Top Waterfront Hotel Near 1000 Islands, New York

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Discover a serene escape at this waterfront hotel near the 1000 Islands in Clayton, New York. Nestled along the St. Lawrence River, it offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and relaxation. 

Here, you’ll enjoy your cozy room with balcony views, savor culinary delights, and immerse yourself in the captivating surroundings on the water. This luxury hotel in Clayton makes an ideal haven that ensures you have a memorable visit to Upstate New York.

Below, read a detailed review of my experience exploring the hotel and a handpicked selection of the best Clayton area attractions. Then, start packing; you’re gonna love this place!

lobby of 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel
You’ll immediately feel welcome in the well-appointed lobby of 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about the best hotel near 1000 islands and fun things to do in Clayton New York and beyond, including:

Where is Clayton NY?

The picturesque village of Clayton is located in the heart of the magnificent Thousand Islands region. When you visit, you’ll understand why it was voted the #1 Best Small Town Cultural Scene in the Nation by USA Today’s 10 Best.

Situated along the northern banks of the St. Lawrence River, Clayton is a true gem. It’s one of the most unique waterfront destinations you’ll find nestled within the natural beauty of the northern edge of upstate New York.

Getting to Clayton New York

Map location of Clayton NY
Clayton, NY is poised upon the banks of the St. Lawrence River. (Image Source: Google Maps)

Clayton makes an excellent road trip destination, especially from points in Canada and the Northeastern US. It’s just a few hours by car from:

  • Syracuse, NY – 1.5 hrs.
  • Ottawa, Ontario – 1.5 hrs.
  • Montreal, Quebec – 2.5 hrs.
  • Toronto, Ontario – 3 hrs.
  • Albany, NY – 3.5 hrs.
  • Buffalo, NY – 4 hrs.
  • Boston, MA – 6 hrs.
  • New York City – 6.5 hrs.
  • Philadelphia, PA – 6.5 hrs.

If you’re flying into Clayton, the closest airport is Watertown International Airport (ART).

Whether you’re arriving by car or plane, you’ll find Clayton to be a welcoming destination perfect for a tranquil, picturesque escape.

What to Expect When Visiting Clayton NY

Once you enter Clayton, you’ll find a quaint and inviting downtown area with a range of boutique shops, art galleries, and charming cafes. The village’s streets are lined with historic buildings, giving it a timeless and cozy atmosphere.

The St. Lawrence River is the heart of Clayton. It offers enchanting views of the ever-changing waters, lush islands, and riverfront promenades. The river serves as the focal point of this village, providing a serene backdrop for dining, relaxation, and exploration.

Expect to have a wonderful experience when you visit Clayton, and you won’t be disappointed.

Where to Stay in Clayton, New York

Aerial view of 1000 Island Hotel
An aerial view of 1000 Island Harbor Hotel showcases this New York hotel’s beautiful waterfront location.
(Photo Source: Submitted)

You can choose from a range of accommodations, from bed and breakfasts in Clayton NY to campground sites to luxury accomodations. But, for the ideal experience, opt for the top hotel near 1000 Islands: the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.  You can’t go wrong, here.

I spent two nights at this resort-style hotel in the early fall, and it was exceptional. I’m happy to recommend the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel based on its ideal location on the St. Lawrence River, outstanding staff, extensive amenities, and more. I’ll even share some tips for getting a high-value waterfront room at the best rate, below.

So, let’s take a closer look at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, New York. Then you can decide if it’s right for you.

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel Review

Hotel near 1000 Islands patio
Situated at the river’s edge, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel offers beautiful waterfront vistas.

This waterside retreat stands as a testament to timeless elegance and a deep appreciation for the scenic beauty of the 1000 Islands region. Built in 2014, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is a graceful haven along the river’s edge, where you can relish in the captivating views, serene ambiance, and extraordinary service.

This AAA four diamond property provides you with the perfect backdrop for your escape into the natural beauty, offering unmatched hospitality in the 1000 Islands region.

It’s truly the best hotel near 1000 Islands!

Here’s why.

Scenic Location: Embracing the St. Lawrence River’s Beauty

The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, nestled along the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Clayton, NY, is a destination where the breathtaking natural beauty of the Thousand Islands region takes center stage.

The hotel’s location is an integral part of the guest experience, offering a serene and picturesque retreat that immerses you in the wonder of the river.

