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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Skiing, Free, Neighborhood/Area, Hiking, Swimming/Pools Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Located just 9 miles northwest of the bustling tourist town of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake is the perfect escape from the high prices that accompany Lake Placid's Olympics attractions. Filled with shops, hotels and local diners, Saranac Lake is considered one of the most idyllic villages in upstate New York.

Recent travelers characterized the area as a lesser-known gem of the Adirondacks. Whether you visit when the leaves are changing, in February for winter carnival or once the snow has melted, Saranac Lake offers plenty of stunning scenery without hoards of tourists. Canoeing, hiking and kayaking are especially popular here.

Saranac Lake is free to visit. Keep in mind, though, that some activities, such as boating and biking, will cost extra if equipment needs to be rented. To get to Saranac Lake, travelers can fly into Adirondack Regional Airport, which sits about 7 miles northwest of town and offers direct flights to and from Boston's Logan International Airport. Additionally, the Trailways of New York provide rail service to the region from various parts of the state.

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#2 Whiteface Mountain (Lake Placid)

With the largest vertical drop on the eastern seaboard (measuring 3,430 feet), 87 trails and 11 ski lifts, Whiteface Mountain is a skier's paradise. But should you decide to visit during the warmer months, don't fret. Whiteface offers plenty of hiking and biking trails, plus several adrenaline-pumping adventures like 4x4 excursions and an airbag free-fall jump activity. The mountain also serves as a fantastic vantage point: Ride on the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the summit and you'll be treated to an incredible view of the neighboring peaks.

In addition to hiking all the way to the top, visitors have the option of driving part of the way up before hiking or taking an elevator lift the remainder of the way. According to previous travelers, the spectacular vistas at the top are well worth the trek. Former visitors also rave about the ski slopes, noting that while Whiteface offers runs suitable for all levels, advanced skiers will especially enjoy hitting the powder here.

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