The Lake George Area changes with the seasons. After a scorching summer, fall eases in, the leaves start to change, and bustling sidewalks start to quiet. Brisk mornings warm into sunny afternoons and then fade into cool evenings. The colors of the Adirondacks morph from emerald and seaweed green to a spectrum of yellows, oranges, and reds. The lakes are still pleasant and refreshing, but the fall air on wet skin forces a shiver or two.
Even though the climate begins to change after Labor Day every summer, the opportunities for fun remain essentially the same. The foliage is jaw-dropping and accessible. Events and festivals make every weekend jam-packed. Waterfront restaurants are open and eager for visitors. Hiking trails remain beautiful challenges as the leaves and temperatures drop.
Fall is a gorgeous time to visit the Lake George Area. Let us plan a weekend trip for you. All you need to worry about is getting here and having fun.
It’s around 6 p.m., and after a crazy week at work, you roll into the Lake George Area ready to relax. You check into a clean and comfy hotel room, or maybe an Adirondack cabin complete with dark wood paneling and a ten-point buck up on the wall, or maybe even a secluded campsite shaded by tall pines. It’s time to grab a bite to eat.
There are dozens of eclectic and delicious restaurants in the Lake George Area. From family-owned Italian to juicy burgers, Mexican, Spanish, and more, where you eat depends on what you’re in the mood for and where you’re staying.
Glens Falls and Queensbury, the largest population towns in the region, make up the southern portion of the Lake George Area. That large population creates a lot of options for dinner on a Friday evening. You can park in downtown Glens Falls and walk to more restaurants than your stomach can handle in one night. Fenimore’s Neighborhood Pub, located in the Queensbury Hotel, is a casual gastro-pub that overlooks Glens Falls City Park.
If you’re craving food with flair, you have several options in Glens Falls. Raul’s Mexican Grill is a city staple, offering fresh Mexican-American food in an atmosphere-rich nook on Glen Street.
Queensbury isn’t as walkable, but there are still options for a delicious meal. Land at The Aviator, an aviation-themed restaurant located at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport. The Aviator menu covers a little bit of everything, offering seafood, steaks, pasta, sushi, pierogies, and more.
The middle section of the Lake George Area is made up Lake George Village, Bolton Landing, and Warrensburg. Lake George Village and Bolton Landing both sit on the shores of beautiful Lake George. A table overlooking the lake is easy to find. In Lake George Village, join the Lake George Beach Club. This waterfront restaurant on Montcalm Street is newly renovated, serves quality food and drinks, and often has live music. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, check into The Adirondack Pub & Brewery and have dinner at the bar. Their award-winning beers are varied and excellent, and their fall seasonal brews go down quick on a Friday evening. Pasta-lovers should head to Mario’s Restaurant, a family-owned Lake George Village fixture since 1954.
The best view in Bolton Landing belongs to the Algonquin. The view of Lake George from a stool at their lengthy bar or from a table on any of their outdoor decks is hard to beat. The Algonquin serves burgers, sandwiches, seafood, steaks, and pasta. It’s tough to eat when you’re staring at those views, trust us. For an exquisite meal with guaranteed fresh ingredients, check out the Huddle Kitchen and Bar. Their outdoor seating is perfect for an early evening meal.
Warrensburg isn’t located on Lake George, but it’s still chock full of options for a great meal. The Grist Mill offers fine dining in a rustic, historic building next to the Schroon River. For more casual pub fare with a local feel, grab a stool at George Henry’s. Order some wings in a variety of flavors and wash them down with an ice cold draft beer.
If you’re staying in one of the small outskirts towns of the Lake George Area you’ll have plenty of options for dinner. In Chestertown, take route 8 to The Place for huge portions of flavorful Italian food, or stay in town for a tender steak at The Bullhouse. In Lake Luzerne, head to Ciro’s Restaurant for Italian favorites or the Long Horn Restaurant & Pub for sandwiches at the bar. In North Creek, Basil & Wicks is a post-skiing favorite that’s just as good in the fall, and barVino is the place for local ingredients and diverse wines and beers.
Whichever restaurant you choose, make sure to skip dessert. After dinner you’re heading to Martha’s Dandee Crème in Queensbury. Their towering ice cream cones and daily flavors are a legend in the Lake George Area.
You wake up well-rested and refreshed, ready to get out and enjoy the Lake George Area in the daylight. You can’t explore every nook and cranny in one weekend, but there are a few things every fall visitor should check out. Get out of bed, get dressed, and have a quick bite to eat. It’s time to see the foliage.
