In many ways Lake George NY is a modern tourist destination, far removed from its rugged Adirondack roots, and complete with all the attractions and amenities demanded by the modern-day traveling public. In other ways, though, it is delightfully retro, offering food, activities and pursuits from a bygone era, that take us on a rare journey back to simpler, more innocent days.
Scotty’s Lakeside Resort, a leading Lake George NY resort, is located near all of the great attractions Lake George has to offer. So if you’re searching for wholesome, family-friendly fun with a touch kitsch is among the kinds of things to do in Lake George NY, here are some can’t-miss spots that will surely transport you back in time:
(983 Route 9, Queensbury, NY 12804; 518-792-0023; glendriveintheater.com)
Just outside of Lake George Village on Route 9 stands the Glen Drive-In, a local institution since 1958, and one of only 14 remaining drive-in theaters in New York State. From the weathered cast-metal outdoor car speakers to the old-fashioned freestanding snack bar (complete with foot-long hot dogs), everything about this place smacks of 1950s and 1960s America. Plus, your admission ticket is good for one of two nightly double features.
(1912 U.S. 9, Lake George, NY 12845; 518-668-2448; magicforestpark.com)
The old Lake George amusement park Frontier Town is long gone, and Storytown is now the ultra-modern Six Flags – Great Escape, but a welcome helping of Lake George’s vintage amusement past lives on at Magic Forest, which has welcomed visitors since 1963. It’s a true kiddie park, with rides and activities that are ideal toddlers, preschoolers, early grade-schoolers and their families, set in a shady grove that ensures comfortable temperatures, even in the height of summer. The rides, exhibits and décor of the place—including the massive statues of Uncle Same and Paul Bunyan—are all wonderfully straight out of a Baby Boomer childhood dream.
(227 Canada St., Lake George, NY 12845; 518-668-5255; )
There are several very good arcades in Lake George, but what sets Playland apart is the vintage shooting gallery in the back of the arcade. Similar to an elaborate animatronic affair you might remember from those trips to Disney as a kid, the shooting gallery let’s you take aim and fire at a whole host of Wild West-themed targets, which react and behave in delightful motorized ways when struck. After trying this incredibly fun spot once, you’ll be sure to make it a tradition whenever you’re in town.
(1133 Route 9 Queensbury, NY 12804; 518-793-0372; marthasicecream.com)
No trip to Lake George is complete without stopping at Martha’s for ice cream, once a humble 100-acre chicken farm purchased for $8,000 in 1946 by namesake Martha Freiberger, who turned it into a restaurant and ice cream stand. Even though the place has grown by leaps and bounds since then and now sports lots of modern flash, there’s still something remarkably old-school about this favorite among locals and tourists. Part of it is the great name for the shop, as well as the massive neon sign—sporting a huge rooster statue on top—that beckons as you drive past on Route 9. You be glad you stopped, as you can’t beat one of Martha’s decadent soft-serve cones, shakes and sundaes, and you’ll be equally blown away by their healthy, fruit-flavored Dole Whip choices. The prices and portions will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time, too; order in small sizes unless you’re ready for a frozen feast.
(48 Canada St, Lake George, NY 12845; 518-668-5471; fwhmuseum.com)
And finally, if you’re really in the mood to travel back in time, spend a few hours at Fort William Henry, a reproduction of the original colonial-era fort that stood on the site. While the original fortress—occupying a crucial strategic location at the southern end of Lake George—was destroyed by the French after taking it in a violent 1757 siege, it was rebuilt according to authentic specifications in the 1950s. Today it is a linchpin in the village’s tourism offering, and a rewarding experience for all, complete with an excellent museum displaying period artifacts. Younger visitors can even enlist in the King’s Guard, which fortunately them, is only a temporary assignment.
Need a great place to stay in Lake George while you explore all the wonderful attractions and activities the area has to offer? We have 350 feet of beautiful beachfront on Lake George, boat and dock rentals, a brand new “Sprayground” and much, much more! Call us at 877-749-0930 to book your stay by phone or make your reservation online.
Scotty’s brand new oversized pool and pool area now features a Wading/Spray ground pool.
Walk out of your room and on to the beach: Newly updated rooms and suites pamper you with all the latest comforts and amenities.
Our private boat slips and dock space provide unparalleled convenience for charting your adventures along the pristine waters of Lake George.
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