Top 20 Things To Do in Thousand Islands, NY (The Ultimate List!)

March 10, 2021

Are you looking for the top things to do in Thousand Islands, NY? If so – this list will give you plenty of inspiration!

Thousand Islands NY is one of the top day trip and vacation destinations in NY – it’s a great destination and there are plenty of things to do in Thousand Islands too, so it’s no surprise people love visiting there!

So, if you’re planning a trip to Thousand Islands NY soon, and looking for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY – then look no further! This list is packed full of my 15 top things to do in Thousand Islands, NY – perfect for filling a weekend with activities!

Things to do in Thousand Islands, NY…

top things to do in thousand islands area

Go fishing!

Fishing is first on my list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY! Thousand Islands, NY is one of the best places to visit for fishing. Though you can head out on the water using your own boat, you can charter a fishing boat with an experienced guide.

Sure, this does cost slightly more than going it alone, but you’re basically guaranteed to catch some fabulous fish. The St. Lawrence River is said to be home to salmon, trout, walleye, and bass, so get angling! A great choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, especially if you love spending time outdoors.

Read more about New York State: Top 15 things to do in Rhinebeck, NY

top things to do in Thousand Islands NY

Check out a castle!

There are a couple of great castles in Thousand Islands, NY, so that’s next on my list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY. The best one around is Boldt Castle, so I’d recommend adding that specific castle to your personal list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.

Boldt Castle is only accessible by water (it’s located on Heart Island), so you’ll need to book a boat to get you over there. Once you’ve arrived, we recommend taking a few moments to appreciate the incredible architecture of the place.

In case you were interested, this castle was built by George Boldt as a gift for his lovely wife. Unfortunately, she passed away from congestive heart failure rather suddenly before she could see it finished. As all work stopped after she died unexpectedly, it took 70 more years for this castle to be completed. It’s an intriguing story, that’s for sure! And certainly one of the most interesting things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.

Read more about upstate New York: The best castles to visit in New York State

Boldt Castle top things to do in Thousand Islands NY

Thousand Islands Ontario’s Aquatarium 

Located just a short distance from Alexandria Bay is 1000 Islands Ontario’s Aquatarium, and it’s the next idea on my list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY. This is a great place to bring kids, as it aims to be educational AND fun. If you’re a parent, you’ll know just how important this elusive combination is.

Covering the history of the area and displaying a bunch of wildlife unique to Thousand Islands NY, it’s a fantastic thing to do in Thousand Islands NY that absolutely shouldn’t be missed. For family days out, this is a great choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.

the best things to do in Thousand Islands NY

Head to a winery 

The next idea on our list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, is visit a winery. There are a bunch of wineries and distilleries dotted around Thousand Islands, NY, so if you’re even remotely interested in alcohol, we recommend checking them out! One of the best ones in the area is the Thousand Islands Winery.

These guys really know their stuff when it comes to wine, and their tasting room is one of the main draws at this attraction. If you fancy it, you can even stick around for some live music! Events run throughout the year, so you’re likely to catch some great performances. If you’re looking for a more chilled out choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, this is a great option.

Winery top things to do in Thousand Islands NY

Clayton Opera House

If you can’t get enough of the arts, add a trip to the Clayton Opera House to your list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY. The Clayton Opera House is a Nationally Registered Historic Place, so we feel it’s an attraction on its own!

However, if you’ve come to the area to be inspired, be sure to check out the Opera House’s events list. They tend to stage various cultural and educational events throughout the year, so just book in to see something that takes your fancy! This is such a great idea for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.


Pirate Days in Alex Bay

If you fancy yourself a swash-buckling pirate like Jack Sparrow, why not have fun at Pirate Days in Alex Bay? it’s a great choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY for families. Though it may sound a bit bizarre, these “pirate days” are held on the second and third week of August every year in Alexandria Bay.

During these weeks, the entire bay is transformed into a pirate paradise, with parades, live performances, and much more taking shape. Sure – it’s quirky, but this celebration in Thousand Islands, NY is super fun. 


Sackets Harbor Battlefield

Sackets Harbor is a lovely area in Thousand Islands, NY, and it’s one of the best things to do in Thousand Islands, NY. This town is quite sleepy, but boy is it beautiful!

Featuring old-fashioned streets, restaurants, parks, and unique little shops, spending the day here is sure to be a lovely escape for busy city dwellers. This is a lovely choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, especially if you fancy a chilled day out and a nice walk.


Old Macdonald’s Farm Village

If you’re travelling with kids, then you’ll want to add Old Macdonald’s Farm Village to your list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY. Believe it or not, this quaint little farm is home to over 1,000 animals! Yep, 1000! However, this place offers more than just viewing sessions.

