Devour Allll The Ice Cream
If you know me, you know that I cant go anywhere without investigating the ice cream situation. Emmas Lake Placid Creamery has sooo many unique creations, you cant go wrong with any of them. Check out their Instagram here to see how yummy everything is! We went here more than once during our trip and my uncle has claimed this is his favorite ice cream shop in the Adirondacks!
Lake Placid Olympic Sites
Lake Placid was a two-time host of the Winter Olympic Games, first in 1932 and again in 1980, and the various event sites are must-see Adirondacks attractions. Start at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum for the history and memorabilia of the games, and then hit the spots where Olympians once competed.
Do laps around the Olympic Skating Oval, cross-country ski on the groomed trails of Mt. Van Hoevenberg, and take a thrilling half-mile bobsled ride. Visitors can also take a gondola up to the Olympic Jumping Complex for heart-pounding views from the 90 & 120-meter ski jump towers.
Though famous for hosting the Winter Olympics, the village of Lake Placid is a year-round destination with lots of restaurants, pubs, and cafés to unwind in after a day of adventure.
Address: 2634 Main Street, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Ausable Chasm is one of the coolest things to do in Adirondacks. There are several ways to explore this deeply cut gorge made of 500 million-year-old sandstone. Visitors can do easy hikes of up to five miles on the well-maintained walking trails, stopping along the way for photo ops set against the steep canyon walls.
The more daring in the group can take the Adventure Trail, which involves scaling the edges of the gorge and requires participants to wear safety harnesses.
Address: 2144 U.S. 9, Ausable Chasm, NY 12911
Address: 4761 NYS Route 86, Wilmington, NY 12997
Best Restaurants For Families In The Adirondacks
- 4 Stars Little Italy in Tupper Lake. Family-friendly classic Italian fare and pizza. Known for having friendly wait staff and not taking credit cards. “What do they put in this pizza, magic?”
- 4.5 Stars Tamarack Café & Movie House in Inlet. Great breakfast and lunch menus with good coffee and pleasant setting that are popular with locals and visitors. “Great breakfast and homey atmosphere.”
- 4.5 Stars Bistro LeRoux in Lake George. Casual yet, classy, family-friendly with fine-dining options, and beautiful presentation. “My husband and I truly enjoyed the experience. Best restaurant in Lake George.”
- 4 Stars Lake Placid Pub & Brewery in Lake Placid. Casual dining with pub menu and microbrews on tap. Kids playroom located in the third-floor dining area for a family-friendly atmosphere. “A kids’ menu with chicken tenders, hot dogs, mac & cheese and other classics.”
- 4 Stars Jeb’s Restaurant in Lowville. Casual, traditional American menus offer variety and fesh ingredients. “Jeb’s is certainly a gem in Lowville.”
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Olympic Ski Jumps Lake Placid
This is one roadside attraction you simply cannot miss. Towering above Lake Placid, and visible in the sky from miles around, are the massive 90 and 120-meter Olympic Ski Jumps constructed for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Athletes continue to train and compete on these jumps, and visitors can take a trip to the top for incredible views of the High Peaks. Venture out onto the platform and imagine gliding down the steep ramps before flying through the air on skis it’s enough to make your knees wobble!Address: 5486 Cascade Rd, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Ride The Rails Instead
For an entirely different, and more relaxing, cycling experience, why not give railbiking a try instead? A railbike is a specially built, pedal-powered vehicle that is designed to ride along old and abandoned railroad tracks, granting access to places where only trains have visited in the past. Revolution Rail offers just such an experience in the Adirondacks, taking riders out into the wilderness, over river-spanning bridges, and along a mountain pass. The experience is a surprisingly relaxing and tranquil one and includes railbikes for two or four passengers, making it a fun option for the entire family.
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Giant Adk Chair Brant Lake
I think we can all agree Adirondack chairs are kind of a big deal. Comfortable and classic, their popularity has expanded well beyond the Blue Line. Throughout the park, you will find several larger-than-life models that make for perfect picture opportunities. Supposedly, the 12-foot Adirondack Chair at Brant Lake Camp, built in 2005 for the 90th anniversary of the camp, was the first of its giant kind. Whether that’s true or not, it’s an iconic sight and well worth the climb up into the seat for a photo.Address: 7586 State Route 8, Brant Lake, NY 12815
Top 30 Things To Do In The Adirondacks With Kids
The Adirondacks region is one of the most idyllic family vacation spots around. The enormous, pristine natural setting features numerous lakes and quaint towns sprinkled across gorgeous mountains. Visitors find the best of outdoor adventures as well as family fun attractions. My family stayed in Schroon Lake, a cute lake town that’s a little more laid-back than nearby Lake George and centrally located to explore the region. We visited all the family-friendly attractions to pick the best things to recommend.
