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An expert’s essential guide to Lake George

Summer on Lake George

An expert’s essential guide to Lake George

Marketing Director for Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce talks mini golf, swimming and arcades
An expert’s essential guide to Lake George
MaryBeth Matthews, of Colonie, and her daughter Laura take photographs of Lake George off Prospect Mountain, June 9, 2019.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Narrowing down everything Lake George has to offer is a difficult task. Amanda Metzger agrees.

Metzger, marketing director for the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, shared a few of her favorite things to do regardless, and we’re glad she did.

From mini golf to mountain hikes, here’s what Metzger enjoys in her free time while around the lake:

PHOTO PROVIDED/Amanda Metzger on The Sagamore's Morgan.)PHOTO PROVIDED
Amanda Metzger on The Sagamore's Morgan.

Miniature golf

Lake George is a hotbed of mini-golf action. Even Tiger Woods’ comeback wasn’t as impressive as the amount of courses Lake George has to offer. 

Goony Golf has been in Lake George for more than 30 years, Around the World Golf for more than 40 years and Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf has been a classic since its first location opened in the 1980s. Sure, Pirate’s Cove and its dark caves may have been a little frightening back in 2003 to a 5-year-old turned Gazette intern, but Metzger recognizes its appeal.

“Come see why Lake George is the mini golf capital of New York state,” Metzger said.

Rainy day fun

Mini golf is cool and all, but you can’t prove you’re the Rory McIlroy of your unathletic friend group when it’s raining outside.

Luckily, Metzger, a human umbrella of Lake George advice, has you covered there, too. She recommends seeking shelter at Wax n Wix (a make-your-own candle spot), House of Frankenstein and Escape Lake George. 

And for the older tourists, craft-beer tasting may make a better alternative to outdoor events. Lake George Distilling Company, High Peaks Distilling Company, Adirondack Winery and the Adirondack Pub and Brewery all have tasting rooms. She recommends visiting adkcraftbev.com for a better idea of where to stop.

Amusement parks

While you can’t mention Lake George amusement parks without remembering the now-defunct Water Slide World and its iconic, mullet-filled ‘80s commercial, the village is still pretty stacked with parks.

Metzger says her favorite spots are Six Flags Great Escape, Hurricane Harbor and Lake George Expedition Park.

Swimming

The heat can be a bit of a turn off when going on vacation, but remembering that you’re visiting a lake helps.

Metzger recommends the three public beaches in Lake George Village — Million Dollar Beach, Shepard Park Beach and Usher Park Beach — and notes that many hotels also have private beaches of their own.

Arcades

Wii bowling is great but nothing compares to actually going out to the lanes. And when those lanes feature an arcade, you might as well kiss your quarters goodbye.

Metzger says Lake George Lanes and Games is a great spot for arcade games and bowling, while Fun World Amusements and Adventure Family Fun Center (in Queensbury) are also hits in the area. Adventure is a great spot for its “Star Wars” laser tag, paintball and bumper cars, according to Metzger.

Pizza and ice cream

Long Islanders and other downstaters love their pizza and they aren’t afraid to call it the best in the state. But what about the humble Lake George natives? They’ve got some good slices too.

And don’t forget the ice cream for dessert.

Metzger says Pizza Jerks is a local highlight, featuring vegan and gluten-free options. For ice cream, she recommends Martha’s, A&W and Ben and Jerry’s.

Boat tours

The Lonely Island was right. There’s nothing better than being on a boat. And one trip to Lake George can help you fulfill your DiCaprio-impersonating dreams.

“Several companies offer boating tours of Lake George so you can just relax on a private boat tour or go tubing, cliff jumping, snorkeling and other activities,” Metzger said. She recommends Lake George Island Boat Tours, Bolton Boat Tours and Water Sports and Boating with Bob. 

“You can also take a cruise on the Lake George Steamboat Company or Shoreline Cruises. Both offer a variety of cruises from one-hour sightseeing and history-themed narrated cruises, to lunch and dinner and fireworks cruises.”

Prospect Mountain

It’s fine if you aren’t participating in Lake George’s upcoming Hike-A-Thon, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your own hiking action. 

Travelers can hike or drive up Prospect Mountain for a “100-mile view on a clear day,” Metzger said. 

History

Are you a fan of instant Broadway classics? Well, the Fort William Henry Museum now has a new Hamilton exhibit this year. 

The fort also offers options for self-guided colonial wars walking tours, or you can book a tour with local businesses. Fort Ticonderoga is located at the north end of the lake, with other museums in the area.

Get a head start

Visiting an information center may not be comparable to racing down a waterslide or going on a hike, but it’s an essential start to any visit. The Lake George Village Visitor Center, Chamber of Commerce main office and the Adirondacks Welcome Center are crucial to planning any trip. Travelers can also search for things to do by category on lakegeorgechamber.com.

More: Your guide to summer on Lake George

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