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Monday, December 25, 2023

Alexandria Bay, New York: A Guide to the Heart of the Thousand Islands

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023

Town of Alexandria Bay, located in the heart of the Thousand Islands region in New York State, is a picturesque village on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, charming shops and restaurants, and wealth of outdoor activities. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, Alexandria Bay has something for everyone.

Alexandria Bay, New York

Town of Alexandria Bay
Town of Alexandria Bay

The Town of Alexandria Bay is known for its beautiful scenery and access to the 1000 Islands. The town has a population of around 1,000 people and covers an area of approximately 67 square miles. It is a popular tourist destination, particularly during the summer months, and offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, and golfing. The town also has a rich history and is home to several landmarks, including Boldt Castle and Boldt Yacht House, which attract visitors from all over the world.

History and Culture of Alexandria Bay, NY

Alexandria Bay is a village in Jefferson County, New York (13607), United States of America, within the town of Alexandria, has a rich history that dates back to the indigenous peoples and First Nations who originally inhabited the area. In the 17th century, the area became a key trading post for the fur trade, and in the 19th century, it became a popular destination for wealthy tourists seeking a retreat from city life.

Throughout its history, Alexandria Bay has been home to a variety of industries, including fishing, logging, and shipbuilding. The town was also a key location for the transportation of goods and people across the St. Lawrence River, with ferry services connecting it to nearby towns and cities.

The Story of Boldt Castle and Its Place in Alexandria Bay's History:

One of the most iconic landmarks in Alexandria Bay is Boldt Castle, which was built by hotel magnate George Boldt in the early 1900s. Boldt Castle was originally intended as a gift to Boldt's wife, but construction was halted abruptly after she passed away. The castle sat unfinished for decades until it was purchased and restored by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority in the 1970s.

Today, Boldt Castle is open to visitors and offers a glimpse into the opulence and grandeur of the Gilded Age. The castle and its surrounding gardens are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Discovering the Indigenous Peoples and First Nations of the Thousand Islands Region:

Before European settlers arrived in the area, the Thousand Islands region was home to several indigenous tribes, including the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe). These tribes relied on the abundant resources of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding forests for their livelihoods, and their history and traditions are an important part of the area's cultural heritage.

Visitors to Alexandria Bay can learn more about the indigenous peoples and First Nations of the region by visiting local museums and cultural centers, as well as by participating in guided tours and events.

Exploring Alexandria Bay's Art and Cultural Scene:

In addition to its rich history, Alexandria Bay is also home to a thriving arts and cultural scene. The town has a number of galleries and art studios showcasing the work of local and regional artists, as well as museums and cultural centers that offer exhibitions and educational programs.

Throughout the year, Alexandria Bay also hosts a variety of events and festivals that celebrate the town's history, culture, and community. From the Bill Johnston's Pirate Days Festival to the Annual Antique Boat Show and Auction, there is always something to see and do in this vibrant and dynamic town.

Things to Do in Alexandria Bay, NY

There are plenty of things to do in Alexandria Bay to keep visitors of all ages entertained. Here are some of the top attractions in the area:

Visit Boldt Castle and Boldt Yacht House:

Located on Heart Island, Boldt Castle and Boldt Yacht House are iconic landmarks in the Thousand Islands region. Visitors can take a tour of the castle and learn about its fascinating history, or explore the surrounding gardens and grounds. The yacht house is also open to visitors and showcases some of the luxurious boats that were once owned by the castle's original owner.

Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle

Explore the Thousand Islands Wineries:

The Thousand Islands region is known for its excellent wineries, and Alexandria Bay is a great base for exploring them. Take a tour of local vineyards and taste some of the region's award-winning wines. Some popular wineries include Thousand Islands Winery, Coyote Moon Vineyards, and the Cape Vincent Winery.

Enjoy the Outdoors with Fishing, Boating, and Golf:

Alexandria Bay is surrounded by natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Go fishing in the St. Lawrence River or explore the Thousand Islands on a boat tour. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the area's scenic courses, including the Thousand Islands Country Club and the Lakeview Golf Course. There are also plenty of hiking and biking trails in the nearby Wellesley Island State Park.

Where to Stay in Alexandria Bay, NY

There are a number of lodging options in Alexandria Bay to suit a range of budgets and preferences. Here are a few options:

Luxury Accommodations in Alexandria Bay:

For travelers looking for a luxurious stay, Alexandria Bay offers several high-end options. The Riveredge Resort is a waterfront property with luxurious rooms and suites, an on-site restaurant, and a fitness center. Another option is the Bonnie Castle Resort & Marina, which features elegant rooms with balconies overlooking the St. Lawrence River, as well as a marina and a restaurant.

