Hotel at a Glance: Fort William Henry Hotel
In 1855, the stately Fort William Henry Hotel opened along the south shore of Lake George in upstate New York. Today, the hotel is a cluster of buildings and several onsite restaurants occupying an 18-acre swath of land. Some hotel rooms overlook Lake George, and others offer views of the Adirondack Mountains.
- Enjoy a hot breakfast of pancakes, omelets, and french toast at The White Lion.
- Onsite dining: maple-bourbon-glazed salmon and barbecue baby back ribs at The Village Blacksmith or lighter fare at the Lookout Cafe
- Go for a swim in the indoor or outdoor pools.
- Tour the Fort William Henry Museum to learn about the historic fort that once sat where the hotel did; the fort was active during the French and Indian War from 1755 to 1757.
Lake George, New York: Outdoor Adventure near the Adirondacks’ Mile-Long Lake
Lake George is not without its admirers—Frommer’s calls it “the beating heart of the southeastern Adirondacks,” while local lore has it that Thomas Jefferson proclaimed it “the most beautiful water I ever saw.” More than 200 years after Jefferson’s declaration, the 32-mile-long lake is still a popular spot for sailing, swimming, and hiking in upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains. For the best swimming conditions, head to Million Dollar Beach on the lake’s eastern shore, where there are lifeguards on duty, changing rooms, and a sand volleyball court. For hiking, consider following the trail that leads to Shelving Rock Falls, a 50-foot cascade rushing down a series of boulders.
There are two great ways to see the beauty that Jefferson raved about. The first is to take a shuttle or hike 2 miles to the top of Prospect Mountain, which towers over Lake George at 2,030 feet. On a clear day, you can see 100 miles in any direction. The second option is to buy a ticket aboard a Lake George steamship, which cruises past the islands of the Narrows as well as several historic mansions.