Lake George in upstate New York has been called “the birthplace of the American vacation.” In the late 1800’s, word got out about the adventures that could be had in the wilds of the Adirondacks and people flocked to the area from cities near and far. It is still a popular vacation destination for locals and visitors alike.
Below are some of the places and activities in the area that we have enjoyed the most. We look forward to many more adventures!
Minne Ha-Ha Paddlewheel Cruise
We took a one hour cruise on the Minne Ha-Ha with our kids and some extended family and had a great time. The fall foliage was beautiful and the steam calliope was really fun to watch and hear. It was the perfect cruise for all ages.
Lac Du Sacrament Sunset Dinner Cruise
My husband and I enjoyed a two hour sunset dinner time cruise. Rather than eating dinner in the dining room, we grabbed some food from the grill and enjoyed it out on the deck. The ride was refreshing and the views were gorgeous.
The Town of Lake George
Fort William Henry Museum
For anyone who enjoys a bit of history, a guided tour here is a great way to learn more about the fort’s role in the French and Indian War and what life was like for the British and Colonial soldiers who defended the fort.
We especially liked learning from our 18th century military guides and watching the musket and cannon fire demonstrations.
Fishing and Beaches
We enjoy walking around town and browsing in the shops. Our kids like to fish right from the sidewalk along Lake George, and Million Dollar Beach is a nice place to relax and swim.
Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf
We have enjoyed this mini golf course several times. The holes are creative and the atmosphere is fun.
Nearby Town of Bolton
We love strolling the main street in Bolton and stepping inside the shops, including Mrs. Whizzy Fizz Pop’s and Happy Jacks. We always visit the Sagamore Hotel grounds since our ancestor used to own that island in the 1800s. Rogers Memorial Park is a great place for a picnic or a swim.
Shelving Rock Falls
It’s a short hike to the falls from the trail head. If you want more hiking, you can continue down the trail toward the lake and enjoy scenic views across Lake George.
The Bear Slides are so much fun. Some people bring tubes or slide down in trash bags into the shallow pool at the bottom. When we went we enjoyed wading in the water then catching frogs on the trail above the slides.
Nearby Lake Vanare
We stayed a night at Pine Point Motel on Lake Vanare and had lots of fun fishing and playing on the lake. The motel rooms are very basic, but the amenities (boats, beach, lounge chairs, etc) are great and the location is perfect.
I was so excited to find a place nearby where we could do a trail ride as a family. We really enjoyed riding horses at Running Brook Riding in Fort Edward, NY, just 1/2 hour south of Lake George.
The price for an hour trail ride was very reasonable ($40 per person when we rode), and the owner Cindy was very helpful. The trail ride took us through the forest and over a small stream, and we got to try trotting a few different times.
Six Flags Great Escape and Martha’s Dandee
Great Escape is a relatively small, family-friendly Six Flags amusement park in Queensbury. You can enjoy most everything in one day if you want. Cool off at the water park in the summer or enjoy the festivities in the fall with trick-or-treating, lots of decorations, and special evening hours for Fright Fest.
Across the street is Martha’s Dandee, a great place for huge ice cream cones in unique flavors and food from the grill.
For more ideas of things to do in Upstate New York, check out our post about family activities and events in and around Albany. NY.