You can ride ponies, hit the gift shop, play mini-golf, and even tour the modern dairy to see how milk is produced! It’s honestly a great day out for families, so be sure to give it a try. Just be aware that it’s only open between the months of May and October, but it’s still a great choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.

top things to do in Thousand Islands NY

Read more about upstate New York: 10 incredible upstate New York resorts for a luxurious weekend away


Uncle Sam Boat Tours

One of the top things to do in Thousand Islands, NY has got to be a great boat tour. Some of the most popular boat tours in Thousand Islands are run by Uncle Sam Boat Tours. Both reliable and well-run, these tours will get you around the area in style.

If you’re looking to find out more about Thousand Islands, then we recommend booking onto one of the two-hour cruises with a seasoned tour guide. Trust us, you’ll get all the information you could ever want on one of these! If you want a more romantic experience, why not try out a private charter or dinner cruise? This is definitely one of the best things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.

boat tour top things to do in Thousand Islands NY

Nicandri Nature Center

The first thing on our list of the top 15 things to do in Thousand Islands, NY is the Nicandri Nature Center. If you love turtles, then you absolutely must pay this place a visit!

Though this nature center isn’t huge, it has some great fish and turtle exhibits and regularly scheduled programs for guests. What we love about the Nicandri Nature Center is the fact that it caters for all ages – seriously, adults and kids alike rave about this place! If you’re looking for great days out, then this is a perfect choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.

things to do in Thousand Islands NY

Glen House Resort

If you’re on the look out for a spa day in Thousand Islands, then this need to be next on your list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY! Glen House Resort is one of the most beautiful and scenic resorts and spas in the area, and it’s a perfect place to unwind!

Read more about New York State: 19 fun things to do in Sleepy Hollow, NY


Thousand Islands Bridge

Next on my list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, it’s the Thousand Islands bridge! OK, so there’s not really anything to do other than drive / cycle over it – but the views are amazing! If you’re a bit of a bridge geek like me, you definitely want to drive over it at some point!

things to do in Thousand Islands, NY

Rock Island Lighthouse State Park

This lovely spot in Thousand Islands is a hidden gem, and a lovely choice for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY. Not only does it feature a stunning lighthouse, but the Rock Island Lighthouse State Park is a great place to walk through if you’re looking to clear your head.

If you have the chance, be sure to pop into the little gift shop too. You’re sure to pick up a unique souvenir (or three!). Something to remember your time in Thousand Islands, NY!


Frederic Remington Art Museum

You may not have heard of Frederic Remington, but you certainly won’t forget his name after paying a visit to the Frederic Remington Art Museum! This wonderful museum is one of the top things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, and displays Frederic Remington’s paintings, sculptures, and personal effects. This is a great choice of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY for art lovers!

If you don’t know who he is, Frederic Remington was one of the most famous artists in the Old West! So, this museum provides as much of a lesson in history as a lesson in art! Can you say score?

You’ll definitely want to add this place to your list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY.

Read more nearby travel inspiration: 22 things to do in St Catharines, Ontario


H. Lee White Maritime Museum

Located in Oswego, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum is one of the best things to do in Thousand Islands, NY. The museum itself has plenty of great exhibits that teach visitors about the area’s important maritime history.

However, if you fancy taking your experience to the next level, be sure to head on one of the museum’s lighthouse tours to the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse. Running between June and September each year, this activity is a must-do! This is an interest option for things to do in Thousand Islands, NY if you fancy learning something new.


NYS Salmon River Fish Hatchery

If you’ve ever wanted to know how fish are raised, then head down to Thousand Islands’ Salmon River Fish Hatchery! Each year, the hatchery stocks over 1.4 million salmon fingerlings, and this place is crucially important for the multi-million-dollar Lake Ontario salmon fishery. Sure, this activity on our list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY might be a little different… but it’s certainly interesting!

You may not have the opportunity to see anything like this again (depending on where you live, of course), so it’s well worth a visit! 


Check out the Thousand Islands “Millionaire’s Row”

Next on our list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, it’s the Millionaire’s Row! It’s a bit cheeky, but one of the top things to do in Thousand Islands, NY is to gawk at the area’s summer homes.

The houses on Thousand Islands’ “Millionaire’s Row” are genuinely insane, and you’re sure to get some great views along the way too. Just try not to get too jealous…


Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands

If you fancy the night off in a casino – you’re in luck because the Thousand Islands area has one! The Shorelines Casino in Thousand Islands is next on my list of things to do in Thousand Island, NY. Let’s hope you’re feeling lucky!

things to do in Thousand Island, NY

Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course or Thousand Island Country Club

Depending on which side of the border you’re visiting – you can play golf in two different locations! Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course is next up on my list of things to do in Thousand Islands, if you’re on the Canadian side of the border. Thousand Island Country Club is your option on the USA side of the border!

If golf is your thing, then spending the day exploring the golf course at Smuggler’s Glen is a must do! You’re going to love the course, and the views on offer too!

Read more: 50+ things to do in Niagara Falls


So hopefully this list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY has given you loads of ideas and inspiration!

There are loads of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY, and hopefully this list has given you plenty of ideas for activities to add to your list of things to do in Thousand Islands, NY!

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