Of course, you could spend all your time hiking, boating, and enjoying whatever outdoor activities your family likes. There are tons of outfitters that will help you do those things so I only made a few recommendations for those types of activities. The below list is the best of the best for other family fun attractions in the Adirondacks. We really enjoyed Fort Ticonderoga, the Wild Center, and the Adirondack Museum, but if I had to pick just one must-do it would definitely be Ausable Chasm. The gorge is just phenomenally beautiful, and we really enjoyed walking and boating through it.
Wild Walk at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Photo by the author.
Lake Placid Area
2. North Star Underground Railroad Museum– At Ausable Chasm you can pop in here to learn how runaway slaves made their way to freedom.
Paddle boarding on Schroon Lake. Photo by the author.
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Inlet/old Forge: Western Adirondack Mountains
One of the most popular places in the Adirondack Mountains, Old Forge and Inlet is great for a week-long vacation for a variety of reasons. Whether a trip for you and your friends or a family, there is something for everyone between Old Forge and Inlet.
Starting with places to stay: Old Forge has everything from cabins and lake houses to old fashioned tent camping, or staying on an island with no running water. Whatever your preference is, Old Forge can provide it.
The Adirondack hotels are often rustic like that of Waters Edge Inn. This Adirondack style hotel has all the amenities of a modern day hotel with that rustic look of exposed wood, paired with the infamous Adirondack chair. Or consider getting in contact with Adirondack Hearthside Realty to rent a cabin or house on one of the connecting lakes from Old Forge to Inlet. Rental houses are a huge part of the summer and winter travel in Old Forge and Inlet as its a way for families and friends to all get together.
Lastly, as youre heading out of the Adirondack park, you have to make one last stop. Perhaps the best donuts and breakfast sandwiches known to man, this inconspicuous donut shop is a MUST. Simply called The Donut Shop, this little nook off the highway is a much-loved breakfast spot. Grab some freshly made cinnamon donuts and enjoy the scenic drive back to civilization. Know that the mountains will always be there for you.
Explore Americas Early History At Fort Ticonderoga
Fort Ticonderoga is an old French fort dating back to 1755. Its unique story makes Fort Ticonderoga one of the best places in Adirondacks for history buffs. The fort was the center point for 5 battles during 2 wars. Reconstruction efforts began way back in the early 1800s and continued into the 1900s. Now Fort Ticonderoga is one of the most famous historical attractions in the Adirondacks. Fort Ticonderoga features a museum, re-enactments, and regular programs that are fun for the whole family.
Where To Stay Near Fort Ticonderoga
To get the most out of your Fort Ticonderoga experience, check out Shoreham inn in nearby Shoreham Vermont. This hotel has a great vintage style and is highly rated. There are a few other great places to stay near Fort Ticonderoga as well. You can check them out here.
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Things To Do During Holiday In Adirondack Mountains
Whatever the weather, living in Adirondack Mountains means theres no shortage of fun things to do in the school summer holidays.
And when we say weve rounded up things for kids, we mean kids of all ages weve got suggestions for babies, toddlers, tweens and teenagers our suggestions aim to keep the whole family entertained.
Admire Views Of Foliage & Falls At Ausable Chasm
Ausable Chasm’s Riverwalk is a fabulous way to get your fall foliage on! Your guide walks you along the river with chasm walls as high as 150 feet surrounding you. As with Fort Ticonderoga, this fall attraction is steeped in history, dating back to 1870, which is before the Winter Olympic Games, before Miracle on Ice, and before the Adirondack Park was even established.
They are open daily in the fall and reservations are not required, although, they do recommend arriving earlier in the day to avoid wait times for some activities. Self-guided hiking to explore the chasm is available daily . Ausable Chasm is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Lake George.
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Q: What Is The Best Time To Visit The Adirondacks
The best time to visit the Adirondacks definitely depends on the kind of trip you want to take.
If you want to take full advantage of the regions many hiking trails or cool off in one of the dazzling lakes, plan your trip for the spring and summer months. Temperatures range from the high 60s to the low 80s Fahrenheit from May through September, making it the best time to enjoy all the warm-weather activities the area has to offer.
