This region along the St. Lawrence River from the eastern shores of Lake Ontario to the northern extreme of New York State is dotted with well over 1000 islands along this international waterway. Thus, it’s name,

The Thousand Island Region, an international tourism destination like no other. It’s truly one of nature’s amazing wonders that must be experienced.
US cities in the region include Cape Vincent, Clayton, Alexandria Bay and Ogdensburg. Many of the islands and the northern shores are in Ontario, Canada. Canadian cities along the neighboring shores include Kingston, Gananoque, Brookville and Prescott.

Each of these places has something unique and interesting about them and their history. For instance, Alexandria Bay has Boldt Castle, a 100 plus year old, 120 room mansion built on an island. Ogdensgurg has Fort LaPresentation dating back to 1749. All of them have one common ingredient. They’re all on a large and incredibly beautiful body of water that’s perfect for the woody boater. In fact, there may be more wood boats per mile of shoreline than anywhere else in the country.

Activities: Well, as woody boaters, this area beckons our call, especially on the first week on August. It draws heavily on our inner souls to take us to Clayton, New York.

This will be the place for woody boaters to congregate for the 44th Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction at The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton New York on August 1 – 3, 2008. This is the oldest antique boat show in the country and a must-see for the woody boater.

The theme for the show this year will feature “Boats from the Fabulous 50’s” which will include planked and plywood boats as well as another newcomer of the period, fiberglass boats. The evolution of the modern boat which began in this decade, is worthy of attention and will be very interesting.

The show features an exciting auction each year where you can bid on the woody boat of your dreams. The auction will have ready to launch boats or may have the project boat that you’ve been looking for. It’s conducted by Antique Boat America and is attended by some 8,000 potential buyers.

There’s plenty to see and do in the Thousand Islands Region to extend your stay before and/or after the show. So check out all the web sites and pack your trip with as many as you feel like.

Attractions: This falls very closely into the Activities category but here’s one that would definitely add a new level of adventure to your experience. See The Thousand Islands from a hot-air balloon. Champagne Balloon Adventures in Alexandria Bay can give you the thrill of seeing the islands from a different prospective than in your woody boat. The peaceful, quiet ride in the wicker basket with the competent pilot/tour guide will be fun from the moment you take off to a gentle landing followed with traditional champagne and hors d’oeuv
res reception.


Accommodations: To get a place close to the Antique Boat Museum the week of the show you either need to be very lucky or start looking early. The closest place would be very enviable, a place with a name we can relate to very well. It’s The Wooden Boat Inn just a block from the museum in the heart of Clayton. Sorry, they’re booked up for show week this year but may have space available before or after. Give them a shout; they’re very nice folks.

Other very desirable accommodations are available in and around Clayton and in near-by communities. There are Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Bed & Breakfasts, Cabins, Vacation Homes & Condos as well as Camping & RV sites.

The Wellesley Hotel in the center of Thousand Island Park is a short drive from Clayton. The Wellesley offers charming, modest lodging in freshly renovated rooms with modern comforts. The hotel, over 100 years old, offers charm of the past with present day comforts.

The Hart House Inn Bed and Breakfast, also on Wellesley Island offers its guests private, peaceful, luxurious accommodations with fabulous views of the St. Lawrence River.

Dining: It should be no surprise that a grand area such as Thousand Islands would also offer a grand selection of places to dine. From fast food to fine dining, the area has a selection of facilities to fit your appetite and style.

For fine dining, The Restaurant at The Wellesley Hotel is my first choice for world class cuisine.

When I’m visiting new places, it’s fun to try the local favorites. Sometimes they’re difficult to find. This place may just have that appeal. It’s PJ’s Riverrat Café at Fisher’s Landing. They offer a full and interesting menu from appetizers to deserts with plenty of selections in between to satisfy your hunger in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

Boating: The Thousand Islands Region of the St. Lawrence River is a woody boater paradise. You will be in good company in these waters. If you’re there for the show, you may see more wood boats in boat houses and on the water, than will be at the show. Wood boats are very popular with local residents.

There are a wide selection of marinas, boat ramps, and facilities at Thousand Islands to accommodate your boating needs, so bring that boat along and plan to explore the islands and sites from the water. Pier 225 Marina, 2 blocks from the Antique Boat Museum, is a private marina but has transient docking with very nice facilities for their guests. Call or e-mail them for reservations.

The Thousand Islands Region is a destination that’s worthy of a woody boater like you. The Antique Boat Show and Auction is very good reason to make this your destination this August. Start planning now, using the many web sites provided.

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Just do it, you won’t regret it.

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3 Responses to “Woody Boater – Destination of the Month”
  1. woody boater

    WOW Al. This a great story. Thanks. What a great place for Classic Woody Boats. I have already got a room at the Welsley Hotel in TI park. Now all I need is a home for my boat. It’s kinda a necessity there…

  2. Al Benton

    Click on the “Boating” link and start calling or sending. This link is for marinas near Clayton. Look on the main Thousand Island site, pick other near-by towns on the side bar, then look for marinas.
    The Antique Boat Marina would take real good care of it for you, they may even let you borrow it back occasionally. HeeHee.

  3. Sea Skiffer

    Al – i’m sold…the tourist board there should hire you! Have read a lot about this show, I will hopefully make it…went to school in the Finger Lakes Region, and worked some summers in Kingston area, love upstate NY. Nice job…