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Written by guest blogger Natalie Moore

If you and your partner have been thinking about taking a vacation but aren’t sure where to go, trust us: It doesn’t get much better than summer in the Whiteface Region. The best part about a trip to the Wilmington area? We already planned it out for you. So grab your suitcase and that special someone: We’re going on vacation!

What to Do

Wilmington is gorgeous

Billed as the most breathtaking 30-minute walk in the Adirondack Park, High Falls Gorge is a must see for anyone spending time in the area. The gorge is a deep crevice carved by the Ausable River a billion years ago (yep, a billion), that has been made accessible to visitors by way of bridges, walkways and groomed walking trails. Witness what Native Americans called The Ancient Valley of Foaming Water, then stop by the on-site café for Adirondack-style pub fare. High Falls Gorge is also the perfect backdrop for an engagement…just saying!

A couple walks hand in hand along a path in sun-dappled woods.

Beach, please

Who said you can’t have a beach vacation in upstate New York? Be sure to pack your swimsuits for a stop at Wilmington Town Beach on Lake Everest. Relax on the sandy shore, or get adventurous with a kayak, canoe, paddleboard or aqua bike rental, which are available onsite. Be on the lookout for birds, as this area is known for being a birding paradise!

A small, sandy beach sits alongside a small lake, surrounded by trees with mountains in the background.

Rollin’ on the river

One of the main geographic features of the Whiteface Region is the Ausable River, which in addition to being an invaluable natural resource, also provides a variety of recreational opportunities. Check out for information on fishing, paddling or hiking on and around the river; the Ausable River Association also offers free, guided watershed tours meant to give participants a better understanding of the threats facing our local environment and what they can do to help.

Where to Sleep

Lodge life

From the outside, Wolfjaw Lodge in Wilmington looks like a typical Adirondack motel, with a log exterior, moose lanterns, and old skis as décor on the porch. But step inside one of the lodge’s eight guest rooms or three family suites, and boho vibes, bright colors, and funky furniture make for a lodging experience to remember. Chic yet simple, the lodge is a stone’s throw from the Marble Mountain trailhead in Wilmington, and right next door to Whitebrook Dairy Bar, an old school, walk-up ice cream window. The best part? Pets are allowed, so your fur baby can tag along for his or her parents’ romantic getaway.

Looking outward from a rocky mountainside at a forested valley under blue skies.

Awesome vacation rentals

There’s just something about staying in an A-frame that makes your Adirondack vacation all the more special. One peek at Wilmington-area vacation rentals yields plenty of A-plus A-frame options, from an Adirondack Mountainside A-Frame boasting a full wall of windows and an on-site lean-to, to a newly built, quiet, modern cabin, also with a window wall and plenty of Instagrammable photo ops. Turn up the heat (literally) on your vacay by staying at Juniper Hill Cabin, a quaint property with an impressive outdoor living space and—get this—a private barrel sauna.

Go big or go home

If your Adirondack retreat is for a special occasion—we’re talking a honeymoon-level getaway—you simply have to splurge on a stay at Jay’s Whispering Pines Lodge, a seven-bedroom, four-bath, 8,000-square-foot log home located on a 100-acre private property. No expenses were spared in the building of this beauty, and guests can enjoy an all-season hot tub, indoor sauna, lagoon pool, two wood-burning fireplaces, outdoor stone fire pit, and the elegantly rustic accents you’d expect from a top-of-the-line Adirondack oasis. The view from the floor-to-ceiling living room window is just icing on the cake.

Where to Eat

The best of both worlds

Whether you’re looking for the finest in Adirondack dining or a laid-back restaurant where you can grab a burger and a beer, Hungry Trout Resort has you covered. While you can stay at the resort—you can simply book a room or go all in on a fishing, hunting or adventure package—you can also stop by for a dinner date, either at The Hungry Trout, where a 46er Ribeye, Free Range Venison Chop and Duck A L’Orange highlight the menu; or the more casual R. F. McDougall’s Pub & Grill, which serves American favorites such as tacos, pretzels and beer cheese, and fish and chips.

A man and woman look at a cellular phone together at the bar of a cozy, warmly lit pub.

Dine and doze

Another establishment working double duty on the lodging and dining fronts is Ice Jam Inn in Upper Jay, a favorite among locals. On the menu are starters and salads including poutine, seafood chowder, and beet salad; burgers and "Sammies" such as “That Sandwich” (fried chicken, house cheese sauce, pickled jalapenos, and crispy bacon on a pretzel bun); and Mussels & Mains like Sofrito Mussels and tempeh stirfry. Eat yourself into a food coma? Stay the night in the Eagles Nest Master Bedroom, which has its own en-suite private bathroom.

The morning show

And don’t forget about the most important meal of the day! To kick off an afternoon of Adirondack adventuring, spend the morning fueling up at Adirondack Mountain Coffee’s café in Upper Jay. Go for a classic breakfast like an omelet, pancakes, or French toast, or order the first thing on the menu: trout and eggs. (You know what they say: When in Upper Jay!) The café is open for lunch too (think: Tex Mex chili, a grilled reuben and a Philly cheese steak). And don’t forget to stock up on Adirondack Mountain Coffee before you leave!



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