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11 Reasons Why You Need To Visit The Adirondacks & Northern New York State! #EatPlayLoveNY

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After returning from a whirlwind tour of the Adirondacks and upper New York State, I’ve been left to wonder – why did it take me 47 years to discover this stunning region that lies so close to home? I have no answer. Just a little regret…and a whole lot of catching up to do.

I spent 6 days participating in so many unique, exhilarating, confidence-boosting, and in some ways life-changing experiences yet, I really just touched the surface of what Northern New York and the Adirondacks has to offer. Would I go back? You bet I would – in a New York minute!

I have so much to tell you about my time exploring the top of New York State during our #EatPlayLoveNY adventure. This is just a small sampling of things to come. In the weeks ahead I will be sharing some of my favourite things about the Adirondacks and beyond.

For now, I leave you with:


The Scenery:


For this girl from the “flatlands” of Eastern Ontario, spending time amongst the mountains of the Adirondacks was a special treat for me. Around every bend in the road, mountains, glorious mountains. At the edge of every lake…mountains. Everywhere you look…mountains. The scenery in the Adirondacks is a nature lover’s (and photographer’s) dream.

The Culinary Experience:

Who knew you could find such incredible culinary experiences in upper New York State? I didn’t, but I sure do now. We had some of the best food I have ever tasted while on our Adirondack adventure. Some of my favourites?

TinPanGalleyPoutineDuck Confit Poutine – Tin Pan Galley in Sacket’s Harbour, NY

WellDressedLunchBroccoli Salad – Well Dressed Foods in Tupper Lake, NY

LobsterSweetPotatoCakesTinPanGalleySea Scallops with Lobster Sweet Potato Cakes – Tin Pan Galley in Sacket’s Harbour, NY 

1844HouseSteakSteak & Frites Maitre d’ Hotel – 1844 House in Potsdam, NY

Sadly, I don’t have a decent photo of it but, if you are a salad lover, and you find yourself in Lake Placid at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, be sure to try the Pear and Maple Salad. The combination of sweet pear, maple syrup, dried cherries and walnuts, was exquisite!

The North Country Hotel Experience:

We stayed in some fabulous “chain” hotels along the way, like my fave Comfort Inn in Plattsburgh, but it was the “quaint and unique” local hotels that stole my heart, such as:

NorthWoodsHotelHotel North Woods in Lake Placid, NY 

ClarksonInnPotsdamNYClarkson Inn in Potsdam, NY

And for those that love “old school” country house charm…

AdirondackHotel The Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, NY

The Adirondack Activities:

From climbing a mountain, canoeing across a lake, playing in a spider’s web, to kayaking on the St. Lawrence River and cruising through the Thousand Islands, Northern New York has something fun for every member of the family!

SandyMtJoAt the summit of Mount Jo – Lake Placid, NY

SandyCanoeingCanoeing on Lower Saranac Lake – Saranac Lake, NY

SandyTheWildCenterCaught in a Spider’s Web at The Wild Center – Tupper Lake, NY

CailinKayakingKayaking on the St. Lawrence River – Thousand Islands

ThousandIslandsCruising through the beautiful Thousand Islands – Uncle Sam Boat Tours

The History:

Northern New York is steeped in history. From Lake Champlain and Fort Ticonderoga, to the Adirondack Museum and Boldt Castle, visitors to this area can see American history unfold before their eyes.

ChamplainStatue of Samuel Champlain – Plattsburgh, NY

PlattsburghKent-Delord House – Plattsburgh, NY

FortTiconderogaFort Ticonderoga – Ticonderoga, NY

AdirondackMuseumAdirondack Museum – Blue Mountain Lake, NY

BoldtCastleBoldt Castle – Alexandria Bay, Thousand Islands, NY

The Winery & Craft Brewery Experience:

As I mentioned in another post, there are over 100 Craft Breweries, and over 400 wineries in the state of New York. The #EatPlayLoveNY tour took us to a few of Northern New York’s finest. I fell in love with a new wine, or beer, at every stop. If you love wine or craft brew, the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail is definitely worth a visit!

