Good Old Alexandria Bay

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Good old Alexandria Bay, the cutest and nearest US town for a day trip from Ottawa! We took advantage of the Civic Holiday to take Mark there for the day… his second time in the United States, already!

We’ve been to Alexandria Bay dozens of times by now but I still remember how amazing it looked to me the first time I visited, in 2005. Everything was so… American! It was a novelty to me and armed with my brand new permanent residence status, I marveled over being able to cross the US-Canada border so easily. French like to criticize the USA but they still consider the country one of the coolest places on earth.

Alexandria Bay is both a traditional small town and a somewhat tacky tourist place—think of it as a very small Niagara Falls, the town, not the amazing sights. There isn’t much to see in town per se: most of the shops are along James Street, which goes from one dock to another. Locals seem to favour the cute park behind the River Hospital while tourists hang out on the main street, shopping for souvenir tee-shirts or grabbing a bite at one of the very average restaurants (locals seem to live on a steady diet of pizza and ice cream. The first time I was in Alexandria Bay, I was expecting great seafood considering it’s right on the St Lawrence River, but all I could find was battered fish covered in Thousand Island dressing. Meh.)

At the height of the recession, James Street felt like a ghost town. A lot of business were closed or bankrupted and there were few tourists around. But the economy seems to be better, as we noticed the last time we were there. New restaurants and shops had opened and we spotted license plates from all over the US.

Still, Alexandria Bay is a nice day trip from Ottawa. Nothing beats an afternoon by the River!

You can see the complete set of pictures taken in the USA on Flickr.

Souvenir Stickers

Souvenir Stickers

Beer and Boating

Beer and Boating

Alexandria Bay

Alexandria Bay

Boldt Castle

Boldt Castle

Mark by the St Lawrence

Mark by the St Lawrence

Boating on the St Lawrence

Boating on the St Lawrence

Alexandria Bay

Alexandria Bay

Little Canadian

Little Canadian

Hands On Rock

Hands On Rock

Ice Cream Shop

Ice Cream Shop

James Street

James Street

Giant Chess Board

Giant Chess Board

The Docks

The Docks

Ethanol Free Gas!

Ethanol Free Gas!

Chips

Chips

Fast Food Joint

Fast Food Joint

Clouds Over the St Lawrence

Clouds Over the St Lawrence

Police Patrol on James Street

Police Patrol on James Street

Psychic on James Street

Psychic on James Street

All American Kids Menu

All American Kids Menu

Church Street

Church Street

Uncle Sam on the Docks

Uncle Sam on the Docks

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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  1. Pingback: Along the St. Lawrence Seaway | Correr Es Mi Destino

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