Adirondacks at a Glance
When visiting the Adirondacks for the first time, you'll need to do is to get the lay of the land so to speak. The Adirondacks are situated about 290 miles north of New York City, 250 miles northwest of Boston, and 110 miles south of Montreal, Canada. We mentioned above how vast the area is so it's not possible to see everything in one trip. You'll have to pick the area(s) in which you want to focus.
The regions most popular Adirondack towns for summer vacations include:
In the summer, the main activities include hiking, swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and golfing as well as exploring the many charming Adirondack towns.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of summer rentals in the Adirondacks, regardless of the region. From cabins and cottages to condos and lake houses, the choice of where to call your home base is yours. Because of all the options in vacation rentals and areas from which to choose, we find it's best to narrow the search based on the Adirondack activities in which you're interested.
For example, if you're traveling with the family and want to stay in an area with plenty of family-friendly things to do, you might consider Lake Placid or Saranac Lake. Lake Placid is in the center of the Adirondack High Peaks and was home to two winter Olympics so there are plenty of historic attractions to explore, plus it offers great hiking and lake activities as well as a variety of restaurants and shopping on Main Street.
Saranac Lake is rated one of the best small towns in America, and is a popular family vacation destination for activities like swimming and boating, as well as visiting the charming main street and the Adirondack Carousel. Let's not forget Donnelly's ice cream, a local favorite only a few minutes from downtown.
If you prefer to get away from it all then Wilmington, home to Whiteface Mountain, is a great option with its mountain biking, hiking, and trips to Wilmington beach. While you are there take a ride up the Whiteface Memorial Highway for the best view of the high peaks!
Somewhere in the middle? Tupper Lake is a little more out of the way but is also home to the Wild Center, Little Wolf Beach, and the Adirondack Public Observatory, plus more family-friendly attractions nearby.
How Long to Book Your Summer Rental
A week-long vacation is ideal since there is so much to see and do in the Adirondacks. If you have that much time, we suggest either choosing one region for the entire vacation to fully immerse yourself in the area, or split your time between two nearby regions to enjoy different experiences.
If you only have a few days, it's best to focus on one area and ideally one that's not far off the highway so you're not spending too much time in the car. That said, weekends are always more crowded so if you are able to visit mid-week instead, you'll be able to truly make the most of your ADK summer vacation.
Summer Rental Planning Essentials
If you're visiting the Adirondacks for the first time, keep these vacation tips in mind:
During the summer months daily highs can reach near 80 with nighttime lows in the mid-40s at times, so bring clothing that you can layer, and don't forget the sunscreen as well as bug spray.
Keep in mind that since summer is a busy time for every ADK region, we recommend booking at least three months in advance. If you're flying in, you'll want to rent a car ahead of time, and perhaps even consider making reservations at local restaurants to avoid lines (at least for those restaurants that take them).
Map your Trails
If you plan on hiking (and you definitely should!) – download the AllTrails app and do some research ahead of time to see which routes look interesting and which are a good fit in terms of length and difficulty.. Note that cell coverage can be spotty at times so it's worth bringing a paper trail map just in case. Always sign in at the trailhead registries before you head off on your hike for safety's sake and to get a sense of how busy the trail is!
For more information on summer vacation rentals in the Adirondacks, contact our team of vacation rental experts at Merrill L. Thomas, Inc today!