Located in the heart of the Thousand Islands region, the Port of Clayton lies of the shores of the St. Lawrence River. The Port of Clayton offers events, family activities, shops and restaurants, three museums, a refurbished Opera House, and one of the few 213.4-meter (700-foot) seaway docking systems in the area.
The Port of Clayton has a humid continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold winters. The temperatures in the Port of Clayton range from an average high of 21°C (70°F) in July and early August to an average low of -8°C (18°F) in January and February. Rainfall is heaviest from September through November and is lowest in February and July. Humidity levels in the Port of Clayton range from a high of almost 90% in August and September to a low of about 76% in April and May. Snow comes to the Port of Clayton from November through April, and the heaviest month is January when as much as 71 centimeters (28 inches) can fall.
The Port of Clayton's Antique Boat Museum has the biggest collection of classic and antique boats in North America. It hosts the annual Antique Boat Show and Auction in early August, and it is the site for the biennial Antique Raceboat Regatta. Open from mid-May until mid-October, the museum is North America's best fresh water nautical museum. Its collections include more than 300 wonderfully-preserved boats and thousands of artifacts from recreational boating.
The La Duchesse is a 32-meter (106-foot) houseboat recalling river life in the Port of Clayton from a century ago. It was built in 1903 as a summer residence, and it opened to visitors in 2005. Visitors hear stories about the home while they see her original furnishings in a luxurious interior.
The Antique Boat Museum in the Port of Clayton has several other exhibits. The Quest for Speed exhibit features boat-racing history. The children's Oar Else exhibit explores small craft propulsion through illustrations from Dr. Seuss and advertisements from the 1930s and 1940s.
The St. Lawrence Skiff exhibit illustrates the history of the small boat developed as a fishing vessel and how its use expanded over the years. The Perfect Canoe exhibit examines how canoe-building traditions have evolved.
The Clayton Opera House, a nationally registered historic building, has been a cultural and community hub for the Port of Clayton over the past century. Fully renovated in 2007, the performance hall and third floor ballroom have become the performance center of the Thousand Islands area. Nationally-known artists, community events, and private parties are now at home in this Port of Clayton attraction.
The Port of Clayton's most popular attraction is the Thousand Islands, an archipelago in the St. Lawrence River on the US-Canada border. Its 1864 islands include large, small, and inhabited outcroppings where travelers, residents, and migratory waterfowl enjoy nature's wonders. There are many beaches and swimming spots, rich fishing, and historic structures scattered within this popular Port of Clayton vacation destination.