Adirondack Firetower Challenge: Climbing the Fire Tower Peaks near and around Saranac Lake
Saranac Lake Remembers the Great War
A Guide to the Great Indoors

so much more than a beautiful view

Top things to do when you don't feel like being outside

We love our Adirondack outdoors. We love our changeable mountain weather. But sometimes, they just don’t go together the way we planned it. Still, many weather challenges are not as daunting as they might appear.

A misty day is easy to dress for and does not disturb a lovely walk in the woods. If it's a variable day, there's the option of staying on the peak until the clouds blow past. A sky with some texture is a photographic advantage because they give perspective and framing. An overcast day gives off a smooth, balanced light, to make the colors really pop.

Fortunately, Saranac Lake has lots of Great Indoors, too. The next time the day dawns with too-much-rain or not-enough-snow, do not despair. There are plenty of other options that will give the family reason to say, "We love it in the Adirondacks!"

Blend the settings

We have versatile attractions which offer the best of both worlds. Even if it's raining, it usually doesn't pour all day. By choosing a destination which has indoor and outdoor elements, it's easy to enjoy either as the environment permits.the Wild Center has live otters living there

The Wild Center is a hands-on museum with many interactive exhibits. Watch the glaciers move, guess the different smells of a native marsh, or watch informative videos - either in the individual stations or as a dramatic HD presentation in the auditorium.

There are visits by raptors and owls, displays in the curation annex with bones and butterflies, and the tank full of rescue otters. (Be sure to go in the morning, when these aquatic clowns are at their liveliest.)

The grounds have a network of easy hiking trails behind the museum. When the skies lighten, go for a walk and enjoy the freshly washed wilderness. If the rain starts up again, head back inside.

The Visitor Interpretive Center has a similar layout, only with far more hiking trails and a smaller indoor component. There's a museum which explores the natural history of how the Adirondacks were created, with a "touch table" that gives a tactile background to the educational exhibits.

Every new moon the art gallery changes their featured artists. Venture out onto the giant deck and take in the incredible views. Watch the rain from a welcoming Great Room with many bird feeders outside the large windows.

Some of the hiking trails are through deep woods which offer some wind and rain protection, and are quite enjoyable if one is properly dressed for it. There's plenty to explore as trails circle most of the main complex. There's also a play area that allows for quick cover if needed.

part of the Great Room at the VIC

The Adirondack Carousel is a unique roundabout attraction, housed indoors. Anyone can enjoy the ride on the exquisitely carved Adirondack animals including a loon, beaver, blue heron, turtle, skunk, raccoon, moose, bobcat, and otter (as seen above.) No two are alike, and they all have names.

There's a carved Chris Craft replica boat for those who don't want their ride to go up and down. The beautiful carvings and painted nature scenes are easy for anyone to admire and enjoy. The abundant floor-to-ceiling windows create a snug place to enjoy the weather from the inside.

There is a gift shop with snacks. The complex is in a park with swings and slides and other playground equipment, so if the weather breaks it's easy for the children to go outside and play. It's part of our downtown area with its many attractions.

Historic Downtown

Our walkable downtown is a delightful spot for a tricky day.

Walk back in time, our brochure and map for the historic walking tour, can be obtained from Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum on Church Street, or at the Visitor Center at 193 River Street. This self-guided tour includes trivia and nuggets of historic interest about each building, such as where the Crown Jewels of Luxembourg were stored.

Today, these buildings with an interesting past offer shelter, snacks, or shopping. There's an unusual toy store, a rock shop, one inspired by Native American and Eastern spirituality, and several who carry outdoor and eco-friendly clothing. For those who love treasure hunting, we have a used bookstore, antique shops, and consignment stores.

a wonderful collection of historic buildings and fun shops

Explore our abundant art galleries where we can enjoy any season we want in the fine landscape paintings. They are great places to make new acquaintances who are similarly sheltering, and might have matching tastes.

Many stores feature local crafts, candles, decorations, and leather goods. This includes our Community Store, a completely local establishment which stocks both the items the town has requested and many interesting products for our visitors.

Grab a cup of coffee, find some fresh baked goods, or find a spot for lunch. On late fall Saturdays, the Harvest Market is held indoors at the Town Hall. Just the place to enjoy some produce, treats, or artisan crafts.

Visit another world

If weather has thwarted our outdoor plans, we can expand our inner choices. The Saranac Lake wellness community offers a variety of enjoyable options for massage, zero-balancing, meditation, or yoga practice in peaceful, and protected, settings.

Call one of the studios and ask about their schedule of classes, or see if they can accommodate an interest that is either new or ongoing. Our professionals are very welcoming and passionate about their calling.

If we have been planning "something like this" for a while, we might decide fate has lent a hand, encouraging us to explore our inner world of wellness in an exciting new way.

a cure chair exhibit at the Laboratory Museum

The Saranac Lake Laboratory Museum is a restored 1920's research laboratory which spotlights much of Saranac Lake's history as a curing center. Find out how many common medical practices were developed, practiced, and enhanced right here in downtown.

Period medical equipment, uniforms, diaries and logbooks, photographs, even a special movie tell an inspiring story. They detail the amazing tales of those who came here to cure, and often, stayed. The people span from celebrities and statesmen to the humblest of factory workers and recent immigrants.

lots of holiday spirit at Moody's Tree Farm

Moody Tree Farm began as a Christmas tree farm, but now it has expanded into everything holiday related. Room after room is decorated with delightful ornaments, accessories, household items, and special gifts, many made on the premises.

Tour the workshops, meet Figaro the shop cat, and explore the working farm, with goats and horses and amazing vistas nestled in the mountains.

But wait, there's more! Find a fun event, try a learning experience, or attend one of our live shows. Yes, we are a most wonderful wilderness. We are also a cultural, educational, and happening destination.

We really are weather-proof. Because we are the Adirondacks' coolest place.


Adirondack Firetower Challenge: Climbing the Fire Tower Peaks near and around Saranac Lake
Saranac Lake Remembers the Great War

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About The Author

Pamela Merritt's picture
Pamela Merritt finds a library's reading room as exciting as a hike through the forest. She met the Adirondacks in 1999 and declared it "home." She's been collecting stories ever since. She declares summer's hiking and kayaking blends beautifully into winter's snowshoeing and reading to create four great seasons of enjoyment. Her published works display her eclectic range, from How-To cat care manuals to literary short fiction.

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Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 17th, 2019
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Our focus is helping local children. We meet Thursday mornings, at the Blue Moon Cafe, 55 Main St. Saranac Lake, from 7:40-8:30 in the back room.  Everyone is welcome. We often have a...
Friday, October 18th, 2019
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Athena, by critically acclaimed playwright, Gracie Gardner. Athena is a “fierce and lovely” coming of age comedy about the rivalry and friendship of two teenage fencers. Mary Wallace and...

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