Want to visit the Thousand Islands region but not sure what to add to your Alexabdria Bay NY itinerary? If so then check out this next-level massive guide to all the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
Because guess what? This ultra rad village is known for being home to incredible castles, stunning state parks, awesome boat tours, fascinating museums, and more.
So, if you want to explore the area like a local then stick with me. I mean, I’ve lived in New York for 30+ years and the thousand islands region is one of my all time fave spots.
Therefore, I want to show you how to create the perfect Alexandria Bay NY bucket list so that you too can enjoy the trip of a lifetime and enjoy all the very best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
Plus, this list may or may not include a royal-feeling stay inside a full-on castle – at least if you have the budget for that sort of not-so-low-key activity.
That’s why you need to stick around if you wanna enjoy the best of Alexandria Bay like a super savvy local.
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Table of Contents
Best Hotels in Alexandria Bay NY
Not sure where to stay while enjoying the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY? If so then you’ve come to the right place.
Because this section is brimming over with expert insider tips on the best places to stay, no matter your budget.
- The Glen House Resort (budget) – Perfect if you’re short on cash because the low-key rooms here sit inside a 75-room resort that comes equipped with an outdoor pool, games room, golf course, and more. it’s basically an ideal place for anyone who wants to take the family into the heart of the Thousand Islands.
- Capt Thomson’s Resort (Mid-range) – Want luxury on a bit of a budget? If so then book a room at Capt Thomson’s Resort. Not only does it sit right across the water from Boldt Castle but rooms include all the usual ammenities, in addition to private balconies with stunning views. There’s also an outdoor pool and hot tub for you to enjoy all summer long.
- 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel (Luxury) – This sleek, 4-star hotel overlooks the gorg St. Lawrence River and features suave rooms with hardwood floors, WiFi, private balconies, and flat-screen TVs. There’s also an indoor pool and fitness center for guests to enjoy when they’re not lounging it up.
Best Things to do in Alexandria Bay NY
1. Check out the view from Thousand Islands Bridge
Thousand Islands Bridge connects New York State with Ontario, Canada.
And if you’re leabing Collins Landing in Alexandria Bay, it soars over the St Lawrence River and Wellesley Island.
Now, technically speaking, it’s a system of five linked bridges. Constructed in 1937, it showcases a couple of engineering elements aka suspension and truss.
In total though, the bridge comes in at an astounding length of 8.5 miles.
That’s why taking a stroll on the international bridge is one of the coolest things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
I mean, the views are stunning and the photography is next-level awesome.
Plus, the presence of a pedestrian walkway makes it super safe to roll up and explore on foot.
And if you stop off at the North Country Welcome Center on the way there you can brush up on your local knowledge of the area too.
Besides, this is where you’ll need to leave your car before you walk on the bridge.
Address: 43530 Us Rte 81, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: All day, every day.
2. Hop Aboard a Scenic Boat Cruise
In a region referred to as the Thousand Islands, it’s kinda given that taking a boat cruise is one of the top things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
And, Alexandria Bay has you covered. Firstly, Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours offers a mix of scenic and dining excursions.
In fact, these experiences cover some of the hottest sights in Alexandria Bay NY, including Boldt and Singer castles (more on these to follow).
Plus, their 2 Nation Tour actually crosses over into Canadian waters. But, rest assured, no passport is necessary.
But, if you want to enjoy dinner while out at sea then try their 2.5-hour dinner cruise, which sails to coincide with sunset and features live entertainment.
As a result, this experience comes in top as one of the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY, at night.
As an alternative though, 1000 Islands Scenic Boat Tours schedules private boat trips on either a pontoon or a chic 1967 Lyman.
I mean, you’ll need deeper pockets but the experience is perfect for a special occasion.
3. Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle is one of Alexandria Bay’s gems since it offers stunning, waterside appeal to just about every visitor.
See, even though New York isn’t exactly famous for its castles – the state actually has quite a lot of them. And Boldt Castle is easily one of the best castles in New York.
See, the mansion is situated on Heart Island and requires a boat to get there.
