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46 Things to Do in Summer

The Adirondacks Region has so much to offer. From outdoor recreation like hiking, paddling, and camping to family-friendly activities like visiting museums, playing a round of mini-golf, or grabbing a delicious ice cream cone. Discover our suggested list of the best 46 things to do in the Adirondacks in summer and start planning your trip today!

Beach in the adirondacks in summer

1. Enjoy a movie under the stars at a drive-in theater, such as the Glen Drive-In,  which has been featuring films under the stars since 1958.

2. Immerse yourself in Adirondack artwork and family-friendly interactive activities, such as a virtual log drive, at the 120-acre campus of the Adirondack Experience—The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake.

3. Eat ice cream, every day. Why not? It's your vacation. Some Adirondack flavors to track down: Moose Tracks, Night Crawler and all kinds of s’more variations.

4. Visit the John Brown Farm and learn about the life and work of this famed abolitionist. Hikers of all abilities can explore a network of scenic trails on this historic state property.

5. Get into the spirit(s) at an Adirondack distillery, such as High Peaks Distilling or Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery.

6. Explore the Jay Covered Bridge, spanning 175 feet over the East Branch Ausable River. Constructed in 1857, and completely restored in 2007. It's the last remaining covered bridge in northern New York.

7. Take in dramatic and sweeping views of Lake Champlain while visiting Fort Ticonderoga, one of the most historic places within the Adirondack Park.

8. Catch an epic fireworks display during the “Best 4th in the North” in Ticonderoga.

9. Camp luxuriously. Go glamping.

10. Go fly-fishing on the legendary Ausable River.

11. Grab a paddle. Explore the Adirondacks by kayak.

12. Get off the beaten path. Test your riding skills on one of the Adirondack’s many great mountain biking trails.

13. Step up to a family-friendly outdoor challenge, such as the Tupper Lake Hiking Triad, which has proven to be a big hit with hikers of all ages.

summer kayaking

14. Speed up to 30 mph on the zipline next to the ski jump at the Olympic Jumping Complex.

15. Enjoy waterfront views of the sprawling Adirondack Great Camps on an Adirondack lake cruise.

16. Plan your next fishing trip in the Adirondacks, where there are over 3,000 lakes, ponds and rivers to explore. Download our comprehensive fishing guide!

17. Test your skills on the waters of Lake Champlain – consistently rated one of the top fisheries on the United States. Fish for lake trout, landlocked salmon and bass.

18. Awake to fresh mountain air. Plan your next camping trip in the Adirondacks.

19. Sample a variety of craft beverages on the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail, a self-guided tour of area wine, cider, soda and distilled spirits makers.

20. Take to the road on one of the Adirondack North Country scenic byways.  Choose your route from our Adirondack Scenic Byways Travel Guide.

21. Take a scenic skyride on a gondola at Gore Mountain in North Creek or Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington. Pack a picnic and take in stunning views at the top.

22. On the western side of the Adirondacks, enjoy an incredible view of the historic Fulton Chain of Lakes on the McCauley Mountain Scenic Chairlift Ride.

23. View native butterflies up close inside the Butterfly House at Paul Smith’s College Visitor Information Center (VIC).

24. Check the VIC’s Events page for programs and workshops happening on Paul Smith's campus throughout the summer, including nature walks, children’s educational programs, concerts and naturalist-led paddles.

25. Enjoy a true Adirondack country store experience at the Speculator Department Store, which has a wide selection of gifts, clothing, housewares and Adirondack-inspired knick-knacks, souvenirs, artwork, toys, and more.

26. And while you’re in Speculator, stop at the public beach for a swim nestled off route 30 on the northernmost point of Lake Pleasant or enjoy a shaded picnic area on the point flanking the beach.

27. Across the street from the Speculator beach is the Sacandaga Pathway. With 850 yards of boardwalk the fully wheelchair-accessible trail traverses a variety of habitats and three types of wetlands along a flat-water section of the Sacandaga River. 

picnic in the summer

28. Paddle the Beaver River Canoe Route, a 14-mile passage that flows gently through scenic backcountry. Along the way, find primitive camping spots, as well as nearby campgrounds with modern amenities.

29. Keep it sweet and simple. Build a campfire and make s’mores.

30. Rainy day? Catch a matinee at one of the region’s many beautifully preserved, historic movie theaters such as the art deco Strand Theatre in Schroon Lake, Lake Placid’s Palace Theater, the Strand Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh, and the Indian Lake Theater.

31. Visit a waterpark, such as Enchanted Forest Water Safari in Old Forge or the Six Flags Indoor Water Park in Queensbury.

32. Explore Adirondack waters standing tall on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), available at canoe and kayak outfitters and rental shops.

33. Leave the world behind. Take a motorcycle ride through the Adirondacks.

34. Putt around on a miniature golf course. Around the World in Lake George is one of the oldest courses in the United States.

35. Tempted to try white-water rafting? Mid-summer can be a great time to find mellower Class II and II rapids in the Adirondacks.

36. Enjoy an outdoor concert and picnic dinner. Many Adirondack towns offer free weekly concerts in the park.

37. Go blueberry picking in late July/early August at a u-pick friendly farm, such as Rulf’s Orchard in Peru.

six flags in the summer

38. Learn how to rock climb with an Adirondack climbing guide or outfitter.

39. Test your nerves at a high-ropes or adventure park, such as Adirondack Extreme in Bolton Landing, the first aerial adventure course in the country, Adirondack Adventure Center in Lake Luzerne or West Mountain’s Aerial Adventure Park in Queensbury.

40. View the Adirondack’s breathtaking beauty from above. Book a scenic flight with Adirondack Aviation or Adirondack Flying Service.

41. Or soar high above in a hot air balloon.

42. Enjoy the waterfalls and trails at High Falls Gorge.

43. Ride the Adirondack Carousel in Saranac Lake.

44. Tour one of the region’s many charming Adirondack downtown or main street, such as Bolton Landing, Saranac Lake or Lake Placid.

45. Soak in the sun at a public beach.

46. Or find an off-the-beaten-path swimming hole.

Adirondack Extreme Bolton Landing

More Seasonal Bucket Lists

older couple enjoying Lake George Oktoberfest in the fall

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two people posed with a Lake George ice bar ice sculpture

46 Things to Do in Winter

fishing in the Adirondacks during the spring

46 Things to Do in Spring

Adirondack Summer Adventures