A Long Weekend in Lake George New York
Some of our favorite trips end up being last minute impulses guided by our I-need-to-get-the-hell-outta-here-or-I-may-explode mantra that creeps up from time to time. For us, this means roughly once a month, so we rely on close to home escapes to give us the travel fix for those desperate times without the plane ticket. I am not trying to sound dramatic, we actually really do get crazy if we stay put for too long. For us travelling is a need, a form of self-care, it is not just a want. This one came just one measly month after we returned from our mini-honeymoon in Miami landing us in Lake George New York.
Lake George sits smack dab in the tourist center of the Adirondack mountain range in what us city dwellers refer to as upstate New York (a hotly debated term depending on where in the state you happen to actually live), a town I had long been reminiscing about but had not actually visited in close to decade. As a kid, my dad would take my brothers and I up to bond over the elements on long weekend camping trips. We’d rent a boat, schlep all of our gear to an island in the center of the lake, and take routine trips to the town for the likes of arcade games and french fries.
As we got older, my brothers lost interest and it became my dad and I’s trip, or my dad and I plus friends trip (one of which was spent sleeping in the car at the campsite when we realized we had forgotten the tent). These memories are steeped in nostalgia for me, and I hold them as some of the nearest and dearest to my heart from my childhood.
After years of chatting about it we finally made our way up there, but because of the cold temp’s, opted to spring for a hotel room instead of camp. Even years older and in the off-season fall month, it was just as special as I had remembered it. An added bonus to coming here in the fall – the leaves were amazing. Not just in Lake George itself, but the whole drive up from Manhattan.
This map below has all of the major parts of our trip including food, hiking, and running points, check it out!
The Run and Route:
We were still in full marathon training at this time, although Joe got quite sick while we were there, so while we were able to do everything else together, unfortunately he did not make it on the long run with me.
-Started by running through town, and down the path along the bottom of the lake through the park in the town center
-Warren county bikeway: http://warrencountyny.gov/transport/docs/gf-lg-trail.pdf
-Beautiful running trail through woods (beautiful foliage) and some small streets – continues onto the highway for a brief spell, you could even use this to get to the outlets if desired, turned around after this to finish what was about an 8 mile run
Hotels in the town of Lake George:
1st night – Surfside On The Lake–not a great hotel, lacked amenities, overpriced. Was relatively clean.
2nd night – Scotty’s Lakeside Resort–very cool spot right on the lake, make sure to wake up for the sunrise as it is a beautiful place to see it. Also, pay the extra money–it was offseason so only $20 more– to stay on the lake, 100% worth it
Breakfast: Flapjack Pete’s – it had a wait, it’s clearly the main breakfast spot in Lake George, but it moved pretty quickly and was well worth it. We had two cups of coffee with endless refills followed by the good stuff, The Colossal Breakfast–yes it is too much for one person but Joe tried anyway–and Apple Pancakes, a really filling start to the day.
Dinner: Moose Tooth Grill – this is more of a tourist trap in the Rainforest Cafe mold. We stuck with burgers and an onion loaf, neither which were too great. Better food can be had in Lake George.
Drinks: 163 Taproom – the Giants were on so Joe absolutely HAD to find a place to watch the game. Bar had a really nice atmosphere, great bartenders, and it even smelled like fire because the restaurant next-door had a fire pit going all night
Additional: Joe is somewhat of an Italian Deli aficionado–he takes pride in this–so we went out of our way to stop at Rossi Rosticceria Deli in Poughkeepsie. This was the food highlight of the trip, the sandwiches are massive and delicious, the traditional Italian sides (caponata, olives, cheese) were just as good, this is absolutely worth the side trip!
Shooting range arcade (Leonelli’s Playland Arcade) – A long-lost memory from my childhood, somehow completely unchanged in all the years since I had been. An old school laser activated “shooting” range inside one of the arcades. Aim for the piano man, he plays a wee tune when he gets hit.
Shopping: – We are not usually big on shopping when we go away, but the outdoor minded outlets here are pretty good, most notably the LL Bean outlet.
Hiking: Deer Leap Trail, It would be hard to hit up this area without a proper hike, which we managed to squeeze in spite of Joe’s illness. We also had the leftover sandwiches from Rossi’s to make the trip to the top well worth our efforts. We went in October, and the fall foliage was beautiful from the viewpoint. *Watch your step for the rattlesnakes native to this area! They are not aggressive, and interactions between them and people are minimal, but can’t hurt to keep your eyes to the ground.
Even if you are just visiting New York City as a tourist, taking some time out to make at least one side trip into upstate is well worth your time and efforts. We hope to get back up there when the weather allows to do it properly, boat, island, and all.