AmazingGraceWineryAmazing Grace Vineyard & Winery – Chazy, NY

VescoRidgeWineryVesco Ridge Vineyards – West Chazy, NY

TapThatAppleAdirondack Cider Company at Elfs Farm Winery & Ciderhouse – Plattsburgh, NY

ParadoxBreweryParadox Brewery – Schroon Lake, NY

RaquetteRiverBreweryRaquette Rive Brewing – Tupper Lake, NY 

The Shopping:

Love browsing through gift shops and unique stores? Northern New York has you covered! We saw SO many fascinating and beautiful stores along our tour. Every town had locally owned gift shops, outfitter shops, and clothing stores that I would just LOVE to have explored! Luckily for my wallet, our hectic tour schedule did not allow for much time to browse. Towns like Lake Placid, Tupper Lake, Alexandria Bay, and Sacket’s Harbour, are now etched in my mind as places to return to, so I can check out all the wonderful shops I spotted.

AdirondackCoffeeSecond day home and my stash of this coffee is already gone. It’s that good!

AdirondackCaramelsThese Asgaard Dairy Vanilla Bean Caramels were eaten within a couple of minutes!

The People:

You can’t visit the Adirondack region without mentioning the wonderful people who call this majestic area home. We met so many friendly, helpful, and welcoming people during our tour. The warmth and hospitality we felt from residents during our time in the Adirondacks made me feel so “at home”. That’s probably one of the best things about being there. I’m thinking their new slogan should be “You’re At Home In The Adirondacks”.

A special hello to just some of my favourite Adirondack people including:

  • our fantastic ROOST team who organized #EatPlayLoveNY (whom I now consider my good friends).
  • the sweet, and always smiling, Amber from the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.
  • Jan, my amazing mountain guide, who guided me up Mt. Jo and stopped at the side of the road for a rainbow.
  • Ken Adams, our very knowledgeable guide at Point au Roche State Park.
  • Tracey, our fabulous guide at The Wild Center.
  • Dan, owner of Vesco Ridge Winery, who made us laugh…and served us the most amazing chocolate wine sauce.
  • Gary, owner of Hotel North Woods in Lake Placid, who joined us for breakfast, and who filled us full of delicious food and great stories.
  • Doug, organizer of the Cycle Adirondacks Bike Race, who heard we were in town and came by to meet us.
  • Joan, our expert guide, who took us all for a hike up Mt. Arab.
  • Brooke, Executive Director of St. Lawrence County Chamber, who hosted us for an unforgettable dinner.
  • Holly, owner of Boomerang Kayak & Bike Rentals, who hosted an amazing kayaking experience on the St. Lawrence River.
  • Gary, Director of Tourism for the 1000 Islands region, who took such good care of us and graciously offered to drive a few of us to the airport for our later flights.

The Outdoors:

Just simply being in the moment and enjoying all the spectacular scenery Northern New York and the Adirondacks has to offer, is worth a trip to this region. There’s something amazing to see around every bend in the road, every hike up the mountain, and every paddle along the shore. The Adirondacks is a dream vacation destination for those who love any type of outdoor activity and adventure.

LakeChamplainLake Champlain – Pointe au Roche State Park, NY

AdirondacksRainbowRainbow near Mt. Jo – Lake Placid, NY

FlowerLakeLake Flower – Saranac Lake, NY

MtArabMt. Arab – Tupper Lake, NY

The Adventure:

The Adirondacks is the perfect destination to escape your comfort zone and try something new! The #EatPlayLoveNY adventure tour had me doing things that took me completely out of my comfort zone. I summited two mountains, canoed and kayaked longer and harder than I ever had before, tried all kinds of new foods and beverages, and even unplugged my ears to hear the sound of the muskets being fired at Fort Ticonderoga (yes, I hate loud noises). Heck, this acrophobe (me), even climbed to the top of a very tall fire tower, at the top of Mt. Arab, just to see the view. It took a bit of time to climb the tower, with some very sweaty palms…but I did it!

