The Adirondacks are a group of mountains in northern New York featuring over 100 peaks. This stunning scenery is home to unique, small mountain towns, each with its own appeal and charm. Not only is this area ideal for outdoor adventures, but its towns also provide a rustic retreat, with modern amenities interspersed with the vintage flair of the town.
Lake Placid is an outdoor lover's paradise. This is the premier spot in the Adirondacks for camping, fishing, and hiking. The town has hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980 for a reason. While the town is known for its abundance of outdoor adventures, there's much more to experience here.
For instance, instead of hitting the slopes, visitors can stop at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum to experience the historical significance the Olympic Games lent this town. Downtown is the Olympic Sports Center, where the "miracle" hockey game was played. The town also has great restaurants that include the Black Bear and Lisa G's.
North Creek, with its proximity to Gore Mountain, is a haven for winter sports but is also a four-season locale. The town was the original terminus for the Adirondack Railway, and visitors can learn about the history at the North Creek Depot Museum. Though the call of the outdoors is the most popular reason for visitors to come, the history is also a great draw.
After the first Winter Olympics, a couple of locals got together and developed the town into an outdoor recreational hub. There have been recent renovations that developed new hiking trails and ski slopes. Along with the outdoor events, visitors are welcome to visit the Tannery Pond Community Center for cultural events and the Garnet Mine, where tours are held daily.
Ticonderoga is rich in its military history, which is a major draw for history buffs. In fact, Fort Ticonderoga hosts over 75,000 visitors per year and has a Winter Quarters special. The special lasts from November through April, and hosts live reenactments and workshops. The fort played a major role in the Revolutionary War, being the first victory for American troops, and its star shape is an American icon of victory.
Along with its breathtaking scenery and history, Ticonderoga is also home to the Star Trek Original Series Museum. Here, the original sets were painstakingly recreated and fans (Trekkies),are more than welcome to see these sets as they originally stood. The restaurant scene has everything from casual to fine dining. Camp Ticonderoga is a fun atmosphere that includes lodge-style decor and food and drink for the whole family.
Tupper Lake is a scenic getaway that is perfect for a weekend of exploration or relaxation. The village is inside the Adirondack Park and is just stunning to see in the fall. Along with the outdoor fun, this town is a hub for arts and culture as the Adirondacks draw out the best of creative types.
Tupper Arts, in the downtown area, is an art gallery showcasing the best of the regional artists and hosts art classes for visitors. Another unique spot to visit is the Adirondack State Theater, a throwback to a bygone era. Tupper Lake offers the best outdoor adventure and a classic downtown that reminds the visitor of simpler times.
Wells, New York, is a small town named for Joshua Wells, who built the town's first mills. Set on Lake Algonquin, Wells has established itself as a mecca for outdoor recreation, including canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. A popular attraction is Augur Falls, a scenic trek with waterfalls and beautiful Fall foliage.
The town also joins Silver Lake Wilderness, which leads to the West Branch of the Sacandaga River and subsequently to the Northville-Lake Placid Trail. The Camp Store is a neat general store that sells essential hiking and camping supplies, along with groceries for your adventure.
Lake George is a town on the shore of a lake with the same name. The town is fun to visit in any season, but it is particularly well known as a ski resort town. The town also has rich historical sites including the Fort William Henry Museum & Restoration, a restored British Fort originally built in 1775.
The town embraces its culture in a way a lot of towns don't, and they host town events all year round. One of the more popular family events is Winter's Dream, a winter wonderland exhibit of lights and Christmas music at Fort William Henry Historical Fortress. Lake George offers a tremendous culinary scene, and the culinary delights are a vacation of their own. There are breweries like Adirondack Pub and Brewery and family restaurants like the A & W Root Beer Drive-In.
Speculator is a small village just north of the almost 3,000-foot Speculator Mountain. The village is the economic center of the Town of Lake Pleasant and offers dining, lodging, and recreational events. Of course, it also boasts its share of gorgeous scenery, hiking, fishing, and boating and is known as the "All Season Vacationland."
The foliage is the biggest attraction in the Fall, while snowboarding is king in the winter, where there are over 750 miles of groomed trails to ride. The quaint downtown area includes the Judy Nelson Art Gallery and dining options like Laughing Loons Tavern and Gameroom and the Overlook Restaurant inside the Woods Inn, a 19th-century hotel.
Saranac, named for the Saranac River, is located within Adirondack Park. Once a world-famous health resort and scientific research center, Saranac is now known for its heritage tourism and outdoor activities. Famous figures like Mark Twain, Christy Mathewson, Theodore Roosevelt, and a host of others have come here for the serene setting and relaxation.
The small town also boasts the Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage, built in 1865, where the famed author lived for one year while battling a lung ailment. Other historic sites include the old Trudeau Sanatorium property, the Saranac Laboratory Museum, and the Bartok Cabin, where composer Béla Bartók spent his final years.
The Adirondacks are a stunning and unique piece of American geography, and the small towns and villages that make up the community add to the charm. Whether you're seeking historic military forts, famed residences, or breathtaking scenery, the Adirondacks have it all. Though the main draw is for its numerous outdoor adventures, and rightfully so, the small towns are what give this mountain range its character.