With gasoline prices rising again, who needs to travel afar for adventure, when there's such a variety of exciting things to do nearby in Warren and Hamilton counties?
Whether it's an expedition into the wilderness, a pleasant short hike or a more restful lake cruise or train ride, there's so much to do in the southern Adirondack region.
How about a day exploring the pristine waters of one of the many lakes or rivers?
In Lake George, cruising on the lake means riding on one of the famed vessels of the Lake George Steamboat Co. - a prime attraction for generations of residents and visitors alike. Three vessels, including the charming Minne-Ha-Ha paddle-wheeler, cruise the lakewaters daily.
Before and afterwards, enjoy lakeside dining at the Boardwalk Restaurant, known for its fine food and ambiance.
Not far away in Lake George Village on Canada St., there's the Adirondack Winery, which handcrafts an incredible variety of wines that are sure to please the palate.
Located across from Shepard Park, they offer not only a stock of wines they create on-site, but wine tastings that include a wine glass to take home as a souvenir. These affordable samplings are fun, offering comparisons between various types of wines. They are even more inexpensive with the $1-off coupon included in this issue. Adirondack Winery's proprietors know their wine-making. Their Pinot Noir won a Silver Medal at the recent International Eastern Wine Competition and their Chardonnay won a Bronze Medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.
Down Canada St. is the incomparable Georgian Resort, which not only offers accommodations but the best in lakeside dining. They're well known as the place for conventions, banquets and exciting entertainment. Check out this year's special discounts for their accommodations, which include well-appointed special suites.
Those visiting Lake George will want to put their golfing skills to the test at Top of the World Golf Resort, not far away off Lockhart Rd.The course offers stunning panoramic views of Lake George, as well as the cozy ambiance and good food of the Farm House Restaurant, which now offers a new Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 668-3000 for details.
Golfers also will enjoy the experience at Country Meadows Golf in Fort Ann, where they can play 12 holes for the price of 9 - and with greens fees at only $8 for adults and $6 for Seniors, it's an unbelievable bargain. Call 792-5927 for details or reservations at the course, which is on Rte. 149.
Not far from lake George is a new restaurant in Warrensburg, just opened in the former Warrensburg Empire Shirt Factory, which decades later became the local dress factory.
Featuring healthy, appetizing, sumptuous American cuisine, the eatery is named "Lizzie Keays Restaurant" in honor of a worker in the shirt factory during the early 1900s.
All dinners, all under $20, include Cedar Salmon, Fra Diavlo, Stir Fry, Stuffed Shrimp, Seafood Martini, Italian Stuffed Chicken, as well as steaks and much more. Lizzie Keays is open for dinner Sunday - Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and open Fridays and Saturdays 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The restaurant's decor and furnishings includes photos and artifacts reflecting the building's heritage. Reservations are recommended - call 504-4043.
In downtown Warrensburg, Ray's Liquors on Main St. has a wide variety of wines and other spirits, all offered by friendly personnel. The store offers mixed-case discounts, and welcomes special requests. It features convenient hours, as it is not only open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but it is also open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Across the street is Gino's Pizzeria & Restaurant, which offers not only pizza, but subs, salads, wraps, hamburgers, smothered hot dogs and quesadillas. They are renowned for their Italian specialties, including chicken and eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, manicotti and ravioli - eat in, or take out. Call 623-3000 to reach them.
For the adventurous, there's rafting the wild whitewaters of the Hudson River.
Wildwaters Outdoor Center is the rafting outfit based in the Adirondacks with incomparable experience and knowledge of the area. They offer rafting and tubing adventures for the whole family. They offer a full line of instruction and courses in water navigation, including kayaking and whitewater canoeing. Also, they offer getaway packages in conjunction with their eco-friendly, Adirondack-style bed & breakfast enterprise, The Glen Lodge & Market, north of Warrensburg on Rte. 28.
Those interested in motorized watersports must visit F.R. Smith & Sons Marina several miles north in scenic lakeside Bolton Landing. Dedicated to customer service, they are one of the oldest continually operating marinas in the Northeast.
Go west several miles to Chestertown, and experience a charming hamlet with shops that offer the friendly hometown experience of a century ago.
While there, check out the motorcycles and motor-scooters at Adirondack Ural, an award-winning dealer.
They not only have Russian-built Ural motorcycles which have incredible heritage, but they offer gas-sipping Kymco motor-scooters - the most economical way to tour the Adirondacks! We hear that with the escalating fuel and insurance prices, many are turning to scooters as the sensible, economical way to get around - instead of a second car.
Adirondack Ural is not only offering Kymco scooters for as low as $39.72 per month, but they offer expert service, advice and support - from a staff of friendly motorcycle enthusiasts.
