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Old 05-17-2018, 09:56 PM   #1
OntarioSkiBum
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Day Trip from Wells

Every year our family rents a cabin in Wells and every year we do at least one day trip. Over the years we've gone to most of the major towns within a 2 hour drive... Some more than once.

Specifically, we've done days in Lake George, Saratoga, Cooperstown, Lake Placid, and Old Forge.

As well we've spent time in many of the smaller towns as part of hikes and similar outings.

I'm looking for ideas for this year's day trip. Burlington VT would be high on the list, but I think it's a little too far. Is there anywhere else in VT worth visiting that would be closer?

I also thought of doing a day at the Great Escape theme park but that's not really our thing. The attraction there is i could take the family to ride The Comet... a ride i rode as a kid every summer when it was still at Crystal Beach on Lake Erie.

Are there any other obvious towns worth visiting I'm not considering? Should we bite the bullet and do Burlington anyways?

Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:43 AM   #2
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Ticonderoga, you have the fort, hike up mount defiance and the Star Trek exhibit downtown
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:25 AM   #3
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I think Burlington is worth a visit- Church Street is a nice place to spend a few hours walking around, checking out stores, eating lunch or dinner, etc. It's a bit different than an "authentic remote village" experience, though.

Some towns in the Adirondacks:
  • Saranac Lake: Check out the Paul Smith's VIC and/or climb St. Regis Mountain, walk around downtown, get ice cream at Donnelly's, eat pizza at Little Italy.
  • Tupper Lake: Check out the Wild Center and/or climb Arab Mountain, walk around downtown, get pizza at Little Italy or eat at Big Tupper Brewing.
  • Wanakena: Hike to High Rock on the Oswegatchie (or, bring a canoe and paddle the Oswegatchie), eat food at the Pine Cone Grill. A bit (a lot) less touristy but still a nice area to visit; just don't expect any stores.
  • Schroon Lake: Hike into Spectacle Pond in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, walk around downtown, eat at Sticks and Stones.
  • Ticonderoga: Visit the fort and/or visit Crown Point (or hike into Springhill Ponds in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness), not really sure about food here but I see there's a few options downtown. (Ticonderoga unfortunately is struggling a bit- the area never really recovered from the decision to route the Northway further west).

Towns like Long Lake, Keene Valley, Speculator, and Caroga Lake are worth visiting as well.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys. We have Fort George here in Niagara on the Canadian side and there's Fort Niagara on the US side... And we're not Trekkies, so we'll probably skip Ticonderoga. Checking out the Wild Center has always been on my radar so I'll keep that suggestion in mind, though Tupper Lake doesnt seem to have much charm for exploring. The kids love the Long Lake Beach, so that could happen as part of the trip.

I googled Church Street and the downtown Burlington area. It does look impressive. It's still 2.5 hours though. I'd consider doing the ferry on the way in for extra "adventure". If we don't make it out this year, I'd consider a trip specifically for Burlington another time when we're not at Wells.

Usually we do the trips spur of the moment style. For instance, we went to Cooperstown when it was thunderstorming all day in the Adirondacks. If poor weather was tracking south, i could maybe use that as an excuse for driving 2.5hrs north to VT.
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Old Yesterday, 06:58 AM   #5
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If you go to Burlington, check out the Island Line trail, especially the Colchester Causeway that goes out into Lake Champlain. Best way is by bike, but there's a park at the Colchester end where you can leave the car and walk the causeway.
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Old Yesterday, 07:27 AM   #6
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Albany?
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Old Yesterday, 10:11 AM   #7
DSettahr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OntarioSkiBum View Post
Checking out the Wild Center has always been on my radar so I'll keep that suggestion in mind, though Tupper Lake doesnt seem to have much charm for exploring.
You're not wrong, but it's worth pointing out that part of the reason for this is because most tourists tend to go other places (like Lake Placid) and spend money there instead. Tupper Lake has improved a lot (thanks largely in part to the Wild Center, which I believe was located there in part because the local economy is struggling) and it does still have a ways to go- and visitors to the area is something that can help this process a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OntarioSkiBum View Post
I googled Church Street and the downtown Burlington area. It does look impressive. It's still 2.5 hours though. I'd consider doing the ferry on the way in for extra "adventure". If we don't make it out this year, I'd consider a trip specifically for Burlington another time when we're not at Wells.
I think this sounds like a good idea. Northern VT in general is well worth it's own trip/vacation.

Tick Magnet's suggestion of Albany actually isn't a bad one, if you've never visited the area. The State Museum is worth checking out; it takes about an hour for adults, maybe 2 hours if you've got kids. The Empire State Plaza is pretty neat for about 15 minutes. I think the Capitol does tours also. You've also got the floating museum on the USS Slater on the river, or you could take a river cruise on the Dutch Apple. Lark Street and nearby Washington Park is nice for walking around for an hour or so, and in addition to the places to eat on Lark Street there's the Pump Station Brewery and the Old English Pub down near the river.

Albany probably actually isn't worth a full multi-day trip in its own right, but if you were already staying nearby I'd say it is definitely worth a day trip. You could also pair a day in Albany with a future trip to the Catskills (another area that is well worth vacationing in if you've never done so).
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