Located along the St. Lawrence River, tucked between southeastern Ontario and northern New York
The Thousand Islands region is a favorite cruising destination for boaters who love exploring scenic islands, fishing world-class waters and enjoying peaceful, beautiful shorelines and bays.
From New York, the two gateways to exploring the Thousands Islands are the towns of Clayton and Alexandria Bay, and boaters will find plenty of marine services in both places.
Clayton is the region’s cultural center and is home to museums, an opera house and a lively downtown.
Boaters in Clayton can find dockage at Clayton Marina (315-686-3378), which has a marine store, restrooms and WiFi. Bayside Marina (315-686-2121) offers transient dockage, moorings and fuel. And French Bay Marina (315-686-5574) has transient dockage, pumpout, laundry and WiFi.
When in Clayton, be sure to visit the Antique Boat Museum (315-686-4104), which is the premier fresh water nautical museum in North America. Its galleries include more than 300 unique and beautifully preserved boats and thousands of recreational boating artifacts. Also visit the Thousand Islands Arts Center (315-686-4123), featuring an interesting and often-changing collection of art exhibits. Another wonderful stop to make is the Clayton Opera House (315-686-1037), which was built in 1904.
When you get hungry, Bella’s (315-686-2341) is a popular bakery and bistro serving breakfast and lunch daily. Dock your boat right at Foxy’s Riverfront Restaurant (315-686-3781) for Italian cuisine. O’Briens Restaurant and Bar (315-686-1110) serves lunch and dinner and features a late-night menu.
Nearby Alexandria Bay was once a popular steamboat stop and vacation spot during the 1800s. Today, this vibrant community continues to attract visitors.
When traveling to Alexandria Bay, the Alexandria Bay Village Docks and Launch Ramp (315-482-9902) offers day and overnight docking close to restaurants, shopping and lodging. Bonnie Castle Resort and Marina (800-955-4511) offers transient dockage, fuel, pumpout, plus lodging, a restaurant and laundromat. The Edgewood Resort Conference Center and Marina (888-EDGEWOOD) has transient dockage, lodging and WiFi. And Hutchinson’s Boat Works (315-482-9931) offers dockage, fuel, pumpout and a marine store.
After docking, grab a meal at one of Alexandria Bay’s many restaurants. If you’re in the mood for some waterfront dining, Coleman’s Dock of the Bay (315-482-7630) serves barbecue, burgers and seafood with outdoor seating right along the water. For something upscale, the Jacques Cartier Room at Riveredge Resort (315-472-9917) has received accolades from such publications as Wine Spectator and features fantastic dinners, an extensive wine selection and live music from a harpist or pianist.
No trip to the area would be complete without a visit to Boldt Castle .
In 1900, George Boldt began building the 120-room castle on Heart Island for his wife, Louise. When she died suddenly four years later, he ceased work on the castle and it remained deserted for 73 years. Over the last few decades, millions of dollars of restoration work has been put into the castle, and today it makes for a fascinating tour. Also appealing to boaters will be the Boldt Yacht House’s collection of wooden boats (800-847-5263).
For more information on the area’s marinas, events, lodging and dining options, you can check out www.visit1000islands.com.
And for information on Alexandria Bay, go to www.visitalexbay.org.