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Ten Summer/Fall Adirondack Bucket List Ideas
Ten Summer/Fall Adirondack Bucket List Ideas

Ten Summer/Fall Adirondack Bucket List Ideas

by | Aug 14, 2023 | Blog

A few years ago, one of our guests announced at the breakfast table that his trip to the Adirondacks was the last thing on his life bucket list! The way he said it sounded like he was all done living now. After a moment of concerned silence, we all began stammering and stuttering some version of, “You need to add some more items to that list!”

It’s no secret that having goals and dreams to look forward to keeps us energized and excited about life. One of my friends told me how her mother (at almost 100 years of age) was always either planning a trip, taking a trip, or making a scrapbook about her most recent trip. “I don’t think she’ll ever die because she’s always looking forward to a trip!”

The power of bucket list items is firmly backed by science. A 2014 Cornell University study found that the anticipation of an experience (like a trip) increases a person’s happiness far more than buying more items. And a 2002 study from the University of Surrey found that people are at their happiest when they have a vacation planned.

What’s even better than a big bucket list item? Having some smaller bucket list items for your bucket list item! You can multiply the joyful benefits by creating experiences that you’ll remember long after you’ve returned home.

Here are some classic summer/fall adventures to add to your Adirondack bucket list.

  1. Get Wet – Remember the joy of being a kid and splashing in a river or lake? We’re surrounded by lakes, rivers, and streams so there are many ways to get your toes in the water. Sit on a rock and let the Ausable River swirl around you. Take a swim just up the road in Chapel Pond or channel your inner Ironman and take a dip in Mirror Lake where the Lake Placid Ironman competitors swim. Bring your kayak (or rent one at and explore one of many nearby ponds or streams. You can also enjoy the mist at the bottom of a beautiful waterfall. Deer Brook falls is a 40 minute hike right from our backyard while the trailheads to Roaring Brook Falls and Indian Head Falls are just a three-minute drive.
  2. Be Amazed – We have our share of breath-taking natural wonders here in the Adirondacks. Plan an excursion to the Ausable Chasm – one of the oldest attractions in the United States. Or walk on steel bridges and walkways with glass floors over the stunning scenery of four ancient waterfalls at High Falls Gorge. The rocky wonder of the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves is only a 30-minute drive away.
  3. Chase a View – Many of our guests hike so summit views are part of their plan. Even if you’re not a hiker, you can still “get high” and marvel at the beauty of mountain peak after mountain peak rolling off in the distance. On a clear day, schedule a drive up the Whiteface Memorial Highway where you can see as far as Canada and Vermont. A trip to the top of the Olympic Ski Jumps will give you a bird’s eye view as well as a new appreciation for the courage of ski jumpers!
  4. Star Gaze – Take advantage of our dark night skies and spread a blanket out under the celestial beauty. Nearby Norton Cemetery is a favorite night spot as well as Marcy Field.
  5. Cruise the Lakes – If you enjoy being on the water, you’ll love the one hour Lake Placid boat tour with its rich history and stunning views of lake homes. Or take a day trip to Lake Champlain or Lake George where you can enjoy a dinner cruise on a vintage steamboat.
  6. Pursue a Guilty Pleasure – Vacation calories don’t count, right?  If you love ice cream, we’ve got some treats for you such as Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery, the Pine Cone in Saranac Lake, and the classic Donnelly’s Ice Cream stand which sells only one flavor a day and still draws long lines!  If chocolate is more your thing, visit Adirondack Chocolates in Wilmington, NY or the Candy Man in Lake Placid for locally made candies. Amy highly recommends the Adirondack Popcorn Company as well! Local brews can be tasted at Big Slide Brewery, East Branch Organics, Lake Placid Pub &  Brewery, and the Ray Brook Brewhouse.
  7. Ride a Bike – Only 20 minutes away, Wilmington, NY is home to an amazing network of mountain bike trails.(2023 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Wilmington | AllTrails ) If you prefer road biking, you can test yourself on the Ironman bike loop which you can pick up right in Keene, NY. For a gentler biking experience, visit the Revolution Rail where you can enjoy a gentle two-hour pedal along an old railroad track that pass over the Hudson River.
  8. Keep it Simple – Some of the best summer/fall memories are the simplest. Our front porch is a delightful place to spend a few hours reading in an Adirondack chair or napping in the hammock. You can also end the day around a bonfire, wearing your favorite sweater, making S’Mores and listening to the song of the river. We have a beautiful firepit area here at the B&B and you can order a “S’more Kit for Two”  when you make your reservation.
  9. Find a Treasure – Forget traditional souvenir traps and search for something special to commemorate your trip at several local artist/wood-working galleries within a short drive of the B&B. If you happen to be here on a Sunday, the famous Keene Valley Farmer’s market is open from 9am-2pm and features everything from local maple syrup/honey/produce to hand-carved bowls to local wines, artwork, and more. Or visit the antique shops in Lake Placid and take home a vintage Olympic treasure to remind you of your visit to this region of dreams.
  10. Stay Open to Adventure – Maybe your Adirondack trip will go perfectly … or maybe not. Your plans could get rained out. Your car could break down. You could encounter a grumpy local (whaaaat? ha). But if you make one of your bucket list items “seeing life as a grand adventure,” nothing can throw you off your game. Remember that no matter what the day brings, butterflies still dance in the morning light. Autumn leaves float into a mosaic on your path. Smoke curls into the evening air from chimneys. There are books to be read.  Hands to be held.  Wonder and wildness and magic and laughter. And the scent of a million balsam trees to breathe in slowly. Life is good so never stop collecting those beautiful “bucket list” moments.

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