Adirondack Vacation Travel Guide
You’re looking to have a fun outdoor vacation. You’re considering the Adirondacks in Upstate New York. However, you’re wondering, “What can you do in the Adirondacks?”
An Adirondack vacation offers a variety of activities and is fun for people of all ages. Learn more about the Adirondack Mountains and the Adirondack region in general by reading our comprehensive travel guide!
Adirondack Towns to Consider
The Adirondacks span a variety of towns, each of which provides its own individual flavor. We’ll discuss these in detail below.
An extremely popular vacation destination, Lake Placid is famous for having hosted two Winter Olympics Games (including the Miracle on Ice hockey game of 1980). Located within the Adirondack High Peaks, Lake Placid offers everything from hiking to swimming to skiing and more.
A resort town, it’s also home to countless restaurants, shops, and hotels. If you’re looking for a spot with a large crowd, Lake Placid wouldn’t be a bad choice. It sees regular visitors year-round.
Another location that you might consider vacationing in near the Adirondacks is Tupper Lake. A more remote location, Tupper Lake is great for young families and those who are looking to get away for a while.
There are all sorts of activities to pursue in the area. You can go kayaking, fishing, swimming, and hunting, to name just a few activities. You can also visit some of the local tourist stops, including the Adirondack Public Observatory and the Wild Center, a natural history museum featuring trails, animal exhibits, and more.
Like Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake is a more remote destination. It’s a natural paradise and is most frequently visited by those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Saranac Lake provides a variety of museums and historical sites. These are in addition, of course, to its bodies of water, which allow for swimming, fishing, and other aquatic activities.
Make note that, due to its wild location, Saranac Lake doesn’t offer much in the way of lodging. So, if you’re interested in vacationing there, be sure to make your reservations early.
If you’re into history, you might consider taking a trip to Fort Ticonderoga. Built by French settlers near Lake Champlain, this expansive fort is equal parts awe-inspiring and educational.
But it alone isn’t all that the area has to provide. There are also ample opportunities for swimming, fishing, boating, and the like. Not to mention, there are a variety of history tours that you can go on, including ones for the Underground Railroad.
Another remote spot for hiking, swimming, fishing and the like, Long Lake is a 14-mile-long lake located within the confines of Adirondack Park. As wild as wild can be, it’s ideal for those who want a quiet and relaxing vacation. It’s particularly popular for camping, and there are ample grounds for visitors to stay on.
Lake George is one of the more popular spots in the Adirondack region. Great for families, it offers everything from shopping to ziplining to museums to Six Flags and more.
Of course, you can also pursue the typical water-related activities, including swimming, kayaking, fishing, and the like. With a variety of hotels to choose from, many of which house fun activities of their own, Lake George is sure to make for a memorable vacation.
If you’ve never vacationed in the Adirondacks before, you likely have a number of questions that need answering. To help you along, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions below.
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Adirondacks?
There isn’t a bad time to visit the Adirondacks. They offer plenty of fun regardless of the season. Whereas the warm months are best for swimming and water-based activities, the cold months are great for hunting, skiing, and general weekend getaways.
All of that said, the Adirondacks see the most visitors between late spring and early fall. In other words, the Adirondacks are ideal for most people during the warm months.
How Long Do Visitors Typically Stay in the Adirondacks?
While the lengths of visitors’ Adirondack vacations can vary wildly, most visitors to the Adirondacks stay around a week. Weekend getaways are popular as well but don’t afford the opportunity to see everything the region has to offer.
If you’re coming for your first time, set aside anywhere from 5 to 7 days and plan an itinerary. There are a lot of attractions to see, and you’ll need at least this many days to see and experience them fully.
What Kind of Weather Can You Expect in the Adirondacks?
Though there’s a great deal of variation from place to place, in general, Adirondacks weather is on the cool side.
During summer days, it scarcely reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit, usually floating between the mid-60s and mid-70s. And on summer nights, it’s not uncommon for it to dip down into the low 40s. Nonetheless, the spring and summer months are generally fairly humid.
Through the winter months, you can expect exceedingly low temperatures. For instance, in the month of January, Lake Placid averages a daily high of 26 degrees Fahrenheit and a daily low of 5 degrees Fahrenheit. And, of course, the higher you get up into the mountains, the colder the temperature will be.
As far as precipitation goes, the Adirondacks see quite a bit. The town of Adirondack sees 44 inches of rain annually. This is in addition to 76 inches of snowfall, adding up to 137 total inches of precipitation annually.
