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Our Weekend in The Thousand Islands and Adirondacks, NY

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Lighthouses, castles, boating, farms and more – here’s a recap (and a video!) from an incredible 4-day weekend in The Thousand Islands and Lake Placid, NY! We crammed a lot in this short weekend and had such an amazing time, we plan on returning really soon, hopefully in the winter when everything is covered in a blanket of snow.

Lighthouses, castles, boating, farms and more – here’s a recap (and a video!) from an incredible 4-day weekend in The Thousand Islands and Lake Placid, NY! We crammed a lot in this short weekend and had such an amazing time, we plan on returning really soon, hopefully in the winter when everything is covered in a blanket of snow.

Our Weekend in The Thousand Islands and Adirondacks, NY

Our Weekend in The Thousand Islands and Adirondacks, NY

The Thousand Islands

How We Got There

Although it’s driving distance is just a few hours from my house on Long Island, we preferred to take a direct flight to Syracuse from JFK. From there we rented a car and took a scenic drive to the Thousand Islands.

Where We Stayed in the Thousand Islands

The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel located on the Lawrence River in Clayton, NY. The hotel was spacious, and the location was perfect with outdoor fire pits, beautiful landscaping and close walking distance to everything.

Clayton, NYClayton, NY

Highlights of Our Trip in Thousand Islands

We started our trip in Sackets Harbor at the Old MacDonald’s Farm House, a family run business with 1000 animals you can feed, touch and walk among. Madison LOVED it here, and quite frankly, so did we! The animals were so friendly they followed us around.

Sackets HarborSackets Harbor, NY

Lunch we went to Tin Pan Galley in Sackets Harbor, a quaint restaurant in a cute little town. I ordered a Fried Green Tomato Salad and a Cream of Asparagus Soup. Tommy got a French Onion Burger, both were great!

Tin Pan Galley in Sackets Harbor

That afternoon we went on a private wine and cheese cruise with Classic Island Cruises directly from the Harbor Hotel to Rock Island Lighthouse which is a MUST! Jeff, our captain and his wife were both great, Jeff was a true historian, gave us so much interesting history about the Thousand Islands, the lighthouse and more.

Classic Island Cruises a MUST in the Thousand Islands

Rock Island Lighthouse is a must if you visit the Thousand Islands. This gorgeous lighthouse on the crystal clear waters of the St Lawrence River is accessible only by boat. There’s picnic tables, a gift shop, great views and very friendly staff.

Our Weekend in The Thousand Islands and Adirondacks, NY

One of the many Thousand Islands…

Our Weekend in The Thousand Islands and Adirondacks, NY

This is the first US Post Office which you can see by boat.

Jeff also gave us a bottle of the original Thousand Island Dressing!

For dinner, we dined at The Chateau, we LOVED this restaurant. The food, the service, the sunsets views were stunning– everything was excellent. I had an amazing duck breast, and Tommy had short rib. The photo lighting was bad,  it was late and dark inside and wish I could have photographed my dish, I did get a shot of Tommy’s.

Saturday morning we headed to Boldt Castle on Heart Island, a short ferry ride away from the Boldt Yacht House on Wellesley Island. The shuttle from the Yacht House to the castle runs every 30 minutes on the quarter hour.

Boldt castle was built on Heart Island for his beloved wife, but after her sudden tragic death, he stopped the construction and was so distraught, he never spent a single night there.

Boldt Yacht House

Heart Island

Our Weekend in The Thousand Islands and Adirondacks, NY

The Adirondacks

After the castle, we drove to the Adirondacks for the next two days.

Where We Stayed in the Adirondacks

Lake Placid, NY

We stayed at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid, a charming Inn with beautiful lake views, an indoor and outdoor pool. We loved the smell of the fireplace in the lobby, Madison loved the unlimited supply of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and the board games we played together when it rained. The suite we stayed in had rocking chairs in front of the sliding glass doors so we can just sit back and enjoy the lake view.

Lake Placid, NYLake Placid, NY

Highlights of Our Trip in the Adirondacks

Aside from relaxing at Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa, there’s plenty to do in the Adirondacks year round. We didn’t have much time there, but we did make the most of our amazing visit.

We hiked up a trail of suspended bridges to see the world from a different perspective at the Wild, Walk and Wild Center in the Adirondacks, not to be missed if you’re in the area and traveling with kids!

Wild, Walk and Wild Center

We took a drive up Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain—New York’s fifth-highest peak at 4,867’. It rained heavy the day before and remnant  cloud cover blocked much of our views at the very top but views on the way up were stunning! The leaves were just starting to change color, I can only imagine how pretty this will be in the next few weeks with all the fall colors! Pack warm tho.. temps were noticeably much cooler at the peak.

We planned on going tubing at the Ausable Chasm but the rain switched up our plans and instead we got some ponchos and went to the High Falls Gorge which had some pretty spectacular views.

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39 comments on “Our Weekend in The Thousand Islands and Adirondacks, NY”

  1. WOW!  What a great trip!  You were in my neighborhood!  I live down the road from Old MacDonald’s Farm. 
    Love that you were in Sackets Harbor and got to see the sunset over Lake Ontario – this is a very special place with so much natural beauty. 

