Explore The Best Of New York's Mesmerizing Adirondack's Lakes On This Scenic Road Trip

Many travelers who visit the state of New York are there to experience the bright lights and bustle of the iconic New York City. About 25 percent of people who travel to the state are there to visit the city, and while NYC is absolutely somewhere that every traveler needs to visit at least once in their lifetime, neglecting the other destinations within the state of New York is a big mistake. A large portion of the expansive state is the complete and total opposite of the City That Never Sleeps. There are plenty of incredible destinations for travelers who are more interested in enjoying natural beauty than wild nightlife.

The majestic Adirondack Mountains run through the northeastern portion of the state, a region known as Upstate New York. They're only about a four-hour drive from the Big Apple, but you'll feel worlds away. The pace is slower. The scenery is made up of towering pine, maple birch, and beech trees, instead of skyscrapers. And there are more than 3,000 lakes scattered across the landscape. It's the perfect place to spend a romantic getaway in Upstate New York at a cozy cabin or enjoy adventurous outdoor recreation opportunities. If you're looking for a gorgeous retreat where you can surround yourself in New York's wilderness, consider planning an epic road trip to some of the region's most beautiful lakes.

Visit some of America's oldest vacation destinations

When it comes to perfect vacation destinations, there aren't many places as perfect as the beautiful lakes of the Adirondacks. The term "vacationing" actually originated in the region during the 19th century (replacing the British term "holiday"). Wealthy New Yorkers took to "vacating" the city during the summer in favor of some rest and relaxation in the fresh mountain air. It's been a popular tourist destination ever since. It's easy to see why some of the wealthiest and most famous people, like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers, favored the region for family vacation.

Lake George, nicknamed "Queen of the American Lakes," is an excellent place to begin your trip. There, you'll find the perfect combination of excitement and relaxation. Visit the nearby Six Flags Great Escape for heart-pumping rides and endless family-friendly fun or book a luxurious cabin on the water where you can relax on a porch in classic Adirondack chairs. The lake is surrounded by beautiful towns with waterfront restaurants and adorable shops. You can enjoy activities on the water like speed boating, fishing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding, or stay on land and enjoy some incredible hikes through old-growth forests. The lake is scattered with 186 remote islands. Some of them are scattered with cabins, and others are wild and offer perfect opportunities for off-the-beaten path camping on your own.

Natural beauty and family fun in the Adirondacks

About two hours northwest of Lake George is Tupper Lake that's filled with fun family attractions. The Wild Center is a natural history museum with a mission of inspiring love and connection with nature. Located on a 115-acre property, it contains opportunities to interact with animal ambassadors and explore indoor and outdoor exhibits. You'll learn about sustainability through interactive activities for the whole family. On the Wild Walk, you can experience a bird's-eye view of the Adirondacks in a four-story treehouse made from twigs and topped with a giant bird nest. Nearby, you can visit art galleries, catch live music at a local venue, or rent bikes. Tupper Lake has little light pollution, making it one of the best places to stargaze in New York.

Forty minutes east of Tupper Lake is one of the most popular lakes in the Adirondacks: Lake Placid. It hosted the Winter Olympics twice in 1932 and 1980, so don't miss the local Olympic Museum. Outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant, too. You can go whitewater rafting through the Hudson River Gorge or ride Cliffside Coaster, the longest roller coaster in North America. Try out waterskiing or wake surfing by booking a lesson with a professional instructor. For peaceful reflection away from the buzz of motor boats, head to Mirror Lake, which is only a few minutes from Lake Placid. Gas-powered motorized boats are banned, so the lake remains calm, perfect for swimming or stand up paddle boarding. If you stay for sunset, you'll catch some beautiful colors reflecting off the glassy surface of the water.