Whether you're a lover of outdoor activities, sports history or just appreciate beautiful scenery, odds are you'll adore northern New York's Adirondacks region. Situated about 290 miles north of New York City, 250 miles northwest of Boston and 110 miles south of Montreal, the Adirondacks offer a welcome break from the area's bustling metropolises. During the winter months, visitors can participate in an array of outdoor activities, including skiing, snowshoeing, bobsledding and dogsledding. Once summertime rolls around, travelers can go biking, fishing, hiking, canoeing and whitewater rafting. No matter what time of year it is, you'll have your pick of stunning scenery to explore — like Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake — thanks to more than 6 million acres spread across 12 regions.
For those looking to catch a break from the Adirondacks' outdoor adventures, you're in luck: This mountainous area also features plenty of historical treasures. In Lake Placid, travelers can experience all things Olympics while exploring the Olympic Jumping Complex, Olympic Sports Complex and Olympic Museum. And if sports history just isn't your thing, there's also John Brown Farm State Historic Site, which is the gravesite and former home of abolitionist John Brown. Additional offerings include a variety of seasonal events, boutique shops and Adirondacks-inspired gastropubs and fine dining eateries. And once you're ready to retire for the evening, you'll find a bevy of accommodation options, ranging from traditional campgrounds and quaint bed-and-breakfasts to luxurious cabins and upscale resorts.
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The best time to visit the Adirondacks is from May to August, when the weather is warm and the top sites are open for longer hours. But the region can get crowded this time of year, so you should book your accommodations at least three months in advance. November to April is the best time to experience the winter sports season in full swing, but be prepared for single-digit temperatures. The shoulder months of September and October are generally less crowded, but businesses in smaller hamlets (like Paul Smiths) will be closing up shop for the winter season.
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
The region's stunning scenery and agricultural traditions are at the forefront of Adirondack cuisine. Whether you're looking to pack a picnic for a hike, enjoy local brews and seasonal flavors at a gastropub or savor fine dining bites in an upscale or family-friendly setting, you'll have plenty to choose from to satiate your appetite.
For some of the best seasonal fare offered in the Adirondacks, former diners say a visit to Five Corners Cafe is a must. Although small, this eatery leaves a big impression with its menu, which includes fan favorites like the rack of lamb and ricotta gnudi. Another budget-friendly option that receives traveler praise is Lisa G's. Known for putting a modern spin on classic comfort foods, Lisa G's is a hit with locals and tourists alike, thanks in part to dishes like meatloaf, beet risotto and chicken parmesan.
If you're willing to spend a bit more coin, travelers recommend treating yourself to a meal at The View. Set within a wood dining room that overlooks the mountains and includes a stone fireplace and antler chandeliers and light fixtures, The View features a seasonal, locally sourced menu, with offerings like foie gras, braised pork cheeks and house smoked trout. Keep in mind, though, that all of the area's fine dining establishments fill up fast, so make your reservations well in advance.
The best way to get around the Adirondacks is by car, whether it be your own or a rental. Having a set of wheels enables you to experience the region's gorgeous scenery at your own pace. Plus, the Adirondacks' ideal location makes the area easily accessible in a day's drive. That said, hopping on the Amtrak from New York City's Penn Station to Lake Placid is an excellent alternative if you don't plan on bringing a vehicle. Another option: flying into Adirondack Regional Airport (SLK) in Saranac Lake or Plattsburgh International Airport (PBG) and renting a car from there. Either way, plan to get behind the wheel if you're looking to visit a variety of areas and attractions. If you would rather get the lay of the land by water, you'll find boating is a popular means of getting around specific regions.See details for Getting Around
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