Therefore, it scores immediate brownie points for scenery and for a unique visitor experience.
And Uncle Sam Boat Tours operates a shuttle service between the mainland and Heart Island. This runs every half hour from mid-May through mid-October.
With this, you’ll get to hop off and roam the island and castle at leisure.
On the other hand, you can always book a tour of the castle itself with the same company.
Because in addition to exploring the island’s five acres of land, you can see inside the building. You can also check out the Power House, Alster Tower, Hennery, and Arch since they are all open to the public.
Address: PO Box 428, Collins Landing, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607
Hours: Open daily from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm from May 13th through October 9th.
Price: Tickets are $11.00 for adults and $8.00 for children.
4. Unwind in Scenic View Park
Scenic View Park is located in downtown Alexandria Bay. And of a handful of different green spaces in the area, this one is the most centrally located.
So, you can easily walk here from all the town’s most central hotels.
Now, the park itself stretches out from the Church of St. Lawrence while overlooking Casino Island.
Which, by the way, you can visit via a little footbridge.
Therefore, spending a few hours here is one of the top things to do in Alexandria Bay NY, with kids or dogs.
Yup, pooches are welcome provided they remain on a leash at all times.
Plus, in addition to picnic spots and a pavilion, the park even has a playground too.
It also connects to a beach where swimming is permitted during the summer months. However, this is only possible when lifeguards are on duty.
And besides relaxing beneath the sun during a picnic, Scenic View Park is also awesome at sunset.
Address: 8 Fuller St, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.
5. Camp Out at Keewaydin State Park
Covering 283 acres of land along the St.Lawrence River, Keewaydin is one among many New York state parks around Alexandria Bay.
Of them all though, Keewaydin State Park is your best bet for fishing. Besides, in winter you can try your hand at ice fishing and cross-country skiing too.
Riverside camping, swimming, and boat rentals are also available during the summer months. Additionally, there are a bunch of easy walking trails here that you can use to spot resident birds and wildlife – all of which are activities that constitute some of the best outdoor things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
Naturally, the Olympic-sized swimming pool is super appealing on a hot afternoon. But, bear in mind that it can fill up on the weekends and at the height of the season.
Plus, dogs are welcome at the park and are permitted in the campground.
As Keewaydin is nestled along a riverbank, it’s studded with gorgeous viewpoints where you can enjoy views of ocean-bound vessels chugging along.
Address: 45165 NY-12, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Price: $7.00 day-use fee for vehicles at peak times ($6.00 at non-peak times)
6. Soak Up Some Local History at the Cornwall Brothers Store Museum
Want to dive into local history? If so then beeline it on over to the Cornwall Brothers Store Museum.
Because this seasonal museum takes you as far back as when the early Thousand Island settlers first arrived in the area.
Housed inside a heritage stone building from 1866, the institute constitutes the last remaining waterfront landmark from the 19th century. So, that alone makes it worthy of a peek and one of the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
Plus, objects on display include maps, crafts, tools, and photography. Essentially, the exhibitions aim to educate visitors on the trades, commerce, and lifestyle of the early settlers.
Plus, you’ll learn about the development of tourism in the area too.
There’s also a multimedia exhibit on the steamship, Islander, which is now a popular dive site.
Therefore, this is one of the top free things to do in Alexandria Bay, NY, come rain or shine.
However, donations are appreciated and the staff deserves praise for their knowledge and passion for local history.
Address: 36 Market St, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
7. Sip wines at Thousand Islands Winery
For fans of wine, the family-owned Thousand Islands Winery is a must.
In fact, this sprawling property is the largest farm winery in the state and easily one of the best wineries in the Finger Lakes and beyond.
Open since 2003, the winery was a pioneer in the state and many speculated it wouldn’t last. However, the winery has proved the doubters wrong and is now a roaring success.
In fact, it now produces 23 varieties of wine across dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and dessert varietals.
Plus, they’ve expanded into fortified wine and honey mead too. Which, considering this region isn’t known for its wine production, is a mighty record.
