Like its next door neighbor Lake Placid, Saranac Lake is also a tourist destination, but with more of a small-town flair. An artsy community, it provides a little slower feeling than Lake Placid’s hustle and bustle. This small community offers some world class events with the opportunity to explore the Adirondacks through its many waterways. There is no shortage of new adventures to fill your days while enjoying the small-town feel. For the low down on local events, activities, and eats, check out our Saranac Lake Guide to Summer below.
Summertime Events – Saranac Lake Guide
There are quite a few events that happen in Saranac Lake during the summer. Some of these notable events are the Rugby Weekend, Art Walk, Music On The Green, Art Plein and the 90 Miler Canoe Race. Read on in our Saranac Lake Guide below for all the details on upcoming 2023 events.
Can Am Rugby Weekend – July 28-30
The Can-Am Rugby Tournament is one of the largest in the world! More than 100 teams flood Saranac Lake for the long weekend at the end of July.
Art Walk – 3rd Thursday Of Each Month
During the summer, on every third Thursday there is an ArtWalk downtown. This event goes from June through September. The ArtWalk welcomes the community to the sidewalks and parks where local artists, musicians and performers show their work. The 2023 dates are June 15, July 20, August 17 and September 21 from 5 – 7:30pm.
Music On The Green – Weekly
Music On The Green is a free weekly concert series in Riverside Park in downtown Saranac Lake. This series is a Saranac Lake tradition, showcasing talented artists in folk, funk, bluegrass, indie and other musical genres. Save your Wednesday evenings from July through August from 7 – 9 PM to enjoy a great summer of music.
Adirondack Plein Air Festival – August 14-19
Art is a major influence in the Saranac Lake area. The Adirondack Plein Air Festival happens the third week of August and brings in fifty juried artists who have four-and-a-half days to paint outdoors throughout scenic Saranac Lake. Spectators are encouraged to check out the creative process while enjoying everything the Adirondacks has to offer.
Northern Current Music Festival – September
Northern Current is a free, daylong music festival that is community centered and family friendly. This festival offers a variety of music genres and normally has an activity area for kids, craft vendors, a few food vendors and other activities.
Adirondack Canoe Classic – 90 Miler – September 8-10
An Adirondack tradition dating back over three decades, the Adirondack Canoe Classic, takes paddlers from Old Forge, NY to Saranac Lake, NY over three days.
Outdoor & Indoor Activities – Saranac Lake Guide
Hiking in Saranac Lake is a different experience from what you will find in Lake Placid and Keene/Keene Valley. Smaller mountains offer picturesque trails that have the amazing Adirondack mountaintop vistas that you crave. It is an ideal place to start hiking! Notable hikes include Baker Mountain, Ampersand Mountain, Panther Mountain and Scarface Mountain. If you are looking for some easy trails to enjoy nature without ascending a mountain, check out The Pines Trail, Bloomingdale Bog Trails, or the Paul Smiths VIC.
Hit The Lakes
Saranac Lake offers so many waterways to get out and enjoy motorized and human powered boating adventures. 24 miles of connected lakes beckon you to explore in motorboats or canoes/ kayaks. The lakes include the Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes, Oseetah Lake, Kiwassa Lake and Lake Flower. Whether you are looking to float around, go fishing, camp overnight on an island on Middle Saranac Lake or even stop in downtown Saranac Lake for lunch, everything is available on these lakes. Upper Saranac Lake is also wonderful for a day of paddling or boating.
If you are interested in Mountain Biking, Saranac Lake offers a few options to explore the region on your bike. Mt Pisgah, Dewey Mountain and the Bloomingdale Bog Trail are all available for mountain biking. Mt Pisgah offers the only machine-built flow trail and offers a 5-mile trail network of moderate to difficult paths. You will have to work your way to the top of Pisgah in order to enjoy these trails, but you will be reward with some amazing views.
Dewey Mountain is normally a cross-country ski center during the winter, but has recently become a mountain bike center in the warmer months. It offers 5.5 miles of singletrack trails stacked so the farther you venture in, the more difficult it will get.
Finally, the Bloomingdale Bog Trail is the easiest trail, but offers a scenic ride along an abandoned railroad corridor. It is perfect for riders who want to cruise by multiple scenic vistas.
If you are looking to road bike, pick a direction and ride! Whatever direction you choose to ride, you will be welcomed by the gorgeous Adirondack views and nature. Click here for some fun rides that you might consider when visiting Saranac Lake.
Looking to Skateboard or Roller Blade? The Saranac Lake Skate Park was completed in 2015! This park is built to the highest standard, and won a top Grant award from the Tony Hawk Foundation. It is a 5,000 square foot concrete skatepark in the village center that has both Street and Flow features. It is also lighted giving all day access. The park is open Monday – Thursday until 9:30pm, Friday & Sunday until 10 pm and Saturday until 11 pm.
Saranac Lake also offers a few golf courses: The Saranac Lake Golf Club and The Saranac Inn Golf & Country Club. These two golf courses are both open to the public with Saranac Lake Golf Club being a 9-hole course while Saranac Inn Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole course. Learn more about these Saranac Lake golf courses here.
Adirondack Carousel & Playground
Rainy day or need to cool down from the summer heat? Stop into the Adirondack Carousel! Fun for all ages, this Carousel features 24 handcrafted Adirondack animals, hand painted decorative panels and medallions, as well as a weathervane built by a local blacksmith. The carousel is housed in a 3,600 square foot pavilion that includes gallery, workshop, and classroom space. After you go for your ride pop outside to a playground!
