Of Boats and Castles

The village of Alexandria Bay is the gateway to the 1000 Islands from the state of New York. During the busy summer months, A-Bay is filled with thousands of tourists who shop in all the souvenir shops, stay in the many hotels, eat in the restaurants, dance in the nightclubs and most take a tour boat out to see the beautiful 1000 Islands on the St. Lawrence river. For those of you who don’t like a crowded tourist area, before Memorial Day and after Labor Day is much quieter and hotels have reduced rates and weekend specials which often include meals and a boat tour.

Uncle Sam Boat Tours cruiser the Alexandria Belle taking out a group of tourists to the 1000 Islands near Alexandria Bay, New York.

Uncle Sam Boat Tours cruiser the Alexandria Belle taking out a group of tourists to the 1000 Islands near Alexandria Bay, New York.

The Uncle Sam Boat Tours has been in operation since 1926 and is the largest of the tour boat companies. I recommend their 2 Nation Tour which takes you down the St. Lawrence Seaway and over the border to cruise under the Canadian span of the 1000 Islands Bridge complex. The best part of each Uncle Sam Boat Tour is an unlimited stop over at Heart Island, the location of the famous Boldt Castle.

Boldt Castle looms above the trees on Heart Island across from Alexandria Bay, New York.

Boldt Castle looms above the trees on Heart Island across from Alexandria Bay, New York, as a tour boat heads back to port.

Boldt Castle and it’s outer buildings were left to rot after 1904 when George Boldt stopped all construction after the unexpected death of his wife, Louise. In 1977, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority (TIBA) purchased the property and has slowly been restoring the estate. Using revenues from tour boat operators and funding from the US and Canada, TIBA has brought back to life the glory of the turn of the century grandiose rhineland style castle.

Restored reception room inside Boldt Castle on Heart Island near Alexandria Bay, New York.

The restored Reception Room inside Boldt Castle on Heart Island near Alexandria Bay, New York.

The above photo was taken back in 2007 on a previous trip before I started blogging. The others where taken last weekend from Casino Island Park in Alexandria Bay, New York.

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7 Responses to Of Boats and Castles

  1. sorrentolens says:

    Great photos Scott! Reminiscent too – as once lived in Watertown. Loved going to Alex Bay.

  2. burstmode says:

    I never knew about this place…gorgeous images and now I have to go there!

  3. Gerry says:

    Oh I loved the 1000 Islands! I remember the tiny cottages best, each one clinging to its own little rock, one with a footbridge to the neighboring rock on the other side of the border, with US and Canadian flags in the middle. I don’t remember Boldt Castle, but now your photos make me want to go see that, too.

  4. Deva says:

    I’d like to live in that castle.. Looks comfortable enough… ;)

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