Those who are missing their treadmill or workout routine on their vacation are welcome to drop in at Panther Mountain Fitness, off Rte. 9 just south of Chestertown. Their driveway is just south of the liquor store. At Panther Mountain Fitness, open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. all week long, folks will find expanded weight equipment as well as machines for simply trimming down or toning up. A friendly, experienced staff is there, and arrangements can be made for a personal trainer to help get you in the very best shape. Call 494-3030 for details.
Nearby Loon Lake is a perfect setting for family fun, with boating, fishing, swimming, and all kinds of water sports delighting visitors. There, Loon Lake Marina offers a full line of boats, motors and accessories,kayaks, and fishing gear, as well as high-technology docks and related equipment.Two highly trained technicians are on staff for repair and service. Loon Lake Marina is also headquarters for the renowned Inverted Wakeboard and Waterski School, offering top-notch instruction from serious skiers and boarders, whether you are a beginner or aspiring trick performer.
Loon Lake is also a very picturesque setting for two other activities - horseback riding and all-terrain vehicle riding. Both are available at Loon Lake Riding Stable, off state Rte. 8 west of Chestertown. Loon Lake Trail Rides at the stable offers guided horseback tour rides - at incredibly reasonable rates - through woods and fields, with a lot of wildlife and scenic views along the way. Riders are matched up with a horse from a wide selection, according to each person's riding style and ability. Experienced trail guides will give riders instructions and personalized attention.
Then there's the thrill of ATV riding, whether you're a beginner or experienced. New for 2009, Loon Lake Riding Stables is offering guided ATV trail rides. The Stable's experienced guides will lead riders through their private trails over scenic woodlands after offering detailed instructions. For details, see www.loonlaketrailrides.com or call 494-5168.
Nearby, there's the beautiful and relaxing ambiance of Brant Lake - when you're there, be sure to enjoy local watersports. EZ Marine rents pontoon boats, runabouts, canoes, kayaks, water skis and tubes at reasonable prices - for all sorts of waterborne fun on a lake that borders a charming historic hamlet.
Dining in Brant Lake mean the one-and-only Suzie Q's Restaurant, which offers delectable cuisine in a relaxed Adirondack log-cabin atmosphere. Located off Rte 8 west of Brant Lake, they are open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They offer tender steaks, succulent seafood, traditional Italian dishes, Intriguing paninis, and garden-fresh salads. Lunches and breakfasts offer a full range of offerings, including hearty omelets.
Local residents know they can depend on the Tin Teepee Family Campground Store & Deli for meal fixings that are guaranteed family-pleasers. The store, located on Bean Road, offer's Daby's renowned subs, plus homemade salads, cold cuts, baked goods, and lunch specials. Call 494-5555 for directions, or see www.tinteepeecampground.com.
Nearby North Creek, until recently a sleepy little village, is now bustling with activity, including a dozen or so new shops, boutiques, restaurants and pubs. Whether it's jazz music in a tavern, art exhibits, performances in a park setting, or fine dining at the Copperfield Inn, North Creek offers it all!
It's the perfect place to spend a day or evening, exploring history, the arts, or nature as well as offering a unique, friendly mountain-town shopping and dining experience.
The Copperfield Inn is an elegant, charming place to stay, and features all the amenities you'd expect - like pool, and a fitness center. Despite its ambiance of luxury, it is a family-friendly and affordable place to have as a home base for your Adirondack adventure excursions. The Copperfield's Trapper's Tavern offers a rustic Adirondack atmosphere, while Lorenzo's Cucina Forna offers detectible dining in an elegant atmosphere.
The Source, on Bridge Street in North Creek, specializes in quality used outdoor gear placed on consignment. They also also regularly receive dealer samples of equipment, brand new, at way below retail.
While in North Creek, you can take the family on a jaunt beside the scenic Hudson River on the Upper Hudson River Railroad, which takes a scenic ride, 16 miles round trip, from North Creek to Riparius. Special events include a Race the Train event, in which spectators can watch runners compete in a benefit Saturday Aug. 1. Also, trips as far south as Stony Creek may be resumed in August on Wednesdays. Call 251-5334 for details.
North Creek also hosts Hudson River Rafting Co. which offers the whitewater thrills of roaring down the Hudson River Gorge as well as three other waterways. Their friendly, enthusiastic, experienced guides make the trips down the river an unforgettable experience. State-of-the-art equipment and self-bailing rafts assure safety.
Also in North Creek is the family fun of Garnet Mine Tours at the historic Barton Mines. The tours start at the Gore Mountain Mineral Shop. In your own car you follow a tour guide to the site of the Garnet Mines.
