Thousand Islands New York
Thousand Islands New York consists of hundreds of islands that dot the St. Lawrence River. Located around ninety miles north of Syracuse near Canada, the islands were formed approximately 10,000 years ago. There are many Thousand Islands attractions to choose from, including fishing, boating, touring historical buildings, or taking a 1000 Islands cruise. Thousand Islands New York offers some of the best fishing in the country and is known as one of the most active freshwater shipping lanes in the world.
Although Thousand Islands attractions enjoy a steady stream of visitors throughout the summer, the most prosperous time for 1000 Islands was in the early 1900s, when wealthy New Yorkers discovered the concept of leisure travel. Wealthy people from New York City often took a 1000 Islands cruise down the St. Lawrence River, docking at luxury hotels. Although the area was once scattered with glamorous New York hotels, they eventually burned to the ground and were replaced by modest tourist motels.
Boldt Castle is one of the Thousand Islands attractions that shouldn"t be missed. The mansion was built by George C. Boldt, owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. He built the castle for a Valentine's Day present for his wife. Sadly, his wife died just a month before Valentine's Day, when the castle was 80 percent complete. The castle features 365 windows that look out onto Alexandria Bay and a variety of formal gardens. The castle is open from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. from mid-May until the end of June and from the beginning of September until mid-October. The attraction is open from 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. in July and August. Once you are done touring Boldt Castle, take a Thousand Islands cruise to the nearby Yacht House where you can view George C. Boldt's collection of wooden boats.
If you have children in tow, you may want to visit the Family Fun Park at Colonial Village, located on 578 State Highway. The park features laser tag and go-carts in the summer, and ice skating in the winter. The Alex Bay Go-Carts, located on Route 12, is another fun place for go-cart riding.
Thousand Islands attractions also include the Frederick Remington Art Museum, located at 303 Washington Street in the 1000 Islands town of Ogdensburg. On display are Western-themed paintings and a large collection of Remington's impressionist paintings that he created later in life. Admission is free for children.
Thousand Islands New York has another claim to fame—it is the birthplace of 1000 Islands salad dressing. The 1000 Islands dressing was created by a fishing guide in the small town of Clayton. He served the unusual dressing as part of his fish dinners that he served to tourists. Tourists of Thousand Islands New York can buy bottles of the original dressing at the 1000 Islands Inn. Only 5,000 bottles of dressing are produced each year and are offered between the middle of May until mid-September.
Getting around the chain of islands is easy. If you are coming by car, interstate 81 passes right through the region. Visitors can use their own boat for transportation to the different islands or they can take a 1000 Islands cruise that departs from Kingston, Rockport, and Brockville. Every island is truly unique, making a Thousand Islands New York vacation an adventure the entire family will enjoy.
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