A Weekend in the Adirondacks: Where to Stay and What to See
Just a 5-hour drive north of New York City, the Adirondack Mountains sprawl out more than 6 million acres along the Canadian border. A haven for outdoorsmen, the region's nearly 100 communities present ample opportunity for hiking, leaf peeping, farm-to-table eating, and more. Here, a handful of boutique country hotels, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, neighborhood microbreweries, and open-air attractions to check out on your next trip upstate—plus, our advice on what to wear.
A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.
As the face of Lake Placid fine dining, The View Restaurant at Mirror Lake Inn is a must on any Adirondacks itinerary. All menus make use of regional ingredients, as well as produce from the inn’s own gardens. The warm dining room dons a blazing stone fireplace and antler chandeliers, but more impressive than the cozy decor are the dishes. On the dinner menu you’ll find options like house smoked trout—sea salt cured and apple wood smoked—with frisée, mustard vinaigrette, pickled vegetables, crème fraiche, and trout caviar.
If you’re looking for a casual bite whilst out and about, or are in need of day hike provisions, Saranac Sourdough knows how to make a mean sandwich. Hand-made, hearth-baked breads paired with more than 30 different cheeses make them a no-brainer.
The Good Bite Kitchen claims hole-in-the-wall status with an 8-seater set up that was formerly a storage hallway. Today, the postage-sized spot specializes in inventive vegetarian dishes with a menu of zoodle and quinoa bowls, caramelized onion focaccia sandwiches, daily soups, salads, and small bites.
The Lake House at High Peaks Resort, Lake Placid, NY
Rustic and highly Instagrammable, this 1960s-style resort reserves a prime Lake Placid address on Mirror Lake Drive. All 44 rooms—which are named after the Adirondacks’ 46 High Peaks—offer private balconies and patios which deliver iconic Lake Placid views and plenty of crisp mountain air. Feel guilty leaving Fido at home when you're going on such an outdoorsy getaway? Bring your pup(s) along—the Lake House is pet-friendly.
The Point, Saranac Lake, NY
You know your Adirondack mountain retreat is going to be on point when it was built a century ago by an OG Rockefeller (William Avery Rockefeller, to be exact). At The Point, guests “rough it” in rooms outfitted with stone fireplaces, four-poster beds, vintage claw foot tubs, and tasteful taxidermy. Pre-dinner, carve out time for cocktails on the Elco (the property’s wooden yacht), and on Wednesdays and Saturdays be prepared to break out your best black-tie ensemble to dine on locally-sourced produce in the Great Hall.
Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
Farm-to-table dining, romantic wraparound porches, and an idyllic green lawn that extends right up to the shores of Lake Placid await at this Adirondack Mountain lodge. When you’re not laying low in your private cabin or room in the main lodge, borrow a mountain bike to explore the surrounding woodlands or arrange a whitewater rafting session on the Hudson to soak in the fresh air.
Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
If your rustic-luxe tastes lean a little more towards the man cave, consider the Whiteface Lodge. The mountainside resort—built from hand-milled onsite timber—is just a five-minute drive from Lake Placid village and 30 minutes from Whiteface Mountain. Inside, it's all about the deep leather chairs, cast-iron fireplaces, cigars, cognac, and restaurant KANU, with a standout menu of North American fish and game.
Liquids and Solids at the Handlebar, Lake Placid, NY
Forget Starbucks PSLs—we’re in the market for seasonally-inspired cocktails and Lake Placid’s L&S offers just that. The relaxed New American eatery pairs charcuterie plates and gastropub dishes with signature drinks like the Smoked Ale (spiced rum, smoked ginger, cardamom and coriander syrup, soda water), and the Maple & Spice (bourbon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, apple juice).
Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, Lake Placid, NY
If you prefer craft beers to artisanal cocktails then give this brewpub a go. Since it hit the scene in 1996, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery has upped its production to 1,500 barrels each year (particularly impressive when you consider the town has only 2,800 residents). Though the line-up rotates regularly, the pub currently has seven beers on tap, including IPAs, golden ales, and hefeweizens.
Top of the Park, Lake Placid, NY
Hugging the side of Mirror Lake on Main Street in downtown Lake Placid, Top of the Park doles out ‘spirits with a view.’ Signature cocktails, craft beers, wine, and spirits are all given equal room on the menu, but this time of year, we can’t help but go for the ADK Margarita made with High West Silver Whiskey, maple syrup, and lemon juice.
SEE + DO
Dartbrook Rustic Goods, Keene, NY
If your idea of a solid souvenir is less fridge magnet and more hand-sewn cowhide hiking log, then Dartbrook Rustic Goods will deliver. The Keene outpost has been selling Adirondack-style goods—think handcrafted wooden furniture, original artwork, and local antiques— since 1920.
Mount Marcy, Keene, NY
Surely one won’t make the trip out to the Adirondacks without fitting in a little hiking, right? Mount Marcy—New York’s tallest mountain—offers varied terrain, multiple trails, and a summit with some of the best views in the Northeast. Intimidated by its altitude? Don’t be. Marcy may be mighty, but the trails aren’t that technically demanding.
The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY
A little perspective can change everything, and despite the fact that the rugged beauty of the Adirondacks shines from any vantage point, why not see it all spread out from the treetops? Check out the Wild Center—an elevated park complete with sky-high wooden paths, swinging bridges, a twig tree house, and a massive spider-web–like hammock that suspends you three stories above the forest floor.
High Falls Gorge, Wilmington, NY
Naturally, Adirondack retreats cater to the outdoorsy. While you’re in the region, don’t miss out on High Falls Gorge, a 22-acre private park with access to Whiteface Mountain trails, views of AuSable River, four cascading waterfalls, and—of course—the billion-year-old gorge that they all flow into.
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