Ok…ok….My family is NOT from New York City. Not at all. Not even a little bit. But that doesn’t stop me from blasting that song every time we drive north! Everyone always assumes that when you say “I’m from New York,” you clearly mean the city. Nothing could be further from the quiet country truth my family grew up in.
My family is rooted so far north that we’re practically on the US/Canadian border. I absolutely love it. It’s quiet, sparsely populated, and everything just seems simpler up there. Despite all of this, there are still some GREAT places to visit and eat! I will highlight a few of my favorites in case you ever get the opportunity to visit.
My family lives on Black Lake, but as I mentioned before, we’re almost on the Canadian border. The St.Lawrence river is just a few miles away. There is always a huge amount of boat traffic, and the river is a pretty popular tourist area. Places like Alexandria Bay get TONS of visitors each summer. While Alex Bay is nice, and going to visit Boldt Castle is pretty much a requirement, it is not my “go to” spot on the river.
*Read about the Castle & the tragic love story that left it unfinished
A bit closer to Lake Ontario you’ll find a hidden gem, and my favorite spot on the River.
Clayton, NY is the beautiful, well-kept, quiet, artistic town that Alex Bay certainly is not. It is full of amazing restaurants, super cool shops, and breathtaking views.
Without question- My Number 1 FAVORITE spot is Bella’s on the River.
This place is a restaurant and bakery. They locally source all their produce off of the nearby Islands. I have been there numerous times, and have never been disappointed. In fact, my mother just returned from a trip up north bearing gifts that I specifically requested….
A Box of giant chocolate dipped coconut macaroons. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.
Here are a few pics from meals we’ve enjoyed at Bella’s!
After an amazing meal at Bella’s, we typically stroll down the main street in town and poke around in all the neat little shops. We always find the most amazing treasures! One stop along the way that we simply must make, is to one of our favorite wineries in the area. Coyote Moon Winery is right in the heart of Clayton. They carry a wide selection of wines and various products made with wine. As with Bella’s, the riverside views simply can’t get much better. They also have a room dedicated to live music and entertainment. It is certainly #2 on my “must visit list” in Clayton.
You can check them out here: Coyote Moon
I feel comfortable saying that my Mom would highly recommend “Twisted Sister.”
From Coyote Moon, we continue to check out shops along the main road until the road finally ends here….
The Clayton docking area has a lovely park with beautifully colored Adirondack chairs allowing you to relax and watch the water. The cool breeze that blows in off that river is like NOTHING you’ll find in the south. It’s a little slice of heaven.
Welcome to the Yankee heart of this Southern girl. ❤