Activities in the Adirondacks

Find heart-pounding adventure skiing down a mountain, relaxation at the spa, and the never-ending thrill of discovery in the Adirondack Region!
Solitude on Gothics Mountain

Standing alone on the summit of Gothics leaves a person with a feeling of awe as to how big and beautiful our Adirondack Mountain Ranges are.

Joanne Kennedy

The Adirondack Region is the destination of choice among serious and laid back adventurers. It's a place to discover new experiences, like dog sledding over a frozen lake, or trying out Nordic skating for the first time. 

Of course, as a place you can visit in every season, you, our modern adventurer, need to know what's on offer. Here's what's up: the Adirondacks are home to an incredibly diverse arts scene, celebrated museums that sprawl across acres, tucked away like little pockets of treasure, as well as drive-worthy events and limitless opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Adirondack Arts: Museums to Music

Adirondack arts centers and galleries are experiential, transformative places that showcase the wild beauty of the region, and the unique talents who call it home. Saunter down Main Street Saranac Lake and stop in one of the many arts studios and gallery spaces open during Third Thursday ArtWalks, a fun community showcase where local musicians play on the street and artists open their doors, and afterward head over to the Pendragon Theater or the Lake Placid Center for the Arts to catch a show.

Many of the Adirondacks' treasures can be found on deceptively non-descript streets that house masterworks signed by Picasso, O'Keeffe, Degas and Rembrandt, as is the case at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, or dedicated to a renegade native son such as The Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg. For kids, the World Awareness Children's Museum makes learning about new cultures, technologies and history a fun, colorful and interactive experience in Glens Falls.

Check out our local summer music series in parks across the Adirondacks. This summer, catch Rusted Root, Amy Helm and Lucas Nelson and The Promise of the Real perform at the free Songs at Mirror Lake Music Series held every Tuesday evening starting June 30 through August 11 at Mid's Park in Lake Placid, or head to the coast of Lake Champlain for the first ever Plattsburgh Brew Fest to sample local brews and watch local band Lucid rock out as the sun sets August 1.

Adirondack Events

When summer bursts onto the scene, bike festivals, paddling contests, movies and Shakespeare in the park, and events and celebrations fill out the calendar to offer something for all ages.

Americade traditionally kicks off the summer travel season in Lake George, offering 10 days of events, activities, vendors and demos for thousands of motorcyclists. As the "world's largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally, the festival provides a scenic meeting place for sport, touring and leisure riders.

In the fall, the Adirondack Canoe Classic, known as the 90-Miler, is a grueling three-day self-powered boat raced from Old Forge to Saranac Lake. Held in early September, the 90-Miler is a flat water race that follows the original "highways" of the Adirondacks, and is limited to 275 boats. Whether participating or cheering from the shoreline – the Canoe Classic is an exciting, uniquely Adirondack event.

If you're in town during the winter and itching to check out the local scene in the Adirondacks, don't miss the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, held annually in February. This 10-day community festival features parades, quirky contests, outdoor sports competitions and a variety of entertainment options, and is one of the many Adirondack winter carnivals celebrated throughout the colder months.

Outdoor Adventures: Backcountry to Dockside

The Adirondacks are unique among mountainous regions for many reasons, but chief among them are: the number of navigable bodies of water available for boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. Try stand up paddle boarding for the afternoon and then head to a brew pub for a draft of something cold and local. Go biking on smooth roadways that wind from vineyard to cidery, take the kids on a jaunt in the woods at the Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center in Newcomb, or pitch a tent and watch the stars come out at one of the hundreds of campsites in the Adirondacks.

Even if you've never been the one to suggest a bonfire and camping trip, the Adirondacks offer great places to enjoy the best of the outdoors and civilization, from design-forward hotels to glamping destinations catering to camping newbies.

Bottom line, with so much to do in the Adirondacks, you may want to take an extra vacation day to check it all out.


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The Adirondacks, New York - LonelyPlanet Best in the U.S. 2017