousand Islands This Summer
The Thousand Islands region truly offers one of the most breathtaking and surreal settings in New York, with islands dotting the lake and the river ranging in size from a few square feet to Canada’s Wolfe Island, with its 48 square miles. Some islands remain wild and uninhabited, while others are adorned with Victorian homes and even castles. Along the shores, nestled into nooks and near deep harbors, visitors find quiet villages, like Sackets Harbor and Clayton, as well as lively towns, like Alexandria Bay, all regularly celebrating their enchanted surroundings. Here’s just a few of things worth doing this summer in the Thousand Islands.1. Get Out On The Water
It all starts with the water in the Thousands Islands, with countless bays and passages, as well as an international shipping channel. To fully grasp the beauty of the place, it’s best to get on a boat. Luckily, there’s lots of ways to do that including the many boat tour companies, water taxis and personalized cruises. Check out Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours and Clayton Island Tours for group excursions, or 1000 Island Water Taxi and Classic Island Cruises for more intimate affairs.
Boat tours in the Thousand Islands2. Visit Boldt Castle
5 awe-inspiring castles in Upstate NY3. The Antique Boat Museum
5. Wellesley Island State Park
7. Frederic Remington Art Museum
8. Charter a Fishing Boat
Take An Antique Boat Ride With Classic Island Cruises
If you want to learn more about the history of the islands in a laid back atmosphere, you need to experience a boat tour with Classic Island Cruises!
Their tours can be customed to your preferences from full to half-day fishing trips, wine and cheese tours or special customized trips available during the day or evening.
We were lucky enough to spend several hours cruising the Saint Lawrence River in this beauty, a 1953 Chris-Craft named Muskie, owned by Captain Jeff Garnsey of Classic Island Cruises.
Captain Jeff is the third captain in his family and will continue the tradition by eventually passing it on to his son.
He retired after serving 26 years as a Master Chief Petty Officer in the Submarine Force and later received his Masters Captains License in 2009.
The craftsmanship of the Muskie is pretty incredible.
You are basically riding in a work of art with detailing and features that are unique and telling of the time. They definitely dont make boats like this anymore!
Captain Jeffs family has roots in the 1000 Islands spanning 9 generations and his return to Clayton carries on the tradition, appreciation, and love for fishing and the region.
If you want to learn more about classic boats, you will definitely want to also plan a visit to the Antique Boat Museum while you are in town.
The museum recommends that you allow 1.5 hours to take it all in. At the museum, you will experience the maritime history of the region showcasing incredible boats.
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Welcome To 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel
Nestled on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in the picturesque village of Clayton, New York, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel welcomes you with luxury accommodations and unmatched hospitality. Our AAA Four Diamond property is designed to delight year-round. We offer spacious deluxe guestrooms and suites, an array of thoughtful touches, and exemplary service to enhance your stay. Find your seat outside amidst our lushly landscaped grounds and enjoy your evening by the firepits. You’ll feel the cares of the world drift away as you take in the breathtaking beauty of the shoreline just steps away.
View Incredible Summer Homes On Millionaires Row
Yes, the summer homes on Millionaires Row are most peoples regular house goals.
A boat ride along the Saint Lawrence River allows you access to see so many of the incredible properties with unique architecture and enviable views.
Accessible by boat onlyFishers Landing, NY
There is docking available on Rock Island for private craft and guests on Clayton Island Boat Tours.
Another point of interest on our boat tour was the Rock Island Lighthouse that dates back to 1847, and was one of 6 lights used to help guide travelers along the Saint Lawrence River waterway.
The lighthouse is only accessible by boat and the views are beautiful from every angle.
When given the option to climb a spiral staircase, the answer is always yes!!!!
You can also climb the winding staircase to see the view from the top of the inside of the Lighthouse in the lantern room.
You will find 360-degree views of the Saint Lawrence River at the top of Rock Island Lighthouse.
There are several exhibits inside Keepers Cottage where you can learn more about the history and what life was like for the Lighthouse Keepers through the years.
After walking through the museum, you can also check out the gift shop if you want take home a souvenir.
From Rock Island, you can see The Thousand Islands International Bridge in the distance along with another perspective of the water that is so incredibly clear.
Passengers visiting from the Canada side need to make sure that they have proper identification on them.
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Thousand Islands New York
On a road trip a few years ago that involved stays in Toronto and Montreal, my husband and I decided we wanted to experience this part of Canada outside of the countrys two largest cities. About halfway between the two, we found the Thousand Islandsan area that has long been a destination for its scenery and outdoor recreation.
