After a busy summer with a fall that kept pace, Andrew and I were eager for a weekend getaway. We've been trying to plan something for a few weeks but things kept coming up and commitments filled our calendars. When 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel reached out and invited us to come stay for a weekend, it turned out to be the vacation we didn't know we needed. A weekend getaway just across the border in a beautiful, new hotel along the St. Lawrence River in a small, quaint village. It was everything we wanted without even knowing it.

We packed up our bags and drove to Clayton, New York after work on Friday. A quick drive at that--just under two hours to get there. Once you cross into the USA, Clayton is only 15 minutes into New York! We could see Canada from our bedroom.


The hotel was built in 2014 and sits perched along the edge of the St. Lawrence. You can sit on the patio by the fire pits in the evening, or you can sit in the Muskoka chairs at the edge of the water and watch the ships sail by all day. It's a slice of paradise that you wouldn't know existed unless you were on the hunt for a hidden gem. The hotel offers amenities that don't go unnoticed. Warm and welcoming staff, a heated pool and hot tub, free wi-fi, turn-down service (who doesn't love chocolate on their pillow!), and complimentary coffee and tea every morning until 11am. With a restaurant on-site, the hotel also serves as a lovely location for a dinner out for locals and tourists alike.

The hotel itself has a number of room types. We were lucky enough to stay in a river view room with a king-size bed. The hotel offers suites that are suitable for families and some even have balconies so that in the height of the summer you can enjoy your complimentary coffee and watch the boats.

The best part? This hotel--including the blueprint, restaurant menu, and furniture--isn't the only one. The harbor hotel series of hotels is also in Portland and Watkins Glen!

This sofa also pulls out into a bed! When you're not sleeping it's a great place to sit and plan your day, check out the boat traffic on the river, and relax.

Why yes, that is a Mountie onesie from Drake General Store. Gotta carry my Canadian pride with me everywhere! 

The village of Clayton itself is tiny. Andrew and I enjoyed breakfast at the local joint, a homey spot called Koffee Kove--bustling with the locals who shared stories of their week. We figured out our plans for the day over tea and pancakes before venturing out to wander. There's something to be said about wandering with no specific plan in mind. The relaxing, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants life is one I wish I could embrace all the time, but alas, my type-A personality shines through. Walking through the village lends a movie-set vibe. Old, coloured brick buildings line the streets with the cars angle parked along the edge of the road. The barbershop, the chamber of commerce, the art gallery, and the pizza shop. All staples in this little village of 3000.

I'm always searching for a reminder of my love for Muskoka. The Adirondack chairs (or Muskoka chairs as they are colloquially known) along the river, although not provided by the hotel but rather the village of Clayton, are a lovely addition to the grounds. The outdoor fire pits that roar after dusk are warm and welcoming (also surrounded by red Muskoka chairs). I can't even begin to imagine how incredible it would have been if it was a cool summer evening. Instead we were bundled as one would be in November, but it was cozy nonetheless.


If you're looking for a weekend escape, I can't recommend 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel enough. A quick jaunt across the border and you're there. After a morning of exploring the village of Clayton, making sure to poke your head in the locally owned and operated store fronts, you can hop in your car and venture to the surrounding cities (you better believe we made our way to a Target!) Or, if you're seeking a quiet weekend without the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoy the hotel grounds and amenities. Spend the day relaxing on their patio, go for a swim in the pool, enjoy a lovely meal at Seaway Grille and curl into the comfortable bed at the end of the night to relish in the much deserved sleep you likely need. Even if you'll be passing through on your way to another destination, don't discredit this welcoming town and the lovely staff at the hotel! 

Everyone needs a holiday once in a while (or all the time!) so be sure to give 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel some consideration when you're booking your next trip.

Thank you to 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel for partnering with me on this post. All opinions are my own. 

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Maira Gall