If youre looking to try your hand at some winter sports, book a trip for November to April. While the temperatures can get frigid at times, youll be able to see the mountains in all their winter glory and enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, and more.
And you cant miss the Adirondacks during the autumn months when the leaves turn shades of bright red, orange, and yellow. The Adirondack fall foliage is really a sight to see, and youll find that its still warm enough to enjoy hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.
Explore More With Kids
For more outdoorsy vacation ideas, take a look at these ways to connect kids with nature on vacation.
Head to the New York-Canada border to experience the best things to do in Niagara Falls.
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Painted Pig Rock Speculator
Every so often, nature provides us with an opportunity we simply can’t resist. That seems to be the case for the artists behind Painted Pig Rock in Speculator. Along the side of Indian Lake Road is a modestly-sized rock that resembles a pig’s face with a pronounced snout. Legend has it that the rock was created by a road construction project in the mid-50s, and a few years later the daughters of a nearby resident accentuated the resemblance by painting the rock grey with a white eye and snout. Painted Pig Rock has become such a staple of the area that protesters saved the rock from being destroyed in a second building project in the 90s.Address: Indian Lake Rd, Speculator, NY
Where To Stay And What To Do: Adirondack Mountains
The Adirondack Mountains are filled with small historical towns all throughout the state park. These towns date back to colonial and Victorian times. Once populated by the Iroquois and Algonquin native american tribes, are now home to ski destinations like Gore Mountain in North Creek, lakes such as Fourth Lake in Inlet, and the Hudson River which is home to some of the best rafting and tubing on the East Coast.
Accompanied with attractions just a short drive away, or right in the town themselves, these towns not only offer a great resting spot, but also lots of fun for you, your friends and family. These towns below will help you to create a base to return in the evening and will act as a start point for your daily adventures.
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How Do You Get To The Adirondacks From Canada
Six hours from Toronto, the drive is quite easy, and pretty scenic. New York shares a 445 mile , border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. It has 4 of the most heavily travelled border crossings between the countries.
Because all of these are major truck portals, it is important to know where to cross. We found the easiest way to get to the Adirondacks from Canada, is through Ogdensburg, just east of Gananoque and the Thousand Islands.
We had no need for Nexus cards, as there were very few vehicles in line to cross. This was not the case when we tried using other land border crossings like Buffalo-Niagara Falls or the Thousand Islands Bridge.
Things To Do In The Adirondacks
Find fun things to do in the Adirondacks! No matter the season, the Adirondack Region is jam packed with a wide range of activities for every age, from amusement parks and museums to hiking trails and shopping hotspots.
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John Brown Farm State Historic Site
For those who don’t recognize the name John Brown, allow us to give a brief history lesson. John Brown was a famous abolitionist who helped lead an assault on the U.S. Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in 1859. The purpose for the assault was to use the captured weapons to help liberate the slaves in the south. Brown was imprisoned after the assault in Charlestown, Virginia, and hanged. His body was returned to North Elba, near Lake Placid, and buried at his home.
Today his home serves as a museum and memorial to the man who sacrificed his own life to help save others and right tremendous injustices. In addition to the museum, the historic site features hiking, a picnic area, trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and period reenactments to help set the scene and tell the history of the time.
Address: 115 John Brown Road, Lake Placid, New York
Are There Bears In The Adirondacks
The Adirondacks is bear country. There are about 6,000 to 8,000 black bears in New York State with about 50-60% of those bears living in the Adirondacks. But black bears are the only bears youll find in the region. There are no Grizzly bears that live in the state, so the berry-loving breed is the one that youll need to be aware of.
Being bear-smart is important, especially if youll be camping in the Adirondacks. Make sure to store your food out of reach or away from your campsite in bear-proof storage bins to ensure that you arent inviting these animals into your bed at night.
Black bears are mostly scavengers who prefer berries and fish, but they are opportunistic hunters. Keeping your campsite clean and making noise while you walk is the best way to avoid an encounter with these majestic animals.
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The Best Things To Do In The Adirondacks With Kids
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We love to road trip. Ever since the kids were younger, and Mr. Bump outgrew his proclivity for puking motion sickness, we have enjoyed hitting the road! Our location of choice, usually randomly chosen by looking at cities within an 8-hour radius from home, must have interesting or cool family-friendly sites to visit.
Last summer we decided to head to Upstate New York, to check out the best things to do in the Adirondacks with kids. We had heard so many great things about this area, that we knew a road trip was in order!