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Local History

Start with a boat tour, where your guide will reveal tales of pirates, mansions and millionaires. Two of the castles are open to visitors: Boldt Castle on Heart Island, built by the proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria; and Singer Castle on Dark Island, named for its former owner, one of the presidents of the Singer sewing machine company. There are many tour operators and a variety of options: wine cruises, glass-bottom boats, party pontoon tours and serene sunset cruises, just to name a few! Historical attractions such as the Antique Boat Museum, Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site and Cornwall Brothers Store Museum explore the region’s early settlement, maritime history, involvement in the War of 1812 and much more.

 

Activities on Water and Land

The Saint Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are replete with fish species such as perch, salmon, bass and trout; book a fishing charter to hook your own dinner. Try kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding in calm waters or kick up the excitement with whitewater rafting on the Black River. Explore Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, which has the only original, working Fresnel lens in Lake Ontario as well as an on-site hostel. A short drive away, visit the Rock Island Lighthouse for panoramic river views. Certified divers will want to explore the old shipwrecks in this region. Travelers will enjoy taking a scenic drive along a portion of the Great Lake Seaway Trail which spans more than 800 kilometers. In the winter, this region comes alive with snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. For outdoor recreation and overnight camping, check out Wellesley Island State Park and Cedar Point State Park.

 

Fun in Town

The 80-kilometer coastline of the Thousand Islands is home to many charming waterfront communities. The towns of Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Cape Vincent and Sackets Harbor offer a variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment and accommodations. Sample regional dining specialties including pancakes covered in locally made maple syrup for breakfast, then freshly caught seafood and a salad drizzled in Thousand Island dressing for lunch or dinner (the famous dressing was invented here!). Check out the local craft beverage scene with a drink at one of a dozen wineries, breweries and distilleries. Dark Island Spirits, Thousand Islands Winery and Wood Boat Brewery are a few to try.

Fun Fact

Aerial view of Boldt Castle, located on one of the Thousand Islands
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The Thousand Islands region is actually comprised of 1,864 islands rather than 1,000

Aerial of New York's Thousand Islands
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Nearby Experiences
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Official Thousand Islands Travel Sites