Alexandria Bay, affectionately called Alex Bay by locals, is known as the heart of the Thousand Islands. This picturesque village near the water is home to resorts and is the site where boats leave for tours and castle visits. The bustling James Street is home to restaurants and cute shops. If you are looking for a stunning getaway and love the water, then Alexandria Bay is perfect for you.
Check into Edgewood Resort and head to your waterfront room. The rooms are right above the water, and you will get to hear the soothing sound of the waves crashing at night. You will also have your own balcony, and your view will be that of the private islands.
Have a memorable dinner on resort grounds at Oscar’s Harborside Cucina. On Fridays, there is a seasonal seafood buffet. Their lasagna and spaghetti are also really good! The views make dining at this resort very special: You are right by the water and you will be treated to one of the best sunsets of your life. Take a scenic walk around the water and catch the beautiful sunset before hitting the hay.
Practical Information: The waterfront room prices vary depending on the month you stay, but prices start at approximately $157. You can eat at Oscar’s Harborside Cucina, C.B. Bakers, and Scuttlebutt Saloon. The address is 22467 Edgewood Road, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607.
You are going to have an exciting day exploring the area, so make sure to give yourself energy and have breakfast at C.B. Bakers Riverfront Café. Seriously, that relaxing view will never get old.
Reserve your tickets for an Uncle Sam Two Nation Tour. Uncle Sam Boat Tours offer not only sightseeing cruises, but lunch and dinner cruises too. But the two hour Two Nation Tour is a must, especially for first-timers. It is an international travel tour, and you do not even need your passport! Head to James Street in the heart of Alexandria Bay and get ready to depart for the cruise.
You might think a two hour tour is too much, but time goes by fast when you are surrounded by such scenery.
The informative, engaging, and funny tour guide will tell you more about the Thousand Islands and you will learn some fun facts. On the 22 mile trip, you will pass by Millionaire’s Row, Boldt Castle, the Canadian Palisades, and the Whirlpool Channel. You will also get to see the world’s smallest international bridge and Devil’s Oven- Pirate Bill Johnston sought refuge here! You will also spot the marker between the U.S. and Canadian border.
Here is another interesting tidbit: You will pass by “Just Room Enough Island”- the smallest residential island in the world! Yes, a family does live on this island! If you want to get invited over for dinner, you need to know the family.
Practical Information: The Two Nation Tour is $23.50 for ages 13 and up, $11.75 for children 5-12, and free for infants 4 and under. You can book tickets online. Uncle Sam Boat Tours is a seasonal attraction that runs daily tours from May to October. The address is 47 James Street, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607.
Your beautiful tour ends with a stop at Heart Island, so take advantage of this and tour Boldt Castle.
Immigrant George C. Boldt turned into a millionaire and became the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Construction of Boldt Castle, a Rhineland-inspired castle dedicated to his cherished wife Louise, started in 1900. Unfortunately, Louise passed away in 1904 and Boldt sent a telegram saying to cease construction. He never came back to the island. The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority saved the castle in the 1970s.
Today, you can take a self-guided tour of this beautiful example of a man’s love. The castle has 120 rooms-there is even a pool and a bowling alley! Do not forget to relax in the gardens and tour the Yacht House!
Practical Information: Admission prices for Boldt Castle is $10 for ages 13 and up, $7 for ages 5-12, and free for infants 4 years and under. Yacht House admission prices are $5 for ages 13 and up, $3 for ages 5-12 years, and free for ages 4 and under. There is also a Boldt Castle & Boldt Yacht House Package ticket- It is $13 for ages 13 and up, $7.50 for ages 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under. Please be advised that the Boldt Yacht House can be closed because of high water levels, so check their website for updates! The castle is open May-October.
Take a boat back to the mainland and have lunch in good old Alex Bay. There are a bunch of places to choose from when it comes to eating options- Dockside Pub, The Kitchen, Coffee Pot Cathy’s, and Riley’s by the River. For today, grab lunch at Riley’s by the River. It is on James Street, and you will have another meal with beautiful views: The restaurant looks out to Alex Bay’s Lower Harbor! There is something for everyone on the menu-it is American cuisine and super kid-friendly-, so everyone who you are traveling with will be satisfied.
