A Week in New York’s Thousand Islands

In July 2022, we visited New York’s Thousand Islands for the first time and completely fell in love. For boaters like us, this area is an absolute dream come true! Even if you’re not a boater, though, I think you’ll love the Thousand Islands as much as we did. It’s quiet and laid back and not overrun by tourists. It seems to cater to an older crowd, so it may not be the ideal vacation spot to bring your younger kids or teens, but it’s a wonderful location for a relaxing vacation on and near the water.

For tips and ideas for what to do on your own trip to the Thousand Islands, check our itinerary below!


Saturday (Brooklyn to Clayton, NY)

7:30 am Depart Brooklyn for Clayton, NY 
12:30 pm Stop for Lunch in Syracuse at Talking Cursive Brewery 

  • We visited this brewery last summer on our way to the Erie Canal and loved their pickle chowder. Sadly, it wasn’t on special when we visited this year, but they still have good food and beer and it’s a great stop for lunch.
2:00 pm Head back out to Clayton, NY
3:30 pm Check into 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

  • 200 Riverside Drive, Clayton, NY 13624
  • This hotel is located right on the St. Lawrence River. They have a beautiful patio for drinks and dining, and you can even take your drink out along the path on the river to enjoy in one of the many Adirondack chairs. Parking is plentiful and free. Housekeeping services weren’t provided during our stay, and reservations were required to dine onsite, as of July 2022. Breakfast isn’t included in the room rate but is available on the premises. 
4:30 pm Head out to explore the town!

  • We walked along the riverside path from the hotel into town. Riverside Drive and James Street are the main streets in town with several restaurants, bars, shops, a winery, and a distillery.
6:00 pm Dinner and Flights at Wood Boat Brewery

  • Try the Popper Pizza: Cream cheese and feta based with bacon and sliced jalapenos, topped with homemade raspberry jam.
  • My husband was also a fan of their Channel Marker IPA and had it in several places while up in the Thousand Islands
7:30 pm Pool and Darts at the Lost Navigator

Sunday (Alexandria Bay and Castle Tours by Boat)

8:30 am Breakfast sandwiches to go from the Koffee Kove
9:00 am Drive to Uncle Sam Boat Tours in Alexandria Bay
9:15 am Free Parking: 45 James St, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607

  • We parked and then strolled through Alexandria Bay while waiting for our tour to begin
10:00 am  Guided boat tour to Singer Castle and Boldt Castle 

  • 3.5-hour tour with a guided walking tour at Singer Castle
  • Optional stop at Boldt Castle at the end of the tour – self-guided visit – $11 castle admission is not included in the boat tour price – can buy at the ticket booth upon arrival or online – $14 for the castle and yacht house both – need to take boat shuttle between the two – shuttles run every half hour
  • Return trips back to Alexandria Bay aboard any USBT vessel are free – every 30 minutes
4:30 pm Arrive back in Alexandria Bay to scope out town and grab an early dinner. We went to Riley’s By the River, which is right at the Uncle Sam parking lot.
6:00 pm Mini golf and go-karts at Alex Bay 500 
7:30 pm Drinks by the river back at the hotel

Monday (Antique Boat Museum)

8:30 am Breakfast at Bella’s right on the river
10:00 am Arrive at Antique Boat Museum

  • 750 Mary Street, Clayton, NY 13624
10:30 am 45-minute boat ride on 30′ triple cockpit Hacker Craft 
11:30 am
  • 30-minute walking tour of the 1903 houseboat La Duchesse 
  • Need to sign up for the tour time at the Admissions Desk when you arrive – tours are every hour between 10:30-3:30
12:00 pm  Explore museum
2:00 pm Late lunch at The Hops Spot in downtown Clayton. Try the poutine!
3:00 pm Drive to Cape Vincent to explore the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse and enjoy beautiful views of Lake Ontario
4:30 pm Spirits tasting at St. Lawrence Spirits

  • We got there shortly before closing so only had time to do a tasting, but if you get there earlier you can enjoy a cocktail on their patio with a stunning view of the St. Lawrence River!
5:30 pm Cheese plate and cocktails at the hotel bar.

