Stand up paddle boards along Lake George, New York.

7 Breathtaking Towns to Visit in The Adirondack Mountains

The Adirondack Mountains are one of the most unique geological features in the United States. Set in northeastern New York, they form a dramatic circular dome stretching almost 160 miles. With over 2,000 miles of trail, 1,200 miles of rivers, and more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, they are the ultimate escape to the outdoors, delivering endless recreations in the wild. Nestled within this spectacular mountain region are charming towns that serve as excellent gateways to adventure or relaxing retreats in their own right.

Each offers its own cultural flavor and distinctive natural beauty worth discovering. Discover breathtaking towns to visit in the Adirondack Mountains that capture the essence of this treasured northeastern landscape. From coastlines along scenic lakes to enclaves in thick forests, appreciate natural scenery and revel in small-town cheer while experiencing this special region.

Lake Placid

Peak fall foliage in Lake Placid, Adirondacks, New York.
Peak fall foliage in Lake Placid, Adirondacks, New York.

Lake Placid gained international recognition when it hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games. During the spectacle, the town grabbed the opportunity to showcase its natural beauty, flanked by snow-covered peaks and glistening lake waters. Visitors can relive all the great moments from the games at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, which houses innovative exhibits, interesting archives, and other artifacts from the event. Lake Placid is a recreational hub with countless outdoor opportunities, thanks to its location on the shore of Mirror Lake. The warm season sees activities like boating, swimming, and paddleboarding, while the frozen lake provides the ideal ice skating platform in winter.

Ardent outdoorsmen looking for a challenge while exploring the Adirondacks wilderness can find their favorite hiking boots to scale the summit of Mount Van Hoevenberg. The moderately strenuous climb culminates with sweeping views of the surrounding landscapes and delivers unprecedented photo opportunities.

Lake George

The charming town of Lake George, New York.
The charming town of Lake George, New York.

Lake George is a four-season destination with a diverse mix of attractions, promising to excite all types of travelers. The town sits on the shores of a lake with the same name and is surrounded by a dense wilderness, making for endless recreation, come rain or shine. Lying along the southern shores of the lake is Fort William Henry, an 18th-century British fortress constructed during the French and Indian War. There is plenty of aquatic fun to savor in Lake George, and beach lovers will fancy spending time at Million Dollar Beach. The town's most popular beach delights with activities like swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing.

A tour of the House of Frankenstein Wax Museum guarantees to get your adrenaline pumping with good-natured scares. But if you prefer an escape to the great outdoors, you can grab your hiking poles and brave the climb to the top of Prospect Mountain, where you can soak in panoramic vistas of the wilderness encircling Lake George.

Saranac Lake

The beautiful settings of Saranac Lake, New York.
The beautiful settings of Saranac Lake, New York.

This quaint tourist village charms first-timers with beautiful surroundings, recreation opportunities, and a vibrant town center. A carefree walk through downtown Saranac Lake reveals an exciting mix of galleries, restaurants, museums, and other shops. Noteworthy stops include Pendragon Theater, where guests can enjoy moving shows by an ensemble of creatives based in the Adirondacks. If you travel with kids, be sure to take them to the Adirondack Carousel for old-fashioned fun. The venue's inviting atmosphere and fun activities for all ages make it a must-visit spot for families.

Numerous opportunities beckon those who love to get lost in the great outdoors. The 2.5-mile Baker Mountain Trailhead presents the perfect way to explore the wilderness and features a series of spectacular lookouts on the way to the summit. Also, do not miss out on a chance to sample the lively wine and dine scene by popping into Red Fox Restaurant for scrumptious steaks and ribs.

North Creek

Fall foliage along the upper Hudson River near North Creek, New York.
Fall foliage along the upper Hudson River near North Creek, New York. Image credit Alan B. Schroeder via Shutterstock

North Creek is one of the best towns to visit in the Adirondack Mountains for ardent outdoor adventurers. Located along the Hudson River, this tiny community goes big on river activities, evidenced by the sheer number of local outfitters. Tourists can indulge in adrenaline-filled rafting excursions on the choppy waters of the Hudson River, courtesy of North Creek Rafting Company. The town is a popular stop for winter sports lovers, with Gore Mountain serving as the premier ski resort in the region. Boasting an over 2,500-foot vertical drop, it welcomes skiers, snowboarders, and tubers to take advantage of its world-class slopes.

Art is a vital part of the North Creek community and offers a worthy alternative for those who do not want to venture into the wilderness. Strolling through downtown exposes you to lovely galleries like H'ART Studio & Gallery. However, the highlight for most enthusiasts has to be the North Creek Mosaic Project, which features colorful street murals depicting outdoor life in the Adirondacks.

Old Forge

Old Forge, New York: Wide Horizontal View of the Basin Stream of the Water Safari Park with People Swimming
Old Forge, New York, Water Safari Park. Image credit Mahmoud Suhail via

From thrilling amusement parks and fun art centers to scenic train rides, the fun does not stop in Old Forge, regardless of age or preferences. This charming village is renowned for its vibrant art scene, housing acclaimed venues like View Arts Center. Touring this multi-faceted arts center allows visitors to admire brilliant exhibitions and enjoy moving live performances. By chartering a boat from Rivett's Old Forge Marina, visitors can indulge in remarkable water adventures while discovering the Adirondack's Fulton Chain of Lakes.

The downtown corridor hosts a charged social atmosphere with an assortment of cafes, pubs, gift shops, and other delightful businesses. A stop at Souvenir Village lets you shop for a wide variety of goodies, from sauces and jams to cookie cutters. When peckish, remember to savor a wholesome meal at Walt's Diner.

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs, New York.
Saratoga Springs, New York.

Saratoga Springs is situated in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and is nationally renowned as a center for thoroughbred horse racing. The Saratoga Race Course draws enthusiasts from within and outside New York State coming to enjoy the racing spectacle. However, there is a lot more to the town than its horse races. For nature lovers, Saratoga Spa State Park presents lovely nature trails, secluded picnic areas, and healing mineral springs, making for a satisfying outdoor experience.

The park grounds also house the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art venue with a reputation for staging enthralling summer classical music performances featuring jazz, rock, and soul amidst breathtaking natural scenery. Finally, attending the Saratoga Farmers' Market gives visitors a chance to buy crafts and taste delicious local cuisine.


Scenic view from Route 73 in Keene, New York.
Scenic view from Route 73 in Keene, New York.

Like any other town in the Adirondack Mountains, Keene is surrounded by spectacular natural beauty and particularly stands out for its unrivaled mountain vistas. It has endless opportunities for hikers and outdoor explorers, who can take the challenge to scale the 5.8-mile Hurricane Mountain Trail. Fortunately, the sweeping views awaiting at the top make the strenuous climb all the more worthwhile. While getting lost in the great outdoors, travelers will discover a variety of natural wonders, such as the Roaring Brook Falls. This stupendous sight compels explorers to take out their cameras and make the most of the photo op.

After a long day of adventure, full of tedious hikes, Adirondack Rock & River Guide presents the perfect way to rest and rejuvenate. This lodging facility is popular among outdoor explorers in Keene, who benefit from guiding and camping services.

Whether discovering historic villages, enjoying recreational pleasures, or simply absorbing awe-inspiring natural splendor, spending time in any of these towns to visit in the Adirondack Mountains ensures lifelong memories and rejuvenation. Wandering charming main drags, hiking scenic trails, and simply relaxing with a scenic lake sunset allows visitors to truly experience the magic that makes this cherished region an authentic northeastern retreat.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 7 Breathtaking Towns to Visit in The Adirondack Mountains

More in Places