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Top tips for an amazing summer adventure

Sometimes the best summer adventures we have with our families are spontaneous, like on those really hot days when you and your mom would flee the house for your Grandpa's camp in the Adirondacks so you could go swimming and boating in that cool Adirondack air (and eventually you made your mom mad and you cried but still remember it like it was yesterday). Sometimes they're planned, such as when the whole family gets together for one week a summer and your days are filled with adventures like going to Santa's Workshop, splashing in the Ausable River (my cousin Aaron told me there was quicksand), and having your very first root beer float at A&W.

The Whiteface Region in New York's Adirondack Mountains is great fun all year long, but there's something extra special about summer, when the kids are out of school, the days are long and sunny, and those favorite ice cream stands are open and aglow with nostalgia. Are you ready for 2024 to be the best summer ever? You'd better be, because we have super fun, extra cool, wonderfully wild adventures for the whole family. Here's our list of pro tips for that extra special summer.

A group of children, some wearing Santa hats, cluster around a pole made of ice on a summer day at a children's theme park.


What's more summery and family-friendly than camping? Think: roasting hot dogs over a campfire, watching the stars emerge after sunset together, and waking up to the scent of pine forest. The Whiteface Region has ample camping options, so whether you're a "let's take the kids into the backcountry" or "hey, this place has a pool!," you'll be well fixed for fun in the great outdoors. Choose from the amenity-rich KOA in Wilmington, which features a range of site options, plus small cabins, amid wooded scenery close to Whiteface Mountain, or the state-run campground in the Wilmington Notch, alongside the famed Ausable River. It's perfect for families looking to spend time fishing!

A woman uses a mallet to pound a tent stake at a campground surrounded by tres.

Eat all of the ice cream

That's right, all of it. Challenge accepted? Good. The Whiteface Region is full of great ice cream, with each location offering a unique twist (pun intended). In Wilmington, Adirondack classics A&W and Whitebrook Dairy Bar are beloved for great flavors and their retro atmospheres. If you're in the Au Sable Forks area, you need to find out why Stewart's Shops hard ice cream is so ardently revered in the North Country, and the range of flavors makes for some tough decision-making. A little further down the road, the Black Brook General Store, housed in a renovated country church, offers soft serve in the summers, plus a deli in case you need a break from all that ice cream.

A close up of a root beer float, with a human hand holding a spoon above it.

Bring your mountain bike!

Whether you're into flying down a twisting mountain bike trail or looking for a relaxed ride on a back road, we've got you covered, so don't leave the bikes at home. Mountain bike enthusiasts can enjoy the Hardy Road Trails and The Flume network, while quiet roads lined with trees, farms, and big mountain views abound. The Whiteface Region is so big into cycling that even local kids have organized races and built the skills park in Wilmington!

No matter your skill level, there is riding for you and your family, with fresh fun around every turn in the trail. Your kids may never stop talking about this adventure!

A cyclist rides on a curving wooden skills ramp.


Maybe a beach day isn't the first thing you think of when you think of a mountain vacation, but that just means you haven't experienced the Whiteface Region yet! There is great swimming galore, particularly at the beach at Lake Everest! There, families can splash and play to their heart's delight (and all day long!) at a sandy beach on cool, crystal-clear Adirondack waters. Conveniently located in Wilmington, the beach is easily accessed, free, and full of fun.

A family of adults and small children splash in the calm water of a lake.

Whiteface Mountain

How cool of a family adventure is DRIVING up a mountain? You can't do that just anywhere! The Whiteface Veterans' Memorial Highway, carved in the 1920s, winds its way up the mountain, offering outstanding views of the Adirondacks. At the top, adventure awaits! Enjoy the epic views, snap some selfies, and hike or take an elevator to the summit.

Yes, you can hike the mountain too, but it's a big hike. Consider your options (and your group's level of hiking) carefully. Plus, if you take the highway, you'll find yourself with more time for other, equally exciting adventures!

Two women stand next to a young man in a wheelchair; all three are at a scenic viewpoint high on a mountain.

Unique attractions

Were you the kind of kid who was always asking for things like a pet owl? Do your kids ask you (ALL. THE. TIME.) about acquiring a baby goat that will (of course) live in their bedrooms? Is Santa known to be one of the coolest guys in the whole wide world? Put all of those things together and you've got even more reason to bring the family to the Whiteface Region this summer.

We're home to Santa's Workshop, which celebrates Christmas joy all year long, plus the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge, where the whole family can get close to nature and learn from the resident naturalist about the wonderful world around us, from bald eagles to moose! You also won't want to miss the roar of the Ausable River at the awesome and awe-inspiring High Falls Gorge. You can even try fitting all three into one exhilarating day of non-stop fun!

Two women stand next to a man in a wheelchair on a pedestrian bridge; all three are laughing happily.

Visit us this summer!

Whatever activities you choose, we know you'll have a blast. This is a place where life is exciting yet laid back, fun and affordable, and where you can enjoy making wild and wonderful family memories at entertaining events, comfy motels and lodges, and in the great big outdoors. As a bonus, the village of Lake Placid, full of tasty restaurants, cool shops, and Olympic activities, is just a short drive away.


Explore More in the Whiteface Region

Where Every Day is Merry and Bright

Treat kids of all ages to the joy of the Christmas season at Santa's Workshop, home to Santa, his reindeer, and holiday magic!

Explore More in the Whiteface Region

Make a Day of the Whiteface Veterans' Memorial Highway

What to expect when you drive the Whiteface Veterans'Memorial Highway and hike to the Whiteface summit.

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Family Fun Awaits in the Whiteface Region!

Get the whole family close to nature this summer in the Whiteface Region! With family-friendly attractions that are fun and easily accessible, the Whiteface Region must be added to your summer bucket list!

Explore More in the Whiteface Region

Winter Attractions in the Whiteface Region

While some places muddle through the winter, the Whiteface Region thrives in the snow! Though lovely in the summer, winter brings new life to the charming village and wild landscape of this one-of-a-kind Adirondack destination


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