Now, tastings and tours are available all year long. So, stop by and get your first two wines for free before charges apply.
Furthermore, you can enjoy a wander through the grounds to ogle the vineyards and scenic views.
And, if you like what you taste, you can pick up a bottle or two from the store. Also, keep your eyes peeled for fun seasonal pop-ups and music events.
Address: 43298 Seaway Ave, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: A 6 wine-tasting tour is just $5.00 per person.
8. Explore the state parks of Wellesley Island
Okay, so we already touched on Wellesley Island since it sits just beneath the Thousand Islands Bridge.
However, in addition to being surrounded by the St Lawrence River, the park also wraps itself around the Lake of the Isles.
Therefore, Wellesley Island is one of the best things to do in Alexandria Bay, NY for nature lovers. In fact, it contains three unique state parks.
So, to the west, you’ve got Wellesley Island State Park. Actually, this one is the largest state park in the Thousand Islands region.
It caters especially to fishers and boaters. But, with wetlands, three miles of shoreline, and miles of hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing trails – it has a little something for everyone.
Up north, there’s Waterson Point State Park. This one is more chill, and perfect for a bit of tranquil fishing.
Pressing up against the border with Canada, Mary Island State Park is heavily wooded and feels like it’s a bit off the radar. You can also only access it by way of boat from downtown Alexandria Bay.
9. Taste “musical” liquor at Dark Island Spirits
Prefer something a touch stronger than wine?
If so then add Dark Island Spirits to your Alexandria Bay NY itinerary. Because while you’re here you can taste handcrafted bourbons, whiskeys, brandies, vodkas, gins, and liqueurs.
Yup, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, the spirits here are made using a unique method. After all, they are “Musically Matured” in a bespoke device.
In a nutshell, this methodology creates liquid waves that impact the distilling process. Each spirit is then fashioned according to a different genre of music.
Actually, it’s modeled upon an old method of manufacturing whereby spirits were produced while in transport, be that by wagon or ship.
Tours are free and explain the ins and outs of the procedure in way more detail.
Then, afterward, you can wash down your learnings with your preferred beverage of choice in the tasting room. Yeah, it’s one of the most fascinating and best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
And, what with the facility being located downtown, it’s easy to tap the Dark Island Spirits distillery onto your Alexandria Bay NY bucket list.
Address: 42 Church St, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: Open Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: Beers start at $4.00 each.
10. Hike around Kring Point State Park
Kring Point State Park is a peaceful place that sits just 8 miles north of Alexandria Bay.
As it sits on a peninsula, you almost feel like you’ve stepped off the mainland and onto one of the region’s many islands.
But, no boats are required to enjoy one of the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
In fact, Kring Point draws many parallels with Keewaydin State Park.
See, all the recreational activities here are pretty much the same, with fishing, walking, swimming, and cross-country skiing coming out as the top things to do.
However, swimming is only possible off the beaches. Actually, the water here is crystal clear so make that a top priority list if you plan an Alexandria Bay NY itinerary for the summer.
If you want, you can also rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to get out on the water. Although, the views of the islands are epic from the peninsula itself.
However, Head to the southernmost tip of the park so that you can walk out to Picnic Island, where you’ll discover several restrooms and showers for day trippers and overnight campers alike.
Address: 25950 Kring Point Rd, Redwood, NY 13679, United States
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Price: There’s a $6.00 day-use fee.
11. Live Like Royalty at Singer Castle
Ready for your second castle fix? Because Singer Castle is located on Dark Island, right on the border with Canada.
See, the castle and island were a “surprise” gift granted to the family of the sewing machine tycoon Frederick Bourne.
But, you too can get a slice of the action and rent out an entire wing of the castle for the evening.
After all, Singer Castle is beautifully appointed with antiques and complimentary dinner and breakfast are both included with your stay.
Plus, you’ll get an exclusive tour of the castle and its subterranean tunnels and dungeons.
So, if you want to experience the high life, spending the night at Singer Castle is one of the most unforgettable and top things to do in Alexandria Bay NY.
