Summer is meant for going "out" to eat. Enjoying the fresh Adirondack breeze while having a meal, snack, or just a milkshake is what makes the summer days and nights so much fun. Doing this with a view of Whiteface Mountain, or a pristine lake or roaring river close by make it even more special.
Summer months in the Whiteface Region are full of adventure and activity. Sometimes it's hard to stop having fun just to eat a meal. Lucky for us, this has been solved by great places where you can grab something delicious quickly, and make it part of your fun. In our family it is hard to get the kids to stop for an hour for a full dining experience. The summer months are short and they don't want to miss a moment of fun in the sun. Here are a few of our ideas and favorite spots to make nature part of our meal. Fun included.
Every summer bucket list should include at least one picnic. The beautiful Whiteface Region offers many places for picnics with a view, from designated tables set up along the Ausable River to complete picnic areas. My favorites are the town beach and the Jay Covered Bridge in Jay, just a short drive from Whiteface Mountain. This is a romantic piece of history. This bridge was originally constructed in 1857 and redone in 2007, keeping its charm in mind. Sit back and listen to the river flowing while enjoying the natural setting surrounding you. There are picnic tables, and a covered area, so you can choose your spot. Bring your lunch, your camera, and enjoy the romance of the only covered bridge in the Adirondacks.
If you are looking for a whole day of fun, you could easily do lunch and dinner at the town beach, where there are a lot of spots to choose from. There are even BBQ pits set up just for you! The park is right next to the beach and the kids will love this. You can sit back and rest easy knowing both the little and big kids will have plenty to do in between meals. Play at the park, rent a canoe, kayak, swim, and build sand castles. There is also a lifeguard on duty. Pack your picnic basket and enjoy the sounds of summer with the most incredible views, all for free.
If you're looking to add some local flavors to your picnic, make it a point to stop at a farm store! Stop a farm to pick up fresh veggies or AMAZING cheese. While you're there, you can visit with the animals, sample cheese (seriously, it's really good), and chat with the farmers. Shopping for your picnic at local farms is a great way to get the full Adirondack experience!
Looking for some history with your lunch? Did you know that A&W Root Beer is older than sliced bread? Really. Sliced bread was born in 1928, and this delicious root beer was first served in 1919. You can also feel great about drinking it, because it comes in a frosty glass mug that keeps paper cups out of the landfills. The kids' meals will make your kids want to stop and enjoy, even for just a minute or two.
A&W also has a beautiful deck that will keep you close to the action of bustling Wilmington. You can watch a game of mini golf going on at the North Pole hotel directly across the street, or enjoy the views of the mountains in the background. My kids love the bacon double cheeseburger, which, by the way, was created by A&W's president in 1963. So much history, such great views, and a restaurant chain that cares about being green. Go check out the first American chain restaurant to reach the 100-year milestone. Your entire family will be happy with this choice.
Whitebrook Dairy Bar
It seems like the only way I can get my son to leave the pump track in Wilmington is by promising a visit to the Whitebrook Dairy Bar for a cone or milkshake. The dairy bar has the best I have ever had, and we love a good dairy bar in my family. Ice cream, yes. Milkshakes, yes. But the reason I love this place so much is they have one of the best grilled cheeses you can get anywhere. Add an order of fries — YUM. I crave this meal all year long, and the dairy bar is only open in the summer months. It's a great spot to grab a quick bite and sit at the purple picnic tables for some afternoon sun. This is what summer days are made for: laid back meals, before or after your next adventure. I mentioned the grilled cheese, but this menu will surprise you. There is something for everyone, and the selection is huge for a little roadside snack bar. Make sure the Whitebrook Dairy Bar is on your list this summer.
The pump track is located behind The Little Supermarket, which, by the way, has the best sub sandwiches around. These subs are huge, fresh, and really delicious. Grab one and sit out on the picnic tables, take one to go and sit along the river in the gazebo at the Visitors' Center, or take it up Whiteface Memorial Highway or via the gondola ride for amazing views and picnic spots.
There are so many more spots to sit down at and enjoy during the summer months. You can dine outside at McDougall's Pub for breathtaking scenery and a delicious meal, or enjoy a pizza on the porch from ADK Pizza and Pasta Company.
Relax, it's summer in the mountains.