Day One: Albany to Chestertown (79 miles). Starting in the state capital, head north 78 miles on I–87, then take exit 25 and follow... more » Route 8 to the waterfront Fern Lodge (doubles from $275, including breakfast), an updated wilderness-style retreat. After a boat tour of Friends Lake, head down the road for dinner at Friends Lake Inn (dinner for two $95), known for its farm-to-table menu and 18,000-plus-bottle wine cellar.
Day Two: Chestertown to Newcomb to Blue Mountain Lake (60 miles). After breakfast on the inn’s screened porch, go canoeing or swimming, then point yourself toward North Creek for a freshly made panino at Café Sarah (lunch for two $17). Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Great Camp Santanoni, an 1892 estate on Newcomb Lake that’s accessible by foot, bike, or horse-drawn wagon. You’ll see one of the High Peaks in the distance. The night’s lodgings are at the informal fishing camp-style Great Value Hedges (doubles from $205, including breakfast and dinner).
Day Three: Blue Mountain Lake to Raquette Lake to Albany (138 miles). Drive to nearby Raquette Lake and visit the National Historic Landmark Great Camp Sagamore, the Vanderbilts’ fairy-tale lodge. Then embark on a Gilded Age expedition at the Adirondack Museum, for exhibitions of the region’s history: logging, boating, and handmade furniture. Pick up lunch at the museum’s café and have walking guide Ernie La Prairie from Blue Mountain Outfitters take you out in his wooden rowboat for an island picnic. Last stop: the outfitter’s store, which stocks heavenly scented balsam pillows.
TOTAL MILES: 276 less «