Paradise Found: The Adirondacks, New York

Long-distance doppelganger: Interlaken, Switzerland
Drive from Boston: Five hours

Interlaken attracts active travelers with its impressive mountain scenery, adventure sports, and numerous hiking trails. The same peaks-meet-lakes vistas can be found in New York’s Adirondacks—as can the adrenaline rush. The Olympic Center, in downtown Lake Placid, hosts sporting events year round, including its Saturday Night Ice Shows (watch figure skaters land axel and lutz jumps) and freestyle skiing practices (see pros practice flips into a pool). Want to get in on the action? Rent skates and hit the indoor rinks.

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Photograph courtesy of Lake Placid Lodge

Where to Stay

With handcut balconies and beams, beds carved by local artisans, and 50 stone fireplaces built by area masons, the Arts and Crafts–inspired Lake Placid Lodge (pictured) is utterly transporting. Book a lakefront cabin and fall asleep to the sound of lapping water. Southeast of Lake Placid lies the smaller (but equally beautiful) Mirror Lake, which has its own namesake resort. The Mirror Lake Inn’s swoon-worthy Colonial House rooms, complete with fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, and balconies, are the perfect landing spot for honeymooners. Active couples will find plenty to love at the Whiteface Lodge, where canoeing, kayaking, volleyball, horseshoes, bocce, and paddleboarding—on a private beach, no less—are just a shuttle ride away.

What to Do

Adirondack Park boasts six million acres of lakes and mountains—ride the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the top of Little Whiteface to see some of them. For a natural high in summer months, take a yoga class on the summit on Wednesday mornings—or schedule a whitewater-rafting trip through the Hudson Gorge with Adirondac Rafting Company.

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Photograph courtesy of Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club Lake Placid

Where to Eat

Sip bubbly and snack on a cheese platter at the J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines Café, in the shadow of Whiteface Mountain. Watch the sun set or the moon rise over Mirror Lake at the confusingly named Lake Placid Club Boat House (pictured), where the globetrotting menu includes everything from chicken curry to Wiener schnitzel. For a more laid-back evening, try the Eat ’n Meet Grill, a BYOB near Saranac Lake.

Romantic Diversion

Unwind with a couples’ massage at the Mirror Lake Inn Spa, which offers Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone rubdowns.

Save the Date

Catch cycle stunts, live music, demos, and a “Best Calves” contest—no, really—at the annual Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest (6/20–6/22).

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  • Marnie Crane

    Thanks for publicizing our small little neck of the woods. Saranac Lake is such a great place to visit. Come see us and also check out Kiwassa Lake B&B!

    • Jennifer Lee

      I found myself there for a wedding last month, and can’t wait to bring my children there! I fell in love with the area; a HUGE change from the West Palm Beach scenery… I’m changing all my vacation plans NOW!