With unparalleled access to the St. Lawrence River and free private parking, you can embark on a journey of discovery. From the moment you arrive, the sight of the river’s shimmering waters and lush, tree-covered islands sets a captivating tone for your stay. 

The river, with its crystal-clear depths, is a playground for boating, fishing, and water activities. You’ll want to explore this enchanting waterway through boat tours and excursions.

The Clayton Riverwalk and luxury boats
The Clayton Riverwalk is steps from the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel, a perfect place to take a peaceful morning or after-dinner stroll.

The hotel’s riverfront location presents a wealth of activities and experiences. During my visit to the property, I took leisurely strolls along the riverfront promenade, enjoyed the gentle breezes, and watched boats gracefully pass by. 

The scenic beauty of the St. Lawrence River and its countless islands provides a constant source of wonder and photo opportunities. The ever-changing colors of the water, the vibrant sunsets, and the verdant landscape all combine to create a visual spectacle that is simply awe-inspiring. 

This hotel near 1000 islands ensures that whether you’re relaxing on your room’s private balcony or dining at The Seaway Grille, you have an opportunity to capture these stunning moments and create lasting memories. Have your camera ready!

In sum, the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel’s scenic location on the St. Lawrence River is more than just a backdrop; it’s an essential part of your guest experience. The chance to explore the river’s beauty, engage in a range of activities on the riverfront, and capture breathtaking scenery through photographs creates a truly immersive and unforgettable stay in the heart of the Thousand Islands.

To further plan your activities when you visit Clayton, later in this article, you’ll find a list of fun things to do in the local region that will enhance your stay.

Hotel Features, Location, and Amenities

Fitness Room at 1000 Island Harbor Hotel
The well-equipped fitness centre overlooks the water.
Indoor pool at 1000 Island Harbor Hotel
Go for a dip in the heated indoor pool year-round.
Work space at 1000 Island Harbor Hotel
Take advantage of the on-site work space.

The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is truly set apart from other places to stay in Clayton New York for several reasons.

The hotel’s standout feature is undoubtedly its setting, right on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. As you step onto the property upon its idyllic riverfront location, you’re immediately greeted by breathtaking water views and the tranquil vibes of the river. 

Luxury water vessels and sleek yachts are moored just steps away. This proximity to the river ensures that each day of your stay is filled with stunning vistas, marina views, and opportunities to relax by the water’s edge. In fact, the Clayton River Walk is just steps from the hotel.

But the property itself it amazing, too.

You can choose from 105 spacious deluxe guestrooms and suites. Each is designed to provide you with a cozy retreat offering a blend of modern comfort and classic charm.

Comfortable signature beds, tasteful furnishings, and balconies overlooking the river or village make an ideal place for you to unwind after a day of exploration.

An on-site restaurant, The Seaway Grille, adds culinary excellence to your stay. With its delectable menu inspired by local flavors and regional specialties, dining here is an experience in itself. 

Nautical Seaway Grille signage
The Seaway Grille is a popular place for hotel guests and other visitors.

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can savor mouthwatering dishes while enjoying river views from indoors or on the expansive riverside patio, complete with fire pits.

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is well-equipped for hosting meetings, conferences, weddings, and special events, as well. With modern amenities and sizeable event spaces, it’s an ideal venue for gatherings, both personal and professional. In fact, the venue hosts many stunning weddings ceremonies right on the picturesque riverfront.

Staying active during your vacation is a breeze with the hotel’s fitness center and indoor pool. Both ensure you can maintain your wellness routine and enjoy year-round swimming and relaxation. Bring your suit!

If you have to check in with work or just want to use the computer, you’ll find a well-equipped office space with free WiFi you can use just off the hotel lobby.

The hotel’s location provides easy access to numerous attractions, including boat tours of the Thousand Islands, historic sites, charming boutiques, and outdoor adventures, like fishing and hiking.

Next, let’s take a closer look at the rooms at this beautiful hotel near 1000 islands.

King Sofa River View Balcony Room: A Retreat with a View

King Sofa River View Balcony room
This spacious King Sofa River View Balcony room provides comfortable luxury and plenty of extra amenities.
1000 Islands KingSofaRiverView Balcony | Enjoy Travel Life
Relax on your private balcony overlooking the water.
(Photo Source: Submitted)
View of the water from the balcony
Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River from your balcony.

