The Adirondacks - where Nature Rules
In the Adirondacksgreat camps and cozy cabins dot a vast wilderness of magnificent mountains and lakes. Historic inns offer legendary hospitality and dining amid rustic elegance.
Even though the Adirondacks are almost in our backyard, in late September, we took a 5-Day break and let the Adirondacks, with its lush forests, sparkling lakes and majestic mountain peaks provide the magnificent backdrop for some culinary adventure.
Before we began our tour, we spent the night at the luxurious Fort William Henry Resort (fortwilliamhenry.com) on Lake George.
We eased into vacation mode in our Jacuzzi and woke up refreshed for a day in the Village, where you can browse the shops and enjoy a concert, carriage ride or boat tour. We took a short side trip to the Ralph Kylloe Gallery (raplhkylloe.com ), a finely crafted collection of Adirondackand rustic art, furniture and curiosities displayed by the leading expert and author on rustic design. We headed north through the village of Bolton Landing. We strolled the unique antique shops, boutiques, and galleries. By mid-afternoon, we checked into the Sagamore Resort, (thesagamore.com), a striking Victorian hotel on its own 72 acre private island. We reserved some time at the spa for a soothing afternoon refresher.
We signed up for a sailing lesson, and sat at the magnificent veranda and marveled at the mountains and water that inspired artist such as Georgia OKeefe and Kenset. Dinner at the Sagamores elegant Trillium, was pure delight. If you are a golfer, be sure to book an early morning round of golf on the legendary course designed and built by Donald Ross. The first tee rewards you with a breathtaking view of sunrise. If you prefer signature Adirondack cuisine that exemplifies the High Country regions you can sample a variety of these dishes at the elegant Inn at Erlowest, (theinnaterlowest.com), located at the romantic stone mansion overlooking the lake. The four dining rooms include The Chefs Table, located off the kitchen where a menu of eight to twelve courses will be created especially for you.
All aboard! was the word. We journeyed north to ride the rails of history on the Upper Hudson River Railroad (adirondackrr.com). Stationed in North Creek, the line is known for Hudson River views and for transporting
Teddy Roosevelt on part of his famous night ride to the presidency. We shopped at the rustic ski town of North Creek before the mid-day meal at The Gardens, (copperfieldinn.com), a four diamond restaurant located at the luxurious European-style Copperfield Inn. Afterwards, we journeyed on to Gore Mountain, (goremountain.com), for a gondola ride with grand views of the High Peaks and Southern Adirondacks. A scenic drive took us to Friends Lake Inn, (friendslake.com), a four diamond country inn, our destination for the night.
At the Friends Lake Inn, each room has its own delightful personality, and dinner tantalized with innovative New-American cuisine, complemented by a celebrated wine collection, and served amid quiet elegance. As an alternative, you could head to the Owl at Twilight, (518-251-4696), a hidden gem at Olmsteadville. This unassuming farmhouse, secluded deep in the midst of the Adirondacks, offers sophisticated dining with a fusion feel. Its popular with savvy weekenders, so call ahead.
Days three and four
On a beautiful early morning, we headed north to Blue Mountain Lake to explore the Smithsonian of the Adirondacks, the Adirondack Museum, (adirondackmuseum.org). Exhibits include an early wilderness hotel and luxurious rail car once used by the wealthy to reach their summer estates called Great Camps. We continued north on Rte. 30 to Long Lake where we chartered a 30-minue seaplane ride for an astonishing view of the vast wilderness. We wound our way north to Tupper Lake and toured the recently opened Wild Center, (wildcenter.org), a natural history museum. After our visit, we took Rte 3 east to the village of Saranac for a late lunch at the A.P. Smith, (hotelsaranac.com), set in the historicHotel Saranac. Culinary students from Paul Smiths College work alongside professional chefs to create a superb dining experience. We strolled through the village, a former logging town and health resort, (home of the Trudeau Institute), its streets lined with shops and galleries. The Paradox Lodge (paradoxlodge.com ), lives up to its name with its rugged, classic Adirondacksetting and fine attention to detail, from the dcor to the five-star cuisine prepared by Chef Moses LaFountaine. Or settle into the nearby Wawbeek, (wabeek.com), a turn-of-the-century Great Camp, on Upper Saranac Lake. Renowned for its setting and cuisine, The Wawbeeks restaurant sits on a rock promotery overlooking the lake.
We opted for two nights at The Point Resort (thepointresort.com or [email protected]/thepoint). Yesterdays Rockefeller Great Camp is todays most luxurious hotel. The Point is considered the most enchanting lakefront sanctuary of its kind in America by the Hideaway Report. It felt like paradise found as we were waking up to the sound of the Loons. We found service fit for royalty and Rockefellers, mingled with the authentic rustic, but truly elegant, dcor that marked the era. The Points Executive Chef and full kitchen staff are all trained by world-renowned, three-star Michelin chef, Albert Roux. Zagat calls it pure bliss. Our every wish was truly their command, from our favorite drinks to wine and food made to order, to boat rides on the lake, all requests were graciously met. We were most surprised by their exceptional service providing us with a full tank of gas and a picnic lunch waiting in our car when we got ready to leave.
We left Saranac and drove south to Lake Placid. We started our visit there with a tour of Lake Placids Olympic venues. We began at the Olympic Center, (orda.org), where famed figure skaters and hockey players earned their gold, and today hone their skills year round. We had a thrilling bobsled ride but we did forego a ride on the luge. The bobsled ride was excitement for a lifetime. We perused the shops on Main Streetand found them interesting for discerning shoppers from around the globe. Our elegant room, a pampering spa and a memorable dinner awaited us at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa, (mirrorlakeinn.com ) which is rated as one of the Worlds best Hotels by Travel and Leisure in 2006. Chef Sorgule presented a dining experience that was elegant, exciting and fun.