ClimbingMtJoClimbing Mt. Jo – Lake Placid, NY

KimROOSTKim from ROOST taken from atop the fire tower on Mt. Arab (it’s higher than it looks!)

The Friends:

A visit to Northern New York and the Adirondacks is great if you are a solo adventurer but, friends make this region even better! Just like I did, you are sure to come home from a trip to Northern New York and the Adirondacks with more than just souvenirs. You’ll come home with some wonderful new friends!


A very special thank you to the team at ROOST for inviting me to join them on this fantastic journey through Northern New York. I have so many wonderful memories to last a life time!

Thank you also to the fabulous tourism board team members @AdksUSA, @AdirondackCoast, @Visit1000isles and @ADKSeaway, for being such wonderful hosts to us.

Last, but definitely not least, thank you so very much to all the people who welcomed us to their businesses with open arms and wonderful hospitality. 

Without all of you together, there would be no #EatPlayLoveNY. Thank you from the bottom of this Canadian’s heart! 


  1. February 7, 2016

    Sarah at Journeys of The Zoo

    I’ve traveled a bit in the region but not for at least 25 years so I’m overdue. Besides, I’d love to introduce my kids to all the excitement and experiences! So much to see and do, thanks for sharing.

    P.S. You had me at duck confit poutine!

    Besos, Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

    • February 9, 2016


      Hehehe! Those words are music to my ears too, Sarah 🙂 Mmmm! Yes! Time for you to return to the area! You and your family would love it there, I have no doubt. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. August 19, 2015

    Emily Marie

    Mt. Jo was one of my favorite hikes when I was there! One of the smaller mountains but it has the most amazing views (not to mention some tricky treks up).

    Thanks for posting this Sandy, I will definitely take all these great places into consideration next time I visit the area! And that will definitely be soon.

    • August 19, 2015


      Cool Emily! I love that you have climbed Mt Jo as well. Yes, one of the smaller mountains but I’m glad I didn’t go for a higher peak that day – I would have run out of time. You’re right though, Mt. Jo has fantastic views! I’m glad you mentioned the tricky trek up – Mt Arab was definitely an easier (and less rocky) climb. I hope you get the chance to visit the Adirondacks again soon, Emily! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. August 19, 2015


    Best kept secret just got out!

    • August 19, 2015


      Oh no! I let the cat out of the bag, Ron? I’m really terrible at keeping secrets 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. August 19, 2015


    Glad you enjoyed what many of us call home. It is amazing. Next time, you need to get the best ice cream around. Donnelly’s in Lake Clear (oustide Saranac Lake). Thank you for capturing the beauty of the area. You have so much more to see!

    • August 19, 2015


      Hi Lisa! You are a lucky lady to call that part of the US home. Thanks so much for the tip about Donnelly’s! I’m all about the ice cream 🙂 I have put that down on my “must visit” list already. I bet it’s tasty! Thanks for stopping by Lisa!!

  5. August 18, 2015


    You have a career in tourism ahead!

    • August 18, 2015


      That’s a terrific compliment, Frances! Thanks so much!

  6. August 18, 2015


    A great re-cap to an awesome trip. So lovely to meet you as well! 🙂

    • August 18, 2015


      Thanks so much, Cailin! So great to meet you too! Can’t wait to see some of your videos! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. August 18, 2015

    craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous)

    Amazing you had the chance to see that rainbow… wow, I knew there must have been a few on our adventures… but missed that one to fly fish…. you had a great capture, i had no capture…

    but my favorite reason was definitely #11, a pleasure to meet you and everyone.

