Boldt Castle and Yacht House

Boldt Castle and Yacht House

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A visit to the magnificent Boldt Castle offers a glimpse into one of the most compelling love stories in history. At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC, set out to build a full-sized Rhineland Castle in Alexandria Bay, on Heart Island. The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise. Beginning in 1900, Boldt's family shared four summers on Wellesley Island while 300 workers, stonemasons, carpenters and artists fashioned the six story, 120-room castle, complete with tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge and a dovecote. In 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegrammed 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. Three hundred workers laid down their tools. Boldt never returned, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.
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4.5
2,006 reviews
Excellent
1,479
Very good
429
Average
78
Poor
16
Terrible
4

Sam D
Wauseon, OH267 contributions
Sep 2022
Our tour boat dropped us off, and said to catch whatever boat back whenever we wanted to. Just don't miss the boat. We suggest that you arrive early, and stay late. There is so much to see at the castle, and do not hurry through it. We did not watch our time, missed going to the yacht house, but did see almost everything on Heart Island/Boldt Castle. This just gives us a reason to come back. We recommend Uncle Sam's tours, as they give you the most going/coming options and their lunch tour of the region was excellent. Boldt Castle is under renovation, and those parts that are completed are just magnificent. Make sure to see the short movie, as it will give you the whole story of George Boldt and his wife Louise. There is food and drink on the island at the dock, with clean restrooms. This is a must visit in the Thousand Islands. They are open to October 10 this year, and will open back up in May.
Written September 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RYC88
Centreville, VA1,150 contributions
Jul 2022
Fascinating architecture, great story about the history of the building, and a gorgeous location. The island is beautiful and the castle architecture is so interesting. The self-guided tour is a good way to explore, although there are also docents throughout the building to tell you about the various areas. It's a really lovely place to visit for an hour or so. The only bad thing is that if you take the 2pm Uncle Sam Boat tour that includes Singer Castle and Boldt, you will have very little time on Boldt to see the castle and walk around the little island (you arrive at Boldt around after 5pm and Boldt castle closes at 6:15pm and the boats leave the island by 6:30pm). If you want to see Singer Castle and enjoy a good amount of time at Boldt, take the 10am Uncle Sam Boat tour.
Written July 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BillyDee2014
Allentown, PA57 contributions
Sep 2021
Loved the visit.
It was a cold and windy day in late September 2021 when we visited.
The grounds are nice. The location is amazing and the "castle" itself is an education on what one can do when you tell the architect that money is no consideration. Even the servant's quarters were designed and built beautifully.
Sad that the family never lived here
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan Ellen R
4 contributions
Sep 2022
This place always leaves me with such an appreciation for Love through the ages. The story of George Boldt and his family is like a fairy tale met tragedy. The Seaway authority has done amazing work to restore and go far beyond the original state of the castle. WORTH every penny of admission.
Written September 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jerrythetraveler
Orlando217 contributions
Jul 2022
Boldt Castle was an unexpected treat, we just happened to be passing back into the states via the Thousand Islands since the ferry off Wolfe Island is apparently closed. Boldt Castle is home to a complex story of love and death. The Castle was started on a "heart shaped" gem amount the thousand islands and since nothing I can say here will prepare you or be anything more than anything else already said, I will tell you what I could not find yourself. You can save both money and time by parking at the boat house on Wellesey Island and both save time and money as apposed to driving to Alexandria Bay and taking the slow, old and nasty Uncle Same boat over. You can buy your tickets at the boat house, check it out and take the FREE ferry to Boldt Castle.
Written July 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lee L
Valhalla, NY1,716 contributions
Jul 2022
We spent about 2 hours walking around the castle and the ground after finishing our 2 Nations Boat tour. The outside of the castle and the grounds are quite beautiful. The first 2 floors of the castle have been done up with furniture of the period as the rooms were meant to be. The owner never lived in the house as his wife who he was building it for died and the person his children sold it too after his death let it fall into disrepair.

The upper two levels explore the history of the building and the castle and how it has evolved over time though I assume they will eventually get around to restoring them as they are in bad shape. We also visited the outlying buildings as well as the gardens,

A nice way to spend a half a day.
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vanessa M
Ithaca, NY146 contributions
Jul 2020
Something fun to do if visiting the 1000 Islands. There is a cheap shuttle you can take from Uncle Sam Boat Tours (or take the full tour through them) that leaves every 20 minutes there and back. If you have your own boat or are renting for the day, there is a dock you can pull up to and use. The castle is massive, and views from the upper floors of the other islands/Alex Bay are beautiful. Definitely make sure to get in line to watch the video of the history, as that's the most interesting part (also there is A/C in this room so it makes wearing the mask much more comfortable!). Only giving 4 stars because the family never really lived in this castle, so everything is updated and new and feels a little staged. Went over the 4th of July weekend and I thought that they did a great job dealing with masks, social distancing, etc. The staff were all friendly and nice, and the outdoor space is great if you need to take your mask off for a bit. There's a concession stand on the island as well if you need some snacks or a drink.
Written July 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bhodie Bob
Richmond, KY1 contribution
Jun 2022 • Family
This was one of the best deals of our trip. It's very interesting history it's a romantic story for the women and the grounds and the buildings are maintained perfectly. Everything is clean nothing broken all the exhibits are perfect. I heard people talk about old world craftsmanship but really most of the work it was modern of course some of the furniture is old and the exterior of the building is old but but most of the interior has been done in modern times because he never finished it and it was vandalized he abandoned it after his wife died it's very interesting
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PaleoGypsy
Philadelphia, PA2,116 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
Depending upon your level of interest, you may be spending the entire day touring the grounds, building, and water. What really shocked me is all of the graffiti that is located on the upper stories. The reasoning behind this was explained by the tour guide. Hopefully, all of the graffiti and damage will be repaired at some point. What has been rebuilt is truly amazing. It is a real treat to see all of the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the restoration of an incredible icon. If you are into art, architecture, and history, you may very well enjoy this trip to the Boldt Castle and grounds. Assess your fitness level. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring, or plan on buying, water.
Written July 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shawn H
Washington DC, DC322 contributions
Aug 2021
We stopped at Boldt Castle on the return trip from Singer Castle on an Uncle Sam Boat tour and the history and construction of the site is a fascinating look into turn of the century wealth, darkened by tragedy. The site is in various states of renovation and disrepair, never having been finished originally, and subsequently abandoned for decades. Work is being done to bring the site back, but it is already something really special. The huge rooms, landscaping and outbuildings reflect massive ambition with money behind it. The upper unfinished floors, covered in decades of graffiti all the way to the rafters reflect the grinding halt to construction here. The location has restrooms and a gift shop in the house, with a snack bar down by the dock.

We also took the little ferry boat over to the boathouse and saw the yachts and the quarters on the other side of the river. That was interesting enough, but probably not worth the trip and waiting for the boat each way. If I did it again, I'd enjoy the castle and then spend more time in Alexandria Bay.
Written September 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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