A vacation in the Thousand Islands deeply affects a person. It’s so refreshing and relaxing that just one taste of the region inspires people to return for years to come. Time spent here is truly unforgettable, regardless of how that time is passed. The sensation is universal. It is impossible to visit the Thousand Islands without experiencing its magic. No matter who you are, where you come from, whether this is your very first St. Lawrence experience or you’ve been spending your summers here for years, there is a quality about “The River” that connects you with the countless others that have fallen in love with this place. The first time you set eyes on it, the first time you jump into that clear and cool water, the river becomes a part of you. It’s something that can’t be erased or removed. It beckons to you when you’re away, and it fulfills you when you return. This region was referred to by the native people as the Garden of the Great Spirit. A more appropriate title could not have been bestowed upon it. Its natural beauty is enhanced by the stately homes dotting the shoreline and islands. Its rich history is woven through the maze of islands and shoals, awaiting discovery. Board a tour boat for an afternoon of relaxation while the guide regales you with the tales of a bygone era. If you prefer a more personal experience, rent a boat or kayak from one of the areas many marinas and enjoy the beauty of the Thousand Islands in perhaps the most gratifying way possible – as your own river pilot. Stop for a swim or cast out a line. These pristine waters are home to a wide variety of fish, and you’re sure to make a catch. For anglers craving the full experience of the St. Lawrence, guides are readily available. Most packages include a shore lunch, a decades-old river custom that makes use of the freshest fish and the most experienced hands to deliver a one-of-a-kind dining experience you won’t want to miss. For those who prefer to stay dry, the villages and towns along the St. Lawrence are brimming with activities and events. The area even boasts its own wine trail, a 78-mile stretch featuring four great wineries with tours and tastings available at each stop. Keeping a cork on the vino? Stop into Alexandria Bay or Clayton for shopping, dining, and special events. The Bay even has a small-scale replica of the Thousand Islands Bridge that you can cross on foot to Casino Island. Don’t forget to wave to the tour boats as they pass by! There’s no shortage of things to do at The River. But who says you have to do everything in one visit? This is vacation! Resist the urge to stay in constant motion, and you’ll discover a wealth of relaxing opportunity from your beach towel or lawn chair. Spend a day on the riverbank. Enjoy the golden sunshine. Soak in the splendor of the blue-green water, vibrant and bursting with crystalline sparkle as it flows lazily past. As the day winds to a close and sun slowly sets, the sky turns a brilliant array of colors; bright red, subtle pink, vivid orange, and light purple replace the daytime blue. Enjoy your front-row seat to one of the most dazzling sunsets you’re likely to find not only in New York State, but anywhere. After the sun goes down, The River’s splendor doesn’t stop. Spend an evening around a blazing campfire, trading stories and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows with your closest friends and family, or head down to the riverbank and enjoy the awe-inspiring stargazing. With unobstructed views far from city lights, the stars look like diamonds sprinkled over black velvet. It’s just one more reason why a Thousand Islands vacation is one of the most enjoyable experiences a person can have. For more information or to plan your own St. Lawrence experience, visit www.alexbay.org, www.1000Islands-Clayton.com, www.capevincent.org, or www.visitthousandislands.com. A thousand possibilities are waiting for you!