A big trip was not in the plan for us this summer, as my son is set to start high school cross country tomorrow, August 22nd. (um, high school?) So, we headed to Lake George with a stay at the Sagamore in Bolton Landing for 3 nights.
Rob and I previously stayed at the Sagamore back in 2003. Since then, it has gone through some renovations. A much needed outdoor pool has also been added. It is located on Green Island, one of the many islands that are on the lake. The hotel has a spectacular panoramic view of Lake George from both the lobby and the grand front porch.
Since we were paying for this vacation, I wanted to keep the cost at a minimum. We did not stay in the main hotel, but rather in a lodge room that was about a 5 minute walk from the main building. We stayed in a room with 2 queen beds and we were able to get a cot. This was fine for us, since we did not spend a ton of time at the hotel, and we are still quite flexible when we travel. I would rather squeeze into one room with my family than stay home! Our room was pretty close to the town of Bolton Landing, which we ended up walking to a few times during our stay.
We actually tried to make the first day “hotel day”. We did play tennis in the morning. There are a number of courts and we found it very easy to reserve one. The courts are nice with clay or hard court options. Rob was VERY HAPPY with the gym. I didn’t go :-).
Later, we tried to hang by the pool and beach, but the pool water was cold (not heated), and the lake swimming area small. There were a ton of bees everywhere. The Sagamore has beautiful flowers throughout the grounds, so with those come the bees, especially in August. The bee situation would likely not have been this bad earlier in the summer. (I think). Also, as hard as we try, we cannot just relax by a pool or beach. There is a very big rec center at the hotel, that would have been great for my kids when they were younger. The pool and lake would have been great for my kids too a few years ago as well. Not anymore….. We need activities!
So, the following is how we kept busy on our mini getaway to Lake George at the hotel, on the lake and in the area. We had a great time!
We got there during late afternoon the first day. Once we settled into our room, we walked to the town of Bolton Landing, which has a main street with a bunch of nice restaurants and cute stores. We had dinner that night at Cates right on the main drag, an Italian restaurant with decent food. For dessert, we ventured to Mrs. Whizzy Fizz Popp’s, right down the street for some candy treats.
The trail is a Via Ferrata which is an “iron path” that consists of a mix of alpine hiking and rock climbing. The route consists of anchored cables, rungs, steps, bridges, and ladders. The Via Ferrata allows less advanced or even inexperienced climbers (like us) to face otherwise dangerous—but incredibly scenic routes. Technically and physically it was pretty simple. However, mentally, it was a challenge. We put our faith in our 17 year old! guide Ben, and more importantly, we trusted the equipment. Recall, we did a Via Ferrata course last year on our summer trip to Whistler and our pictures were lost on our guide’s phone. This year, we were not making the same mistake of having another be our designated photographer. Rob was in the lead and I the tail, and with our carabiners holding us in place, we snapped away! It was such a fun afternoon!
We headed to the town of Lake George that night for dinner, and ate at Christies On The Lake. We all enjoyed our food and the scenic views of the lake as the sun set.
The town of Lake George is as touristy as towns get. There are a ton of ice cream shops, candy stores, T-shirt shops, etc. We ate yummy ice cream (Jessie and I had the Maine blueberry) that night at Nina’s Sweet Shoppe and then played a late round of mini-golf at Around The World Golf. We played the Around The World side in lieu of the USA side. It was a lot of fun, but a little annoying as Jessie tried to memorize the capital of every country that was represented on each of the 18 holes and recited them from the beginning each time.
We did our “required one visit” to the breakfast buffet the next morning at the hotel. The food was good, but the omelet line was too long with only two people making omelettes. There was also a long wait to get a table at prime time (10 am). Try to get there earlier or later if you don’t like waiting.
After breakfast, our friends that have a house in Bolton Landing, picked us up on their boat. We spent the day docked in a shallow area of the lake, where the kids could throw around a ball, play king of the raft and walk around to all the different boats parked too. It was like a big lake tailgate party. We knew a few other families too, so the kids had a ball as did Rob and I. What can be better than just hanging on the boat sipping cocktails, having lunch and relaxing with great friends!
We left the tailgate scene late in the day and spent the sunset hours cliff jumping (how good is Rob’s dive? ) and tubing (Pete drove the boat too fast ). Overall, tt was a great day.
That night, we had dinner with our friends, at Fredericks in Bolton Landing, the most popular spot in town. Everyone enjoyed their meals. We had dessert at Ben & Jerry’s. (I personally hate chains in small towns-but the kids were happy!) We were back in town the next morning for a farewell breakfast at Bolton Beans. We got there at about 10:30 and had about a 30 minute wait. Breakfast, however, was great and the place was a very cool spot, so the wait was worth it. I suggest putting your name down first and walking around the town shops.
When we checked out of the Sagamore, I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to pay, as I get 2x Ultimate Rewards points on the hotel stay. For our meals in the area, we used our Chase Freedom card because restaurants were a 3rd quarter 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus category.
I was very sad to leave such a beautiful place. My kids even asked if we could buy a boat for the lake. They loved it too. I hope we make it back again one day to Bolton Landing and Lake George!