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Make some history this weekend.

Carl Heilman II

Whether you’re heading to the Adirondacks for a week or a weekend, you’ll find that there’s something for everyone at each turn. But remember: Your Adirondack adventure can always be enhanced with a little 18th-century history, especially when you consider the fascinating Fort Ticonderoga.

Enjoy gorgeous scenery — in the forest or near the many lakes — as you spend time with family, friends, or your other half. No matter where you go in the region, you’re not far from a piece of history that contributed to the formation of the nation. And best of all — many of these historical finds intersect with several other areas of interest. To better incorporate the region’s past into your next Adirondack vacation, look to the itinerary below.

Historic Happenings

Rob Shenk

With several elements of the past to engage with, you can build your trip around these options — or focus on a choice few.

  • Learn about the rich history of the Adirondack region at the Adirondack Experience, a museum nestled across 120 acres overlooking Blue Mountain Lake. Exhibits display the actual homes and boats of early Adirondack settlers, and explain how the region has changed over time.
  • For more on the historical, educational, scientific and social aspects of the Adirondack Mountains and Lakes Champlain and George regions, visit the Ticonderoga Historical Society located in the Hancock House. Here you will find a plethora of information situated within its three floors of exhibits.
  • Explore the ruins of 18th-century fortifications at the Crown Point State Historic Site and the adjacent Crown Point Pier and Champlain Memorial Lighthouse.
  • Offering opportunities for hands-on learning, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum seeks to connect visitors to the region’s history, ecology, and archaeology. The museum has diverse exhibits, outdoor installations, historic boats — including the Philadelphia II and Lois McClure, blacksmithing spaces, a boat shop, an archaeology lab, and more!
  • Mount Independence State Historic Site is a must-see that documents the critical efforts to defend northern New York and New England during the War for Independence. Venture along the site’s six miles of trails, which feature the archaeological remains of the fortification.
  • Located in Ticonderoga’s beautiful Bicentennial Park, the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum holds the story of the town’s industrial history.
  • And don’t forget to check out Fort Ticonderoga itself! The site preserves 2,000 historic acres, including the Carillon Battlefield and the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War–era earthworks to have survived in America.

Outdoor activities, coupled with good food, is a sure-fire way to keep the family happy on your historical journey to Ticonderoga and the Adirondack region.

  • For thrill seekers, the Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course offers a combination of activities, including zip-lining and tree-top courses with aerial obstacles and “Tarzan swings.”
  • For chill seekers, Adirondack Adventure Center provides guided lazy river tubing near Lake George, Lake Luzerne, and Saratoga Springs. And if the group decides they’re feeling more adventurous, whitewater rafting is also offered!
  • Immerse yourself in the beautiful Adirondack forest at Ausable Chasm. You can hike, float, or climb as you go back in time to experience the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.” With so many options, it is sure to please kids both big and small!
  • Located in Bolton Landing, Rogers Memorial Park Beach isn’t just for beach lovers — visitors can also make use of the park’s playground, tennis and basketball courts, pavilion, and picnicking areas for a delightful cookout.  
  • Another sandy option — just five minutes from Fort Ticonderoga — is Black Point Public Beach, located at the northern end of Lake George. Offering stunning views of the historic Roger’s Rock, this beach includes a family picnic area, playground, volleyball court, and more!
  • After enjoying all that Lake George has to offer, stop by the Moose Tooth Grill. Aside from its fun atmosphere, their menu is full of American favorites and is sure to hit the spot with even the pickiest of eaters!

With abundant beauty, escaping to the Adirondacks offers a perfect opportunity to enjoy time with your better half — especially if you both have a penchant for the past.

  • Stroll hand-in-hand along the beautiful landscape that connects Lake George and Lake Champlain at the LaChute River Walk.
  • Indulge in a fairy tale evening with a carriage ride highlighting scenic views of Lake George. Available from May to October, rides are led by knowledgeable guides that will entertain you with historical narration.
  • Sit together in classic Adirondack chairs and bask in the sun or enjoy free live music and fireworks under the stars at Shepard’s Park.
  • Please your senses with the aromas and colors at Fort Ticonderoga’s King's Garden, a colonial revival garden brought to life by landscape architect Marian Coffin in 1921.
  • Then, top your day off by taking your better half to dinner on the water’s edge at The Algonquin.

Retail Therapy

Image from rawpixel.com

If you’re looking to walk away from your trip with souvenirs, the Adirondacks have you covered! From a good bargain to a unique treasure, shopping abounds.

  • For those in search of a bargain, French Mountain Commons & Log Jam Outlets features popular retailers like Banana Republic, J. Crew, Oshkosh B’Gosh, Sunglass Hut, and Tommy Hilfiger.
  • Enjoy a wine-tasting session and shop a unique selection of gourmet cheeses, chocolates, and wine-related accessories at Adirondack Winery.
  • Black Bass Antiques is for those who seek unique treasures with a story! Inventory is always changing, but that just means there is always reason to come back again and see what new finds may cross your path!
  • Located in downtown Ticonderoga, Sugar and Spice Country Shoppe offers a slew of gifts, such as antiques, rustic seasonal décor, jewelry, handbags and other accessories, gourmet foods, and more.
  • Just two miles from Fort Ticonderoga, Ti Arts’ Downtown Gallery invites shoppers to discover the talent of local artists. Find a variety of media — from paintings to pottery to textiles, along with other unique crafts — to purchase and remember your trip to the captivating Adirondack region.

Before You Go

  • We’ve got some tips and advice for prepping for a trip to the Adirondacks, including weather, accommodations, and historical background — everything you need to make your visit a comfortable and memorable one!
  • Check the weather so you know how to pack and what to wear.
  • Read up on the French & Indian War, as well as the Revolutionary War, and learn about the great significance surrounding Fort Ticonderoga.
  • Visit Adirondacks is a one-stop shop for all things tourism in the region, including visitor stories, recreation and leisure recommendations, as well as information on seasonal events and lodging.