Depending on when you visit, the fall foliage season is either getting better or at its peak. There are several ways to see outstanding views of the colors. If you’d like to get out into the woods and walk among the leaves, take a hike to one of the Lake George Area’s gorgeous mountain summits. The Dean Farm Heritage Trail in Stony Creek is an easy, handicapped accessible walking path. The Pinnacle in Bolton Landing is a short, moderate hike to gorgeous views of Lake George and distant mountains. Crane Mountain is a difficult trail in Thurman that requires hikers to climb two ladders to complete the loop. Each of these trails gives leaf-peepers exactly what they’re looking for.
If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, there are other opportunities to see the fall colors. Rent a boat or trailer your own to Lake George and spend your morning cruising around. Go to Gore Mountain in North Creek and take a scenic ride on the Northwoods Gondola for some bird’s eye views of the foliage. Drive to the summit of Prospect Mountain to see a hundred-mile view of Lake George, the Adirondacks, and beyond.
Visitors to the Lake George Area have been admiring fall foliage from the deck of cruise ships for 200 years. You can do the same with both the Lake George Steamboat Company and Lake George Shoreline Cruises. The Lake George Steamboat Company offers a lunch cruise on the Lac du Saint Sacrement on Saturdays at noon, and Lake George Shoreline Cruises offers three sightseeing cruises daily. Either cruise will give you an up close and personal look at the colors.
After a busy morning of hiking through the woods or taking in the foliage out on the water, it’s time you went to an event. There are dozens to choose from every fall in the Lake George Area. The type of event you can attend depends on which weekend you visit. From foliage and harvest-themed to Halloween-centric, fall is flush with festivities in the Lake George Area.
The annual Adirondack Balloon Festival takes place at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport. You can see hundreds of unique hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes blast into the air, browse the craft fair, enjoy the Big Balloon Breakfast, and more.
The World’s Largest Garage Sale takes place in Warrensburg. Over 500 vendors from near and far line Main Street and the back streets of Warrensburg selling antiques, electronics, memorabilia, clothing, children’s items, food, and more. If you want it, someone at the World’s Largest Garage Sale is probably selling it.
The Taste of the North Country food festival takes place in Glens Falls City Park. Here you can taste the best local foods all while listening to live entertainment. This year, Bluz House Rockers Band will be rocking the park. You won’t leave hungry.
Is anything better than drinking a cold beer outside in the fall? The Lake George Area has a full case of annual Oktoberfests with plenty of beer to go around.
Lake George Village’s Oktoberfest takes place in early October. Canada Street is shut down and transformed into a European-style street fair. Polka bands play music for dancing crowds, and German food and beers are abundant.
The Adirondack Pub & Brewery’s Oktoberfest takes place at the brewery. The German beer will be flowing along with non-stop polka music and plenty of German food to go around. Participate in the keg toss and play a few rounds of cornhole. This year’s Oktoberfest features a brand new costume contest, so don’t forget to dress up!
Some fall festivals focus more on the harvest than on beer. The town of Thurman hosts their Fall Farm Tour. Guests can devour a pancake breakfast at Valley Road Maple Farm, sample maple products at Toad Hill Maple Farm or Valley Road Maple Farm, taste cheeses and visit the animals at Nettle Meadow Farm and Artisan Cheese, and much more. This all-day event is a self-guided tour of Thurman.
Two of the Lake George Area’s three ski mountains get in on the harvest fest action every October. Gore Mountain’s Harvest Fest is a celebration of autumn that features delicious food, live entertainment, children’s games, pony rides, and plenty of fall foliage. Make sure to take a ride on the Northwoods Gondola before you leave.
West Mountain’s Fall Festival will be back in fall of 2019. The fall fun includes hayrides, a costumed bike race, a petting zoo, pony rides, live music, and more. The foliage will be in full bloom at this festival as well.
An October in the Lake George Area wouldn’t be complete without an event that scares you to death. Without a doubt, the scariest event in the Lake George Area is the Great Escape’s Fright Fest. The park is spooky during the day, but the real scares begin when the sun goes down. There’s no place to hide.
For more fall events, visit our events page.
If you didn’t eat enough at the event you attended you’re probably ready for dinner. This time, do something a bit different. The Lake George Steamboat Company offers dinner cruises on select weekends at 6 p.m. The Lake Theater in Lake George Village presents professional productions through mid-October with a delicious dinner to boot.
Your trip to the Lake George Area is almost over, but it’s not too late to squeeze in a bit more fun. You can still enjoy a morning hike or a stroll through town before hitting the road. Stop at the arcades in Lake George Village, or hit the beach in Bolton Landing or Hague. Make a quick stop at the Factory Outlets of Lake George for some fall discounts. Take a scenic drive the long way on your way out of town. No matter what you do, make sure to start planning next fall’s trip to the Lake George Area.