While New York State is most widely known for the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, a different world lies beyond the towering skyscrapers. Tucked away in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake are two small towns that capture the hearts of visitors with their natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality. Recently, Country Living recognized these gems, featuring them among their list of the 42 best small towns, villages, and cities in New York.
#2: Saranac Lake
Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks is a vibrant village renowned for its picturesque lakes and mountain vistas. Saranac Lake offers an outdoor playground for every age and ability. In warm months, you can find visitors golfing, biking, hiking, and paddling around the area. In the evening, Saranac Lake comes alive, and it isn’t hard to find a favorite spot that has live music and craft beverages.
When winter comes, there are plenty of unique shops, museums, art galleries, and more to browse while staying warm. Or, gear up for a downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, or snowboarding adventure at one of the highly favored mountain recreation centers in the area.
#8: Lake Placid
Just a short drive from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid is a year-round destination for nature enthusiasts and those looking to escape city life for a while. Mirror Lake, a non-motorized lake, provides a serene setting for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and more. During the winter, the cold weather doesn’t stop the fun—cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other outdoor adventures are available nearby. Lake Placid also boasts their charming Main Street, which is lined with unique shops, cozy cafes, and inviting restaurants, offering the perfect setting to unwind after a day of exploration.
While the area is filled with activities to keep busy, it’s really Lake Placid itself that attracts its visitors, as the village has hosted the Winter Olympics not just once, but twice. For those seeking a taste of history, a visit to the Olympic Center is a must. Relive the glory of past winter games and even take a spin on the ice at one of their four ice rinks, or ride a bobsled down the Olympic track.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic couples retreat or an action-packed getaway, both Lake Placid and Saranac Lake offer a diverse range of experiences for each visitor. As Country Living recognized, these two communities deserve a spot on every traveler’s bucket list when exploring the Empire State.
- Country Living: 42 of the Best Small Towns in New York for an Idyllic Getaway