boat lake george resizedAs summer draws to an end and fall weather is beginning to put a chill in the air, a mom reflects on her family’s trip to commemorate the end of summer It is hard to believe as the trees’ leaves change colors that just one month ago she was enjoying her annual family camping trip in Lake George, New York.

An Annual Affair

Our annual camping extravaganza – four families, eight adults, ten children – usually takes us into the New England mountain ranges, but this year we decided instead to explore the beautiful Adirondacks.

Like the changing of the leaves, our yearly trip signals to me the transition from carefree summer days to back-to-work/back-to-school, a last hurrah before we return to the usual routines. The trip has also come to serve as a reminder that our kids are growing up – fast. Whereas a key requirement for past trips was a playground close by, having teens and tweens now means finding a place with a variety of things to do. Camping in Lake George was a trip that delivered on all fronts!

Camping in Lake George

We stayed at the Hearthstone Point State Park on Lake Shore Drive. The camping sites are on both sides of the road; we stayed lakeside, close to the small beach right on the lake. The water is beautiful and clean – you could see your feet underwater when you were chest-deep. There were beautiful tent sites close to the water, which I’m sure are reserved early. But our sites – four in a row – were only about a five to 10 minute walk, downhill to the lake and uphill back. My legs got toned but my back ached a bit.

Campsites are pretty close together and you can hear the cars and trucks on the main road. This is certainly not a place where I felt disconnected from the real world. However, what we all appreciated was that the Village of Lake George was only a short drive away.

Things to do in Lake George

There are so many things to do besides camping in Lake George! This is truly a vacation spot. We opted for The House of Frankenstein Wax Museum – how much more touristy can you get! My family had a blast, although neither my 10-year-old son nor I expected as many things that would make us jump or get us to obsessively look behind us every few seconds. The wax figures are mainly behind a glass window. We’re happy we did it and, as my son said, we tried a new thing and that was good.

Only my daughter and husband were brave enough to try so many things to do besides camping in Lake George, which they really enjoyed. This place definitely had things that jumped out, grabbed and generally scared the pants off people. While they got their scares in, those of us fright-averse went to the arcade.

Bunny TowelsReunited we took a walk on the waterfront and spent time in the Visitors Center, which provided a lot of information about the surrounding area and the lake. A little bit of shopping and it was time to go back to the tent.

Stay in Lake George when you Aren’t Camping

Now, I must come clean. We opted to travel up a day early and got a room at the Holiday Inn Turf Hotel. With its beautiful views of the lake, wonderful resort amenities, and friendly, competent staff, the Holiday Inn was an added treat. Here customer service is clearly a priority! The hotel provided the perfect atmosphere for relaxation before we roughed it in a tent: nice indoor and outdoor pools, a giant chess set, putting green, miniature golf, hot tub, a restaurant on the premises…you name it! Watching the fireworks over the lake took care of an item on my ”to do” list that had eluded me all summer.

While we enjoyed another camping adventure with our friends, I do think my family will make a return trip to the Holiday Inn Turf in the future and check out what else Lake George has to offer.