Weekend Getaways 2011 – Lake George

Travel time:
All times/distances are approximate.
1. Fly direct: Delta and US Airways operate to/from JFK to Albany (25 minutes).
Drive Albany to Lake George (50 minutes).
2. Fly privately into Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport (Glens Falls, 70 minutes).
Cab Glenn Falls to Lake George (15 minutes).
3. Driving: take I-87 all the way up! (Travel time: 4 hrs from NYC).

“The air in the Adirondacks is just so bright and clean,” enthuses a gentleman who’s waiting for his gin and tonic on a dock overlooking an exploding sunset that basically has the entire area suffused in shadowy flames. The man sports a curiously-thin mustache and a wild look of joy that seems wholly authentic. He’s up visiting the Sagamore Resort for the week, the Adirondack’s historic diamond built in 1883, which is situated exclusively amid some of the most illustrious and mountainous views in the northeast.

For the past five years, he has planned and re-planned this vacation with his wife and two kids because, “This is the most perfect place New York State has to offer! It’s just perfect. And as a professional father, I want my family to have the most perfect vacation!” His family, all donning fashionable swimwear, patiently endures their father’s brio, (as if by now they’re also seasoned pros at listening to his hyperbolic tales) when he quickly adds to his story that “the air here could almost chafe your lungs—that’s how clean it is around here. By the way, we’re all going kayaking tomorrow!”

Now even his children hook a suspicious yet loving glance toward him. The problem with this scene is that moments like this happen all the time on Lake George. It’s the ultimate family town where everyone is in a great mood seeking adventure and merely having fun. Whether it’s kayaking, boating, hiking, golfing, swimming or anything else that exalts the great American outdoors, you’ll find it here.

Located on its own island, just a free shuttle bus ride away (or a brief walk) from the quaint country shops of Bolton Landing or a ten-minute drive from the nonstop amusements of Lake George Village, the Sagamore and its 380 rooms intimately cater to every traveler’s needs. The historic main building is comprised of 137 suites and it looks like it could be extracted from the opulence of an Edith Wharton novel, featuring sophisticated club-style décor, vast gardens and lake views and old-world room service coupled with today’s contemporary betterments.

Encircling this architectural delight are various lodges that favor the American Country and naturalistic Adirondack décor. Whether staying at the rustic lodges or the historic suites, each visitor is entitled to the lakeside swimming pool, the elegant spa room, the Rec Center, and the Sagamore Kids Club. The children (not to blacklist the adults) seem to really thrive upon the Rec Center, skipping from one diversion to the next. However, when it’s time to round up the whole family, it’s imperative that everyone (at least once) hop on board The Morgan, Sagamore’s own 19th century replica cruise, which ferries passengers around Lake George, exploring the unmistakable splendor of the Adirondacks. It’s on this tour that one has the opportunity to really see the pristine lake for what it’s worth, something President Thomas Jefferson once dubbed, “Without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.”

After an extended day of activity and adventure, it’s time to indulge in the pleasures of ambrosial cuisine, and this is where the resort surpasses expectations. Seven superb and distinct dining experiences are available, there’s a place to occupy any craving—the informal Mister Brown’s Pub, chic La Bella Vita, low-key Club Grill’s steak and chops, Caldwell’s Lobby and Espresso Bar, Veranda Terraces, The Lakehouse, or perhaps just sit dockside at the recently restored Pavilion. It’s apparent that most of the vacationers like to mix up a bit and try all of the flavors these culinary experts have to offer.

Some hours later, after dinner, the man with the mustache sits on the dock gripping his wife’s hands with purpose. The lovers’ children are probably fast asleep or perhaps absorbed by some late-night popcorn flick back at the suite. After finishing the rest of his gin, the man gladly orders two more drinks from an attendant waitress, and then smiles into his wife’s eyes.

A few drinks later and some idle conversation, the couple decidedly staggers upward along the terrace toward their room. Along the way, he says goodnight to just about everyone they pass. They beam in harmony and sway their way up the steps through the glass-paneled doors, receding into another perfect night.

::Best times to go
Sept 3-4: Bolton Landing Arts & Crafts Festival—For all of your Adirondack originals, the Bolton Landing Craft Festival is the most picturesque, “artsy-crafty” shopping spree destination!

Sept 9-11: Sun Kiss Balloon Festival
There will be family activities and fun for all ages throughout the day. Each morning at the Kingswood Golf Course will begin with a 30 hot air balloon mass ascension including 4 special shaped balloons!

Sept 17-18: Jazz at the Lake: The Lake George Jazz Weekend at Shepard Park—Jazz enthusiasts, you don’t want to miss this weekend festival of outdoor entertainment.

Oct 8-9: The Gore Mountain Harvest Fest—Live entertainment, hearty food, activities for kids, climbing walls, and scenic helicopter rides!

Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course (giant zip lines, tarzan jumps!)
Ride a parasail out of Chic’s Marina
Tube down an Adirondack chasm
Whitewater Raft along the
Hudson River
Watch a fireworks show every
Thursday lakeside.
Ride a horse out of Saddle-Up Stables
Stock up at the Factory Outlets of Lake George (Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Coach Factory Store, etc.)

::Best web resources:
lakegeorge.com (find out what’s happening)
boltonchamber.com/bolton-landing-attractions.asp (what else is happening)
thesagamore.com (book accommodations)

brian kelly

Brian Kelly is a journalist, writing instructor, songwriter, playwright and a mediocre cook. His own writing has appeared in Blackbook Magazine, MEDIA, Hamptons.com and The East Hampton Press. His off-Broadway play, Hello Superstar will open in 2012; it details the vibrant lives of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. His band Aeroplane Pageant will put out their 3rd LP Float Above the Yard on September 20th. He currently lives on the fading shoreline of Long Island where now he’s writing/directing a short film for Off-Hollywood and Technicolor Studios.