This week we continue with the exploring locally series. The current pandemic is limiting international travel, but more and more people are beginning to explore locally. Throughout this series we will dig into the hidden gems (and some not so hidden) in New York State. Last week we visited nine of New York’s State Parks. This week we will visit Lake George, NY.
Lake George, NY is a small town in the Adirondack Park of New York. Lake George, the town, sits around Lake George, the lake, giving locals and visitors access to a variety of water activities and small town charm. Whether you are looking for some outdoor adventure, indoor family fun, or adults only time, Lake George is the perfect destination. Here are 17 reasons to visit Lake George, NY.
Go for a Hike
Lake George, sitting in the heart of the Adirondacks, naturally is surrounded by hiking trails. Around Lake George you can find beginning level hikes such as Shelving Rock Falls and Stewart’s Ledge, moderate level hikes, such as Piolet Knob and the Pinnacle, and difficult hikes, such as Black Mountain and the Tongue Mountain Range. You could spend a half day, whole day, or several days hiking the area.
Go White Water Rafting
If you are looking for an adventure, white water rafting along the Hudson and Sacandaga Rivers will certainly deliver. Adirondack Adventures, located 30 min. outside of Lake George, offers whitewater rafting on the Hudson River, and the Scandaga Outdoor Center offers whitewater rafting along the Hudson and Scandaga Rivers. These companies also offer kayaking, tubing, and canoeing, so if you are looking for a little bit of a calmer experience be sure to check these out.
Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course
The Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course is your source for tree top adventure in Lake George. Perfect for children and adults, there are six adventure courses with some suited for ages 6+ and some suited for ages 9+. Courses include the Leap of Faith, Monkey Bars, Gladiator Nets and The 7 Deadlies Aerial Skateboard, Rock walls, Up-hill zipline, Tarzan Swings, Punching Bags, Rib Cage, Chop Stix, Pogos, and the Long Zipline. You can spend a couple hours or all day here, depending on how many of the adventures you choose to participate in.
Shepard Park is located in the center of Lake George and is home to entertainment, a playground, a dock for fishing, and a sandy beach along the shore of Lake George. Shepard Park is located along Lake George’s Canada Street, which features quaint shops, dining options, and family fun attractions. In the winter time you will find the Lake George Winter Carnival taking place on the iced over lake.
Lake George Scenic Cruise
Step aboard a Lake George Steam Boat for a scenic cruise on Lake George. The company offers a variety of different tours on their three large steam boats, including the Minne-Ha-Ha, the Mohican, and the Lac du Saint Sacrement. Cruises range from one hour scenic cruises to dinner cruises. Lake George Shoreline Cruises also offers a variety of cruises, including historical scenic cruises, happy hour cruises, and family fireworks cruises.
Six Flags Great Escape
Get your thrill on at Six Flags Great Escape. Six Flags is a traditional amusement park with thrill rides, family rides, kiddie rides, water rides, live entertainment options, dining, and games. Located in the heart of Lake George, you won’t have to travel far to reach this great attraction.
Hit the Beach
Lake George is full of great, calm beaches located along the shore that will help you and the family cool off and relax for the afternoon. The Shepard Park beach is conveniently located next to the action of Canada Street, but Lake George boasts many other great beaches. Check out the Million Dollar Beach, Huletts Park Beach, the Dog Beach, Veteran’s Memorial Park Beach, and Roger’s Memorial Park Beach. Hittng the beach is one of the best reasons to visit Lake George.
Visit the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves
Located about 20 minutes outside of Lake George you can find this natural wonder. A visit to the The Natural Stone Bridge and Caves includes the geological marvel stone bridge and many other notable sites, including the old Sawmill Site Waterfalls, Artists’ Gorge, incredible potholes, and several surface caves. Visitors can take self-guided tours through the sites.
Indoor Family Fun
Great Escape Indoor Water Park
The Great Escape Indoor Water Park is an extension of Six Flags Great Escape. It is across the road from the theme park and connected by a pedestrian bridge. The indoor water park features a water house, several water slides, and a surfing station. The indoor water park is also a lodge, so visitors can choose to spend the night or the duration of their stay in Lake George there. The Indoor Water park also features different activities and crafts, occasional characters, and an arcade. The indoor water park is one of the best reasons to visit Lake George.
Adventure Family Fun Center
On a rainy day the Adventure Family Fun Center is the perfect place to go. Featuring an indoor go-kart tract, multi-level laser tag, arcade, and bumper cars this center will keep the family busy for hours. There is also a snack bar within the center. For the warmer days you can also find an outdoor go kart tract.
Lake George Lanes and Games
Another great rainy day activity, the Lake George Lanes and Games is a bowling alley and arcade combination. There is also an indoor playground, laser tag, and of course a bar and grill. Whether you choose to spend a day enjoying or choose to end the day with a game of bowling and laser tag, the Lake George Lanes and Games will entertain every member of your family.
Fort William Henry Museum
If you are looking for some educational fun while in Lake George, Fort William Henry is the perfect stop! Fort William Henry is a historic British fort that was built during the French and Indian War. The fort served two main purposes: (1) a staging ground for attacks against French entrenchments and (2) to protect the important inland waterways from New York City to Montreal. Today visitors to the fort can participate in living history exhibits, take a self guided tour of the fort, or take a guided tour. There is also a ghost tour option available for the brave!
For The Adults
Adirondack Pub and Brewery
The Adirondack Pub and Brewery is a great spot for dinner as a family or for the adults for some local Adirondack brew tasting. The menu features a variety of items, including soups, sandwiches, fish, burgers, chicken, beef, and for the vegetarians, a veggie burger. The Pub features an outdoor dining patio as well as indoor dining. For a complete list of the local brews available at the Adirondack Pub and Brewery click here.
Hoppy Trails Brew Bus
The Hoppy Trails Brew Bus is the perfect way to explore some of the distilleries around Lake George and the surrounding areas. The company offers many tour options throughout the Adirondacks. One tour leaves from the Adirondack Pub and Brewery and takes you to two other local breweries for a tour and tasting. This tour is the perfect way to be able to enjoy some of the local brews without the worry of having to drive.
Tiki Tours is the perfect way to end a day in Lake George. Hop aboard a Tiki boat and relax on the waters of Lake George. The boat tour does not include food/drinks, but you are welcome to bring your own food/drinks aboard and use the cooler on board the boat. There is a bathroom available on board. Pricing is based off of 3 people, and you can bring up to 12 people with you. Side note: Children are allowed on board. The tiki tours are one of the best reasons to visit Lake George.
Factory Outlets of Lake George
The Factory Outlets of Lake George are located just a short drive outside the center of Lake George. Here you will find a 1/2 mile long strip of stores. The outlets are home to over 50 stores, including well known names such as PacSun, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, and Old Navy. The Factory Outlets of Lake George is the go to for some fashion shopping, but if you want more personalized, unique items be sure to check out Canada Street.
Canda Street is the go to street in Lake George for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Along Canada Street you will find many quaint souvenir shops featuring unique Lake George items, salt water taffy, and maple syrup. If you are looking for some sweet treats be sure to check out the Lake George Baking Company or the Candy Apple. For clothing check out Adirondack Clothing Company and DILLIGAF. Another pro of Canada Street is you will find Shepard Park and the Shepard Park beach right there, so you don’t have to go far to cool off.
Looking for more great Adirondack towns to visit? Check out Old Forge, New York!