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It’s been a long winter, and if you spent the past few months dreaming of summer vacation, you are not alone. Early spring is when most people begin planning their escape, the sorely needed getaway to renew the spirit and refresh the soul. Before you jump online and start searching for lodging and transportation, ask yourself this question: “What do I want from my vacation?” Do I need excitement and adventure? Am I eager to explore and learn new things? Perhaps I should disconnect from it all and disappear into the wilderness. Then again, five-star luxury and pampering would be nice.
Traveling with the family means you need a vacation everyone will enjoy. Bored kids get cranky, teens get restless, and the adults have their own grownup interests. So what kind of vacation should you choose? Actually, you don’t have to choose; you just need to find a destination that offers all of the above in one vacation.
Time’s Money magazine includes Lake George on its list, “The 20 Best Places to Go In 2018,” and they include it with good reason. New York’s Lake George Area is in the southern Adirondacks, just 200 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. It is where the American vacation was born. City-dwellers of the 19th century escaped the oppressive urban heat to the region’s forested mountains and spent their summers swimming, fishing, and paddling on crystal lakes and ponds. The region was, and still is, a paradise for enjoying outdoor sports and nature, but there is so much more.
A Diversity of Natural and Cultural Landscapes
Positioned at the gateway to the Adirondacks, the area is a meeting of vibrant city streets, quaint villages, working farmlands, rolling mountains and sparkling lakes, ponds, rivers and streams surrounded by deep forests. A vacation to the Lake George Area may find you hiking a mountain path under a canopy of fragrant hemlock in the morning, browsing through gift shops in the afternoon and ending the day at a free concert under the stars. You could spend the day riding roller coasters and plunging down water slides and in the evening, enjoy a dinner and show.
A morning spent getting to know the goats at an award-winning cheese company may be followed by an afternoon mastering the techniques of weaving on a floor loom with evening finding you on the lake watching fireworks from the deck of a cruise ship. Or, you could spend your entire vacation plopped on a beach reading a fat novel and letting your workaday cares evaporate in the sun.
The Lake George Area combines the best a modern traveler expects in accommodations, attractions, and amenities with local culture and the breathtaking beauty of the Adirondack wilderness.
Lodging Choices to Fit All Budgets and Tastes
Over the past century and a half, the Lake George Area developed to accommodate vacationers with a wide range of interests. Luxury hotels and resorts rose on the lake shores and in the mountains. The advent of the automobile led to the addition of hotels, motels, dude ranches, housekeeping cottages, cabins, and campgrounds to accommodate visitors. This mix of available lodging continues today.
Attractions and Recreation for All Vacation Styles
The Lake George Area is home to theme parks, golf courses, cruise ships, and horseback riding stables. The diversity of water sports alone could keep a vacationer happily splashing in cool lake waters for an entire week with kayaking, waterskiing, whitewater rafting, paddle boarding, and parasailing. A vibrant art scene brings concerts, fine art, craft fairs, and theatrical productions to the region. And everywhere, there is the history.
History Buffs Take Note
The rugged wilderness between New England and New France was a battleground during the Colonial wars. The outcomes of these battles determined the political fate of North America. Evidence of this history can be seen throughout the region at museums, at the reconstructed Fort William Henry and alongside roads and through parks marked with historical markers.
Visitors will see history come alive as French and Indian War reenactors regularly stage battles on the same grounds where 18th-century soldiers and their Native American allies defended the Crown against the French Empire. Following the Colonial wars, industry took off as the area’s abundance of natural resources was tapped to build the new nation. The growth of the region’s industries is documented in local historical museums offering visitors a glimpse into 19th-century Adirondack life.
The Area Hosts a Full Schedule of Fairs and Festivals
The Lake George Area is also known for its festivals and special events. Each June, tens of thousands of motorcycles rumble into Lake George for Americade, the largest touring bike rally in the Northeast, and downtown Glens Falls becomes an art mecca with the LARAC June Arts Festival. The Adirondack Balloon Festival, named by the American Bus Association as one of the Top 100 Events in North America, draws tens of thousands to the region each September to witness the colorful launch of several dozen hot air balloons. The festival calendar includes food and craft beverage festivals, music festivals and art festivals. Many are free or very low cost.
Breathe in the Mountain Air
Of course, the great outdoors is always calling when you visit the Lake George Area. Trailheads are found just off the roadways throughout the region with easy-to moderate-level hiking paths. The Warren County Bikeway offers nearly 10 miles of off-road biking between downtown Glens Falls and the Lake George Beach. For more of a challenge, several on-road bike loops take riders through the quaint hamlets and villages of the Lake George Area. You may bring your own bike or rent one from shops in Glens Falls and Lake George. Anglers can launch their own boats, rent a craft or hire a charter for some lake fishing or hike into the woods and cast a line in a mountain brook.
The original vacationers traveled to Lake George using a system of trains, stagecoaches, and ferries. Today, it is an easy drive on the highway. For non-drivers, the area may be reached by plane, train or bus with city buses, trolleys, and taxis available to connect you with your destination.
Get Started on Your Vacation Plans
The Visit Lake George website is a great starting point for vacation planning. The searchable database will help you sort through the lodging options. You may even apply a filter to find accommodations that will accept the family pet. Be sure to check the event calendar, you may find a festival or special event that is just perfect for you and your family. The site has a wealth of information on area recreation and activities. Scroll through the blog for detailed reviews of hikes, events, and activities. With such a wide variety of offerings, a trip to the Lake George Area is sure to meet everyone’s idea of the perfect vacation.