During my stay at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, I had the privilege of enjoying upscale accommodations in my King Sofa River View Balcony room.

Before you make reservations at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, here’s an insider tip I learned from the hotel’s front desk staff.

All of the rooms ending in an even number are on the riverfront side of the hotel. Rooms ending with an odd number overlook the quaint village of Clayton. The waterfront rooms are premium accommodations and book at a higher rate. However, if you stay in a room that ends in “01” on any floor, you’ll have a room that bills at the lower rate, but has a waterfront view.

I stayed in room 401 and I was delighted. Here’s what I found to be some of the best features you can enjoy when you visit.

Spectacular River Views

Your experience in the King Sofa River View Balcony room at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel will be defined not only by the breathtaking views but also by:

  • Remarkable room amenities
  • Unwavering cleanliness
  • A comforting ambiance

On entering the room, the first thing that will catch your eye is the magnificent panoramic view of the St. Lawrence River.

From your private balcony, you’ll be treated to unobstructed vistas of the river’s shimmering waters. The scene is dotted with passing boats, an assortment of beautiful seabirds, and framed by the lush greenery of the Thousand Islands. You’ll even be able to see Canada just across the river!

Whether you choose to sip your morning coffee or unwind with a glass of wine in the evening, the balcony will be your front-row seat to the region’s natural beauty. In the morning, you’ll be privy to the glowing sunrise to the right, and vibrant sunsets to left, come nightfall.

So, I it goes without saying that I highly recommend booking a room with a view to the river.

Spacious and Elegant Design

Signature throw pillows on comfy bed
Extra comforts add to the room’s charm.
Pristine bathroom with walk-in shower
The bathroom is pristine and offers spacious walk-in shower.
Coffee service in hotel hallway
Morning coffee coffee service, conveniently located on each floor.

Like all of the Harbor Hotels’ properties, the room at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel exuded a sense of spaciousness and elegance.

The king-size bed, adorned with premium linens and branded throw pillows, promises you nights of restful sleep. You’ll wake up rejuvenated and ready for a new day of adventure!

A plush sofa, perfectly positioned across from expansive sliding glass doors, provides a comfortable space for you to read, take in the views, or simply relax. 

The tasteful decor, task lighting, and warm color palette creates a welcoming ambiance that will make you feel right at home.

Modern Amenities, Entertainment, and Connectivity

In addition to the ultimate comfort, the room is equipped with modern amenities to enhance your stay.

A flat-screen TV with cable channels allows you to catch up on your favorite shows. Likewise, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi will keep you connected to the world outside this peaceful retreat.

You can look to the mini-fridge, cleverly hidden in the cabinetry, to conveniently store your refreshments and snacks.

A Clean and Inviting Space

Cleanliness is paramount during any hotel stay.

You can expect your room at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel to be impeccably maintained. Underfoot is a lovely, easy-to-clean wood finish.

Likewise, the bedding and pillows are immaculate and crisp.

The en-suite bathroom is pristine, and features a spacious walk-in shower. There, you can indulge in a selection of high-quality toiletries, plush towels, and comfortable luxury robes to pamper yourself during your stay.

You’ll find everything throughout the space is clean and designed with cleanliness in mind, right down to the disposable sleeve on the TV’s remote control.

An Array of Thoughtful Touches

As you get comfortable, you’ll notice your room is filled with a range of thoughtful details.

This includes the tasteful artwork adorning the walls, a vanity desk with magnifying mirror outside the private bathroom, and the comfortable seating on the balcony—perfect for soaking in the river’s tranquility.

As a special guest, I even was treated to chocolate covered strawberries and other welcome gifts. Every aspect of the room reflects the hotel’s commitment to your comfort and enjoyment.

1000 islands harbor hotel strawberries | Enjoy Travel Life
Thoughtful details are a testament to 1000 Island Harbor Hotel’s commitment to next-level service.

Personalized Service

The hotel’s commitment to providing personalized service will also shine through during your stay.

From the staff’s attentiveness to your needs, complete with turn-down service, to their warm, friendly demeanor, it will add a special touch to your experience. You’ll truly feel truly valued as a guest.

Excellent Coffee Service & Tea Bar Options

For me, few things are as important as my first cup of coffee to begin a day of exploration. While there are no coffee makers in your room, you’ll find several excellent coffee service option.

