There are many exciting ways to tour the beautiful 1000 Islands from Alexandria Bay. For a bird’s eye view, climb aboard a helicopter or hot air balloon. The many boat tours originating from the waterfront are a great way to get a close-up view of the islands and their sites, including the famous Boldt Castle and Millionaire’s Row. Take a lunch or dinner cruise on a Mississippi-style paddle wheel boat, a narrated excursion on a triple-decker, or hop a shuttle over to the castle.
The young and young at heart can indulge in mini-golf, batting cages, go-karts, arcades and a hedgerow maze. See exotic animals and underwater species at two unique permanent exhibits. Water activities include boating, guided fishing charters, and swimming. From Alexandria Bay, there is easy access to a municipal golf course and tennis courts and eight state parks. The courses of Wellesley Island are not far from “The Bay.”Dock at The Bay and spend the day!
Alexandria Bay’s events schedule is always jam-packed. Families and friends are transformed into buccaneers and scalawags during Bill Johnston’s Pirate Days. And everyone always enjoys the Annual Powerboat Poker Run, Blues in the Bay Festival, Fourth of July Fireworks over Boldt Castle, Fish Day in the Bay and Roaring ’20s Weekend.
Millionaire George C. Boldt — proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City — set out to build a full-sized Rhineland-style castle on Heart Island for his beloved wife, Louise. Construction began in 1900 on a six-story, 120-room castle, complete with a drawbridge and Italian gardens. Then in 1904, tragedy struck.
Boldt telegrammed the island and commanded the workers to “stop all construction.” His wife had died unexpectedly. Boldt never returned to the island. The castle remained vacant for 73 years. Since 1977, millions of dollars have been invested in the restoration of the Heart Island structures and the Yacht House on Wellesley Island.
Boat tours from both the USA and Canada stop at Heart Island and extensive docking is available for private watercraft. A shuttle runs from Heart Island to the Boldt Yacht House.⇧