Great Winter Getaway Ideas: The Adirondacks
World-class skiing, posh resorts, friendly villages!
It’s amazing how a pristine wilderness can offer so much luxury and excitement! Over six-million acres of mountains, forests and lakes are dotted with world-class resorts and charming villages. With easy access from major East Coast cities, spectacular landscapes create a haven for winter fun—skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, nature walks, ice-climbing and fishing—as well as browsing museums, shops, art galleries and artisan studios.
The Adirondacks—the region that defined leisure time¬—has been thrilling, delighting and pampering guests since the 1800s. Here are a few ideas for your great Adirondack adventure. The route travels north from Lake Luzerne to spectacular Ausable Chasm.
A. Lake Luzerne
Start fresh! Ten snowtubing lanes at Tubby Tubes, from straight and fast to curvy and twisty, offer cool fresh fun for the whole family! Warm up by the fireplace in the lodge with a snack or hot cocoa.
B. Glens Falls
In an elegant 1912 mansion, The Hyde Collection spans nearly 6,000 years of art, from antiquity to the present, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso and Renoir. See landscape photography by Ansel Adams, January 25 to April 20.
C. Lake George
Dining is a special occasion at the Inn at Erlowest, a turn-of-the-century stone castle on Lake George. A stay in the luxurious guestrooms, including breakfast fit for a king, will have you feeling like royalty! This relaxing inn was recently featured as a healing family retreat on TV’s Housewives of New Jersey.
Every weekend in February, the Lake George Winter Carnival hosts snowmobile races, skating, ice-fishing and ice-sculpting.
Find great bargains for the whole family at the Factory Outlets of Lake George, 70 designer and brand-name stores within a half-mile of each other.
One of the region’s sweetest maple producers, Adirondack Gold Maple Farm crafts award-winning pure maple syrup, maple cream and candies for sharing a bit of Adirondack flavor with family and friends.
E. North Creek
Gore Mountain, a premier family ski resort with wide-open terrain and 2,537 feet of vertical, has plenty of cruisers, steeps and glades to thrill every level of skier or boarder. Nearby, stroll amid Main Street’s shops, galleries and restaurants.
F. Keene Valley
Check out the pies and tasty meals at the cool Noon Mark Diner, a classic favorite with locals and visitors.
G. Lake Placid
Recently voted # 1 of the Top 10 Coolest Winter Places in America by Budget Travel readers, and #1 for off-mountain activities for the past 20 years by Ski Magazine readers, Lake Placid delivers on winter thrills. Cool options include snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and the newly popular extreme sport, ice-climbing in the High Peaks! Experienced guides will help.
The region’s host of elegant full-service resorts includes Mirror Lake Inn & Spa, voted the #1 Resort in the Northeast by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.
For pure luxury, visit the Spa at the Whiteface Lodge. Along with signature treatments like the Lodge Mud Wrap or Outdoorsman Sports Massage, enjoy fitness classes, a year-round indoor/outdoor swimming pool and hot tubs, steam room and cedar saunas, and a new spa café. Bonus: Spa services include use of the wellness facilities for the entire day!
Experience the thrill of gliding across a frozen lake behind a team of frisky dogs. On Mirror Lake, Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours offer family-friendly dogsled outings. A 10-minute mush costs about $10.
Just south of the village, the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery serves craft ales and lagers, including their famous Ubu Ale, with traditional pub fare. Downstairs, experience the legendary P.J. O'Neill's, an Irish pub with warm character.
Bring your camera! High Falls Gorge is spectacular in winter. Follow groomed paths and bridges along a half-mile trek to see breathtaking ice formations on seven-hundred feet of frozen waterfalls (ice cleats provided). Afterwards, toast marshmallows over a warm campfire.
Whiteface Lake Placid has the greatest vertical drop in the Northeast. With 86 trails, 11 lifts (including a gondola), terrain parks, and adrenaline-pumping glades, there’s ample terrain for skiers and riders of any ability, from novices to world-class athletes.
The Olympic Center & Museum brings to life Lake Placid's amazing history as host of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games and the world's winter sports capital. You can skate all winter long at the Olympic Oval and see events like international competitions, USA Hockey and Smuckers' Stars on Ice. Cool!
At the Olympic Sports Complex, watch people do incredible things, or do them yourself. Check the event schedule and come see a race, or climb into a bobsled and feel the roar you speed down the track!
I. North Pole
Santa's Workshop, a jolly theme park in North Pole NY, entertains children and the young at heart. Step through the gates into a storybook village where the traditional story of Santa lives! Winter events include Family Yuletide Weekends and a Village of Lights. On Sunday evenings in December, stroll amid the park’s twinkling Christmas lights, ride the carousel and watch a Nativity pageant under the stars.
J. Ausable Chasm
The 30-minute winter waterfall walk at Ausable Chasm offers spectacular views of the nearly frozen Rainbow Falls and famous Elephant's Head. Reserve the one- or two-hour guided snowshoe (or ice cleats) adventure to explore remote sections of the vast gorge and marvel at 150-foot icicles and unique rock formations. Gear is provided.
Pan for gemstones and fossils in the Chasm Mining Sluice in the Welcome Center rain or shine!
For more ideas and information, see The Adirondacks Regional Tourism Website.