Beginning at 7 am, choose from a selection of freshly-brewed Starbucks coffee, tea, and hot chocolate conveniently located in the hallway of each floor. You can also head down to the lobby, which offers fresh coffee service, too. Early birds can order a steaming hot carafe of coffee from room service. That way, you’ll have a few good cups of coffee at the ready.

Which brings us to dining options at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.

Dining Experience at 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

Another must-have at the best hotels is excellent on-site dining.

You’ll find high-quality food, a variety of tasty choices on the menu, and outstanding service at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel’s restaurant. The Seaway Grille serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also features well-stocked indoor and outdoor bars.

The restaurant is open to hotel guests and the public, providing an enchanting ambiance and the perfect vantage point to the river for all who dine here. It’s worth a visit whenever you’re in the area, whether or not you stay at this hotel near 1000 islands.

Let me virtually walk you through my dining experiences to whet your appetite.

Dining at The Seaway Grille: A Culinary Voyage at 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

The menu at The Seaway Grille features a tantalizing array of dishes, each thoughtfully crafted to showcase the flavors of the region.

Whether you indulge in fresh seafood, local specialties, or a well-prepared steak, every dish speaks to the chef’s expertise. 

I especially appreciated the use of local and seasonal ingredients that added a touch of authenticity to the dining experience. The diverse menu ensures you’ll have a delightful selection, whether you’re a seafood aficionado or seeking vegetarian options.

My dining experience was nothing short of remarkable. It offered a perfect blend of delectable cuisine, exceptional service, and captivating surroundings.

Here’s what I mean.

Solo Al Fresco Dining

Complimentary bread baskey with spreads
Get started with a complimentary Bread Basket.
Appetizer bite with wine
Relish delicious appetizers and chilled wine.
Savory herbed chicken dish
Enjoy a savory Herbed Chicken entree.
Colorful charcuterie board
Indulge in a colorful Charcuterie Board with lots of tasty options.
Arugula salad with toasted pine nuts
One of several creative salad options, the Arugula salad with Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts offers vibrant flavors.

I dined solo at The Seaway Grille my first night at the hotel. It was a delightful culinary journey, featuring appetizers, a well-composed meal, and a glass of local Riesling from Alexandria Bay, NY.

To start, the complimentary Bread Basket was filled with a mix of fresh-baked breads and seasoned crackers, ideal for topping with the herbed butter spread and delicious olive tapenade.

Next, the Artisanal Charcuterie Board was a tantalizing assortment of chef-selected artisan cheeses and cured meats, accompanied by fresh fruit and crisp crackers. This appetizer was a perfect introduction to the region’s culinary delights. It offered a harmonious combination of savory and sweet, complemented by the textural contrast of the crackers.

Next, the Simply Arugula salad served as a refreshing interlude, with its vibrant mix of arugula greens, generous topping of toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan cheese. The lemon olive oil dressing added a zesty brightness to the salad.

The Herb Grilled Chicken was the main attraction of the evening. The chargrilled chicken breast, cooked to perfection, maintained its tenderness and juiciness. It was served atop a bed of asparagus and “everything” mashed potatoes, a comforting and savory foundation. The highlight of the dish was the artichoke mushroom and caper Madeira sauce. This elevated the chicken to a delightful crescendo of flavors! The sauce added a rich and slightly tangy character that complemented the herb-grilled chicken beautifully.

To accompany my meal, the glass of chilled Thousand Islands Riesling (Alex Bay, NY) was excellent. This local wine is marked by its fruity aroma, with hints of apricot and peach, followed by a touch of citrus. The Riesling’s refreshing and slightly sweet notes harmonized with my poultry dish. It truly enhanced my overall dining experience as I savored a taste of summer in a glass.

Dining outside with the serene riverfront as a backdrop added an extra layer of enchantment to the culinary experience. My first dinner at The Seaway Grille was a culinary delight, highlighting the flavors of the region and showcasing the chef’s skillful preparation.

Indoor Dinner with a Friend

Calamari appetizer
The tender Calamari appetizer is prepared just right.
Lobster Ravioli entree
Succulent Lobster Ravioli is a satisfying indulgence.
Chocolate covered cherry with whipped cream
A sweet finish: Chocolate-Covered Cherry with Whipped Cream and Chocolate Syrup.

