An island vacation in upstate New York? Not only is it possible, but it is inspiring. I bring you The Sagamore. This Victorian-era resort is set on an island, surrounded by the clear water of Lake George. The resort provides you with all the excuses you need to stay on property the whole time. Numerous activities, great restaurant options and a peaceful Adirondack atmosphere to decompress.
There’s a ton of options at the Sagamore, but if you want the most central location (close to the pool and restaurants), I recommend staying at the historic hotel. I like this option because it feels really grand, and something unique. You can book a traditional room or upgrade to a lake view room. For me, I’m a big fan of water views (I live in Ohio…) so this would probably be my option. If you need more room, the historic hotel offers 54 different suite options. Whether you choose the traditional suite, the lake view suite, Governor’s suite or my favorite, the Premier suite with balcony, you and your family will be able to spread out for the trip.
Another room option would be to stay in a lodge room or lodge suite. There are 7 lodge buildings around the island that are within walking distance (shuttle service for some) from the historic hotel. You’ll be able to enjoy the rustic charm of the Adirondacks with this option. There’s 2 levels to each lodge, so you can book the walk-in option (top floor) or the lower level. The suites have modern kitchens, which makes it easy to cook breakfast in the morning, and some have views of the water.
The Hermitage building is another great option for families. The building has eleven 1 bedroom bi-level suites and one 2 bedroom bi-level suite, and all have kitchens. The loft bedroom, the exposed beams and cozy furnishings make the hermitage rooms a memorable experience.
For a more spacious place to call home for the trip, try a condo. The 2 bedroom condos have everything you need, from a kitchen to a washer/dryer. Each condo has 2 terraces, 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs, that provide views of the lake or the hotel.
For a large family, why not stay in a castle? The Wapanak Castle is located right next to the historic hotel, so it’s centrally located next to all the amenities. The castle is a 6 bedroom, 2,000 sq ft house that provides enough room for up to 12 guests. It has high end appliances, dining room, formal living room and a lower deck. I always like to point this out (because I love the idea of this) but what a great option as a grandparents suite if you’re getting married at the Sagamore.
There's so many different dining options at the Sagamore, you really don’t need to leave. The one that I find to be the most impressive is the Pavilion. This restaurant is along the waterfront and provides for a special outdoor/indoor dining experience. The Pavilion focuses on serving amazing seafood, including a raw bar and seafood rice bowls, but you can also order from different pasta and meat options.
If you want to enjoy an Italian experience while admiring amazing panoramic views, you should reserve a table at La Bella Vita.
The Club Grill Steakhouse overlooks the golf course and has a very upscale-rustic feel. I love the look of the exposed beams and large chandeliers. The menu has all the favorites (NY strip, filet mignon, ribeye) from a local sustainable farm. The menu is rounded out with well composed chicken, seafood and pasta dishes.
Mr. Brown’s Pub is an excellent choice for any and all, especially kids. The menu features classic pub foods such as burgers, fish and chips, ribs, and chicken fingers.
As far as activities go, there's a ton to do at the Sagamore. I’ll start with the resort’s beautiful golf course. You'll enjoy winding through the tall pines of this Donald Ross course, where you can take in amazing views of the lake. Golf Digest and Golfweek both list this course as one of the best public courses you can play. For me, I love how secluded it is, which is why I love golfing, just to be out with nature.
For those who want to go for a swim, the hotel does have both an indoor and outdoor pool. The pools are large and provide stunning views of the area. If you want to go to the beachfront and take a dip in the Lake, you can! I can’t stress what a perk this is. There are other areas on Lake George to swim, like the Million Dollar beach, but they are normally very crowded. You can also go fishing at the waterfront or sign up for a waterski lesson.
At the center of the resort is The Rec, a 10,000 sq. ft. indoor activity center for all ages. Within the facility, they have: mini golf, wiffle ball, basketball, a rock climbing wall and table games (such as billiards and ping pong). For outdoor games, the Sagamore has an outdoor half-court basketball area, 4 tennis courts (2 Har-Tru surface courts and 2 hard courts), a playground and a sand volley ball court. This place has it all and it reminds me of my youth. Growing up, I loved my family vacations to Canada, and I will always remember playing at the resorts rec hall. My brother and I would shoot pool after dinner. He always won, (I still say the table was rigged... somehow), but just playing and taking part in other activities (like the beach camp fires) really brought us together. That's why little things like having a rec center, and offering a Kids Club, really matter to me.
Other Activities include taking a ride on the Morgan. This is a replica 19th century vessel that will provide a peaceful 1.5 hour ride around the lake. The tour, which is free for resort guests will provide some of the best views.
You can pair something very physically demanding, like a game of basketball, with a trip to the spa at the resort. The spa offers a variety of services including a Adirondack Stone Massage, which helps to help encourage muscle relaxation.
If you’re staying for the winter season, take advantage of the nearby slopes and enjoy skiing (and night skiing) as well as tubing.
Outside the Sagamore:
You can head to downtown Lake George, which is an interesting place. There’s a lot of arcades, mini golf, ice cream parlors and souvenir shops, but I think my favorite part was the small outdoor theater in Sheppard Park. When we were there, a magician was performing for the crowd, which was a wonderful after dinner treat. They have live entertainment there, and it is a great place to watch the fireworks.
The ropes course near Sagamore kicked my butt! I loved it, but it kicked my butt. After completing all five courses (which took 4 hours), I wanted to pass out. You’ll climb obstacles and coast above the forest floor on a zip line. The further you go on the course the more physically demanding, and higher you get. It’s a great activity to do for a little adventure.
If you want to wonder and shop, I highly recommend nearby Saratoga Springs. This area is beautiful! They have a wide variety of restaurants along the main road as well as cool shops to explore. The kids loved it because of the carousel near the main street that was connected to a beautiful park. It is a really laid-back, pretty town.
I hope you enjoyed this hotel highlight! If you do end up going, please let them know that I sent you, and don't forget to subscribe!
All photos courtesy of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts