Discover the original American vacation. Pristine wilderness, charming towns and must-see attractions make the Lake George Area in New York’s Adirondacks the quintessential summer destination, America’s first summer resort.
The American vacation was born in the Adirondacks as city dwellers vacated their homes in search of lakeside summer retreats. The idea of leaving the city and traveling to the mountains and lakes was viewed as an outrageous idea in the mid-1800’s. But when a guidebook by a young preacher from Boston touted the idea of an excursion into nature as a way to escape the demands of civilized life, readers were charmed and fascinated that such a getaway was within reach. A mere 36-hours by train from Boston or New York City opened the door to an expanse of mountains, lakes and rivers, largely undiscovered by beleaguered city-dwellers.
The D&H Railroad brought visitors to the southern tip of Lake George where a stunning view of the lake and mountains beckoned them to experience this vision of natural beauty. The Adirondack Railway took riders to the northernmost station of North Creek, where the rugged mountains summoned visitors to become adventurers. (In fact, Theodore Roosevelt had been vacationing in the Adirondacks in 1901 when he received word that President McKinley had been shot. He traveled by train from North Creek to Buffalo where he was inaugurated upon McKinley’s death.)
Visitors from cities came in droves by train; they continued their journey by stagecoach and steamboat to mountain hideaways and shoreline resorts. From the wealthy great and gracious who built summer homes in the late 1800’s to the post-World War II era of motels and lakeside cottages; from the legendary dude ranches to the iconic amusements parks of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the American vacation was, quite literally, born here.
This tradition has continued through the generations, as families pack up their gear for a week long visit, and return year after year. Memories have been made of days on a sandy beach, a hike to a mountain summit, fishing on a back-country stream, the thrills of an amusement park or an outing on a magical lake.
It’s the vacation you remember. It’s the vacation you wish would never end. It’s a vacation to the Lake George Area in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Make it yours!
# # #