Cozy Cabins and Cottages in Alexandria Bay:

If you're looking for a more rustic experience, Alexandria Bay also offers cozy cabins and cottages. The Capt. Thomson's Resort is a popular option, featuring cozy cottages with kitchens and fireplaces, as well as a private beach and boat rentals. Other great options include the Edgewood Resort and the Thousand Island Park, both offering charming cottages in a tranquil setting.

Camping in Alexandria Bay's Beautiful Parks:

For those who enjoy camping, Alexandria Bay offers several beautiful parks with campsites. Wellesley Island State Park is a popular choice, with over 400 campsites and access to hiking and biking trails, fishing, and swimming. Another great option is Cedar Point State Park, which offers waterfront campsites and access to boating and fishing.


Dining in Alexandria Bay, NY

Alexandria Bay is home to a variety of restaurants and eateries, ranging from casual cafes to fine dining establishments. Here are a few of the best places to eat in the area:

Fresh Seafood and Farm-to-Table Cuisine:

As a waterfront destination, Alexandria Bay is known for its fresh seafood offerings. The Riverboat Restaurant is a local favorite, serving up classic seafood dishes like fish and chips, clam chowder, and lobster rolls. Another popular spot is The Kitchen, which offers farm-to-table cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.

Casual Dining with a View:

Many of Alexandria Bay's dining options offer stunning views of the St. Lawrence River. For a casual meal with a view, try The Dockside Pub & Grill, which serves up burgers, sandwiches, and salads along with panoramic river views. The Cavallario's Steak and Seafood House is another great option, featuring outdoor dining with river views and a menu of classic American fare.

Local Breweries and Wineries to Visit:

In addition to its dining options, Alexandria Bay is also home to several local breweries and wineries. The Thousand Islands Winery is a must-visit, offering tastings of its award-winning wines along with a gift shop and cafe. The Wood Boat Brewery is another popular spot, serving up craft beers and small plates in a laid-back atmosphere.

Thousand Islands, New York
Thousand Islands, New York

Shopping in Alexandria Bay, NY

Unique Souvenirs and Local Crafts:

Looking for a one-of-a-kind memento of your trip to Alexandria Bay? Head to one of the many shops offering locally-made crafts and souvenirs. Stop by the Bay House Artisans, a co-op featuring the work of over 60 regional artists. You'll find everything from handmade jewelry and pottery to paintings and photographs. Another great option is the River Rat Cheese Shop, which sells locally-made cheeses and other gourmet food items.

Specialty Shops for Outdoor Enthusiasts:

Alexandria Bay is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and there are several specialty shops catering to this crowd. The River Bay Outfitters offers a wide selection of outdoor gear and apparel, including fishing gear, kayaks, and hiking boots. The Thousand Islands Bait Store is another great option for anglers, with a range of live bait and tackle for sale.

Fashion and Accessories Boutiques in Alexandria Bay:

For those looking to update their wardrobe, Alexandria Bay has a few fashion and accessories boutiques worth checking out. Head to FAB Boutique for trendy clothing and accessories, or visit Back Bay Boutique for women's clothing, jewelry, and home decor. The Black River Valley Outfitters is also a great option, offering outdoor-inspired clothing and accessories.

Nightlife and Entertainment in Alexandria Bay, NY

Alexandria Bay is not just a destination for outdoor activities and scenic views, but also for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment options. Whether you're looking to dance the night away or enjoy a show, there's something for everyone in this charming town.

Live Music and Dancing at Alexandria Bay's Bars and Clubs:

For those looking for a lively night out, Alexandria Bay has plenty of bars and clubs with live music and dancing. The Riverboat Bar, located on James Street, is a popular spot for live music and entertainment, with a variety of local and regional bands performing throughout the week. The bar also serves up delicious cocktails and has a laid-back atmosphere perfect for a night out with friends.

Another great spot for live music and dancing is the Bonnie Castle Resort and Marina. The resort has several bars and restaurants that offer live music and entertainment during the summer months. The Pointe Bar and Grill, located on the water's edge, has a lively atmosphere and great views of Boldt Castle, making it a must-visit spot.

