Last fall when I visited Albany, New York, I just had to explore a little farther north to the Lake George area. There I found a small town “Festival of the Lake” in progress next to the southern end of the expansive lake itself.
My home base was the Fort William Henry Hotel with an upper story lake view. It’s so nice to wake up and go to bed with the ever changing view of water and distant mountains. The hotel offers several styles of accommodations, but staying in the main historic building was optimal, and the prime location for viewing the weekend fireworks over the lake from the room.
I had an unpleasant lunch at the little snack bar café on the waterfront where the manager was almost rude and not accommodating to this paying customer. But with that unpleasantness aside, the rest of my tourist visit to Lake George was very pleasant.
One of the most congenial , informative and entertaining outings was the Sunday Champagne Brunch Cruise aboard the Lake George Steamboat Cruise which toured up the Lake all the way to the Hotel Sagamore. Viewing Sagamore ever so briefly from the water gave a new perspective to the historic white facade hotel. I was to have a luxurious lunch and hotel tour later in the weekend. While the hotel might be booked when you are in the area, a regular hotel tour is scheduled and at the very least a stop for a beverage or food is a must. Free parking is available after you go over a short quaint bridge and winding road to the resort. The lake views and hotel infuse you with the lux life of a gone by era – but an ever so enjoyment today.
Another dining treat was the Algonquin Restaurant at Bolton Landing, near the Sagamore Hotel, where locals take their boats, docked them by the water front restaurant , enjoy a meal or cocktail, and then retreat to their lake homes via the water, before the sun completely sets. Boating to them is as casual as taking the family car out to dinner ~ so quaint and a hint at the local lake culture.
A staff member of the Sagamore, suggested I travel, if time allowed to go a bit farther north, to the northern most part of Lake George and visit the Fort Ticonderoga area. I had always heard about this revolutionary war locale and it was enlightening to tour the reconstructed fort and see its importance for guarding the waterfront. Approaching the Park area I came across a fox hunt, complete with riders and hounds in progress, temporarily halting car traffic. It was as if I was transported back in time.
I enjoyed dining at the very popular Lake George’s Marios Italian Restaurant, and at the Lake George Dinner Theater, where the play was well done and my congenial extemporaneous senior citizen ladies table mates, was more entertainment. The Lake George main street plays host to a number of assorted shops and eateries, including the wine tastings at the Adirondack Winery.
While I was there in late September, I found I was at the end of their season, so you may want to arrive earlier in the year, and plan now for your spring/summer upstate New York getaway.
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