When is the Best Time to Visit Upstate New York?

People are always asking us when the best time to visit Upstate New York is.  While we’d like to say there’s an easy answer to that question, there’s not, especially when talking about the sensational Adirondacks.  The part of Upstate New York known as the Adirondacks is genuinely a remarkable 4-season destination, packed with an incredible variety of things to do.  It’s also a lovely place to unplug and relax. That is what most guests who stay with us are here to do. 

Even though we recognize that there are wonderful things to do in Upstate New York year-round, we can make a pretty convincing case that summer is the best time to visit Upstate New York.  It’s the most traditional answer, of course, but summer is the perfect time to get out on the lakes for water sports, hike to the top of mountain peaks, ride bikes, and generally enjoy the boundless nature that is the Adirondacks. 

It’s easy to settle on summer being the best time to visit Upstate New York, but Fall is a close second.  There’s still plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Fall, but the landscapes grow even more picturesque under the vibrant glow of Fall’s fiery foliage. And then there’s winter – the perfect time of year for snowsports and an entirely different season in which to unplug and enjoy the best the Adirondacks have to offer. 

We are perfectly located to enjoy the best of the Adirondacks

Summer is the best time to visit Upstate New York

Summer is the Best Time to Visit Upstate New York

So what is it that makes summer the best time to visit Upstate New York? It’s a combination of things, really. Generally speaking, we’d say the best time to visit Upstate New York is between May and August. 

The wet and muddy spring has dried up by May, leaving miles upon miles of hiking trails ripe for exploration.  The weather is also seasonably warm during these months, which means it’s a great time to get out on the water. Temperatures during the summer average in the upper 70s, which is perfect for enjoying a broad range of activities you’ll find here. It’s the perfect contrast to the heat waves often experienced in New York City and much of the eastern seaboard during the summer. 

With warm summer days and long days, it’s also easier than ever to stay out all day and enjoy the Adirondacks to their fullest potential. That means days filled with things like golfing, biking, camping, fishing, canoeing, rafting, ballooning, hiking, horse riding, mountain climbing, water sports, spas, and so much more.  Some of our favorite things to do in summer include: 

  1. Hiking is the #1 reason summer is the best time to visit Upstate New York – and there are more than enough hiking trails to explore in the area.
  2. Ride the rails at Revolution Rail – not only is it a unique adventure, but you’ll ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Adirondacks.
  3. Take a Skyride at Gore Mountain! There’s also plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails to enjoy here throughout the summer. 
  4. If you’re really up for an adventure, try some whitewater rafting with Adirondack Adventures. Experiences like this are why summer is the best time to visit Upstate New York. 
  5. Head to the Adirondack Adventure Center for some tubing, zip-lining, and more.
  6. Head across the street and kayak on the quiet, calm waters of Friends Lake! It’s much more peaceful than the busier Lake George and a quintessential Adirondacks Experience. Finding these peaceful yet beautiful moments is just another reason summer is the best time to visit Upstate New York.

The big downside to summer travel to the Adirondacks is that everyone else seems to have the same idea. It’s much more crowded up here during the summer than it is during fall and winter. Even so, we still think summer is unbeatable, and hands down, the best time to visit Upstate New York. 

Cross Country skiing is one of the Best Things to do in Upstate New York This winter

4 Seasons of Fun in the Adirondacks

While summer is arguably the best time to visit Upstate New York, there’s still plenty to love about the remainder of the year.  As we’ve already said, the Adirondacks are truly a 4-season getaway destination, filled with something to offer every traveler.  From endless adventure in the summer and breathtaking scenery in the fall to boundless winter sports in the winter, isn’t it time you discover your favorite time to visit us in Upstate New York?

Fall in the Adirondacks

Fall in the Adirondacks is nothing short of spectacular, especially when you visit in earlier fall.  Fall foliage in Upstate New York is mesmerizing, with the same hikes and boating trips you took during the summer taking on a new level of appreciation.  It’s also a great time to drive through the area, admiring the changing scenery as you go. 

Fall in the Adirondacks can be pretty chilly, though, with daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the 30s.  These wild temperature swings mean you need to be prepared for anything and most often dressed in layers.  Even so, fall is an easy second place when it comes to the best time to visit Upstate New York. 

Winter in the Adirondacks

The winters are long and cold in the Adirondack region. Temperatures are cold, with single digits not entirely uncommon, though the average is in the 20s. By November, winter is just about in full swing in the Adirondacks, which is great news for winter sports enthusiasts. Ski resorts gradually open up as the snow begins to fly. 

Upstate New York is a fun place to be in the winter, with top ski resorts like Gore Mountain and Whiteface Mountain delighting the droves of skiers that head to the Adirondacks each year.  Around our hotel and in the many parks in the area, there are plenty of beautiful nature trails for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hikes. 

But the Adirondacks is more than a fun place to be in the winter. It’s also exceedingly cozy up here, not to mention remarkably beautiful.  The stark winter landscapes contrast sharply with the lush ones enjoyed throughout the summer, opening up a plethora of unique seasonal experiences to be enjoyed. Given the availability of winter sports in the area, many people consider this to be the best time to visit Upstate New York – and who are we to argue with them?

Relax and unwind at Friends Lake Inn after enjoying all of the fun things to do near LAke George

The Best Hotel in Upstate New York

For many visitors, time spent in the Adirondacks is all about unplugging and recharging away from the stress of urban living.  Our Upstate New York Hotel is the perfect place to do precisely this.  Not only do we offer upscale guest rooms and one of the best restaurants in Upstate New York, but we also offer guests unprecedented access to nature – all without having to worry about where to go and how to get here. 

Our hotel offers just 18 guest rooms, too, which means you won’t be faced with the large crowds found at many larger resorts – especially during the peak summer months. This small, boutique lodging experience allows our guests to fully relax in the peaceful tranquility of the Adirondacks. It also allows us to focus on providing an exceptional guest experience, start to finish. 

The exquisite onsite dining that you’ll enjoy here adds to the experience. Breakfast is included in your stay and is made to order daily in our dining room.  Relax with a drink and casual fare in the Birch Bistro in the afternoon, or join us for an intimate and upscale dining experience in our main dining room, where exquisitely-prepared farm-to-table cuisine awaits. 

In between meals, how you spend your time is up to you, and, of course, depends on when you visit.  Our private nature trails around the hotel are open year-round, and we’re happy to make recommendations for other things to do in the area, too. If you’re ready to experience the best hotel in Upstate New York, then it’s time you book a room with Friends Lake Inn today!

Give The Gift of Friends Lake Inn This Christmas

Give your loved one a very special gift of a stay at Friends Lake Inn.  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.

Destination Weddings

Have your dream wedding or elopement in the Adirondacks.  We offer outdoor and indoor settings from just a small group to all of your family & friends.