Summer 2021: Escape to the 1000 Islands!

Things that make this a great place to visit now mean a little more. There’s plenty of outdoor fun, it’s an easy drive and the small towns are just right. Summer is on and here’s what’s in store:

Boldt Castle and Yacht House in Alexandria Bay

Be Away

The highlight of any 1000 Islands vacation is a stop at Heart Island to view the majestic Boldt Castle. Surrounded by the mighty St. Lawrence River, the five-acre island and 120-room castle have ample space to breath in the fresh air and be amazed by the craftsmanship and tragic love story that befell this six-story castle without feeling overwhelmed by crowds. Get there aboard either Uncle Sam Boat Tours in Alexandria Bay or Clayton Island Tours out of Clayton. There are few experiences like soaking in the sun aboard a spacious tour boat meandering seemingly endless islands and hearing tales of pirates and bootleggers who once ran these waters.

2021 Tips:

Pre-purchase Boldt Castle admissions for entry on busy days. Add-in admission to the Boldt Yacht House and shuttle boat at the same time for an extra treat.

2021 is the debut of the Ultimate Tour that includes stops at Boldt Castle and Rock Island Lighthouse and a picnic lunch.

Uncle Sam Boat Tours has the largest boats and fleet on the St. Lawrence River. Seating is assigned on a first-come basis, so buy your tickets online for the best available spots such as open-air top-deck on sunny days.


Uncle Sam Boat Tours on the St. Lawrence River

Love the ‘Heart’ of the 1000 Islands

Heart Island is just off the shore of Alexandria Bay, the “heart” of the region due to its location among some of the most scenic stretches of islands on the St. Lawrence River. Imagine waking up every morning of your stay with a view of Boldt Castle. You can do that at Capt. Thomson’s Resort – connected to Uncle Sam Boat Tours – and Bonnie Castle Resort, with its waterfront rooms and castle-view dining, gazebo, patios and bars. Prefer a slightly quieter stay? Check out Capt.’s Inn & Suites on Otter Creek (dock fishing for panfish) at the village limits, walking distance to the downtown.


Otter at Zoo New York

Keep it Natural

Did you know the 1000 Islands region is home to the only zoo dedicated to our very own New York State…and that it’s perched in a historically significant park…and that its about as outdoors as you can get…and that you can help feed the animals? All of that’s true at Zoo New York located in Watertown’s Thompson Park. Here you can wander the open grounds and see black bear, playful otters, a mountain lion and more.

2021 Tip

Go online and check-out the animal enrichment experience; you can help feed a massive elk…just watch out for those huge antlers!


Thee Place to Stay

The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel sets the standard for fine boutique lodging in the region with its panoramic patio on the St. Lawrence River adorned with bars, outdoor dining and firepits. An indoor pool, well-appointed rooms and a top-notch professional staff trained to provide a safe and enjoyable stay have made the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel the “it place” to stay.

The hotel is located in rejuvenated Clayton, the waterfront community that has undergone a renaissance in recent years. Its downtown is dotted with al fresco dining right on the St. Lawrence River, wine and spirits tasting rooms, gastropubs and dining ranging from luxury to bistros and easy-grab healthy options. Retail from high-end, hand-crafted items to easily priced keepsakes abound. Home to the Antique Boat Museum featuring the largest collection of antique and classic boats on display in North America. Be sure to walk along the water and soak up Clayton, the crown jewel of the 1000 Islands.

2021 Tip

Don’t delay booking at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. If you want to stay, go online now and book your space no matter what time of year you’re visiting. The Harbor Hotel has earned its reputation. Looking for alternatives and which events are happening in 2021? Check in with the Clayton-1000 Islands Chamber of Commerce to find out the latest. Want to get on the water, check out Ride the River at the Antique Boat Museum.


Southwick's Beach State Park

The Hidden Gem

Did you know there’s a place in the region with long, wide beaches, top-notch experiences such as chartered sailboat outings, stand-up paddleboard outfitters, some of the area’s best dining and its scenic downtown has an all-American Norman Rockwell-vibe? We haven’t even gotten to the American history and Lake Ontario vistas that make Sackets Harbor a trip often-enjoyed but lesser-known than its nearby St. Lawrence River towns. B&Bs, a historic downtown boutique hotel, cute coffee shops, whiskey bars, a petting farm with more than 1,000 animals and a downtown lined with retail and art galleries…you’re making a stop at Sackets Harbor, right?

2021 Tip

Overnight in Sackets Harbor – whether at the Sackets Harbor House Inn, the B&Bs or the lakefront campgrounds and catch spectacular sunsets over Lake Ontario.