Although, if your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, you can always just visit for the day.
Because, as your probably already guessed, our old friends Uncle Sam Boat Tours run trips here from Alexandria Bay between April and September.
And, private boats are always welcome to dock here too.
Address: 1136 County Route 6, Chippewa Bay, NY 13623, United States
Hours: Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm from April 30th to October 17th.
Price: Tours are 45-minutes long and cost $14.75 per adult and $7.75 for children.
12. Catch a flick at Bay Drive-In Theater
Bay Drive-In Theater is situated just off Church Street and features two giant screens – perfect for anyone looking for the full drive-in experience.
Here, you can revisit a Hollywood favorite since movies here generally cater to the family, with classics and rom-coms being a staple of the schedule.
Additionally, this open-air movie theater is a firm favorite among thelocal residents. Just bring your favorite blankets and cushions for the car or pacj some folding chairs if you want to sit out on the lawn.
Whatever you do though be sure to come hungry. Because, once you smell what’s cooking at the throwback, 50’s themed cafe, you won’t be able to resist grabbing a bite.
In general, they serve a wide range of burgers, hot dogs, fries, and – of course – fresh popcorn.
So, catching a movie at the Bay Drive-In Theater is one of the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY, at night.
Mind you, this one only applies in the spring and summer. So, stay tuned for their new seasonal line-up.
Address: State Rte 26, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: Open May through October on weekends.
Price: $6.50 for adults and $2.00 for kids.
13. Do laps at Alex Bay 500 Go-Karts
Apparently, Alex Bay 500 Go-Karts is where you’ll find the single longest go kart track in the state of New York.
And, it’s kept in ship-shape condition making it safe for kids to rally alongside grown-ups as they tear through the place.
So, this is one of the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY, if you’re in the mood for some gentle adrenaline.
Because in addition to go-karting, the site has an 18-hole mini golf course and an arcade zone.
Therefore, it’s a great spot for families, couples, and groups of friends alike.
Plus, if you get hungry then you can always refuel at their rad sandwich shop on site.
However, note that opening hours fluctuate according to the season. So, you’ll want to give them a call before rolling up. Or, ask your hotel to confirm the current hours.
Address: 43772 NY-12, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: Open daily (seasonally) from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
14. Sample Seasonal Cuisine at The Kitchen
Boating, go-karting, and hiking in state parks is hungry work. So, you’ll need to know where to eat while in Alexandria Bay.
Therefore, be sure to silence your tummy at The Kitchen since this epic, downtown bistro specializes in American fare that is crafted using local, seasonal ingredients.
Plus, they also serve scrumptious cocktails, thoughtfully selected wines, and refreshing non-alcoholic spritzers.
For that reason, menus change weekly. Additionally, there are entrees to suit all sorts of dietary requirements, and their homemade ice cream is out of this world.
And besides the excellent food, the setting is also super lush. After all, this cozy restaurant is set within the historic Captain Visger House with a lovely garden that is perfect for al fresco dining.
The Kitchen also has a friendly atmosphere with chirpy servers who’ll be more than happy to recommend the perfect dish.
Address: 2 Church St, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
Hours: Open Wednesday through Saturday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Price: Entrees start at around $20.00 each.
15. Swim at Grass Point State Park
Let’s wrap things up with one final state park. After all, Grass Point State Park is 6 miles southeast of Alexandria Bay.
And down here, you can partake in the usual outdoor rec – across hiking, boating, fishing, and picnicking.
Right off the shore, there is a also generous sprinkling of small islands that you can paddle or cruise around if you rent some equipment.
There’s even an amazing beach where you can go swimming in Grass Point, complete with calm, shallow water. Therefore, the state park is one of the best things to do in Alexandria Bay NY, with kids.
And with Grass Point State Park following in the footsteps of the other parks in the region, you can look forward to pristine conditions.
FYI, all state parks are seriously well-maintained in this part of the state.
Address: 42247 Grassy Point Rd, Clayton, NY 13624, United
Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Price: $7.00 day use fee ($6.00 non-peak day use fee)