My second-night dinner at The Seaway Grille, shared with my friend, was another culinary adventure. With a tantalizing selection of dishes and wine to complement the meal, I was happy to return—and was just as impressed as I was the night before.

After the complimentary bread basket, we began with the Fried Calamari Appetizer, a crispy and flavorful choice.

Served with breaded banana peppers, pepperoncini, and caper lemon aioli, it offered a delightful blend of textures and tastes. It’s easy to ruin a calamari dish by over-cooking the seafood, which can become rubbery. At The Seaway Grille, the tender morsels of calamari we devoured showcased the chef’s expertise!

My friend and I were tempted by so many delicious-sounding entrees on the menu, so we decided to split two between us.

What made the experience even better was that the restaurant thoughtfully separated the portions for us. This eliminated the need to share plates and ensured a comfortable dining experience. We were surprised by the generosity in each serving plate put before us!

Our first entree selection was the Farfalle Gorgonzola Chicken.

This dish featured farfalle pasta tossed in a rich gorgonzola cream sauce, along with tender sliced chicken breast, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers. The creamy and savory flavors of the sauce paired beautifully with the perfectly cooked chicken. It was a satisfying and indulgent pasta dish.

Next, we chose a luxurious option: Lobster Ravioli. The lobster and ricotta-stuffed raviolis were served in a saffron Prosecco cream sauce, accompanied by roasted red peppers and fresh spinach. The addition of lobster claw and knuckle meat added a touch of opulence to this delicious dish.

Both entrees were so delectable, we decided to take the remaining portions to go. This was truly a delicious food fest.

Wine Pairings

Because I enjoyed the Thousand Islands Riesling the prior evening, it again made a wonderful choice to accompany my meal, with its fruity aroma and versatility. 

My friend selected a glass of Stone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc from Italy. This wine offers delightful aromas of grapefruit and lemongrass, with additional flavors of melon and subtle oak. My dining mate noted the wine’s crisp finish perfectly complemented the seafood flavors in the Lobster Ravioli, and ordered another glass!

A selection of decadent desserts
Finish up with your meal by choosing from a range of decadent dessert options.

Among the tempting plates our server displayed to us as we concluded our meals were cheesecake, apple pie, chocolate lava cake, and more.

Though we declined dessert due to our satisfying meal, the dessert options would offer a sweet finishing touch to any diner’s experience.

Instead, they brought us chocolate covered cherries anyway, served with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. That was just the simple, sweet finish we needed!

Breakfast at The Seaway Grille

Breakfast with A Friend

Apple cheesecake stuffed French toast
Apple Cheesecake Stuffed French toast.
Classic omelette with sides
Classic Omelette with Home Fries and English Muffin.
Silver breakfast tray room service
Feel like lingering? Order breakfast in bed!

My friend and I had a fun-filled day ahead of us, and as they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Our breakfast experience at The Seaway Grille on the first morning was equally delightful, offering a sumptuous breakfast to kickstart our adventures.

I began with a fresh and invigorating cup of Starbucks coffee, perfectly complemented by a glass of refreshing orange juice. 

For my breakfast entree, I opted for the Apple Stuffed French Toast, which featured Texas-cut French toast filled with a luscious apple cheesecake filling. Served with a generous topping of baked apples and maple syrup, it was a sweet and indulgent delight. This dish perfectly combined the richness of cheesecake with the spicey burst of fall apples.

My friend chose from a selection of high-quality teas and opted for the 1000 Island Omelet. This classic omelet was served with crispy home fries and an English muffin. 

Suffice it to say we both had a hearty and savory start to our day. Prepared with care, breakfast gave us a delightful start to our day in the heart of the 1000 Islands.

Overall Dining Ambiance at The Seaway Grille

Well-stocked outdoor bar with a view to the water
Take a seat at the fully-stocked outdoor bar or indoor bar.
Adirondack chairs around a roaring fire pit.
Unwind around the inviting fire-pits by the river.
1000 islands harbor hotel jackie gately | Enjoy Travel Life
I enjoyed relaxing on the seasonally-decorated riverfront patio before heading to my next destination.

Besides the scrumptious food, a number of things stood out to me about my dining experience at The Seaway Grille.