  2. Thank you for sharing your impressions. It’s great that you and your family are constantly traveling and looking for new places to visit. I also often plan a trip to the States of America, as for me, it’s a great country in which there is always somewhere to go and what to see(No wonder it’s so big). I also love small cruises or just boat trips. How much did it cost you to rent this boat?
    Thank you for a great report, you have done a great job!:)

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    Sharon Briggs

    I am lucky enough to live in the Thousand Islands year round. The area is very beautiful but it is the warmth of the people that made us move here 15 years ago. Sometimes when ware out in the boat I can’t help but marvel how lucky we are to actually live here! So glad to see your trip was great…come back any time!

  4. My family and my husbands family live in this area and we love ❤️ the thousand islands. My daughter recently got married downtown Clayton where your daughter was sitting in the colorful adirondack chairs. It is so nice to have people from other areas appreciate this beautiful place that we too often take for granted. We see it every day but looking through someone else’s eyes I get another reason to keep loving it here. Thank you!! 

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    Rebecca Connolly

    So glad you enjoyed Northern NY! I grew up year round on Grindstone Island, the island directly across from the Harbor Hotel. I attended New York’s last functioning 1 room schoolhouse. Next time you are in the area you will have to hop in a boat and come and visit! The 1000 Islands has so many beautiful gems! Going Home by Audrey Lashomb is a book my mother wrote documenting life on our beautiful island. It is worth the read to have a better perspective of island life with its joys and challenges. 

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    Marilyn Neilson

    We just got back from the Adirondacks last week! Beautiful! We were there during their heat wave. I was hoping for cooler weather being from Texas. But we didn’t get any rain so it was great! Loved the High Falls Gorge. Visited some of the same area y’all did!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. My husband and I did Lake Placid this August with our 2.5 yr old. We did the Olympic Site Passport which was awesome. I would love to go back when my son is older and can enjoy more of what the area has to offer. Such a great place. Whiteface Mountain is beautiful.

  8. So tickled to see the islands again. My husband and I motorcycled through there many years ago and this is a favorite memory of mine, especially Boldt Castle and the story behind it. So sad, yet so romantic. My husband has been gone now for eleven years (I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss him) so your post brings back many happy memories. Thank you for sharing. God bless you!

  9. This is my home town!!!  My father grew up on Round Island, my sister was married at Boldt Castle, and my best friend’s family owned the TI Inn!  So awesome to see these pictures.  My parents tell me the weather has been amazing this fall.  (Lake Placid is amazing too!  I grew up skating in the Empire State Games every winter there).  So glad you enjoyed your visit.

  10. Gina…your travelog…with incredible photography by the way…inspires!  I really would love to virtually copy the itinerary you created (excepting the gorge…those narrow bridge-walks bring out my inner vertigo!!)…Bucolic environment!  Need to add that your daughter was obviously ecstatic about the experience…and she is so vibrant and lovely!  Thank you for sharing this all with us!

    1. Thank you Donna!! I too am afraid of heights but it was not too bad! And yes, Madison is a happy little girl, I am blessed. Thank you so much!!

  11. I grew up in NY but never had the opportunity to visit that part of the state. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures giving me the chance to see what I missed.

    1. Adirondacks and Lake Placid has year round things to do. It’s home of the Olympics 2X so skiing is popular in the winter and you can go ice skating on the lake. The spring, summer and fall are also beautiful and lots to see.

  12. HI Gina,
      I grew up in Lake Placid and now live on Long Island.  If you go back to visit and want some recommendations on things to do/see and places to eat let me know and I will be happy to share some local secrets with you!

  13. Glad to see you enjoy the Thousand Islands! I grew up about 40 miles north of Alex Bay, and I always enjoy the beauty when I make my annual trip home to see my family & friends. Boldt Castle has fascinated me for as long as I can remember, and Singer (aka Jorstadt) Castle a little north of Alex Bay is also a beautiful place to visit.

    I’m also happy to see that Tin Pan Galley is still around. I used to go there for dinner before taking in a show just up the street at Lake Ontario Playhouse in Sacketts Harbor.

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    Phi @ the sweetphi blog

    Gina!!! I absolutely LOVE this recap!! I kept showing my phone to my husband and showing him! I had no idea this even existed lol- I went to grad school in Ithaca so I’d frequently fly in and out of Syracuse. This seems like the PERFECT trip for a nice long weekend with kids, definitely putting it too of the list for when Ben is old enough to travel!

    1. Yes!!! So close to where you went to college. I would put this trip and Finger Lakes on your to-do list when you return!

  15. Thank you for sharing your trip as well as your wonderful recipes!  I’m packing my bag…can’t wait to see the sights after your great review!

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    Caitlyn Strohmeyer

    I LOVE the Thousand Islands! My family spent a weekend camping near Alexandria Bay. It’s so gorgeous and i can’t want to go back. Great idea about going in the winter!! I may do that as well! Thank for the walk down memory lane! 🙂

  17. My husband was stationed at Fort Drum for 7 years and we loved Old McDonald’s Farm and Boldt Castle. I, in fact, have a Boldt Castle keychain attached to my car keys! 🙂 Loved your pictures – you definitely did the area justice!

  18. Whoa, those places are gorgeous! I would have to be pulled away kicking and screaming. I will have to add these two places to ny travel list. Those waterfalls and food alone would be well worth the 14 hour drive (I’m a scardy cat when it comes to flying).