Saranac Lake is truly an artist’s town. From murals to art exhibits there are many opportunities to view local talent. On Main Street, there are 4 different art exhibits- NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery, Adirondack Artist Guild Gallery, Small Fortune Studio Adk ArtRise & Mark Kurtz Photography. Each offers its own variety of art, with Adk ArtRise offering classes also. If you explore further off Main Street Saranac Lake, Bluseed Studios invites artists to have exhibitions throughout the year as well as offering classes and space to rent.
Paul Smiths Visitors Interpretive Center
Paul Smiths VIC (Visitors Interpretive Center) is the perfect way to spend the day outside. It is a little drive outside of Saranac Lake, but the 3,000-acre property offers year round access to nature, outdoor recreation and the arts. During the summer, there are a network of trails that are available to the public that span out across the property with plenty of stops along the way to enjoy the nature of the Adirondacks.
The VIC also offers three lean-tos on the property that are available for registered campers for a nominal fee ($35/night). Campers are required to follow the Principles of Leave No Trace! Finally, the VIC also has a Butterfly House where they raise butterflies to release by the end of summer when they are ready to migrate. Early summer, you will see Canadian Tiger Swallowtails. Over the rest of the summer Monarchs are the species to see.
Where to Eat – Saranac Lake Guide
Origins Coffee Co.
77 Main Street Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Saturday 7am – 2pm | Sunday 8am – 2pm
Origins Coffee Co. is a specialty coffee shop on Main Street that offers an array of coffee and morning drinks with a seasonal menu of custom drinks. It also offers breakfast and lunch items, from baked good and breakfast sandwiches to soups and paninis. Stop here to get set for your next adventure.
Blue Moon Café
55 Main Street Saranac Lake, NY | Everyday 7:30 am – 2pm
Blue Moon Café is also open for breakfast, lunch and has a themed date night menu on Friday. For breakfast, you can find your favorite diner favorites with come locally sourced items! Lunch time you will find snacks, soups, sandwiches and quesadillas to keep you moving through the day.
Riverside Café at Nori’s
138 Church Street Saranac Lake, NY | Everyday 7 am – 7 pm
Enjoy your espresso or smoothie and a meal at the airy dining room at the Riverside Café! The Riverside Café offers daily variation of breakfast burritos, wraps, sandwiches. When you finish with your breakfast, pick up your organic and natural groceries at the market on the other side.
137 River Street Saranac Lake, NY | Monday, Thursday, Friday 7am – 6pm | Saturday & Sunday 9am – 6pm
Hitting the lake? Lakeview Deli is the perfect stop! Run across the road from the state boat launch on Lake Flower to grab and go. Lakeview Deli is open Thursday – Monday offering daily sandwich specials as well as takeout dinners, deli salads, fantastic quiche and desserts.
19 Broadway Saranac Lake, NY | Monday – Saturday 11 am – 7 pm
In downtown Saranac Lake, you will find Barley Sandwich offering hand carved sandwiches and salad bowls perfect for your hiking or day trip around the Adirondacks.
74 Main Street Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday & Wednesday 3 pm – 8 pm | Thursday – Sunday 12 pm – 8pm
If you are looking for a larger mixture of food, Downhill Grill is your best bet. Offering soups, salads, burgers, Mexican and entrees, it has a little something for everyone. There is also a nice bar with two TV’s and it’s open for Lunch and Dinner!
Casa del Sol
513 Lake Flower Ave Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Saturday 4 pm – 9 pm
A little bit of Mexican food in the Adirondacks! Finish off your adventures in Saranac Lake at Casa del Sol with your Mexican favorites as well as a nice margarita.
5034 State Route 3 Saranac Lake, NY | Thursday – Sunday 4 pm – 8:30 pm
A local favorite for date nights. The Red Fox offers Steak, Seafood and Italian. Enjoy Prime Rib Au Jus, Salmon, Lobster Tails and Chicken or Veal Parmesan with homemade marinara sauce. Enjoy your meal by one of the fireplaces or looking out at the beautiful dahlia garden.
33 Broadway Saranac Lake, NY | Friday – Monday 5 pm – 8:30 pm
Looking for something a little different? Fiddlehead Bistro on Broadway in Saranac Lake might be the perfect restaurant for you. It is a little more pricey than other restaurants, but offers daily menus with locally sourced products. Appetizers and entrees include vegan and gluten free options.
Left Bank Café
36 Broadway Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Saturday 5 pm – 8:30pm
A taste of France in Saranac Lake! Left Bank Café offers a Prix Fixe Menu as well as a takeout menu. Whether you would like to relax in the French setting or fuel up before continuing your adventure, they have you covered.
Nona Fina’s Pizzeria
151 River Street Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Thursday 10:30 am – 8 pm | Friday – Saturday 10:30 am – 9 pm | Sunday 3 pm – 8 pm
What is better than a lakeview while dining? Newly opened Nona Fina’s Pizzeria is across the street from Lake Flower and offers everything from a quick slice of pizza on the go to a nice sit-down Italian dinner.
Here at Adirondack Premier Properties, we are experts on all things real estate in the Adirondack region, and hope our Essential Saranac Lake Guide to Summer is helpful as you plan your summer adventures. If you are looking to rent, buy, sell or invest in real estate, give one of our experienced Adirondack Premier Properties agents a call today.