Local Theater and Performing Arts Productions in Alexandria Bay:

For those interested in theater and performing arts, Alexandria Bay has several options to choose from. The Bay Area Repertory Theater, located on Market Street, hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and comedy shows. The theater is run by a group of local volunteers who are passionate about bringing the arts to the community.

The Clayton Opera House, located just a short drive from Alexandria Bay in nearby Clayton, is another great option for performing arts lovers. The historic theater has been hosting shows and events for over 100 years and has hosted a variety of famous performers and acts over the years. From musical performances to comedy shows, the Clayton Opera House has something for everyone.

Gaming and Casino Fun in Alexandria Bay:

For those looking to try their luck, Alexandria Bay has several gaming and casino options to choose from. The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort, located just a short drive from Alexandria Bay in Hogansburg, offers over 1,600 slot machines, 30 table games, and a variety of dining options. The casino also hosts live music and entertainment events throughout the year.

Another option for gaming and casino fun is the Thousand Islands Charity Casino, located in nearby Gananoque, Ontario. The casino features over 480 slot machines, as well as table games like blackjack and roulette. The casino also hosts regular promotions and events, making it a great spot for a night out with friends.

Events and Festivals in Alexandria Bay, NY

Throughout the year, Alexandria Bay hosts several events and festivals that draw visitors from near and far. The Bill Johnston's Pirate Days Festival is a popular event that celebrates the area's history with live music, food, and pirate-themed activities. The Annual Antique Boat Show and Auction is another favorite, featuring stunning antique boats from across the region. And the Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration on Boldt Castle is a must-see event that draws thousands of visitors every year.

Planning Your Trip to Alexandria Bay, NY

Alexandria Bay, NY is a charming village located in the heart of the Thousand Islands region. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, stunning scenery, or a relaxing getaway, Alexandria Bay has something for everyone. Here are some essential tips to help you plan your trip to this beautiful destination.

How to Get to Alexandria Bay:

Alexandria Bay is located in northern New York, just a few hours' drive from major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Syracuse. If you're flying in, the closest major airports are Ottawa International Airport (YOW), Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR), and Watertown International Airport (ART).

From the airport, you can rent a car or take a shuttle or taxi to Alexandria Bay. If you're driving, take Interstate 81 to exit 50, then follow signs to Alexandria Bay.

Alexandria Bay, Ny Weather:

Alexandria Bay, NY has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and humid, with average temperatures ranging from the high 60s to mid 80s Fahrenheit (around 20 to 30 degrees Celsius). Winters are cold and snowy, with average temperatures ranging from the low teens to mid 30s Fahrenheit (around -10 to 0 degrees Celsius).

The area receives an average of about 90 inches (229 cm) of snowfall per year, with most of it falling between December and February. Spring and fall are mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the low 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (around 5 to 15 degrees Celsius).

It's always a good idea to check the current weather forecast before visiting Alexandria Bay, NY, as weather conditions can vary greatly throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit Alexandria Bay:

The best time to visit Alexandria Bay is between May and October, when the weather is mild and the local attractions are open. The peak tourist season is from June to August, when the area is bustling with activity and the water temperature is warm enough for swimming.

If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in May or September, when the crowds have thinned out and the scenery is still beautiful.

Essential Tips for Traveling to Alexandria Bay:

  • Pack for the weather: Alexandria Bay has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. Be sure to pack accordingly, with warm layers in the winter and light, breathable clothing in the summer.
  • Bring bug spray: The Thousand Islands region is known for its mosquitoes and black flies, especially in the summer months. Be sure to bring insect repellent to avoid bites.
  • Book accommodations in advance: Alexandria Bay is a popular tourist destination, so accommodations can fill up quickly during peak season. Be sure to book your hotel, cabin, or campsite well in advance to ensure availability.

With these tips in mind, you're ready to plan your perfect trip to Alexandria Bay, NY. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, historic landmarks, or just some relaxation in a beautiful setting, this charming village has it all.

Thousand Islands, New York
Thousand Islands, New York


Town of Alexandria Bay, NY is a beautiful and exciting destination in the heart of the Thousand Islands region. With a rich history, stunning natural beauty, and plenty of activities and attractions, visitors are sure to find something to love in this charming town. From exploring Boldt Castle and the Thousand Islands to enjoying outdoor activities like fishing and boating, Alexandria Bay has it all. And when the sun goes down, the nightlife and entertainment options are just as exciting. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a fun trip with friends, Alexandria Bay is the perfect destination.

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