Tuesday (Day Trip to Brockville, Canada)

10:00 am Breakfast on the river at the Shipwreck Eatery
11:00 am Drive to Brockville, Canada

  • You will need to download the ArriveCan app prior to your visit to Canada in order to upload your COVID vaccination details. If you do not do this in advance, you will be sent to the immigration office at the border to complete this process, which will add another 30+ minutes onto your trip. Ask me how we know…  😉
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen, please confirm any other visa requirements needed for your visit to Canada!
12:00 pm Walk through the Brockville Railway Tunnel 

  • We parked at the north end of the tunnel in the Railway Tunnel Park. Put it into your GPS – there really weren’t any signs to let us know we were there.
12:30 pm Wander around Tall Ships Landing and Blockhouse Island

  • There were quite a few restaurants at the south end of the tunnel, but the weather kept threatening to worsen during our visit, so we didn’t stay in town for lunch ourselves. If you have the time, though, there are plenty of options!
1:30 pm Walk back through the tunnel to the car
2:00 pm Drive back to Clayton, NY
3:00 pm Visit River Rat Cheese and the grocery store to buy provisions for tomorrow (boat rental day!)
4:00 pm Take one last wander through town and grab some dinner. We went back to Wood Boat Brewery!
6:30 pm Cocktails on the river back at the hotel

Wednesday (Boat rental day!)

7:15 am Check out of hotel
7:30 am Drive to Mac’s Boat Rentals

  • 15 Washington Street Alexandria Bay, NY 13607
  • I highly recommend reserving your boat in advance to ensure something will be available on the day you want it. We had originally planned to rent a boat on Tuesday, but the weather was bad and we were able to call and reschedule for Wednesday
7:45 am Pick up boat rental for the day at Mac’s Boat Rentals 

  • We reserved Mac’s Boat 2, which was a pontoon boat in excellent shape. Ask about renting a lily pad to take out on the boat!
  • We chose a full-day rental. Keep in mind that you need to refuel your boat before returning it. There is a fuel station right at the marina, though, which was super convenient.
8:30 am After you load up your boat, head out to explore!

  • We cruised all the way down to Clayton to see how it all looked from the water.
  • After, we cruised along the Canadian side of the river – note that if you want to avoid needing to report your entry to Canada, you should avoid docking or anchoring in Canadian waters.
  • Eventually, we ended up in Lake of the Isles which was inside Wellesley Island. We anchored here and had lunch and a swim and put out our lily pad to relax in the sun!
4:00 pm Refuel the boat and head back to the marina – fuel level must be the same or higher than at departure
4:30 pm Drop off the boat and drive to Sackets Harbor
5:15 pm Check in to Harbor House Inn in Sackets Harbor 

  • 103 General Smith Dr, Sackets Harbor, NY 13685
  • This is a lovely little hotel on a bay. They had coffee and tea available all day long and grab-and-go pastries for breakfast in the morning.
6:00 pm Dinner and Flights at 1812 Brewing Company 

  • This is next door to the hotel and they have a nice patio on the water.

Thursday (Salmon River Falls and Oswego Lighthouse Boat Trip)

9:30 am Head to Salmon River Falls 
10:15 am Explore Salmon River Falls 

  • You can walk out near the falls and there are a few different hiking trails you can explore as well
11:30 am Drive to Oswego
12:30 pm Lunch in Oswego at the Red Sun Fire Roasting Co.

  • Try the stretched bread – YUM!
1:45 pm Visit the H. Lee White Maritime Museum 

  • 41 Lake St, Oswego, NY 13126
3:00 pm Tour to the West Pierhead Lighthouse
4:00 pm Drive back to Sackets Harbor
6:00 pm Have drinks/dinner in Sackets Harbor. We enjoyed the Whiskey Coop! They have a nice patio with live music. Just be warned that the chicken sandwiches are HUGE!
7:30 pm Walk through the Sackets Harbor Battlefield and watch the sunset over the bay

Friday (Watertown, NY and Sunset Sail in Sackets Harbor)

11:00 am Drive to Watertown 
12:00 pm Visit Zoo New York  and Thompson Park
2:00 pm Have lunch at Holy Smokes Bourbon and BBQ

  • We enjoyed the food here, but I’m sad to say that there was not, in fact, any bourbon as advertised
3:00 pm Wander around downtown Watertown
4:00 pm Drive back to Sackets Harbor – explore stores in town or have a drink at the brewery or the Boathouse patio
6:30 pm Private chartered sunset sail with Sail Ontario 

  • Departs from Navy Point Marine in downtown Sackets Harbor: 500 W. Main St., Sackets Harbor, NY 13685
  • You can bring your own snacks, drinks, whatever. We had very little wind, but it was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed seeing pretty Sackets Harbor from the water. They have various day trips and overnight trips available as well.
9:00 pm Head back to the hotel to pack up!

Saturday (Sackets Harbor, NY to Brooklyn, NY)

8:30 am Hit the road! 
3:30 pm Back in Brooklyn after some pit stops and a lunch break