Greatest Places To Visit

Situated on the northern New York State border separating Ontario, Canada from the United States only by the St. Lawrence River, is the Thousand Islands.

Actually, there are many more islands than one thousand. For an in depth tour, along with the history of past and present residents, I recommend taking the Uncle Sam Boat Tours out of Alexandria Bay, New York.

To access the boat tours go to http://www.usboattours.com. I like the 21/4 hour ride that takes you to the International Bridge which links New York to Canada. There is also a stop at Boldt Castle where you have the option of disembarking and viewing the gorgeous grounds and castle…also known as Heart Island.

Construction on the castle began in the mid 1890’s as a testament of love the owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (in New York City) had for his wife. The building of Boldt Castle involved over 600 workers who had to arrive on site by water craft. It was truly a marvel of its time, with electricity, a power generating plant, bowling alley, a separate playhouse castle, underground horse stables, and so much more. Upon the wife’s untimely death, all 600 workers were told to lay down their tools and exit the island, even though construction was not complete. Until the day he died, the owner never returned to Heart Island. The chef at the Waldorf Astoria created a salad dressing, appropriately named Thousand Islands and of course, the Waldorf salad. For further details visit http://www.boldtcastle.com.

Located across from Boldt Castle is Alexandria Bay, New York. “A Bay” as the locals call it remains the king in tourism in the Thousand Island region. Festivities, shops and restaurants abound in this tiny area during the summer season. For a list of activities go to http://www.alexbay.org. There are numerous accommodations, but the two nicest, in my opinion, are the Riveredge and Bonnie Castle. Each are conveniently located within walking distance of the downtown area.

There is a plethora of places to explore along the Seaway Trail. Drive west to Cape Vincent, New York and catch the ferry to Wolfe Island, Ontario. Drive a few miles across the island and catch another ferry that will bring you right into the city of Kingston, Ontario. Kingston is bar none a beautiful and historic city filled with the atmosphere of a bustling downtown loaded with sidewalk cafes, lovely architecture and an outdoor farmers market.

Travel east on the Seaway Trail to Massena, New York and take in the Eisenhower Locks. Observe the ocean going vessels going through the lock system as they travel up the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean and their final destinations.

Whatever you decide, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Thousand Islands region are a must see and definitely one of the spectacular, breathtaking and historic places to visit. I would classify the area as the eighth wonder of the world.

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