Watch Island, New York
One of the 1800 islands that dot the majestic St. Lawrence Seaway, yet one of only an elite handful of islands available to rent in the area, Watch Island nestles in a peaceful bay with views of ships, sunsets, Thousand Island Bridge, and the venerable Rock Island Lighthouse spread before it. Situated between Clayton and Alexandria Bay, this upscale, upstate New York rental offers an impeccably restored, 6,500 square foot Victorian mansion to the discerning family seeking an elegant vacation home.
The house contains gracious living quarters that include an antique-filled living room with fireplace – ideal for family gatherings after a long day’s exploring. The turn-of-the-century house also boasts a country kitchen, impressively equipped pantry, four furnished porches, and a grand dining room that seats up to 16. The dining room’s 12 generous windows offer ever-changing views of the seaway and sunsets. Ten bedrooms sleep a maximum of 20 people. Magnificent Victorian detailing, such as wood paneling and a grand staircase, features throughout. The home is air-conditioned and centrally heated and all four baths have claw-foot soaking tubs or showers. A deep-water boathouse and extensive docking facilities accommodate a number of craft.
Spend lazy days on-island curled up in a nook or catching up with current events by satellite, cable, or online. Grill the day’s catch on the outdoor grill or barbecue. Paddle the periphery of the island in the property’s canoe or pedal past quaint, century-old gingerbread houses and grand, old hotels onshore on one of the island’s two bicycles. While away long summer evenings in the screened porch watching river life pass by and lights begin to glow on shore.
With its proximity to Alexandria Bay and the inland ponds and rivers of Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, the 1.3-acre island is perfect for an activity-packed family vacation. Kayaking is possible between islands, and the waters of Alexandria Bay offer excellent wreck diving. Float fishing excursions for bass, pike, muskie, and walleye make memorable family bonding experiences. In winter, snow kite skiing and snowmobiling are merely two of the exhilarating outdoor options on offer nearby.
Historic Clayton, New York, once the northern terminus of the New York Central Railway, is now very much the cultural center of the Thousand Islands area. The town is home to an array of intriguing museums, and much of the historic downtown dates back to the early 1800s. Clayton offers a plethora of restaurants and even a spa. Other options awaiting onshore range from antiquing, cycling, sailing, and golf to fishing, horseback riding, and big game and upland bird hunting.
Yet more treasures lie mere minutes downriver. Boldt Castle, George C. Boldt’s fabled 120-room testament of love to his wife, basks on Hart Island and is open to visitors May through early October. Only accessible by boat, Rock Island Lighthouse welcomes visitors to the perfectly preserved 1847 structure. Island parks on Wellesley Island and Keewaydin State Park boast charming old fashioned children’s playgrounds,
Watch Island is offered for weekly and monthly rental for up to two families at a time, with additional families at extra charge. Those who truly fall in love with this unique property can opt to stay indefinitely; Watch Island is offered for sale for $1,950,000.
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