Lake George

2.5 hours from Poughkeepsie

Photo courtesy of the Sagamore Resort

Do & Dine

Some vacation destinations are meant for lazy days napping by the pool. Lake George is not one of those. The goal here is adventurous fun — and lots of it. The lake, obviously, is the main draw, offering every type of water sport and water-based thrill you can possibly think of (see below).

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But the Lake George area — which sits within the lush southern Adirondack region and has long been a popular summer getaway — is chock full of non-water-centric activities, too. Adrenaline junkies should check out the new ADK Eagle Flyer zip line, which opened in 2016 and sends riders barreling down a nearly 1,000-foot vertical drop at 50 miles an hour. Families can hit Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park (more than 38,000 square feet of water fun), and Adventure Family Fun Center (bumper cars, outdoor and indoor go-karts, arcade, laser tag, etc.) in nearby Queensbury. Aerial enthusiasts can book a two-hour helicopter tour around the Adirondacks through North Country Heliflite, or try a scenic hot-air balloon ride with Adirondack Balloon Flights. Other popular outdoor-recreation options include golf, biking and hiking trails, and guided horseback rides.

For more sedate enjoyment, head to charming Bolton Landing to browse cute shops (standouts include Happy Jacks, Black Bass Antiques, and Trees Adirondack Gifts & Books), sip some wine at the Adirondack Winery tasting room, and enjoy a waterfront meal at Tavern on the Lake. Or, load up on touristy kitsch in Lake George Village — the main drag offers everything you expect from a vacay town: souvenirs, fudge, ice cream, and of course, Lake George-themed clothes and knick-knacks.


Photo courtesy of the Sagamore Resort


Standing regally at the edge of Lake George since 1883, The Sagamore Resort beckons with classic Victorian architecture and stunning lake access, ambling across 70 acres on a private island connected to the town of Bolton Landing. Originally an exclusive resort for wealthy summer residents, The Sagamore still boasts upscale historic flair — and unbeatable lake views. (Visitors looking for sleek and modern will be disappointed, but the woodsy elegance is fitting for the setting.) In the main hotel, expect well-appointed rooms, cozy lounge areas, verandas with panoramic lake views, a fitness complex, and the property’s excellent spa/salon.

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On-site restaurants include Italian fine-dining spot La Bella Vita, Mr. Brown’s Pub, plus Caldwell’s Lobby Bar, a stellar spot for a whiskey by the fire.

Kids will go bonkers for the 10,000 sq ft indoor entertainment area boasting mini golf, basketball, a gaming area, and a rock-climbing wall. Completing the Sagamore’s country-club-meets-summer-camp vibe are tennis courts, golf, pools, and numerous waterfront activities including fishing right from the Sagamore dock. Summer weekend rates from $399;


Photo courtesy of Adirondack River Photos LLC

Get out on the water!

1. Spend a day swimming at the popular Million Dollar Beach. The large public beach on the south end of Lake George also offers a volleyball court, picnic areas, and a seasonal boat launch.

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2. Adirondack Tubing Adventures is the top spot for guided lazy-river tubing and rafting trips that are perfect for families. Tours last for about 2.5 to 3 hours, in water levels ranging from 2 feet to 4 feet.  

3. Tour Lake George on the Minne Ha Ha, one of only five authentic paddlewheel steamships left in America. Cruises, run by The Lake George Steamboat Company, last for one hour and offer stellar views of the Adirondack Mountains and the gracious waterfront homes along the lake.


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