Thanks for those questions. We chose those two areas because my boyfriend likes to fish and we have never been to either lake. I would be happy to sightsee some historical areas and he would be happy fishing, so we are trying to compromise.
I looked at the Sagamore and that was way too expensive. However, I wanted to stay waterfront and realize it will be at least $250 per night. It seems that two or three nights would be the most time we could spend.Edited: 19 May 2010, 04:17
I honestly don't know Lake George that well, but you are a lot closer to historic sites like Ft. Ticonderoga and Crown Point down there. The village of Lake Placid is actually on Mirror Lake and is pretty "commercial" lot's of little shops on the shore - it's defiantly cute. When we have family in town who fish, they usually head out the Ausable River. Many adventures involving waders full of water...
You can also rent boats/canoes and go out on the Saranac Lake chain - pretty chill.
It's not that far between the two and quite a nice drive if you would want to split your time between them. Lake Placid is a little larger and a little more interesting but maybe a bit more expensive.
The Village of Lake George itself is filled with t-shirt shops and mini golf, but it is closer to things like Fort Ticonderoga (sp?) and Fort William Henry for history. Also, the lake itself is quite large and there are many more quiet places to stay further north than the village that would be on the lake and within your budget. There are also islands within the lake that you can boat to and some I think have houses for rent. Also, Lake George would be close to Saratoga, which has lovely shopping and the races in August. Since it's racing season, you might find accomodations to be pricey. But it's an easy drive from the Lake George area to spend a day and have a nice meal there. But if you're trying to get away from kids, stay away from Lake George Village itself.
Unless you are into the history of the Olympics there is less history around Lake Placid. But for beauty and peace, and awesome hiking, I'd take the Lake Placid area.
What about Lake Champlain? I haven't been there, so can't comment directly, but I'd assume that if it's fishing you're looking for you'd find it there and that it might be less crowded and honky tonk than Lake George.
If you want a true Adirondack experience, I wouldn't choose either place. Both are way too commercial and anything but laid back. The Adirondacks are full of peaceful small towns (many on lakes) with historical options nearby. The Blue Mountain Lake/Raquette Lake area (location of the Adirondack Museum and Sagamore Great Camp) is one possibility to consider.
There's some interesting history in Saranac Lake, a village not far from Lake Placid (15 minute drive from the western end). There's a cottage that Robert Louis Stevenson stayed in for his health, and a lot of history related to its days as a tuberculosis treatment center. John Brown's body is buried not far from Lake Placid; I recall some sort of tour there a few years ago. You kind of have to dig for Adirondack history; it's not pre-packaged and centrally located :) so it depends on what you like.
Fishing is available, and you can rent boats.
From Lake Placid, it's about a 2-hour drive to the Sagamore, which is very cool. You can tour Raquette Lake by boat cruise, which is nearby. A little further south is Big Moose, the setting for the real-life crime that inspired Dreiser's novel *American Tragedy*. It's about 1 hour to the Adirondack Museum.
My favorite spot in the Adirondacks is Inlet, but that's at least partly sentimental. I suggest Saranac Lake as a destination, where your boyfriend can fish and you can explore the area's history.
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