Thousand Islands and Erie Canal

Erie Canal Cruising. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.
Erie Canal Cruising. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.
Rating
4.6/5

It was time to head out of Dodge again. This time it was a two-night adventure to Herkimer, New York, and Watertown, New York.

In Herkimer, New York, over a 5-hour drive from New York City, we took an Erie Canal Sightseeing Cruise.

Erie Canal Cruises. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff
Erie Canal Cruises. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff

I learned that the Erie Canal was one of the most important transportation routes in the early history of our country. Construction began on July 4th, 1817, in Rome, New York, and it was completed about eight years later. The canal ran about 363 miles from the city of Albany to the city of Buffalo and, in 1918, was expanded and joined the 525-mile-long New York State Barge Canal.

It was a lovely day for a lunch cruise. Learning about the Erie Canal was fun and educational!

Lunch at the Waterfront Grill.

Dining on Erie Canal Cruises. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff
Dining on Erie Canal Cruises. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff

We didn’t eat until 3 pm and were so famished, that I forgot to take a picture of the main chicken dish. I did catch the dessert. 

Dessert on Erie Canal Cruises. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff
Dessert on Erie Canal Cruises. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff

We arrived in Watertown, New York for a two-night stay at Hotel Best Western. I’ll let you decide whether it lived up to its “Best” name when you stay there.

This was scary. Another woman from the trip and I decided to walk around Watertown that evening on a Saturday night. The town was practically deserted and we only saw about 6 people on the street. It was like an image out of The Handmaiden Tale.

This was only one view similar to any other.

Downtown Watertown NY. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff
Downtown Watertown NY. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff

After breakfast, we went to the Thousand Islands Winery for a wine tasting.

Thousand Islands Winery. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.
Thousand Islands Winery. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.

It’s a lovely 40-acre property with delicious wines.

Wine tasting at Thousand Islands Winery. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.
Wine tasting at Thousand Islands Winery. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.

I normally do not carry wine or other heavy items when traveling but couldn’t resist buying a jar of Champagne Garlic Mustard. It should be great with pretzels!

Champagne Garlic Mustard at Thousand Islands Winery. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.
Champagne Garlic Mustard at Thousand Islands Winery. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.

We took a tour of The Thousand Islands that was both fun and interesting.

Uncle Sam Boat Tours. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.
Uncle Sam Boat Tours. Photo credit: Sora Vernikoff.

Canada and the US shared these waters, but you do not need a passport while on a boat.

However, if you drop your anchor, you need a passport.

Next was the favorite part of this adventure – visiting the Bailiwick Animal Zoo located in Catskill, New York.

It was fun feeding and greeting some of the animals in this very open and friendly environment.

Here are a few of my favorite moments…

Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff
Bailiwick Animal Zoo. Photo credit: Sora Vernkoff

All in all, it was a pleasant adventure. My heart belongs to those gentle, lovely animals. Even the bear enjoyed the fun.

Readers may enjoy our other travel reviews like Morocco and The Sahara, Williamsport and Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon, Hotel Zaza Houston, and Fanciful FranCave in Austin.

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