Boldt Castle (Heart Island) & Yacht House
Open May 7 – October 10, 10:30 AM – 6:30 PM. Only accessible by Boat.
At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full size rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island. The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise. In January 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the workers to immediately “stop all construction.” Louise had died suddenly. A broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.
Embark on an adventure to the historic Boldt Castle, one of northern New York’s most popular attractions. Only accessible by water, begin your journey to Heart Island by boat. Built by George C. Boldt to honor his wife, allow yourself to fall in love with the story behind the castle. Explore the mansion’s grounds, which include a stunning grand staircase, indoor pool, the Alster Tower, Yacht House and much more. Make plans to lock in your lovely journey to this breathtaking attraction!
The Yacht House
The Boldt Yacht House on Wellesley Island is open to the public and for modest additional fee is a recommended tour during your visit to Boldt Castle. The Boldt’s family yachts and enormous houseboat were housed here in the slips 128 feet long. The building, rising 64 feet, also featured a shop to build racing launches and quarters for crew and staff. The grandeur of the Gilded Age is fully embodied in the structure’s shingle-style architecture, tremendous towers and spires and the steep-pitched gables. Visitors are invited to take the free shuttle boat from the Castle itself for easy access to this imposing structure on the river’s edge.
Plan Your Visit To Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle is only accessible by water. From both Canada and the U.S., visitors may find transportation on either a tour boat (a list of providers can be found at the bottom of this page) or by personal pleasure craft. *Passengers arriving from Canada must provide proper identification. For further information please refer to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection web-site www.cbp.gov.
*Boldt Castle has wheelchair accessibility options available.
Tour Boat Operators from the U.S.:
Specialty Events at Boldt Castle:
Annual 4th of July Fireworks over Boldt Castle
Hundreds will watch from the shores of Alex Bay or from their personal boats, make sure to set up early! Once dark hits, watch the fireworks brighten the night sky over Boldt Castle.
Fairytale Adventure Day
Fairytale Princesses & Pirates will take over Heart Island. Visitors will be able to take advantage of free face paintings. Participants can also learn proper princess etiquette, dance in Boldt Castle’s Ballroom or cross swords with a real Pirate on the shores of the St. Lawrence River & more!
Family Discovery Day
The fun-filled day will give parents and children the opportunity to explore a wide variety of fun, educational topics including music, geology, art, animals, reading and horticulture.
1 Heart Island
Alexandria Bay, NY 13607
coordinates: +44° 20′ 40.29″ N, -75° 55′ 21.27″ W
Singer Castle (Dark Island)
Open May – October each year! Only accessible by Boat.
Frederick Bourne was the fifth President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, which is where the name “Singer Castle” came from. When the Bourne family summered there, it was called “The Towers” which comes from the inspiration that Ernest Flagg, the architect whom designed this structure, had after reading the book Woodstock by Sir Walter Scott. This castle is full of mystery which might also include… secrets and hauntings. It’s not called “Dark Island” for just any reason.
Fun fact: If you’re interested in upping your adventure a little bit, become a King or Queen for the night when you book a stay in The Royal Suite. The Royal Suite is an entire wing of the castle and can sleep up to six people. As you journey down the corridor, you discover the first bedroom of the wing, which overlooks the American channel and our south boathouse and features a Queen-sized canopy bed, an antique full-sized bed, and small sitting area. You’ll have to stay to find out what else you might find!
Plan Your Visit to Singer Castle
Singer Castle is only accessible by water. The tour guides will provide you with a 45-minute walking tour and narrative of the historic structure. Visitors will be treated to four floors filled with furnishings and artifacts original to the castle. You will see the entrances to many of the secret passages, and of course speculate on their purpose. There are 80 steps up from the Great Hall, so wear your walking shoes!
*Singer Castle is not wheelchair accessible and requires steps/walking ability.
The tour guides will provide you with a 45-minute tour and narrative of the historic structure. Visitors will be treated to four floors filled with furnishings and artifacts original to the castle. You will see the entrances to many of the secret passages, and of course speculate on their purpose. There are 80 steps up from the Great Hall, so wear your walking shoes!
Tour Boat Operators from the U.S.:
Schermerhorn Harbor Shuttle, Hammond, New York, USA
Location: Schermerhorn Harbor Marina
Shuttle Departures: Select Days May-Sept.
Private Boaters & Charter Groups are welcome to dock for FREE at Singer Castle with an additional entrance fee. Call ahead or use marine radio channel 16.
Events & Weddings
Find out more about private events & weddings at Singer Castle, here.
Singer Castle on Dark Island BOX 59
Chippewa Bay, NY 13623
phone: +1-315-324-3275 or Toll Free at +1-877-327-5475
coordinates: 44° 27.156 N, 75° 48.689 W