Everything You Need to Know About Lake George in Upstate New York – (2024)

Lake George, New York is located in upstate New York in the Adirondack Mountains. It is a great lake with lots to do and tons of nature/hiking located nearby. It is considered the “Queen” of America’s lakes. As you read this article, you will see why. Having, spent almost every summer there, I can truly say, I agree with Lake George being the Queen of America’s lakes. It is seriously one of my favorite places to be, to me, it’s not summer until I go to Lake George.

It is about 3 ½ hours away from NYC without traffic.Most people who come to this lake are from somewhere in NYC or the state of NY. The downtown area of Lake George is a little cheesy, but the lake is my favorite. Honestly, if you want to experience Lake George the right way, then you want to stay ON the lake and have a boat. This lake is FOR boaters.Again, as you will read about in this article as to why.

In this post, you will learn about unique things to do in Lake George, things to do in Lake George, Lake George restaurants, Lake George hotels and places to stay, Lake George ice castles, Lake George winter carnival, and more.

This post is all about Lake George.

Lake George :

Places to Stay & Lake George Resorts

Okay, when planning a trip, usually the first things you book are flights and or hotels/places to stay. For transportation, most people that come here are from NYC or closeby states. Lake George is typically a driving destination. However, if you wanted to fly here, a good airport to fly into is either Albany, NY. Once you land, you will need to rent a car, to get to this lake. You will want a car as well. There is no public transportation and everywhere you want to go, you will need a car to travel to.

For places to stay, there are a ton. Like I said above, I HIGHLY recommend staying right ON the lake. There are a lot of houses for rent on Vrbo, AirBnB, and more that you can find here. That being said, there are plenty of hotels/resorts to choose from on the lake. Another great place to stay if there’s nothing near Lake George village is Bolton Landing. Bolton Landing is about 15-20 minutes from the Lake George village.

A really nice, expensive hotel/resort right on the lake to stay at is the Sagamore. The Sagamore is actually located in Bolton Landing. Some other nice resorts on the lake are Hill View Motel and Cottages, The Lodges at Cresthaven, Blue Water Manor, Erlowest & Sun Castle Resort, Tea Island Resort, and The Juliana Resort.

Lastly, if you are an amusem*nt park lover, there is a six flags adventure park, along with a Lake George indoor water park at the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge. This resort/hotel is not right on the lake, but it is right next to the amusem*nt park. I think this is a fun park to go to for the day, as well as the indoor water park. However, both are pretty small and can easily be done in one day, so spending anymore time at either in my opinion, would be kind of boring. Again, I would recommend staying at a lake house or at one of the above resorts.

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Everything You Need to Know About Lake George in Upstate New York – (4)

Lake George NY : Things to do in Lake George

Now onto the fun part, things to do in Lake George. I’m going to spilt this into two parts. I’m going to talk about the best things to do during the summer, then below I will talk about the best things in the winter.

1. Boating

I would say the best thing to do on Lake George is boating. This is what the lake is known for and why most people visit this lake. I have spent MANY summers here and I love boating on Lake George. It is a great lake to just cruise around on. However, in the summertime (mid June to labor day weekend) on the weekends, this lake gets SUPER crowded and choppy. Thus, just be aware of this if you wish to spend time on this lake on the weekends in the summer and be extra cautious. You can easily rent a boat on the lake if you don’t have your own.

2. Hiking

There is SO much GREAT hiking nearby. Some great trails not too far are Tongue Mountain Range, Prospect Mountain, Buck Mountain, Black Mountain, and Inman Pond Trail. I HIGHLY suggest if you are an ADVANCED hiker, to take the 50 minute car ride to Keene Valley. The articles below will tell you specific trails. But the High Peaks (peaks located in Keene Valley) are TRULY breathtaking and my favorite in the whole northeast (along with the White Mountains in NH).

  1. Different Hiking Challenges in New York
  2. Best Hikes in New York
  3. Different Hiking Ranges in Keene Valley NY
  4. Adirondack 46ers

3. Camp on an Island

This is another place you could stay if you have a boat. You could rent a boat as well, but Lake George does have a couple of these different islands, where you can only access via boat to camp at. Again, this is camping, there are no resorts on these tiny islands. My friends and I did this a couple years ago and had a lot of fun. This website will tell you where you can camp and how to reserve the campgrounds. I would reserve these in ADVANCE. These campsites book up FAST, like at least 6 months in advance.

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Everything You Need to Know About Lake George in Upstate New York – (7)

4. Cliff Jumping

There are a ton of different cliff jumping sites in Lake George. Calves Pen and Agnes Island are the two spots I have been to and have had a lot of fun. Calves Pen is ALWAYS crowded on weekends and have much higher jumps. However, Agnes is usually less crowded and has a smaller cliff jump (vertical distance from water, not jumping area).

5. Kayaking/Canoeing

There are plenty of places to rent a kayak or canoe if you don’t have one of your own. But again, I would be careful kayaking/canoeing on Lake George, because again it is a crowded lake. I would stay close to the shore and constantly be looking for boat traffic.

6. Day Trip to Keene Valley and or Lake Placid

Again, I would drive up to Keene Valley or Lake Placid to go on a hike. Also, the town of Lake Placid is really neat and you could buy some souvenirs. Burlington, VT would also be a fun town to visit. Vermont also has a lot of great hiking nearby in the Green Mountains, which you could also take a day trip too.

7. Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is also a fun activity to do. Gore Mountain which is only 30 minutes away has great mountain biking trails you can use.

8. Fireworks at Prospect Mountain Summit

You can see fireworks at the summit of Prospect Mountain. You can also boat into the village marina and see the fireworks from your boat. They go off every Thursday at dark in the summer.

9. Lake George Outlets

Normally, I won’t mention this, but if it’s a rainy day, then the outlets are a good option. However, I would get there early, because on a weekend in the summer, by 10am, they get super crowded.

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Everything You Need to Know About Lake George in Upstate New York – (10)

{Recommended Post : 25 of the Best Things to Do in the Adirondack Mountains}

Things to do in Lake George : Lake George Winter Carnival

The typical tourist season is during the summer, but if you come by in the off season, during November through May there are still a lot of fun things to do.

1. Lake George Winter Carnival : Lake George Ice Castles

The winter carnival occurs every February for the whole month on the weekends. During the weekends the village offers plenty of food, ATV races on the lake, polar plunges, fireworks, hot chocolate, and more. They also have the famous ice castles at the Sagamore Resort.

2. Curling at the Barrel Restaurant

At the Barrel, the offer outdoor curling in the winter. In the summer, the restaurant is called the Blue Water Manor and it is a great place to eat.

3. Skiing/Snowboarding

I love skiing, and any chance I get to ski, I go. Two nearby mountains are Gore and Whiteface. Gore is much closer and usually has better snow conditions. However, Whiteface is a cool mountain to ski/snowboard at as well.

Lake George Restaurants

Lastly, if you are doing all these activities, then I’m sure you want to refuel with some great food. Here are some great restaurants on the lake or in the village. Blue Water Manor (can boat to), Boat House (can boat to and they have a great happy hour), Algonquin (can boat to), Sagamore (have to drive to, and they have great breakfast), and Taqueria Paloma (right in downtown).

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Everything You Need to Know About Lake George in Upstate New York – (13)

And that wraps up this post about everything you need to know about Lake George. Thank you so much for reading and I hope this was helpful in finding things to do and where you should stay if you are thinking about visiting Lake George. Take care!

Everything You Need to Know About Lake George in Upstate New York – (2024)
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