What To Do In Upstate New York’s Thousand Islands Region?

What To Do In Upstate New York’s Thousand Islands Region?

The vast St. Lawrence River, which connects Canada and New York, is home to a true marvel: 1,864 islands that adorn the river. It’s not simply a gorgeous spot; it’s also the site of key battles during the French and Indian War, the home of great castles, the retreat of the infamous Skull and Bones Society, and much more. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, so we created this helpful guide to assist you in arranging your vacation.

Main attractions in the Thousand Islands:

1.Boldt Castle

2.Singer Castle

3.Boat tours of the Thousand Islands

4.Charter a fishing guide

5.Thousand Islands Winery

6.Antique Boat Museum

7.Deer Islands and the Skull and Bones Society

Don’t just stop there. I’ll make sure you have all the information you need to organize your trip to the Thousand Islands. Be sure to keep reading to see this comprehensive guide on this region!

Boldt Castle On Heart Island

This magnificent castle is steeped with history and grief. The castle was built in 1900 at the request of millionaire George C. Boldt for his adored wife, Louise. When Louise died unexpectedly in 1904, George went into depression and work on the castle ended.

he six-story castle with 120 rooms sat unfinished for 70 years until it was purchased by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority in 1977 with the goal of completing construction and preserving this beauty for future generations to enjoy.

Boldt Castle sits on Heart Island, and there are no bridges, therefore you must come by boat. You can get to the island by driving your own personal watercraft or renting a boat. Many boat excursion companies also provide cruises to the castle. Every 30 minutes, Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours operates a ferry from the mainland to Heart Island. You can explore the castle, the boat house, or both once you arrive.

Singer Castle On Dark Island

Surprises abound in the magnificent and sumptuous Singer Castle. The Bourne family collaborated with architect Ernest Flagg to build this castle in 1905. The castle was named after Frederick Bourne, the fifth president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

Singer Castle is a four-story, 28-room castle with turrets, boathouses, and secret passageways designed to eavesdrop on visitors.

Water access is also required for Dark Island. Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours does provide a Singer Castle Explore, which will transport you via a few other islands before arriving at Dark Island and allowing you to disembark and tour the castle. There is a shuttle that goes from Schermerhorn Harbor to Singer Castle and back multiple times during the day, and personal watercraft can dock on the island.

Boat Tours Of The Thousand Islands

Several firms provide guided boat cruises across the Thousand Islands. Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours offers fascinating insight into the history and context of each island, with a variety of tour kinds and lengths to select from.

The Clayton Islands Tour Company, located in Clayton, offers a glass-bottomed tour boat that allows you to observe shipwrecks and the numerous fish that inhabit the mighty St. Lawrence.

Charter A Fishing Guide

If you appreciate fishing, Northern New York is the place to visit. The St. Lawrence River is home to a rich array of aquatic life, including Walleye, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge (Muskie), Northern Pike, and, in rare cases, enormous Sturgeon.

If you want to fish alone, there are multiple boat rental services in Alexandria Bay and Clayton, as well as numerous other excellent fishing locations. The webpage for St. Lawrence River Fishing Charter may be found by clicking here. They are well-known for creating great client experiences.

The Thousand Islands Winery

Thousand Islands Winery is an excellent stop on your tour of the Thousand Islands region. They provide tastings and tours of their facility, as well as monthly entertainment such as live bands, art classes, and stand-up comedy.

Furthermore, this is only one stop on the Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail, which includes seven wineries and vineyards along the river’s coast.

The Antique Boat Museum

This museum houses over 320 historic boats, many of which have unique backstories. It’s a fantastic family-friendly stop that’s both educational and entertaining. If you organise your trip around their events, you can be surprised by speedboat excursions, boat shows, sailboat rides, or a sunset cruise along the tranquil waters of the St. Lawrence. The Antique Boat Museum’s website can be found by clicking here.

Deer Island And The Skull And Bones Society

The cabin on Deer Island may appear bland and conventional from a distance, but its mysteries are immense, and conspiracy theories surround its name. The Skull and Bones Society owns the island and uses it as a retreat for its members. You can’t visit it because it’s a private island, but you can get a decent glimpse of it from a boat.

As the island has become less used over time, it has gotten overgrown, and the cabin is claimed to be in poor condition, but new members of the Society are required to visit the island.

In The Area

There is always much to do if you have some additional time and wish to visit more of the area. There are numerous state parks to visit in both Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. Many of them have visitor centres with educational programmers, and nearly all of them have paths to walk or trek on and wildlife to observe.

Another popular fishing site in the vicinity is Black Lake. If you have a passport, you can cross the bridge into Canada, where there is much more to do, such as an aquarium, helicopter rides, and scuba diving.

Where Are The Thousand Islands?

The Thousand Islands are located between Canada and the United States and run for about 50 miles along the St. Lawrence River. Alexandria Bay is known as “The Heart of the Thousand Islands” since it is located in the centre of the archipelago.

The quickest way to travel to Alexandria Bay is to take Interstate 81 north to Exit 50N, which will put you on NY-12; from there, it’s a straight shot to Alexandria Bay.

What Else To Do In The Thousand Islands Region

These are some other popular things to do in the Thousand Islands region:

1.Camping, Hiking, & Nature

2.Fishing & Hunting



Camping, Hiking, & Nature

With so many state parks and campgrounds to pick from, you’re bound to find one you enjoy. A few local state parks that allow camping are Kings Point, Cedar Island, Jacque Cartier, and Lonesome Bay State Forest.


The St. Lawrence River is every angler’s fantasy. People come from all over the world to compete in the annual Bass master Classic. Black Lake is only a half-hour drive from Alexandria Bay and is an excellent area to cast your line. Ice fishing is another popular winter sport in the area.


During the appropriate seasons, hunting is permitted on state land in the area. In this location, whitetail deer, wild turkey, and ducks are frequent game. Black bear hunting is a possibility further north in the Adirondacks.


Bring your own boat or rent one while visiting. Rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, canoes, and motorboats are all available for rent in the area. Nothing beats a day on the water for a pleasant day.


On summer nights, Alexandria Bay comes alive. Enjoy live music, dancing, and beverages at The Dancing Dog, or hit the dance floor at Downtown or one of the Bay Area’s many other bars and pubs. With so many options, you’re bound to find a bar that suits your personality.

Last Thoughts

The Thousand Islands region is a breathtaking sight with plenty to do. The entire region has tremendous history, magnificent architecture and natural landscapes, delectable foods, and much more. You’ll have a fantastic time no matter what time of year you visit. Tell us about your experience in this location or when you plan to visit in the comments section below!

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