The 1000 Islands – pronounced “Thousand Islands” – region of Northern New York State and Southeastern Ontario is a unique international vacation destination known for its waterfront towns and small cities’ charm, unparalleled scenic beauty and long history of hospitality. With five Pride celebrations happening, June is the perfect time to discover the 1000 Islands.
Discover more about Pride happenings and other reasons to visit to start planning your trip to the 1000 Islands.
Brockville (Ontario) kicks things off with Pride Week June 6-12. The City of the 1000 Islands (pop. 20,000) on the St. Lawrence River celebrates over seven days with fun including drag competitions, a downtown pub crawl, Rainbow Run 5K, parade and more.
Kingston (Ontario) is the Canada’s first capital and the largest city (120,000 residents) in the 1000 Islands. The Kingston Pride Festival runs June 9-19.
Watertown Pride (New York) is three-days of celebrations around the historic downtown core of the small (20,000 residents) city along the Black River. It starts with Friday’s kickoff party, filled with music and food, and the evening’s Drag Show. Saturday, hundreds turn out for the annual Pride flag raising at City Hall, then head up to historic Olmstead-designed Thompson Park overlooking the city to be part of “Out in the Park,” a family-friendly event with live music, food trucks, face painting, kids’ activities and the popular 5K Color Run. Saturday night caps off with a traveling Drag show and a majestic fireworks display. Sunday, winds down with the annual Tea Dance.
River Pride started in Clayton (New York) and expanded to include riverfront communities all along the U.S. side of the border. River Pride will be June 24-26 and include events in Cape Vincent, Clayton, Alexandria Bay and Wellesley Island! Events include a Pride Boat Parade – viewable from the Clayton waterfront – piano karaoke, Cher tribute concert, live music at historic Thousand Islands Park and more.
1000 Islands Pride (Gananoque, Ontario) is pushing things off until July to extend the fun!
What Else To Do
The 1000 Islands region is home to more than 1,800 islands sprinkled among the blue freshwaters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Visitors have been coming to this mix of woods and water for more than 150 years though many are still unfamiliar with the region. Check out regional highlights for First-Time Visitors and be sure to find a way to get on the water via a boat tour, charter cruise for a small group or even a whitewater raft!
Most first-time visitors are sure to include a trip to Boldt Castle, the majestic 120-room European-style castle sitting atop Heart Island in Alexandria Bay. Pair your trip with a boat cruise for a memorable day in the islands.
Looking for a bit of adventure? Consider a whitewater rafting excursion on the Black River (Watertown, NY) to experience class III and IV waves right in New York State. Book a raft or hitch on with another planned by four outfitters. Want to go high? Treetop Trekking in Mallorytown is an eco-friendly ropes course along the Canadian shoreline of the St. Lawrence River. Be sure to book ahead!
Where to Stay
The region offers a mix of name brand hotels, locally operated motels and hotels as well as campgrounds, cottages and house rentals. Check out Community Profiles to decide where you want to be homebase for your visit.
Be sure to tag your Pride photos with #1000IslandsPride so we can amplify the celebration all month!