1000 Islands and St. Lawrence Seaway International Travel Guide — 2011-2012 Edition
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Welcome To The 1000 Islands International Region

The rich history and unparalleled beauty of the 1000 Islands has lured visitors for generations.<br /> <br /> Dubbed the “Garden of the Great Spirit” by the native Iroquois for its bountiful harvest and beauty, the 1000 Islands became a highway to the interior of Canada and the U.S. for many explorers. Jacques Cartier discovered the St. Lawrence River in 1535, forging the path for notable explorers such as Champlain, de Courcelles, Comte de Frontenac and René-Robert Cavalier. The first reliable charts were created in 1687 by Jean Desbayes, who named the area “Les Miles iles,” or translated to English: “The 1000 Islands.” <br /> <br /> Distinguished visitors flocked to the 1000 Islands in the late 19th Century, and the area became widely known as a summer resort. Steamboats offered extensive tours of the islands and grand waterfront hotels provided luxurious lodging.<br /> <br /> Today, visitors and residents still find this gorgeous garden of water and woods to be among the most beautiful places on Earth. Lodging of all varieties is available, from weeklong shoreline cottages and campsites with pristine views to fullservice resorts and efficient momand- pop motorlodges.<br /> <br /> The 1000 Islands Region offers a bounty of recreation and heritage experiences spanning two nations. It’s here that the Province of Ontario, Canada, and New York, USA, meet. While it hasn’t always been idyllic times – the region hosted many battles during the War of 1812 – today you will find a friendly atmosphere, laid-back pace and inviting outdoors.<br /> <br /> Peruse the pages of this guide and find yourself excited about the many possibilities for spending your time. Experience the 1000 Islands Region, and find yourself inspired and renewed!<br /> <br /> Welcome Center<br /> <br /> Gather information. Connect to the Internet. Enjoy a picnic lunch.<br /> <br /> The 1000 Islands International Tourism Council operates the New York State Welcome Center located at Collins Landing, Alexandria Bay, New York – next to Interstate 81 and the Thousand Islands Bridge. Stop in and browse the many brochures highlighting destinations throughout the 1000 Islands Region, as well as vacation areas throughout New York. Lodging, attraction and other information about Southeastern Ontario is also available. The knowledgeable staff is happy to help with directions and area information.<br /> <br /> The Welcome Center offers free wireless Internet, accessible both inside and outside the building. Picnic tables are scattered about the grounds and within a covered pavilion. Make yourself at home and enjoy the lovely campus.<br /> <br /> From Interstate 81 (north and south), follow the blue “New York State Welcome Center” and “?” signs near Exit 50S. Signs are also visible from NYS Route 12, between Alexandria Bay and Clayton.<br /> <br /> The Welcome Center operates year round (daily between May and October, and weekdays from November to April.) Wireless Internet access available daily, 24 hours. Picnic tables/pavilion available weather permitting.