Posts Tagged ‘Brown Dog Cafe and Wine Bar’

Things to do in the Lake George – Saratoga Springs Region

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

I’ve been wanting to organize a blog on some of the things to do in the area from a locals perspective, not the chamber of commerce. You can get a great overview by noodling around  my web site’s Regional Info page –  just click the hi-lighted link to the left. Our region is rich in natural and man-made attractions for you to enjoy.

A late fall view of a quiet Lake George

Lake George Village features it’s tour boats, historical sites, para sailing, mini golf, hotels/motels, restaurants and tourists shops. Further up Lake George is quieter than the Village, with locations like Bolton Landing, and Hague . You will find many white water rafting and tubing operations in the area, horse back riding, golf, amusement parks like The Great Escape. There are many biking, hiking and climbing options around, check-out the Adirondack Mountain Club for details/maps on area hikes/climbing options.

The view from on top of Mt. Jo, that you access from Adk Loj.

Other communities to to check-out while visiting, just to the north of Lake George off I-87 exit #23 (Adirondack Northway), there is Warrensburg for lots of antique shops and beautiful Victorian B&Bs. From Warrensburg, head north on Rt 28 to North Creek/Gore Mountain for rafting on the upper Hudson River, hiking/biking, gondola rides on Gore Mountain, and train rides on the Saratoga/North Creek Railway . Next up on Rt 28 north, is the Adirondack mountain community of Indian Lake. Further up Rt. 28 is beautiful Blue Mountain Lake. One of our absolute favorite places to go for a quick get-a-way in the mountains is, The Hedges on Blue Mountain Lake.

The Hedges was built in the Adirondack Arts & Crafts style of the Adirondack Great Camp

Hedges provides opportunities to get out on the water.


Enjoy a quiet morning.


Take-in a beautiful Adirondack Mountain sunset.

The Arts & Crafts style of one of the lodge buildings at the Hedges

Blue is also home to the renown, Adirondack Museum, worth the drive from anywhere. From there, you can either head north on Rt. 30 thru Long Lake (for a special treat, stop at the Long Lake beach and take a seaplane ride with Helms Aero) and on to Tupper Lake (home of The Wild Center Museum of the Adirondack’s), or circle back east on Rt. 28N toward Newcomb (Newcomb has great views of the High Peaks from it’s town park, or you can take the Tahawus Rd to access trailheads and views of the high peak region), Minerva, Olmstedville, Pottersville and Exit 26, I-87. If you chose the Tupper Lake route, after Tupper, take Rt. 3 toward  Saranac Lake, near-by is the Visitors Interpretive Center at Paul Smith’s. From there, Rt. 86 heads toward the Village of Lake Placid, home of the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympics and current U.S.Olympic Training site for winter sport athletes.

Lake Placid, is a beautiful, alpine Adirondack Mountain Village

Lake Placid features 4 seasons of fun things to do. Near-by, you have the various Olympic venues that offer both visitor participation and spectator viewing of athlete training & competitions, plus Whiteface Mountain and the Veterans Memorial Highway Drive.

You can drive most of the way to the top of Whiteface, (make sure your vehicle has good brakes for the ride down before going) and either climb the last 200 feet or take the elevator to the top.

There is a variety of lodging options, and decent dining in Lake Placid Village.

Alfresco dining at the Adirondack Steak & Seafood, which is also a brewery.

The Brown Dog Cafe & Wine Bar is our favorite eatery in Lake Placid.


Lake Placid Pub & Brewery is a good choice. Their Ubu Ale is a tasty, hi-octain brew.

From Placid, head south/east on Rt. 73 toward I-87, and back to Lake George. You will pass many hiking options along the way.

The view along the Adirondack Loj Road, looking toward the High Peaks Wilderness Region. Lots of good hiking from the High Peaks Information Center maintained by Adk Mt Club at the end of Loj Road.

On the way to I-87, you pass thru the hamlet of Keene Valley and the Noon Mark Diner, famous for their pies.

To the East of Lake George, you can travel to Vermont either thru beautiful, rural Washington County, aka our balloon flying area, or you can take various car ferries across Lake Champlain from the New York side to Vermont.

The Lake Champlain car ferry at Fort Ti.

Washington County, NY is a great place to check out if you are in the mood for a drive in the country. It borders Vermont, and scenery wise, is much like what you expect to find in Vermont, with many small Towns, Villages and Hamlets, and historically an agrarian economy. One notable county resident who lived in Eagle Bridge, Anna Mary Robertson (better known as Grandma Moses), painted country scenes typical of where she lived. Her grandson, Will Moses, continues the family tradition, painting in Eagle Bridge at his Mt. Nebo Gallery (it’s worth the visit). Another famous resident was, Susan B. Anthony, who as a child, lived in the tiny Hamlet of Battenville along the Battenkill River (a prominent trout fishing stream).
Many small communities dot the county landscape, such as Granville, home of the Slate Valley Museum; Salem, where you will find a number of old covered bridges, Steininger’s, worth the drive from anywhere for lunch and fine hand-made chocolates, the Gardenworks Farm, which features farm fresh foods, and country craft, art and gift items; The Villages of Cambridge and Greenwich feature interesting shopping and dining options, unique communities such as New Skete, and beautiful side drives just to appreciate the rural country landscapes.

Fall is a great time to get out and drive the back-country roads of rural Washington County, to appreciate spectacular scenery and views.

Next, we head south from Lake George on either I-87 or Rt 9 to the City of Glens Falls, home to the Hyde Collection Museum, the World Awareness Children’s Museum, The Chapman local history museum, a number of arts centers, and some tasty eateries such as 132 Glen Street Bistro, Bistro Tallulah – a fav, Raul’s Mexican Grill and Rene’s – also favs, plus the Davidson Bros.and Coopers Cave Brew Pubs and Restaurants.

The Saturday morning Glens Falls Farmers Market, is a great place to pick up locally sourced goods.

Further south on either Rt 9 or I-87, we have Saratoga Springs, another destination location like Lake George, but a much different style. While Lake George can be very touristy (not that there is anything wrong with that), Saratoga is more of an upscale type of venue, noted for it’s horse’s and horse racing, spas and mineral springs, entertainment venues such as SPAC, a multitude of dining options, and an active nightlife scene that is popular with locals and vacationers alike.

SPAC is a fantastic open air concert venue.

For the history buff, our area played a major part in early American history with many historical sites to visit. We were the great battleground for 2 centuries of battle with The French and Indian Wars, the War of 1812, and the American Revolution. The book, “Conquered into Liberty” by Eliot A. Cohen, tells the history of war along “The Great Warpath”, which prominently features how Lake George, Lake Champlain and especially Fort Ticonderoga played a major part in us becoming American, not British or French. You can tour forts recreated on the remains of actual fort sites in Lake George Village with Fort William Henry, and up north on Lake Champlain you have Fort Ticonderoga, plus the Crown Point State Historic Site, which features actual ruins of the French Fort, St. Frederic, and the largest Fort built by the British in North America, His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point. To the south down along the Hudson River, we have the Saratoga National Historical Park, which played a prominent part in turning the Revolutionary War against the British, in favor of the American Rebels. In Fort Edward on the Hudson River, there is a small museum/visitors center at the Rogers Island Visitors Center that showcases artifacts and the story of Captain Robert Rogers, who wrote his “Rogers Rules of Ranging” in 1757 for his British Irregular Forces on the Island, and this handbook is still currently taught in training and used by the US Army Rangers and Special Operations Forces fighting around the world.