For one, the service excellence at The Seaway Grille was a standout feature. The staff exhibited a warm and attentive approach, making you feel genuinely welcome. They were well-versed in the menu and readily offered recommendations and wine pairings to enhance your dining experience.

It was clear that the restaurant’s commitment to guest satisfaction is paramount, as the service was impeccable from the moment of seating to the final bite of dessert.

Dining at The Seaway Grille offered more than just a high-touch culinary experience; it provided an ambiance and views that were both inviting and breathtaking.

The restaurant’s tasteful decor and large windows allowed natural light to flood the space during the day, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. In the evening, the soft lighting and riverside location made for a romantic and intimate setting. After dinner, you’ll want to relax by the fire pit, too!

As I enjoyed my meals, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River. The restaurant’s nearness to the riverbank ensured every table had a front-row seat to the serene beauty of the Thousand Islands.

As boats passed along the river’s gentle flow, it set the scene for a truly memorable dining experience.

Things to Do in the Clayton Area: Exploring the Heart of the 1000 Islands

When you stay at the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel, you’ll treasure the resort-style hospitality. But you’ll wnat to explore the town and 1000 Island region, too.

Let’s start off with what to see and do in Clayton.

The Clayton area is a treasure trove of attractions and activities, catering to a diverse range of interests. It’s a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and families alike.

Here are my recommendations for making the most of your stay in this captivating village.

1. Visit Boldt Castle

1000 Islands boldt castle | Enjoy Travel Life
Visit the magnificent Boldt Castle on Heart Island.

A visit to Boldt Castle is a must for history enthusiasts and fairy-tale believers. It’s an architectural work of art, inside and out!

Located on Heart Island, this grand castle is a testament to the Gilded Age and offers a glimpse into a bygone era. You’ll enjoy exploring the majestic architecture, stunning gardens, and learning about the captivating love story behind the castle’s creation.

Hop on a boat and get yourself to the Boldt Castle for an enchanting experience. To make it more romantic, pack a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine. There’s no shortage of inviting areas for repose.

2. 1000 Islands Seaway Wine Trail

If you have a penchant for wine and local produce, the 1000 Islands Seaway Wine Trail offers you a delightful journey. It’s easy to plan a visit to the vineyards and wineries along the trail, where you can sample the region’s best wines.

It’s a great way to take in the serene countryside, too!

3. St. Lawrence River Boat Tours

Two Nations Tour boat
Take the “Two Nations Tour” boat throughout the St. Lawrence River, no passport required.

The 1000 Islands are best explored by water. So, embark on one of many boat tours that will take you through the myriad islands. Each reveals unique features and hidden gems on the St. Lawrence.

Whether you opt for a historic tour, sunset cruise, or a high-speed adventure, you’ll be treated to breathtaking scenery.

I highly recommend the “Two Nation Tour” by Uncle Sam Boat Tours. Our excursion through the Thousand Islands included fascinating island tales and insights, crossed over the national border, and stopped at Boldt Castle before returning to port. Better yet, no passport required!

4. Fishing and Watersports

The St. Lawrence River provides endless opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, cast a line and try to catch bass, pike, or perch.

Alternatively, you can enjoy the thrill of water sports on the river’s pristine waters.

5. Clayton’s Downtown

Entrance gate to Clayton Riverwalk
You’ll find the main entrance to the Clayton Riverwalk downtown.
Art Gallery in downtown Clayton, NY
Downtown Clayton is home to a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries worth exploring.

Stroll through the charming streets of downtown Clayton. Here, you’ll find an array of boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Look for the Clayton Opera House and the start of the Clayton Riverwalk, too.

You’ll find all kinds of unique finds as you stroll along this quaint area.

6. Thousand Islands Bridge

Take a drive across the Thousand Islands Bridge, which offers unparalleled views of the river and islands.

It’s a short yet scenic trip that provides great photo opportunities. You’ll cross the border into Canada if you want to explore destinations in southeastern Ontario, such as Brockville or Kingston. Of course, you’ll need to bring your passport.

7. Antique Boat Museum

Antique boats
Behold, the timeless beauty of vintage water vessels at the Antique Boat Museum.

As you explore downtown, you’ll discover the Antique Boat Museum, a must-visit for a unique perspective on the area’s rich maritime history. Peruse their diverse selection of beautifully-crafted antique sea vessels on display, indoors and out.

