Need a little time away? Here’s an escape the whole family will love.

By Rebecca Grima

Where to go

Just a three-hour drive from Toronto is the quaint town of Clayton, New York. Located in the picturesque 1000 Islands Region, the area is nestled amongst 1,800 islands and is surrounded by a sea of blue waves from the St. Lawrence River. It is a destination that encapsulates a strong sense of place and an unadulterated shared affection from the 2,000 plus residents that call Clayton home. The area has a deep seeded history, dating back to the 1800’s and is full of stories from legacies of family generations that have occupied the town.

Where to stay

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, @1000islandshh

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOpening just over a year-and-a-half ago, the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel has captured a genuine warmth and coziness that reflects Clayton, New York. Situated on the St. Lawrence River, the hotel has been awarded with the premium AAA four-diamond rating; offering its guests access to wi-fi, a heated indoor pool, a fully equipped fitness centre and dining spaces – the 1000 Islands Bar, and Seaway Grille. Throughout the fall and winter, the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel hosts culinary and accommodation packages with seven-course meals, inclusive to themes like Farm to Table and the Wild Game Dinner Series. In January, the hotel heats up with its Ice Bar Celebration, which includes a display of 20,000 pounds of ice carved and sculptured, great food, music and a fireworks display.

What to do

Antique Boat Museum 

DCIM114MEDIAThe Antique Boat Museum in Clayton shares the history behind recreational boating. Its exhibits feature more than 300 unique and beautifully preserved boats along with thousands of recreational boating artifacts.

Families can take sailing lessons, build boats together or, for the more adventurous, obtain a captain’s license. For those who just want to enjoy being on a sailboat, every Tuesday night the Museum gives guided sailing ventures, taking families on the river for free.

Garnsey’s Classic Island Cruises

No trip to the 1000 Islands is complete without experiencing a Shore Dinner. After a fishing trip, participants cook up their catches and are treated to this delicious tradition that includes fish, corn on the cob, salted potatoes and a garden salad topped Thousand Island Dressing, of course. For dessert? A delectable Canadian-style French toast with maple syrup.

Kayaking and Cycling Tour 

What better way to explore the 1000 Islands than by renting a kayak or bicycle? Get active with your teens and tour down the charming roads, taking in the scenery of the river and the quaint Victorian homes, or paddle down the river from one island to the next. It will be an unforgettable experience for everyone as they experience the genuine comfort of being so connected to nature and the surrounding environment.

Coyote Moon Vineyards and Winery

Lastly, for parents who want some alone time, prepare for the “excitement, romance and award-winning wine that is Coyote Moon Vineyards and Winery.” Owned by the Randazzo family, enjoy a tour of the winery and enjoy samples of their award-winning wines.