Enjoy the modern comforts of a cabin in New York while exploring the vast outdoors wonders this area offers. You can take a cruise on Lake George, fish off the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill, walk beneath Niagara Falls, or ski down the Adirondack High Peaks in Lake Placid in this breathtaking outdoor paradise that is just steps from the door of your vacation rental.

1. Lake George

scenic view overlooking Lake George
Source: Flickr/Sadat Shami

Nestled the Adirondack Mountain forests, Lake George welcomes visitors year round. Swim, splash, and sunbathe on the white-sands of Million Dollar Beach, or launch your boat from spots around the lake and water-ski on the crystal blue waters. The Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway offers up some fantastic views of the lake and the high mountain peaks. Ride a historic wooden roller coaster, The Comet, or spend some time at the annual balloon fest in September. Once the snow flies, you can ski, snowboard, and ski Nordic-style at Gore Mountain, West Mountain, or Crandall Park where night skiing adds another dimension to this exciting sport.

2. Old Forge

tree line on shore of lake
Source: Flickr/All Things Colorful

Old Forge, in the town of Webb in the central Adirondack Mountains, is a charming hamlet with crisp, clear mountain air and a ton of things to do. Take the McCauley Mountain chairlift in the summer and fall for stunning birds-eye views of deer in their natural habitat and simply gorgeous landscapes surrounded by majestic mountain peaks. For winter skiing and snowboarding, establish your base camp, and take on 21 well-groomed trails that are suitable for all skill levels. For a change of pace, take a narrated lake cruise through the Fulton chain lakes, and enjoy the fireworks that follow. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is a great way to see the area’s natural beauty while you take part in murder mystery night party. Enjoy over 32 water rides, and take in some top-notch entertainment at New York’s oldest water theme park, the Enchanted Forest/Water Safari.

3. Catskill

highway on Catskill Mountains
Source: Flickr/Aby Jose

The village of Catskill is the classic Hudson River Valley vacation spot on the west coast of the Hudson River, 111 miles north of New York City. Lace up your boots and hike to the double-tiered Kaaterskill Falls, higher than Niagara. From there, 50 miles of panoramic views dazzle the eye. Stop at the Catskill Mountain House where Mark Twain, JP Morgan, and Theodore Roosevelt vacationed. Stroll the Village Main Street for sidewalk shopping, browse through Flossie’s Gold Mine for antiques, or visit the maritime museum. The main street is laced with charming Victorian homes that afford great views of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and you can launch a kayak from Dutchman’s Landing. Have a blast at the Hunter Mountain ski resort on 58 well-groomed runs, and don’t miss the three-day music festival, Oktoberfest, or a chance to experience the highest zip line in North America.

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4. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Source: Flickr/rachaelvoorhees

Observe spectacular views from a comfortable gondola that climbs 175 feet above Niagara Falls, or take the antique cable car over a mesmerizing whirlpool, a natural phenomenon at the end of the rapids. Have a breathtaking, albeit wet, experience close to the Falls as you walk in a raincoat and sandals along the wooden walkways that lead down to the Cave of the Winds in the Niagara Gorge. Don’t miss Bird Kingdom, the world’s largest free-flying aviary set in a multi-level rainforest. Explore the ruins of the Night Jungle, where you’ll find curious owls, bats, and other fascinating night creatures. Stroll the glass-enclosed pathways lined with lush vegetation and trickling waterfalls in the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. End your self-guided tour at the emergence window, where 45 butterfly species leave their pupae, dry out their wings, and take their first flight.

5. Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen State Park
Source: Flickr/Andy Arthur

Watkins Glen, a village located in the towns of Dix and Reading in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, is noted for its world-renowned automobile racing track, the Watkins Glen International. Racing fans have a great time at the International Motor Racing Research Center, a historical museum that emphasizes the importance of Formula 1 racing with memorabilia that is in mint condition. Tranquility abounds in the Watkins Glen State Park, where you experience extraordinary views as you hike up Indian Trail and down the gorge trail. Three ski resorts provide plenty of winter fun for skiers and snowboarders, including lighted trails for a satisfying night adventure.

6. Lake Placid

Lake Placid
Source: Flickr/Peter C in Toronto Canada

A charming alpine village, Lake Placid resides in the vast Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. Home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is a perfect place for sports enthusiasts to find a vacation rental. The Olympics museum features artifacts, team uniforms, and medals. Visit preserved Winter Olympic venues, such as the arena where the “1980 Miracle on Ice” took place when the United States ice hockey team defeated the Soviet Union. At the village center is Mirror Lake, which features a lovely shoreline trail and offers plenty of hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, and wildlife ogling in the summer. Whiteface Mountain has spectacular views and amazing between-the-trees skiing. At the summit of the mountain, relax on the observation deck, and soak in spectacular views of the AuSable River, the Adirondack High Peaks, and the Olympic Jumping Complex.

7. Adirondack Mountains

Anirondack Mountains
Source: Flickr/kezee

Enter a natural paradise when you vacation in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. In these pristine mountains, hike on more than 2,000 miles of trails, trek around 3,000 lakes and ponds and stroll along 1,200 miles of rivers. You’ll encounter hearty wildlife along the wetlands that includes blue herons, painted turtles, grouse, and loons. Catch your fill of salmon, pike, bass, and trout in this mountain retreat, or speed up your adrenaline while whitewater rafting, or rock climbing. Skiers and snowboarders enjoy the best snow conditions that the mountain topography, lake effects, and jet stream dynamics have to offer.

 
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