You can also take a boat tour aboard the Miss Thousand Islands III, a sleek 30′ triple cockpit Hacker Craft. I recommend the Ride the River Tour provided by the museum. This a 45-minute, small-group boat ride navigates around the islands and lighthouse in a vintage boat.

It’s a lesser known and one-of-a-kind experience!

Attractions Within a 2 Hour Drive of Clayton

When you stay at 1000 Island Harbor Hotel, you will not only be at a hotel near 1000 islands, but there’s plenty more to see and do within a 2-hour drive. It’s an excellent home-base for exploring the wider region.

Here are some of the best options outside of Clayton, NY.

1. Watertown, NY

Distance: Approx. 30 minutes

The closest city to Clayton, Watertown offers shopping, dining, and attractions like the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.

2. Fort Drum, NY

Distance: Approx. 1 hour

Home to the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum has a military history museum and hosts events like heart-stopping airshows.

3. Syracuse, NY

Distance: Approx. 1.5 hours

Syracuse offers excellent cultural attractions, shopping, and dining. You can visit the Everson Museum of Art, explore Destiny USA, or enjoy a walk in the historic Armory Square.

4. Adirondack Mountains

Distance: Approx. 1.5 hours

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the Adirondack Mountains provide you with opportunities for hiking, camping, and enjoying the scenic beauty of the region. The High Peaks Wilderness area is a popular destination for hikers.

5. Lake Placid, NY

Distance: Approx. 2 hours

This charming village hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics. In Lake Placid, NY, you can visit the Olympic Center, explore Mirror Lake, or hike in the nearby High Peaks.

6. Ottawa, Canada

Distance: Approx. 2 hours

If you have a valid passport and are interested in exploring a Canadian city, Ottawa is known for its historic attractions, museums, and beautiful parks.

7. Finger Lakes Region

Distance: Approx. 2 hours

Explore the Finger Lakes, known for their wineries, hiking trails, and waterfalls. You can visit places like Ithaca and Seneca Lake here.

8. Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada

Distance: Approx. 2 hours

For a more extended international adventure, you can head to Algonquin Provincial Park. This vast wilderness area in Ontario is known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. Again, don’t forget your passport!

These are just a few options within a 2-hour drive of Clayton, NY, offering a variety of experiences, from outdoor adventures to cultural exploration and international travel.

My next destination on this New York road trip was in Chautauqua, so I stopped at Niagara Falls on the way (about 4 hours from Clayton)!

Tips for Making the Most of Staying at Your Hotel Near 1000 Islands

Here are some helpful tips so you can make the best of your visit.

  • Plan your boat tour(s) in advance to ensure you secure a spot on your preferred tour, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Be sure to explore the local dining scene, not just at the hotel but also at the various restaurants and eateries in Clayton.
  • Check the 1000 Islands events calendar for festivals, concerts, and special events during your visit.
  • Don’t forget to take in the beautiful sunsets over the St. Lawrence River; they are truly a sight to behold.
  • For history buffs, consider visiting the Antique Boat Museum and exploring the many historical landmarks in the region.

Final Thoughts on the Top Waterfront Hotel Near 1000 Islands

Vibrant sunset on the St. Lawrence River
Capture a front-seat view to the most stunning sunrises and sunsets on the St. Lawrence River.
(Photo Source: Submitted)

The Clayton area offers a rich tapestry of experiences, making it a destination that caters to all interests. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply want to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the 1000 Islands, this region has something special for everyone.

The linchpin is the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. This hidden gem in the heart of the Thousand Islands region offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and comfort. The serene riverfront location, well-appointed rooms, and exceptional dining experience at The Seaway Grille make it an ideal destination for a relaxing and immersive getaway. It’s your best option when you want to stay in a hotel near 1000 Islands.

Now that you know what to expect, you can make your reservations with confidence. Whether you’re seeking a romantic escape, a family adventure, or simply a serene retreat, this hotel has all the elements for a memorable stay.

Hotel Contact Info:
1000 Island Harbor Hotel
200 Riverside Drive
Clayton, NY 13624
(315) 686-1100 | Website


Jackie Gately at the beach


About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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Next Steps

For more travel inspiration near the 1000 Islands, New York, and beyond, read these articles next:

To look at other Harbor Hotels and related luxury accommodations in the region, continue reading: