Get a taste of adventure in the unspoiled wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains. Witness the ancient timberlands and deep lakes that have beguiled empresses and provided inspiration to poets, painters and authors. Spanning an astounding 6 million acres of public, constitutionally protected forest preserve, as well as privately owned land, the Adirondack Park is, in a word, epic. The Adirondacks beckon each generation to become part of an adventure story centuries in the making.
During your time in the "forever wild park," you’ll mine for garnets, get an eagle’s eye view at the Wild Walk, and hear the echo of cheers that erupted after the U.S. hockey team’s victory on ice. This Adirondack Adventure will soar to the top of your most memorable vacation list!
Arrive in Alexandria Bay, located in the heart of the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River. The region offers unsurpassed vistas of the St. Lawrence River and its rocky islands. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the region became a popular summer resort, where wealthy residents built grand summer homes, stately hotels provided luxurious accommodations, and steamboats offered tours among the islands.
Board the ferry to Heart Island, so named because of its shape and the romantic, but heartbreaking, love story behind Boldt Castle. George C. Boldt, proprietor of the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, planned the Castle’s construction at the turn of the century. His intent was to build a full-size Rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise. No detail was overlooked as the 300 workers fashioned the six-story, 120-room castle, complete with tunnels, a drawbridge and Italian gardens. However, when Louise died unexpectedly, George put a halt to the construction and the castle remained unfinished for more than 75 years.
Once the ferry returns you to the mainland, continue your travels to Lake Placid, your home for the next three nights. Founded in the early 19th century to develop an iron ore mining operation, Lake Placid was discovered for resort use by the rich and famous in the late 19th century. Serving as host to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is also known as America’s Olympic hometown.
Check in to your local hotel and refresh before dinner at a local restaurant.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel and then travel to The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. The 54,000-square-foot indoor space features multi-media shows, hands-on experiences and live exhibits, including river otters. Take a walk on the wild side at the Center’s Wild Walk, a trail across the treetops of the Adirondack Forest. You’ll see the forest from a new perspective as you perch in an oversized bald eagle’s nest, hang out in a spider’s web, walk across swinging bridges and visit a four-story twig tree house.
Grab lunch to go at the Center’s on-site café, and then depart to discover “the gem of the Adirondacks.” At Barton Mines, the largest garnet mine in the world, you’ll learn about the history and geology of the mine and how to find your own garnet gemstones. Barton Mines is the oldest continuous mining operation in the state of New York, and it supplies about 90% of the world’s garnet. After a tour you’ll have time to prospect and hunt for your own gemstones in the historic mines.
Travel to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. The Museum shares the stories of the Adirondacks — tales of work, play, creativity and community — through research, collections and classes. The first objects collected for display at the Museum included the Marion River Carry Railroad engine and passenger car, the steamboat Osprey, a stagecoach, several horse-drawn vehicles and a birch bark canoe. You’ll also see displays about community life, which include the farming gallery, peddler’s wagon and a complete blacksmith shop.
Return to the hotel to refresh before dinner at a restaurant that’s a favorite among locals.
After breakfast it’s “All Aboard!” at the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Enjoy views of mountains, beaver meadows, rivers and wilderness landscapes during a 1-hour trip through the Adirondack region. Debark the train in Saranac Lake and board your private motor coach.
Experience fine dining with up-and-coming culinary talents during a three-course lunch at the St. Regis Café, one of the student- and faculty-operated restaurants at Paul Smith’s College. The Café puts an emphasis on classic culinary techniques and American service. Taught by industry professionals and tested in real-world environments, the students go on to successful careers across the industry and around the world.
Travel back to Lake Placid and be inspired by stories of the Winter Games at the Olympic Center and Olympic Museum. Located in the same building as the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey game, the excitement of the Olympics lives on daily. Exhibits include video highlights, athletes’ uniforms and equipment, a collection of Olympic torches, mascots and medals, including the first gold medal ever awarded.
Return to the hotel to refresh and relax before your farewell dinner.
Following breakfast, check out of the hotel and board the coach. Depart for home taking along magnificent memories of your Adirondack Adventure.
Your Package Includes:
- 3 Nights’ Accommodations
- 3 Breakfasts
- 1 Lunch at Paul Smith’s College
- 3 Dinners
- Ferry ride to Heart Island
- Admission to Boldt Castle
- Admission to the Wild Center and Wild Walk
- Tour of the Barton Garnet Mines
- Admission to the Adirondack Museum
- Adirondack Scenic Railroad train ride
- Admission to the Olympic Museum and Olympic Complex
- Baggage service for one piece of luggage per traveler
- Accommodations and breakfasts for the motor coach driver
- Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the coach driver are not included and are at your discretion based on service.)