Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Lake George, New York

We had some amazing trips planned for 2020, but COVID-19 ended up pulling the plug on all of them. Instead, for Memorial Day Weekend this year, we drove to the nearby town of Lake George in New York for a "pandemic getaway" at the newly reopened Sagamore Resort. Since we would be the first people staying there after the hotel shut down two months ago, I figured it would be as germ-free as possible.

It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny weekend of outdoor activities; it almost seemed pre-pandemic! And I felt grateful to be checking out a local destination that I probably would've overlooked, since I typically have my sights set on much farther flung locales. Lake George is gorgeous and laid back, and it's perfect for a long weekend getaway.

Where to Stay

I've always been interested in the Sagamore Resort, but it's normally quite pricey. There were significant discounts being offered for their reopening weekend, so we decided to take advantage of that and check out all that the famed hotel has to offer. We stayed in a lodge suite with a lake view from the back patio, and boy was that nice after several months of being cooped up at home.

The resort is indeed very grand, with so many ways to view and enjoy the lake. There are plenty of activities, from the pool to croquet to kayaking to tennis. And there's a crazy fun rec center on the premises, which is where my kids spent most of their free time. The rec center is housed in a huge and airy barn structure, and it features mini golf, ping pong, basketball, billiards, video games, and a baseball diamond for wiffle ball. There was a fire pit for roasting s'mores every evening.

What to Do

The Sagamore is located in Bolton Landing, about 20 minutes from the town of Lake George proper. That's just the right distance to be away from all the hustle and bustle, yet close enough to enjoy everything the town has to offer. We drove in a few times for various activities.

The first thing we did was go for a bike ride along the Warren County Bikeway, which we picked up on the corner of West Brook Road and Beach Road in Lake George. The trail is technically 10 miles long, but we only did 5 miles before turning back because that was quite a workout already. The path starts off at a gradual but steady incline, which sapped a lot of our energy right at the beginning. Being able to zoom down on the way back was super fun, though! Nearly the entire path is covered in a canopy of trees, so at least the whole thing was shaded — and beautiful.

Just across the street from where the bike path starts is Million Dollar Beach, which looked like a lot of fun. But since we were trying to social distance and be more low key, we opted to drive to the smaller Memorial Beach near our hotel instead. That beach is tiny and peaceful.

An impromptu activity that we decided to do was go parasailing with Lake George Parasailing Adventures. My kids thought it was the best part of the weekend! And it was really fun, being flown like a kite above the lake. I liked that it included a ride on a high-speed motor boat across Lake George  it was like two activities in one. The small crew on the boat with was great, and the activity felt thrilling yet completely safe at the same time!

On our last day at Lake George, we rented two double kayaks from Lake George Kayak Co. to row out onto the lake. The weather was gorgeous, the lake was calm, and it was the perfect thing to do for an hour.

There were a few things we would've done in the area, like Six Flags Great Escape or the Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course, but they were still closed from the pandemic.

Where to Eat

Our food options were limited during this trip, since many restaurants were still closed and the ones that were open were only doing takeout. But we managed to score some delicious sandwiches from Bella's Deli, on Lake George's main drag, Canada Street.

And just before heading home on our last day, we stopped off at the famous Martha's Dandee Creme in nearby Queensbury for soft-serve cones. It's a really fun place to get ice cream, with people lining up in different lanes at each window and a rotating daily menu of soft-serve flavors. You can get everything from a cherry-dipped cone to pineapple Dole whip.

What's Nearby

Last year, we passed through Lake George on our way up to a weekend in Vermont — where we stayed in a treehouse! Check out our itinerary for that trip.

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Stowe and Waterbury with Kids: What to See, Do, and Eat
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7 Kid-Friendly Factory Tours