About 2 hours north of the Syracuse area is the wonderful little town of Alexandria Bay, NY. Also known as Alex Bay. Also known as ABay. Alex Bay, as I like to call it, is a gem of a town smack dab in the middle of the 1000 Islands region.
Though ABay has an atmosphere for year-round vacationers, with a variety of restaurants and shops, it is from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day that it explodes with activities, people, and boats, boats, and more boats! I love going to Alex Bay to walk the pier at the Upper End James Street dock to see some incredible powerboats and cruisers. Down at the Lower End James Street dock visitors to The Bay can go on the famous Uncle Sam Boat Tour, and view the multi-million dollar mansions dotted throughout the St. Lawrence Seaway. These tours range from 2-hours to lunch or dinner cruises, all stopping off at the magical Boldt Castle.
My wife and I decided to visit Alex Bay this past Memorial Day Weekend. We arrived on Saturday morning and stayed at the luxurious Riveredge Resort. The Riveredge’s rooms are always clean, spacious, and up to date. Its ammenities include an indoor and outdoor pool, Tiki Bar, Salon, restuarant, bar, and plenty of slips for those that travel by boat. We were fortunate enough to be given a room on the top floor overlooking Boldt Castle and a nearby marina. Our room consisted of an incredibly comfortable king-size bed on the large main floor, with a second story connected by a spiral staircase housing a mirrored-Jacuzzi tub, TV, and vanity (cue the Playboy mansion-style electric guitar twang-“pao, chicka waa waa”). Truly, The Riveredge is the one place that tourists must stay at for a guaranteed memorable experience.
During our stay, our Saturday consisted of lunch at Cavallario’s Bayside Restaurant, overlooking the Upper James Street dock. Though the facilities are nothing fancy, the lunch menu was very tasty. For dessert we wandered across the street to Coleman’s Dock of the Bay for a strawberry margarita; Nice. Personally that placed me in the right frame of mind to follow Rachel around from one quaint little shop to another. Though ABay has had a reputation of having one t-shirt shop after another, in recent years it has added colorful boutiques, unique shops, and is proudly boasting a new pier-renovation at the Upper James James Street dock.
For dinner on Saturday we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Riveredge’s Windows on the Bay restuarant, then took an evening walk to a local watering hole named Rum Runners. And again, their strawberry margaritas were sensational as we took in a breathless sunset. (Are you starting to follow my margarita theme here?)
Before we left on Sunday we were told by some locals to be sure to have lunch at Capt.Thomson’s floating restaurant. With tables for inside and outside seating, we chose to have our lunch overlooking Boldt Castle. The food was great, and the menu contained a nice selection. And yes, their strawberry margaritas passed with flying colors.
With several nearby golf courses, arcades, go-cart tracks, driving ranges, and miniature golf courses, couples and families can find plenty of fun even if they don’t have a boat; though a boat would certainly be the best way to enjoy the area.