- 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours offers five different tours from 10 to 60 minutes with personal narration of the region by the pilot. Photo courtesy of Mitch Beattie, 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
- Thousand Islands tour boats at Boldt Castle. Photo courtesy of George Fischer, 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
- The 1000 Islands Bridge. Photo courtesy of George Fischer, 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
- Kayakers enjoying clear waters around the 1000 Islands.. Photo courtesy of Rob Stimpson, 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
- The 1000 Islands boasts a variety of properties sizes. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
- Local lodgings such as Gananoque Inn offer waterside accomodations. Photo courtesy of George Fischer, 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
- Thousand Island dressing on a gift shop shelf. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
- Rockport Boat Line. Photo by MeLinda Schnyder.
- The waterfront Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Ontario, plans a 2021 season from August through November. Photo courtesy of 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
Thousand Islands Bridge Port Information
- Hours of Operation: This border crossing is open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week for auto and commercial traffic.
- This port has NEXUS lanes for entering the U.S. or Canada. Nexus lanes are not typically open 24/7, so we have a separate page showing their hours of operation.
- There are special rules governing Vehicle Exports. Original documents are required at the port a minimum of 72 hours prior to export.
- See our page Tolls on Bridges Along the U.S. Canada Border for toll rates for this bridge.
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Travel Tips For The Thousand Islands Bridge Border Crossing
- Here is a handy link to hotels in Alexandria Bay, New York near the border crossing, and another link to hotels in Ottawa, which is the nearest major city in Canada.
- At peak periods this port can be very slow, so many people recommend taking either the Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge or even the Seaway Bridge border crossings, even if they are out of the way for you. Another alternative ezbordercrossing.com visitors have suggested is to take the Hornes Ferry from Cape Vincent to Wolfe Island , and then take the free year-round ferry from Wolfe Island to Kingston, Ontario.
- There are pedestrian walkways on both ends of the bridge that are open during daylight hours. The walkways close during the winter months.
- Road / traffic updates
- You can call 511 or 888-GO511NY in New York to get almost real time road conditions information.
- You can also get Ontario road information by phone by calling the following numbers:
- Provincial Call Centre: 800-268-4686
Reasons Why The Thousand Islands Should Be On Your Bucket List
The spectacular Thousand Islands in Ontario is made up of 1,864 islands in the Saint Lawrence River, straddling the US-Canada border. The Islands range in size from 50 square miles to just big enough to support a single tree, creating one of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in North America. The Islands have a mystical reputation, home to castles, lighthouses and secluded beaches, and should definitely be on your travel bucket list.
The archipelago stretches some 50 miles downriver from Kingston, with interesting towns like Gananoque home to the famous Thousand Islands Playhouse and Brockville dotted along the banks, making ideal stopovers on your tour. Discover this Gilded Age destination and explore the vibrant downtowns, theatres, golf courses, restaurants and more, all accessible by water.
Here are six reasons why you should visit the Thousand Islands:
1. Theyre ideal for families
2. Youre surrounded by nature
The Thousand Islands have an abundance of nature and are great for anyone who likes to be outside. Around 20 of the islands form the Thousand Islands National Park, which is one of the oldest of Canadas national parks. This site is home to camping grounds, inland walking trails and waterfront parks its time to get out and breathe the fresh air!
3. Its easy to enjoy the water
4. Theres world-class diving
5. You can spot some incredible wildlife
6. Theres lots to explore
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Thousand Islands Museum Attractions
After arriving, your first stop should be the Chamber of Commerce, in the heart of the village on historic Riverside Drive. The friendly staff will answer all of your questions, and help with maps, guides and anything else you need. With so many choices, your most difficult decision will be where to begin!
Why not take in a museum? Clayton is home to three museums and an opera house. Take a leisurely stroll around the Village browsing our art galleries and shops for gifts and keepsakes.
Explore the beauty of the 1000 Islands aboard one of our local tour boat operators which depart several times a day offering narrated tours of Clayton and the 1000 Islands region.
Almost every weekend during the summer there are events held at the Recreation Park Arena including a Boat Show, Dog Show, Food & Wine Festival, Decoy & Wildlife Art Show, Collectibles Show, Antique Show & Sale, Juried Craft Show and a Model Train Fair.
Want to take a moment to just relax? Why not treat yourself to a massage or facial at a day spa or maybe a haircut? Claytons salons welcome walk in visitors.
The local library on John Street welcomes visitors, and has Internet ready computers where you can check your e-mail. You are also welcome to join us on Sunday morning at one of our many friendly churches.
Visit Wellesley Island State Park’s Nature Center
Just across the Thousand Island Bridge awaits one of the largest of the islands, home to small Victorian communities, summer homes and Wellesley Island State Park the largest state park around. Visitors can swim, camp, fish or golf. Or they can just hike along the miles of trails and stop in at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center to learn more about the regions natural history. The park even offers two and three bedroom cottages for rent as well as a campground for outdoor enthusiasts.
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Enjoy A Boat Cruise Aboard Uncle Sam Boat Tours
Sunsets. Sunken boat wrecks. World-Class castles you typically only see in Europe. Magnificent summer homes of the rich and famous. International ships traveling on the main shipping channel. The best way to see the Thousand Islands is by boat, where seasoned tour guides will share the stories of the more than 1,864 islands that cover 50 miles of the St. Lawrence River between New York and Canada. From two-hour cruises to private charters, Uncle Sam Boat Tours in Alexandria Bay knows the waters best family owned and operated since 1926! Uncle Sam Boat Tours has a cruise designed for everyone. Whether youd like to spend the day touring two castles or just have a couple hours and would like to experience the beauty of the Thousand Islands, theres a Thousand Islands boat cruise to fit your needs, including: Two Nation Tour, 1 Hour Tour, Luncheon and Dinner cruises, Singer Castle and Boldt Castle Shuttle, Twilight Cruise and more.
Great Places To Eat & Drink Around 1000 Islands
1010, 220 James St, Clayton, NY
A local favorite for breakfast for locals and tourists alike.
Koffee Kove has a local feel with a bit of sass, as demonstrated by their coffee cups.
You find great variety of breakfast options from sweet to savory and healthy to hearty.
200 Riverside Dr. Clayton, NY
The views of the water from the Seaway Grille are wonderful and so is the food!
I opted to add grilled salmon and shrimp to the Orchard Harvest Salad served with artisan greens, cheddar cheese, cranberries, apples and candied walnuts served with cranberry-orange vinaigrette.
After your meal, allow for some time to stroll the walking path or watch the boats from a park bench steps from the restaurant.
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Travel Trends That Will Define 2022
Looking ahead.As governments across the world loosen coronavirus restrictions, the travel industry hopes this will be the year that travel comes roaring back. Here is what to expect:
Lodging.During the pandemic, many travelers discovered the privacy offered by rental residences. Hotels hope to compete again by offering stylish extended-stay properties, sustainable options, rooftop bars and co-working spaces.
Rental cars.Travelers can expect higher prices, and older cars with high mileage, since companies still havent been able to expand their fleets. Seeking an alternative? Car-sharing platforms might be a more affordable option.
Cruises.Despite a bumpy start to the year, thanks to Omicrons surge, demand for cruises remains high. Luxury expedition voyages are particularly appealing right now, because they typically sail on smaller ships and steer away from crowded destinations.
Destinations.Cities are officially back: Travelers are eager to dive into the sights, bites and sounds of a metropolis like Paris or New York. For a more relaxing time, some resorts in the U.S. are pioneering an almost all-inclusive model that takes the guesswork out of planning a vacation.
If You Go: Jacob Brewster House, 107 South Broad Street, Sackets Harbor, N.Y. jacobbrewsterbandb.com
There Are A Thousand Reasons To Visit
Note: When visiting, remember to social distance and wear a mask as required by state guidelines. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available.
Discover a freshwater paradise for sightseeing and outdoor recreation. Hundreds of miles of picturesque coastline and sparkling lakes, rivers, waterfalls. and magnificent state parks are perfect for hiking, camping, boating and some of the world’s best trophy fishing!
Stay in a grand waterside resort, woodland cottage or lakeside campsite, and wake up to splendid views and refreshing adventures. Scenic cruises range from wildlife watching with Clayton Island Tours to vintage-speedboat rides at Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum, hosting the Antique Boat Show in August. Uncle Sam Boat Tours visit Boldt Castle, Singer Castle, and Millionaires’ Row. For an uplifting view, sail above Alexandria Bay with Champagne Balloon Adventures. See history come alive at Fort Ontario and the Marine Museum, in Oswego, and at Sackets Harbor Battlefield. Follow the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, rated a Top 9 Great American Drive, to lighthouses, wineries and summer fun, from amusement parks to scuba diving. Attractions along the route include the Frederic Remington Art Museum, in Ogdensburg, and the Safe Haven Museum in Oswego. Try whitewater rafting in the Black River Canyon, near Watertown.
Find more information at: 1000 Islands Regional Tourism Office
More to Love in the Thousand Islands-Seaway
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