Hey loves & welcome to my first Explore New York post! If you’ve been following me for awhile, you might know that one of my biggest regrets from our time in Hawaii was not exploring the island as much as we could have. Now that we’ve finally settled into life at Fort Drum, I definitely wanted to make exploring the area a priority. And, since Our Darling Adventure is all about discovering new places, I thought I’d take you all along on our visit to Boldt Castle!
A few months ago, our family had the chance to explore Alexandria Bay, NY during their annual Riverfest festival. Riverfest is an MWR-hosted town wide celebration exclusive to military members and their families.
A big part of Riverfest is exploring the St Lawrence and our tickets included a boat tour of the Thousand Islands and a visit to Boldt Castle. Both of those have been on my bucket list since we found out we were moving to Fort Drum so I was really excited to finally experience them.
We took the one-hour tour available through Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours (there’s also a 2-hour tour as well as a shuttle to Boldt Castle available) and it was the perfect amount of sightseeing with a little one in tow.
The tour is narrated by the ship’s captain and ours kept things very funny and interactive.
The one-hour boat ride highlights the American side of the St Lawrence channel including the Thousand Islands version of Millionaire’s Row, the summer homes of the rich and fabulous during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Casa Blanca on Cherry Island was one of my favorites. The home was built by Louis Marx an American tobacco and sugar producer and can accommodate 35 house guests. The electric fountain in the front lawn was even exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair.
Nobby Island, now a private residence lauded for its historical integrity, was built in 1889.
At the end of the Thousand Island tour, we arrived at Boldt Castle. No passports are needed to visit the castle from the US side and both American and Canadian tour boats stop there.
Construction on Boldt Castle started in 1900 by George Boldt of New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel for his beloved wife, Louise. No expense was spared to create the six story 120-room Rhineland style castle.
Unfortunately, Louise Boldt died suddenly in 1904 and a heartbroken George stopped all construction on the island. The Boldt family never lived in their fairytale castle and all the furnishings and fixtures were added by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.
Since 1977, several million have been spent restoring and refurbishing Boldt castle for future generations to enjoy.
What to Know
- Uncle Sam’s One-Hour Boat tour is $18 for adults and $9 for children ages 5 to 12.
- Admission to Boldt Castle is $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for children.
- If you’re exploring with an infant like we were, I definitely recommend a carrier instead of a stroller.
- Looking for a place to eat? I recommend one of the many restaurants in Alexandria Bay. We’ve eaten at Coleman’s Dock of the Bay and, while the service was less than amazing, the food and the view are well worth the visit.