Take a walk along James Street- it is like the Main Street of this village-and stop in one of the shops for a souvenir that commemorates your trip.
You are in Alex Bay, the water sports and adventure capital of the Thousand Islands. Spend the evening taking advantage of this! Check out All About Scuba LLC, go flyboarding with All In Adventures, or go diving with Blue Foot Diving Charters.
For those who love being outside, you can walk along the Otter Creek Preserve and Nature Trail.
If you just cannot get enough of the water and boating, you can rent a pontoon, kayak, deck boat, or runabout with Aqua-Mania. Or go fishing (A license is required in the Thousand Islands and Ontario!)
Have dinner with a view back at Edgewood Resort to finish your day.
Start your morning off right with breakfast at C.B. Baker’s Riverfront Café.
Another gem of a castle awaits you, and that is Singer Castle on Dark Island. Just like Boldt Castle, it is a must-see attraction for a Thousand Islands trip.
Head to James Street and take the Uncle Sam Singer Castle Tour. This includes a 30 minute boat tour to the castle and castle admission. Relax on the boat as a guide explains the sites you will pass along on this St. Lawrence Seaway tour. You will see the Sisters Island Light, Whiskey Island, Oak Island, and Grenadier Island.
Disembark on Dark Island where a tour guide will meet you and take you on a journey through this captivating castle. The castle gives off a more different vibe than Boldt Castle, and that is what gives this island its particular charm: think something more medieval and mystifying.
You will be swept away to the Medieval Ages during your time here. You will see a medieval entrance, knights, the Clock Tower, Library, and Drawing Room. The castle is very intricate: There are hand-carved furniture and chandeliers. This impressive castle even has secret passageways.
Frederick Bourne, the CEO of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, would spend his summers here with family (He was also Commodore of the New York Yacht Club!)
Bonus: Want to really live like royalty? You can stay overnight in this castle! Rates start at $700.
Practical Information: The Uncle Sam Singer Castle Tour is $25.25 for ages 13+, $12.50 for ages 5-12, and free for infants. You can book tickets online.
End your first adventure of the day and head back to the mainland to refuel at lunch.
Then head to the town of Clayton-home to the Antique Boat Museum-for your second adventure. This is the best boating museum in North America and is home to over 300 boats. You cannot leave the Thousand Islands without visiting this place!
Check out the exhibits The National Motor Boat Show, Quest for Speed, Oar Else!, The St. Lawrence Skiff, and The Perfect Canoe. Interested in an even more special experience? Get this: you can take a beautiful row in a St. Lawrence Skiff along French Creek Bay during the summer months.
Do not miss the 30 minute tour of George Boldt’s luxurious houseboat La Duchesse. This thing is seriously a second house, and I would not mind permanently moving in.
Practical Information: Admission prices are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+, $8 for ages 7-17, and free for children 6 and under. A guided tour of La Duchesse and general admission costs $17 for adults, $15 for seniors 65+, $11 for ages 7-17, and $3 for children 6 and under.
You can also take a 45 minute ride on the triple cockpit Hacker Craft-true aquaphiles will be in heaven. Ride the River and general admission costs $35 for adults, $30 for ages 7-17, and $25 for children 6 and under. Ride the River, La Duchesse guided tour, and general admission costs $38 for adults and seniors, $33 for ages 7-17, and $28 for children 6 and under.
The museum is open 9 am-5 pm through the end of October. The address is 750 Mary Street, Clayton, NY 13624.
You can have dinner at the Wood Boat Brewery-it is right across the street from the museum-or head back to Alex Bay/Edgewood Resort to eat. Your heavenly weekend in the Thousand Islands is coming to a close.
Bonus: Bring your passports to this trip! Just over the border in Ontario, the 1000 Islands Tower will give you panoramic views of the region. It is simply on the right side of Customs and Border Protection and it is roughly a 20 minute drive from Alex Bay. It is a seasonal attraction that operates daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is $11.95 Canadian dollars for adults and $7 for children 6 to 12 years old. Children under 5 are free. The address is 716 Highway 137, Lansdowne, ON, KOE 1LO.