If you're lucky enough to visit the Adirondack Coast during the summer season, there is no shortage of things to do, inside and out. Home to Lake Champlain — a 121-mile long freshwater lake that boasts more than 600 miles of shoreline and 70 islands — the region provides endless opportunities for water recreation. If you prefer to stay on dry land, the area offers 400 years of significant history, charming waterfront towns, fun attractions, and easy access to outdoor adventure.
Explore the Landscape
Travel by boat, car, on foot, or bicycle. The Lake Champlain Region features rolling hills and fertile farmlands, all resplendently green and full of life. Quiet, rural roads with views of the Adirondacks to the west, Vermont's Green Mountains to the east, and Lake Champlain offer picturesque scenery and moderate inclines that are perfect for road biking, running, or leisurely walks.
The region also boasts six golf courses and miles of hiking trails. For a scenic excursion, climb Coon or Belfry mountains, or do both in one outing! If you want a guaranteed view, check out the old fire tower on Belfry, which affords hikers a stunning panorama of lakes and mountains. For a picturesque drive, head up Mount Defiance and enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga and the Green Mountains of Vermont. You can drive almost to the summit on a historic road made by the army of British General Burgoyne in 1777, and then walk to the observation deck. A token for gate access is included with your admission to Fort Ticonderoga.
Want to get out on the water? Bring a kayak or canoe, or launch a boat from one of the many public launches. Don't own a water vessel? No problem! Rent one from a local marina, hop on board with SAIL Adirondacks for a sailing excursion, or enjoy a narrated history tour on the Carillon at Fort Ticonderoga. Whether you like to swim, waterski, or fish, there's plenty to keep you busy while you soak up the sun.
Explore the Arts
With its beautiful and scenic natural setting, the Lake Champlain Region has long inspired artists and writers of all genres. Visit the famed Meadowmount School of Music, where legendary musicians like Itzhak Perlman trained, or the Depot Theatre, where world-class artists bring new favorites and well-known classics to life. Catch an outdoor performance at a waterfront pavilion, or attend any one of the many festivals and celebrations held throughout the summer.
Learn the History
Explore the forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga and learn how America was born and changed the course of world history forever. Built by the French and British militaries in the 18th century, these strongholds were critical posts during the French and Indian War, as well as the American Revolution.
During the American Revolution in particular, Crown Point was the northernmost point of American control and Fort Ticonderoga was the scene of America's first major victory in its struggle for independence. The sites represented the United States' northern stronghold, protecting New York and New England from British invasion from Canada. Today, the forts serve as historic sites and offer museum collections, artillery demos, reenactments, and daily tours.
Visit a Museum
With its remarkable history, it's no surprise that the Lake Champlain Region is home to a variety of museums and historic sites that preserve and display the artifacts of bygone eras. Explore the Hancock House-Ticonderoga Historical Museum, Penfield Homestead Museum, the Iron Center Museum, Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, the Adirondack History Museum, or consider a scenic walking tour through our historic hamlets of Essex, Keeseville, Westport, Fort Ticonderoga or Port Henry.