So, when packing, make sure that you bring not only sweaters and pants but rain-repellant gear as well. Shorts and t-shirts will do you well on those summer days but will typically need to be supplemented with thicker clothing by nightfall.
Are the Bugs Bad?
You might also be wondering about the insects. Do people tend to get bitten a lot? Unfortunately, bug bites are common in the Adirondack region.
Now, these aren’t particularly harmful in any way. But they do leave some minor pain and discomfort.
Mosquitoes make their initial appearance almost as soon as the weather warms up in the spring. They typically stick around until late September or early October.
There are also black flies that you have to worry about. These gravitate to the people on the trails and are most prominent between mid-May and early July. While they do bite, they don’t cause any ill effects.
In any case, you should be sure to bring some bug repellant along with you. Spraying yourself and your general area can work wonders in reducing your bug troubles.
Where Are the Adirondacks?
The Adirondack region is located in northeastern New York, approximately 4 hours north of Manhattan in New York City and approximately 2 hours south of Montreal in Canada. It’s adjacent to the state of Vermont.
The region covers around 5,000 square miles, spanning towns like Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Wilmington. While the area is characterized primarily by its wilderness, it’s not all wild. There are many hotels, restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions scattered throughout the region.
How Do You Get to the Adirondacks?
There are a number of different ways to get to the Adirondacks. Regardless of where you’re located in the world, there is a transportation method that will accommodate you.
The majority of visitors to the Adirondacks get there by driving themselves. Provided that you book lodging in advance, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding suitable parking for your vehicle.
If you’re out of state, you might consider flying into the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Regional Airport accepts flights from all over the country, and from some other countries as well.
There is also an Amtrak line that runs from New York City through the Adirondack region and into the Canadian city of Montreal. This line is called the Adirondack and it runs daily.
Other transportation methods to consider include bus, taxi, and rideshare options. Depending on your location, you might even be able to take a boat up Lake Champlain.
Activities in the Adirondacks
There are countless activities to pursue in the Adirondack region. Some of the most popular of these activities include the following:
If you’re looking to take on the wilderness on foot, you can certainly do so in the Adirondacks. The hiking opportunities are endless here, and they’re catered to hikers of all experience levels. Whereas some trails are still rough and wild, others have been enhanced with the use of platforms and walkways.
Some of the most popular hikes in the Adirondacks include Mount Colden, Mount Marcey, Gothics Mountain, and Mount Skylight. For more information on hikes in the region, click this.
Regardless of where you stay in the Adirondacks, there are almost sure to be swimming opportunities within walking distance. The region is characterized by crystal clear lakes and is one of the most inviting natural swimming areas in the country.
Some of the region’s most popular swimming holes include Shelving Rock, Lake Luzerne, the Hudson River, and Mill Creek. Again, however, there’s likely a sweet spot in close proximity to where you’re staying. Ask around to see what’s most readily available to you.
With all of the lakes present in the Adirondacks, it should come as no surprise that fishing is a popular activity. Some of the more popular Adirondack fishing spots include Lake George, Lake Champlain, the Sacandaga River, and Tupper Lake.
As far as the types of fish you can catch in the Adirondacks, walleye, trout, bass, and salmon are popular. You might also come across perch, catfish, bullhead, and pike.
If you’re coming to the Adirondacks during the cold season, you should consider getting into some skiing. There are several skiing spots located in the Adirondacks, including Whiteface, Gore Mountain, Titus Mountain, and West Mountain.
There are slopes for all experience levels. So, whether you’re just getting started or have been at it for years, you will be accommodated.
Canoeing and kayaking are popular in the region as well, and there are tons of places in which to do it. Whether you bring your own kayak or need to rent someone else’s, you can be accommodated.
Some popular canoeing and kayaking outfitters in the region include St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, Adirondack River Outfitters, and Raquette River Outfitters.
Enjoy a Water Park
If you’re visiting during the summer months, you could spend some time at Enchanted Forest Water Safari. This park offers all types of attractions, from tall slides to tubing rides to wave pools and more. Regardless of your age, you’re sure to have a good time.
Check Out the Olympic Exhibits
We mentioned above that Lake Placid has been the site of two Winter Olympic Games. Because of this (and because it’s likely to host games in the future), it’s filled with all sorts of Olympic exhibits and amenities.
These include but aren’t limited to an ice rink, a luge track, a bobsled track, skiing ramps, and an Olympic Museum. Whether you’re looking to get in on some activities yourself or just need a cool place to bring the kids, this area will suit you well.
Ready for an Adirondack Vacation?
What do you say? Are you ready for an Adirondack vacation experience? If so, Go2ADK may just have the vacation spot you are looking for!.