Homes in Saranac Lake, New York with fall foliage along the water.

9 Cutest Small Towns in the Adirondack Mountains

Nestled in the heart of New York's picturesque Adirondack Mountains, you can find some of the most charming and historic small towns this state has to offer. From bustling citadels of culture to quiet places featuring breathtaking views, these jewels truly define what it means to experience quaint and cozy Americana at its finest.

Take a step back in time for a moment and explore all that these unique little spots have to offer! Amble down quaint cobbled streets, spend an afternoon relaxing by placid lakesides, or enjoy shopping after hours before settling into any one of many tasty local eateries. The choice is yours as each destination will delight both nature-driven folks wanting outdoor fun and those with an eye toward history and artful expression. So, lace up your boots and journey through nine incredible cutest towns the Adirondack Mountains have hidden away just waiting for you to discover!

Tupper Lake

Tupper Lake, New York, view from Coney Mountain
Aerial view of Tupper Lake, New York.

For the perfect place to get away and relax, Tupper Lake is the ideal destination. Located at the edge of Raquette Pond, this idyllic mountain town offers a unique combination of rustic charm and modern amenities. From breathtaking views on hikes around the lake to exploring nearby trails that take you over hills and through forests, there is something here for everyone.

The shopping and dining options in Tupper Lake are plentiful, with everything from local shops and boutiques to cozy cafés, pubs, and trendy restaurants serving up delicious cuisine. With plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing, there is no shortage of ways to stay active during your visit. Do not forget to check out nearby attractions like Raquette River Outfitters or the Wild Center.

Au Sable Forks

Historic Graves Mansion on College Street in Au Sable, New York
Historic Graves Mansion on College Street in Au Sable, New York. Image credit John Arehart via Shutterstock

Au Sable Forks is the perfect place to escape and unwind. Surrounded by forests, rivers, and spectacular views of Debar Mountain, this small village has a lot to offer visitors looking for an outdoor getaway. The centerpiece of Au Sable Forks is its two mesmerizing rivers—the Ausable River and the East Branch of the Ausable—where you can spend hours fishing, paddling in a canoe or kayak, or taking a leisurely stroll alongside the water's edge. There are plenty of trails nearby for hiking or mountain biking as well.

In addition to all its outdoor wonders, Au Sable Forks also boasts several restaurants offering delicious local fare and unique shops and galleries to browse. A visit to the Hollywood theater promises superb entertainment, while a trip to the nearby Au Sable Chasm will take your breath away with its grandeur. Whether you are looking for an escape from city life or a quiet weekend getaway, Au Sable Forks is sure to provide the perfect rustic retreat.

Saranac Lake

Colorful aerial view of Saranac Lake New York in the Adirondack Mountains
Colorful shot of Saranac Lake, New York.

When the hustle and bustle of city life become too much, Saranac Lake provides a refreshing change of pace. This quintessential Adirondack village offers all the amenities you would expect from larger cities but in a much more serene setting. Here, you can take a break from the stress of everyday life and enjoy some of nature's finest wonders.

Surrounding Saranac Lake are beautiful parks, like Riverside Park, with stunning views of the lake. This area makes for perfect days spent outdoors doing activities such as fishing, swimming, hiking, or simply taking in the view from one of its picturesque overlooks. With plenty of recreational activities available, there is something here to please everyone who visits.

The charming downtown area of Saranac Lake includes stores and restaurants that provide a unique shopping experience. There are also plenty of events in the village, such as art walks, farmers' markets, live music performances, and more. Whether you are looking for a romantic evening out or an exciting day with the family, there is something here to enjoy!

Old Forge

Bald mountain Old Forge, New York
Fall foliage in Old Forge, New York.

Exploring Old Forge is a great way to get in touch with nature and experience amazing scenery. Whether you are an avid outdoorsman or just looking for a relaxing weekend, this destination has something for everyone. For adventure seekers, Old Forge offers plenty of outdoor activities including fishing, paddling, hiking, horseback riding, and more. With its many lakes and miles of trails, there are breathtaking views all around.

Challenge yourself on one of the thrilling mountain biking trails or take it easy with an afternoon cruise along the waterways—whatever your preference, Old Forge has you covered! For those looking to camp and stay awhile, Old Forge Camping Resort offers comfortable RV sites as well as cottages and cabins. This beautiful location provides easy access to all that Old Forge has to offer so you can make the most of your visit.

Keene Valley

Bridge over Hulls Falls, Keene Valley, New York
Hulls Falls, Keene Valley, New York.

Keene Valley is a small hamlet in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, but it packs a big punch when it comes to historic charm and natural beauty. Start your visit off by taking a stroll down Main Street to admire some of the town's oldest buildings, or gaze at landmarks like the Keene Valley Congregational Church and Keene Town Hall. Take time to explore some of the area's interesting local stores, from antique shops to bookstores filled with vintage finds.

When you need a break from exploring Keene's historic charm, take some time to relax and enjoy the town's many outdoor activities. If skiing is your preference, there are plenty of trails available for downhill and cross-country skiing, like The Mountaineer.

Schroon Lake

Aerial Shot of Schroon Lake and Adirondack Mountains, Upstate New York
Schroon Lake and Adirondack Mountains, Upstate New York.

Schroon Lake is a tranquil village located near the High Peaks Wilderness, and it is an ideal destination for people looking to take a break from their everyday life. Surrounded by lush greenery and seemingly endless forests, this beautiful town offers visitors a chance to bask in the serenity of nature. Take a leisurely stroll around its boardwalks and enjoy spectacular views of Schroon Lake, or head out into more adventurous trails, the possibilities are endless!

For outdoor enthusiasts, Schroon Lake is paradise. Spend hours exploring the lake's depths with canoeing or kayaking trips. For those feeling particularly brave, try tackling one of the more challenging hikes in the wilderness area. The rewards you will find at the peak make all that effort worthwhile.

In addition to its natural beauty, Schroon Lake is also home to a vibrant local community and numerous activities. Visit some of the quaint shops around town and pick out souvenirs or handmade items made by local artisans. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes too; not to mention frequent events such as farmers' markets and music festivals. With its stunning views and abundant outdoor activities, Schroon Lake is a paradise for people looking to bask in natural beauty.

Indian Lake

View from Indian Head cliff at Adirondack Park, New York
Indian Head cliff at Adirondack Park, New York.

Indian Lake is an idyllic escape for anyone looking for a peaceful and comfortable retreat. With crystal clear lakes, lush forests, and rolling hills as far as the eye can see, it is easy to become mesmerized by the natural beauty of the region. For those wanting to take in all that Indian Lake has to offer at their leisure, there are numerous luxury cabins nestled among the trees, ideal for couples or small groups seeking privacy and comfort. After a day spent exploring all that Adirondack Park has to offer, you can come home to your own little paradise under the stars, and cozy living space perfect for unwinding after a long day outdoors.

For those in search of more adventure, Indian Lake State Park Campground is the perfect spot for camping. With plenty of activities like fishing and swimming, as well as hiking trails that wind throughout the park, you can get your fill of nature without having to sacrifice any of the comforts of home.

Crown Point

Ruins of the British fort on Lake Champlain at Crown Point New York
British fort on Lake Champlain at Crown Point New York.

Huddled close to Lake Champlain, Crown Point is a small town with big charm. It offers breathtaking views and easy access to nature and local culture all at once. From its rustic buildings to its quaint streets lined with colorful wildflowers, Crown Point has an undeniable storybook quality about it that begs for exploration. The historic sites here offer even more deliciousness for sightseers. There are fortifications, such as Fort Crown Point, from the French & Indian War and forts used during the Revolutionary War.

Crown Point is well known for its abundance of outdoor activities, inspiring visitors to spend their days fishing and boating on Lake Champlain or kayaking along the lake's edge. In wintertime, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular pastimes. Other local events include farmers' markets as well as occasional art shows that showcase work from local artists. For a truly unique experience, make sure to visit Crown Point for its cozy atmosphere and unforgettable views.

North Creek

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

When it comes to quaint small towns, North Creek is right at the top. Home to less than 700 people, this charming town offers visitors a chance to escape and relax with its idyllic scenery and rich history. For starters, there are plenty of outdoor activities for all types of adventurers. Gore Mountain Ski Resort nearby offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding terrains in the northeast.

The town also has a unique culture that is worth experiencing too! There are several museums such as the North Creek Depot Museum which celebrate the area's role in American history. There is a restored theatre and many art galleries that showcase local and regional talent, perfect for any art enthusiast! The town also offers some unique shops and restaurants to explore as well. You can find an old-timey general store, boutique clothing stores, and delicious eateries.

Whether you are looking for a quiet escape or an action-packed adventure, the Adirondack Mountains have something to offer any type of traveler. From its lakeside villages to its towering mountain peaks, this area is sure to provide a unique and memorable experience. With activities ranging from skiing and hiking to shopping and dining, there is no shortage of things to do in this beautiful region!

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