Drone view of Plattsburgh, New York, showcasing its scenic landscape and urban features.

6 Top-Ranked Towns in The Adirondack Mountains for Retirees

Flee to the still-growing Adirondack Mountains, where metamorphic rock holds up towns that are havens for those weary of typical, expensive getaways. Being four hours from New York City puts the Adirondacks out of range of high-priced housing traps. Gaze at jagged peaks, relax in natural hot springs, and reflect at the feet of some of the world’s longest lakes. Indulge in a confluence of influences ranging from the New Yorker, the Quebecois, and several Native American nations.

Glens Falls

Henry Hudson townhouses in Glens Falls, New York, viewed from the west side of Hudson Avenue.

Henry Hudson townhouses in Glens Falls, New York, viewed from the west side of Hudson Avenue.

Getaway to Glens Falls, a beautiful town built around bends in the Hudson River. Enjoy housing expenses that are 7% lower than the national average, allowing residents to live for joy. In fact, Glens Falls is commonly referred to as the “arts and entertainment gateway to the Adirondacks.” Stay in the historic 1920s-era Queensbury Hotel. The Queensbury is smack dab in the middle of the historic downtown’s collection of restaurants, bars, and shops. Be inspired by the unmatchable Hyde Collection, which has several famous works on permanent display, including pieces by Robert Rauschenberg, Pablo Picasso, and Peter Paul Rubens.


Warren County Municipal Center in Queensbury, New York.
Warren County Municipal Center in Queensbury, New York.

Quit the daily grind and head straight for Queensbury, located at Lake George’s Katskill Bay, just west of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park. Adirondack Park is both the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous US and the largest National Historic Landmark in the US. There is no need to break the bank in Queensbury as the cost of living is 1.6% lower than the national average and 19% lower than the unforgiving state average for New York. Spoil the grandkids at Six Flags, find peace at the Queensbury Golf Club, or breathe in nature on one of many well-trod trails. Stay at The Inn at Erlowest for a gorgeous view of Lake George. The Inn at Erlowest is a stone Queen Anne revival castle that boasts a delicious restaurant and an outdoor pool that cannot be beat once the snow melts.


Historic sandstone and brick commercial buildings at Main Street in downtown Potsdam, Upstate New York.

Main Street in downtown Potsdam, New York. Editorial credit: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

Escape to Potsdam, home to many historic sites as well as a SUNY campus. Like many lakes in the Adirondacks, Norwood Lake resembles a river. Imagine if the planet were gently pulled apart, revealing a tiny scar that is gently filled by glacier melt: Potsdam is a town built on a particularly grizzled section of that scar, much to the delight of kayakers, canoers, and fishers. Let the grandkids play while they learn at the North County Children’s Museum. Mutts make friends for life at the Potsdam Community Dog Park. Sleep on the Saint Lawrence River, just across from Canada, thanks to the Inn at Gran View, mere minutes west of Potsdam.


Aerial view of the monument in Plattsburgh, New York.

Aerial view of the monument in Plattsburgh, New York. 

Welcome to the town on Lake Champlain, with a view of Vermont just across the way. Enjoy the fruits of a cost of living index that is 19% lower than the national average. Plan a trip around a show at the Strand Theater, a performing arts center that originally opened as a vaudeville joint in 1924 and has since been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Find inspiration in the crisp outdoors at the Stone Ledge Sculpture Garden. Pack the pet for a stay at the accommodating Point au Roche Lodge.  

Saratoga Springs

Downtown Saratoga Springs shopping district on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA.
Downtown Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. Editorial credit: Brian Logan Photography / Shutterstock.com

Abscond to Saratoga Springs, the town on the lake with the same name. Fans of the nation’s most iconic horses will be thrilled by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Unwind screaming muscles in a mineral bath at Saratoga Spa State Park. The state park also holds an impressive pool complex and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. It is easy to house creative shops, distinct restaurants, and one of a kind finds in a town where utility prices are 3% lower than the national average. Rest in rooms of Victorian charm at the Inn at Saratoga. The Inn at Saratoga was initially built in 1843 and has been updating itself while maintaining its original charm for each generation since.


Main Street in Johnstown, New York, spanning from the middle of the block eastward to S. Market Street.

Main Street in Johnstown, New York. By N-Lange.de, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Wikimedia Commons

Let loose in Johnstown, a historic town built on a network of beautiful creeks. Johnstown has a Nathan Littauer Primary and Specialty Care Center conveniently located. Johnstown is a beacon of US feminist history as the Women’s Rights Convention was held there in 1848. Stay at Lodge Solange for an unforgettable experience that is just as comfortable as it is rustic. For a taste of royalty, stay in Amsterdam Castle, NY, which is less than twenty minutes outside of town. It is easy to live like royalty in town, with an 18.1% lower cost of living than the national average and 32.6% lower than the New York average. Do not leave Johnstown without sampling some ciders at Rogers’ Cideryard.

A Retirement Haven in the Adirondacks

Humans are known to have lived in the Adirondack Mountain region as far back as 15,000 years ago. The lands supported countless lives belonging to the Mahicans and the Mohawks of the Iroquois Confederacy. Before meeting Europeans in the seventeenth century, the Mohawk population ranged from 8,000 to 11,000, but numbers swiftly dropped to somewhere between 2,000 and 4,500. The knowledge lost with them is a loss to humanity and a loss to the planet. Help humanity redeem itself in this generation by preserving the Adirondack’s natural biome and by supporting Native American nations' legal fees pertaining to land claims. For a directory of Native American businesses to choose from, consult the website Native Knot.

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