Your tour guide then explains the history and geology of the mines and how to find your own garnet gemstones. large garnet crystal faces and museum-quality mineral specimens. Exploring the pit for your own treasures is great family fun. Call 251-2706 for details.
Speaking of tours, how about a trip around one of the area's gorgeous lakes for a first-hand look at the natural beauty and views of historic landmarks?
To go in style like tourists did in the Adirondacks' "Golden Age," Blue Mountain Lake Boat Livery offers narrated two-hour tours in antique early-1900s launches to see the sights of Eagle, Blue Mountain and Utowana lakes - all in one memorable trip.
While in the area, stop in at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. The Museum, which offers an incomparable overview of the natural history, tourism, and culture of the Adirondacks, featuring an incredible collection of artifacts.
Also in Blue Mountain Lake is the incomparable Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, which offers not only performing arts, but exhibitions, classes and events year-round. Through July 30, the Center is hosting "The Water's Edge," an exhibition of photographic art on canvas by Laurie McCarriar. Through Aug. 9, there's also ceramic interpretations of natural forms & man-made constructions by Anne Vaccaro. Now through Aug. 6, is "Nature, Myth and Spirituality," an exhibit of digital photography & mixed media by Jing Zhou. A reception for the artist is set for August 6 at 5 p.m.
Not far away from Blue Mountain Lake, you can spend a relaxing day on Long Lake, which is much like it was many decades ago. If you are seeking panoramic spectacular views of the High Peaks mixed with the historic sights, Long Lake Boat Tours offers daily trips that offer a relaxing tours, nearly two hours long, that mix a delightful dose of nature with history.
If you'd like to explore at your own pace, rent a motorboat or canoe from Long Lake Marina, and enjoy cruising the lake. They're a full-service marina, so virtually anything that you can imagine water-related, they can help you accomplish it.
If you'd like to see the sights from the air, you can achieve a magnificent overview of the mountains and lakes from a seaplane ride, offered by Helms Aero Service of Long Lake. They'll also take you in to the remote back-country regions for an unforgettable fishing, hunting or camping experience. Call 624-3931 for details or reservations.
If you've got that competitive spirit, a game of golf in the Adirondacks is unforgettable, considering the spectacular natural setting of the area golf courses.
While in the Indian Lake area, play the Cedar River Golf Course or Wakely Lodge Golf Course, which offers incredible mountain views over its 2,549 yards of golf for a par of 34 - and no sand traps. Also, their Pro Shop offers a wide variety of crafted handbags and gift items s well as golf equipment. The Cedar River Golf Course also has beautiful views and features 2,665 yards of pleasurable golf. Both are family-friendly and offer food and lodging. Both courses offer dining their clubhouse restaurants.
Saturday July 11, get a taste of bygone days in Indian Lake with the town-sponsored square dance at 7 p.m. in Byron Park.
And then there's Glens Falls, the small city that anchors the southern Adirondacks, which is undergoing a remarkable revival.
Small charming galleries, shops, taverns and boutiques are springing up as the city has become a destination for those who want to explore city life like it was in bygone days - with a contemporary, upscale flair. The revival has in large part been sparked by the completion of its ambitious library expansion and the arrival of the Charles R. Wood Theater, which hosts a wide variety of performing arts and entertainment. The theater is the venue for the Adirondack Theatre Festival, which is renowned for its innovative yet crowd-pleasing offerings that have received notice nationally.
A focal point in Glens Falls for art for many decades has been the world-renowned Hyde Collection, which presents original art by the world masters in an elegant setting reflecting home life a century ago. The museum complex is based in the home of Charlotte Hyde, an Italian Renaissance style villa, which contains an important collection of European Old Master and American works of art from Rembrandt, Renoir, Cezanne, van Gogh, Picasso, Botticelli, da Vinci, Tintoretto, El Greco, Rubens, Eakins, Homer, Whistler, and Thayer, from the late Gothic period to contemporary works.
Mix in the setting among the Hyde family's original Italian Renaissance and French eighteenth century antiques, and the visit is an unforgettable experience.
This year, the Hyde Collection is the focal point internationally of a first-ever exhibition.
The Hyde is the lead institution among 40 to celebrate "The Season of Degas" exhibitions, and art enthusiasts from all over the world will be visiting to see the works of French Impressionist Edgar Degas.
The Hyde will be hosting "Degas & Music," a first-time exhibition of his music-inspired works -the exhibit opens July 22.
Whatever you choose do do in the southern Adirondacks, you have the satisfaction of knowing you've not only saved money on travel costs and precious vacation time, but you've also discovered exciting new activities close to home!
IF U WISH, PULL A STOCK TOURISM PHOTO OF NORTHERN WARREN COUNTY OUT OF THE FILE....