1000 Reasons to Love Clayton, New York.

My Sweetheart and I were recently in Clayton NY. A small little village upstream from famous Alexandria Bay and Boldt Castle. We fell in love with the place. Although it grew and fell with the gilded age, it is as charming as ever. I’ve counted a 1000 reasons to come to this 1000 Islands village.

River view from the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel
River view from the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel

Nestled in the 1000 Islands region of Northern New York state, Clayton is the birthplace of two notable items: the rise of recreational boating and the 1000 Island Salad Dressing.

Sweetheart and I spent a long weekend there, hosted by the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. Over the 3 days there we absolutely fell in love with this village of 2000 residents. Their deep sense of history and roots, connection and honest living, and hope for the future really impressed us.

Everyone we spoke with had a community feeling in the best sense of the term. They all want what is best for all. The building of the hotel was welcomed in that it brought not only employment but was built with a sensitivity to the history of Clayton. The owners of Coyote Moon Vineyards help educate new farmers in successfully growing grapes. There is a gentlemen’s agreement among fishermen and guides to catch and release Muskie fish so that the stock can be replenished.

The gilded age may have come and gone from Clayton. But Clayton is still beautifully gilded.

Consider these 1000 reasons to visit Clayton NY for your next trip:

  • 160: it is quick 160 km drive from Ottawa, barely over 1.5 hours drive
  • 105: the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel has 105 beautiful rooms
  • 250: the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel can host a glorious wedding for 250 guests
  • 21: the variety of tasty distilled liquor at the Clayton Distillery
  • 14: the number of award winning wine varieties at Coyote Moon Vineyards
Me and Coyote Moon Vineyards Co-Owner Tony Randazzo
With Coyote Moon Vineyards Co-Owner Tony Randazzo
With Liz and Kristen after a yoga practice
With Liz and Kristen after a yoga practice
  • 45: the least number of tall tales from Captain Jeff Garnsey on his island cruise
    Captain Jeff
    With Captain Jeff Garnsey and Sweetheart

Yep that’s 1000.

And I learned something very important about what defines an island. There are 1864 islands in the area. An island is one which is visible all year round and has at least one tree. Otherwise it is a shoal.

Believe me that’s a lot of reasons to love Clayton NY.


  1. My parents Father and Step Mother have lived there now for about 20 years. I agree that it is absolutely beautiful and homey. The people do want what is best for EVERYONE. They are always so welcoming. It makes you wish that everywhere could be just like Clayton, N.Y.


  2. Nice article….but don’t forget about Reimann’s Dep’t. Store on Riverside Drive. A wonderful place that has everything including a nice friendly staff also St. Mary’s Church..in the bleak cold winter months when Clayton is void of all the tourists and summer people St. Mary’s wonderful warm and welcoming ways stand as a beacon of hope for another summer season in the near future.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s