    Stay Reasoning in the Adirondacks, Craig

    • August 18, 2015


      You did have plenty of great sunset captures though, Craig 🙂 Perhaps, like you chasing sunsets, I should be chasing rainbows. I think your odds are better though! A pleasure to meet you as well! Thanks for putting up with all of us ladies 🙂 I’m sure that was a feat in itself! I look forward to meeting up with you another time! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. August 18, 2015


    I’m embarrassed to say that I have never even heard of the Adirondacks. Not even sure how to pronounce it. But what an amazing place!! The food looks divine and the scenery is breathtaking. I go to NY quite a bit and would love to take a detour and check outthis wonderful place.

    • August 18, 2015


      Wow! I thought everyone had heard of the Adirondacks (pronounced A-dir-on-dacks) DeBalino. Yes! If you visit NYC you definitely should take at least a couple of days to visit part of this wonderful area of the state. Food, beer, wine, scenery, shopping, activities, culture….they really have it all! Hope you get a chance to visit! Thanks for reading, DeBalino!

  9. August 17, 2015


    You have shown such wonderful pictures. I have been to Lake Placid but now I want to see the other places! It’s so beautiful there!

    • August 17, 2015


      Thanks so much, Stephanie! You definitely need to go back! So much to see and do outside Lake Placid. Hope you get the chance to visit! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. August 17, 2015

    Brenda A

    Such a great post with enthusiasm that oozes! I would love a trip just like this! Perfect combination of outdoors, food, friends. Very nice.

    • August 17, 2015


      Your comment may just be my fave readers’ comment yet, Brenda! I love your line “such a great post with enthusiasm that oozes!” Thanks so much Brenda! I truly hope you get a chance to visit this region one day soon. I don’t know you well, but what I do know of you, I have a feeling you would love a vacation there 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  11. August 17, 2015

    Elizabeth Vlug

    I enjoyed reading about your trip. Sounds like the perfect trip. And not too far. Do you think it would be a good trip in the fall? Just might take some notes from you and plan a little 4 day getaway.

    • August 17, 2015


      Thanks Elizabeth! I truly can’t say enough about the region. Well worth a visit. YES! Fall would be a perfect time to visit! I would actually love to go back there in the fall sometime. I had numerous people tell me how gorgeous it is in the Adirondacks in fall. Can you imagine the colours in the mountains? I’d love to do a hike to the top of a mountain in fall 🙂 Thanks for reading, Elizabeth! Don’t hesitate to message me if you have any questions.

      • August 18, 2015

        Elizabeth Vlug

        Thanks Sandy. I have saved a lot of the info you shared. Sounds like a perfect fall getaway!

  12. August 17, 2015

    Maya Fitzpatrick

    oh wow. what a great trip. I went here as a kid but I totally want to come now with my family now. I love all of your pictures. High on my list would be the wine and craft beer experience.

    • August 17, 2015


      So glad to hear you’ve been to the Adirondacks, Maya! Yes, you definitely need to come back with your family! So much there for families to enjoy together. Kids would especially love the Wild Center. I agree with you though…the wine/beer experience was fabulous! Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed the photos!

    • August 17, 2015


      I miss you too, Erin! You lit up the room everywhere we went with your beautiful smile :). I am so happy to have met you! I look forward to the day when we get to meet up again 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  13. August 17, 2015

    Margarita Ibbott (@DownshiftingPRO)

    I LOVE THE ADIRONDACKS. I grew up in Montreal and I just loved going to Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. I always laugh when I see ‘Muskoka’ Chairs because to me they were ALWAYS Adirondack chairs.

    Hey, if you go back, invite me along. I would love to go back!

    • August 17, 2015


      Oh lucky you, Margarita! I’m glad to hear you got to spend time going to the Adirondacks when you were growing up. I feel like I missed out, now that I’ve seen what it’s like there 🙂 LOL…I was thinking about that every time I saw an Adirondack chair. I wonder what came first…the Muskoka chair or the Adirondack chair. My bets are on the Adirondack chair! I would LOVE to go there with you. I’ll go get re-packed… 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a comment

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