Taking a trip to the beautiful Lake George, located at the base of the Adirondack Mountains, is certainty worth the time and effort. In a great attempt to actually relax in a stress-free environment for a few days, Lake George was an easy vacation choice; not only, because it is a short drive away, but also, it gives me the opportunity to actually get out of Massachusetts for a few days! Due to the direction I was driving in (from the east to the northwest) I was able to make a few pit stops along the way!
First pit stop: The tallest peak in Massachusetts, Mount Greylock, located in the far northwest corner of Massachusetts. Even though it was a little strange to actually get to (a lot of winding dirt roads) Mount Greylock was actually a lot cooler of a peak than I thought it would be. I would recommend going on a nice morning with little clouds, there will be less people at the top and the view will be crystal clear (you can see as far as 90 miles). Also, there is a Veterans War Memorial Tower that you can walk up for even better views. Parking is 5-10$ ($5.00 for MA residents) and there is a little cafe with restrooms at the top.
Second pit stop: What would a trip to the Adirondacks be without sampling some local spirits/brews?! Here are a few in the area that I visited:
Spring Brook Hollow Farm Distillery – Queensbury, NY (recommend trying their limoncello and orangecello)
Upstate Distillery – Saratoga Springs, NY (recommend trying their Saratoga in the Rye)
Lake George Distilling Company – Fort Ann, NY
Mean Max Brew Works – Glens Falls, NY (try the stout, you will be pleasantly surprised!)
Davidson Brothers Brewing Company – Glens Falls, NY
Battle Hill Brewing Company – Fort Ann, NY
Paradox Brewery – Schroon Lake, NY
Also, can’t forget about the wineries:
Saratoga Winery – Saratoga Springs, NY
Oliva Vineyards – Saratoga Springs, NY
As for sight-seeing, there is just so much to see it is hard to fit it all into one trip. What I would recommend, visiting the historic forts in the area – Fort William Henry (Lake George, NY) and Fort Ticonderoga, the Kings Gardens and Mount Defiance (Ticonderoga, NY) If you are a history buff, you will love exploring the museums, if you yearn to travel to new places, you just can’t beat the views on top of Mount Defiance.
Also, if you are looking to take a trip up 87 North and get real close to the Canada border, stop at Lake Placid and Mirror Lake, shop around town, take a dip in the lake, visit a local brewery (Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Big Slide Brewery and Public House or Great Adirondack Brewing) or stand in awe looking up to the ginormous Olympic Jumping Complex.
Hidden Gems of Lake George and the Surrounding Area
Now I don’t post about these often, because, let’s be honest, the more people know about ‘hidden gems’ the more likely they are to become ‘touristy’ and who wants that! So I am only going to speak about these once:
First Gem: The bar outside the Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center. HA! Seriously, this is the best bar because 1. You can drink outside or under the roof overhand (so you won’t get rained on). 2. They have plenty of wicker seating (I have never seen this place packed). 3. This bar has a great view of Lake George, looking north (and an even better sunset view).
Second Gem: WaxnWix – make your own candles from start to finish! Start by choosing a candle shape, then pick your scents and colors. It’s quick, fun and smells really good too.
Third Gem: Mount Defiance! Every time I say ‘Mount Defiance’ I just want to throw my fists up in the air in defiant victory. The views at the top…incredible. You will just have to see to experience it.