Weekend Guide: Lake George, NY
Get drawn into Lake George’s colonial history, antique boats, and network of hiking trails at the doorstep of the Adirondacks.
Before heading for the desert, painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s early work contained many a rendition of Lake George’s 32-mile body of water. Today, some 50,000 visitors come to frolic the lake and Green Island each summer, drawn in by the colonial history, antique boats, and a network of hiking trails with views of the Adirondacks. The former stomping ground of Industrial Age tycoons, the lake and surrounding peaks have has transcended into both a stylish and humble place of play. Lake George could quite possibly pass for something found only in Switzerland, if it wasn’t a four-hour drive from Manhattan.
Perched on the southern end of Green Island, The Sagamore Resort offers a place to set down your bags, as well as sit back for a breathtaking view of the Adirondacks. After getting settled, an afternoon cruise on the resort’s 72-foot replica nineteenth-century touring vessel is both a way to explore the lake’s narrows and is included in your resort fee.
If you’d prefer to engage your eyes and not your ears, make a stop into Bolton Historical Museum, located right next to Rogers Park in the heart of Bolton Landing. Housed in an old 1890 church, the museum serves as a repository for local history, including an extensive collection of regional artifacts and memorabilia, from ice-harvesting equipment to Native American artifacts. But the core reason to visit now? The museum is currently presenting a landmark exhibit, running from May to Columbus Day, called Landscapes Lost & Found: Two Centuries of Art from Bolton Landing, which features paintings from members of the Hudson River School and American Pre-Raphaelite movement who captured the landscapes of Bolton Landing.
It’s no wonder with enthusiasts like those at Hall’s Boat Corporation acting like area historians, you’ll find at least 50 vintage boats on site at any point in the summer. The Sagamore has its own historic boat, The Morgan, a 72-foot replica of a nineteenth-century touring vessel. Hour-and-a-half tours offer some of the best views the Adirondacks, and, if you’re staying at our resort, a tour is included in your resort fee.
Ballooning isn’t just for the vineyards of Napa Valley. Above Lake George in a hot air balloon, Beautiful Balloon opens up elevated views of the lake and Adirondacks. An evening sunset flight is the best to end a day combing the area sites, topped off with a bottle of champagne.
The upscale-casual La Bella Vita is a cornerstone of the dining scene at the resort. Serving fresh, authentic Italian cuisine (think chicken or veal Piccata, Saltimboca, and Scallopini) since 2008, the restaurant offers one of the most memorable views on the property with a warmly decorated dining room that overlooks the resort’s iconic terraces cascading down to the water and the southern exposure of Lake George.
Just 10 miles down the road, step into local history with the Fort William Henry tour offered daily, every hour from May to October. The British fort was constructed in 1755 to oversee the southern end of Lake George protecting the colonies to its south from French attack. Guides explain the weapons and war-faring strategy of the age, showing live firing demonstrations of musket and cannon.
Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort