New York

9 Reasons to Drive to Lake George, New York

This popular year-round destination in the Adirondacks has everything from ice fishing to hot air ballooning.

LAKE GEORGE
LAKE GEORGE
LAKE GEORGE

Situated midway between NYC and Montreal, Lake George has long been a popular getaway destination for New Yorkers and Canadians alike. The lake itself is 32 miles wide and located at the base of the Adirondack Mountains. Originally called Andia-ta-roc-te by the Indigenous people of the area, its current name was designated in 1755 after King George II and the town also consists of different communities along the water like the Village, Bolton Landing, and Diamond Point.

Once renowned as a country escape for the wealthy, this popular destination offers plenty of year-round activities like hot air ballooning, scenic boat rides, and hiking, along with seasonal pursuits like ice fishing in the winter. In the summertime, Lake George can see its population swell to as much 50,000 people partaking in activities on the water, but there’s no reason to wait until then because cold weather adventures await you now.

Located just a mere 200 miles away from NYC, here are nine of our favorite reasons to drive to Lake George.

The Sembrich
The Sembrich
The Sembrich

Learn about the local history through forts, boat tours, and historical reenactments

For history nerds, Lake George has 1770s forts and artifacts as the area was a turf war between European settlers in the form of the French and Indian War. To learn more about this war that’s considered to be one of the first major global conflicts, check out Fort Ticonderoga with specialty tours like Ticonderoga Guns By Night demonstrating 18th century cannons and muskets; a 75-min boat tour sailing past the Adirondack Mountains, and the Ticonderoga Museum showcasing unique exhibits from 18th century menus, evolution of fortress construction, and the life of Sarah Pell, the fort’s co-founder; Fort William Henry Museum for history and reenactment of the 1755 French and Indian War; and The Sembrich, a cultural hub on the National Register of Historic Places, providing concerts, programs, a historic museum, and memorabilia, on acres of plush grounds. Every summer sees free concerts and events in the town and mid-September brings the Lake George Jazz Festival for culture lovers.

Faina Gurevich/Shutterstock
Faina Gurevich/Shutterstock
Faina Gurevich/Shutterstock

Experience the magic of a winter wonderland

Temperature-wise, it’s still winter until mid-April in this region and Lake George puts on a seasonal extravaganza to celebrate in the form of Winterfest. This event runs through March 11 and includes discounts on winter activities, lodgings, restaurants, and more. New winter attractions in town are the IG-worthy Ice Castles, built with thousands of icicles, frozen tunnels, and LED-lit ice sculptures for a chill experience.

Elissa Ebersold/Shutterstock
Elissa Ebersold/Shutterstock
Elissa Ebersold/Shutterstock

Soar through canopies, go on a hot air balloon, and hike trails

Have no fear of heights? Take a thrilling Treetop & Zipline Adventure of varying difficulty through forest canopies. For an activity on two feet, hike trails the Adirondacks is known for such as Ausable Chasm (aka the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks”). Here, you can walk through forest, amble past Rainbow Falls, and listen to the silence of Mystic Gorge. If hot air ballooning has always been on your bucket list, sign up with SunKiss Ballooning and soar above the Adirondacks with professional flight operators.

Flickr/Carol Norquist
Flickr/Carol Norquist
Flickr/Carol Norquist

View the historic manors of Millionaire’s Row

Lake George is known for its 1800s manors which were getaways of the downstate wealthy during the Gilded Age. Millionaire’s Row is on Bolton Road, on the west side of the lake, with remaining Tudor Revival and Italianate stone edifices like Erlowest, Mohican Point, and Wikiosco. The latter was built in 1895 by Royal Peabody, founder of Brooklyn Edison, and boasts of 10 bathrooms, a 20-car garage, separate cottage, boathouses, and other architectural details. With the advent of 1930s income taxes, mansion maintenance became expensive resulting in their conversion to luxury resorts and accommodation over the decades.

Algonquin Restaurant
Algonquin Restaurant
Algonquin Restaurant

Enjoy lakeside views with your meal

Reopening in mid-April, a Lake George culinary tradition to partake in is The Algonquin, a restaurant famed for its new American cuisine, views overlooking the water, and bar named Topside Grille. Another seasonal spot reopening in April is Pumpernickel’s Restaurant, the only authentic German eatery in the area that also boasts the largest cuckoo clock in the country. A farm-to-table spot to feast at is Bistro le Roux, known for its wine collection and French-inspired dishes. Sushi Yoshi specializes in both Japanese hibachi and Chinese fare; Capri Pizzeria & Restaurant is known for their pizzas, soups, and salads; Frederick’s Restaurant is popular for their live music, patio, and soups, burgers, and pasta; and 163 Taproom is where to go for pub grub. In addition, there are many family-owned eateries in Lake George Village with no online presence, so do it old school and wander around town to discover more.

Bolton Landing Brewing Company
Bolton Landing Brewing Company
Bolton Landing Brewing Company

Sip on locally-produced wines and brews

For oenophiles, Adirondack Winery is open daily, serving locally-made fruity and traditional wines through special tastings or by the bottle. Bolton Landing Brewing Company has a taproom serving bites and seasonal Lake George-crafted brews. And if keen, drive 5 miles to Queensbury for Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery where maple moonshine, vodka, and limoncello are plentiful in their tasting room. Tours and outdoor seating are available for visitors.

The Inn at Erlowest
The Inn at Erlowest
The Inn at Erlowest

Kick up your feet in luxury accommodations, rustic cabins, and boutique beds

The Inn at Erlowest, overlooking Lake George, will wow you with its stone exterior, floral wallpaper, private mahogany boat (reservation required), jacuzzi, and fireplaces. Built as a private residence on Millionaire’s Row in 1898, it now serves as luxury lodgings. For more opulence, The Chateau on the Lake is a 3-room French country inn in the center of Bolton Landing with a private view of Lake George, or cozy up in the lakeside chalets of Trout House Village Resort with a sandy beach, kayaking, and a nearby village, Hague, to explore. For the budget-conscious, there’s Admiral Motel-atypical of conventional motels-with an outdoor patio, heated pool, and trolley stop. The Heritage of Lake George is also wallet-friendly and features motels and cottages minutes away from activities and local attractions. Prefer rustic digs? Stay at the log cabins of Candlelight Cottages that have a wood-burning fireplace. If nature is your style, at least for a day, there is overnight wilderness camping from Adirondack Adventures where you pitch a tent (boast about this forever), gather kindling for fire, and prepare your own dinner.

Lake George Kayak Co.
Lake George Kayak Co.
Lake George Kayak Co.

Enjoy outdoor activities like parasailing and kayaking

There’s no better way to enjoy the town than to indulge in its famous water sport activities for all ages and experience levels. Parasail on the lake in doubles and trios with Coast Guard licensed captains at Parasailing Adventures; glide slowly and safely on a three hour Lazy Tubing River Adventure through the Adirondack mountains on gentle waves and a pebble bottom; and whether novice or a natural, indulge in some kayaking or paddleboarding at Lake George Kayak Company. For those with daredevil tendencies, a white-water rafting adventure at Adirondack Adventures might just be the rush you need. If you prefer a leisurely water experience, hop on a Lake George Island Boat Tour for scenic views, optional water activities, and history of the lake, covering everything from sunken ships to ghost stories. Take note that these activities are mostly suited for warmer temperatures and are dictated by weather conditions (always confirm availability beforehand).

The CANDY APPLE
The CANDY APPLE
The CANDY APPLE

Indulge in shops for homemade crafts, cheese, and fudge

Take memories of Lake George home by popping into The Indian Tepee Gift Shop in Bolton Landing for Adirondack treats, jewelry, houseware, and custom gifts; pop into Live Love Laugh for soaps and crafts; don’t leave without cheeses from Argyle Cheese Farmer Store & Bakery, producing high quality cheese, buttermilk, and yogurt on an 1860s family farmstead; sate your sweet tooth and bring home Adirondack candy apples, caramel corn, and fudge from The Candy Apple; the popular Tom Tom Shop for local gifts and souvenirs; Candy Space, an interactive candy store that launches sweets in a rocketship; Trig Point Designs for laser-cut maps of the Lake George area on cups, frames etc. Many unique shops have no online presence so stumbling upon them is a treat, like Silvermine North glass shop and Heroes Hideout for vintage toys and comic collectibles.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Kemi is a travel blogger and Brooklyn resident that explores NYC events, loves day trips to historic and picturesque places, and enjoys culture travel at home and abroad.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

Related

Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.