Set in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George stretches for 32 miles in northeast New York. Home to native peoples and the site of several Colonial-era battles during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, Lake George is the backdrop of James Fenimore Cooper’s “The Last of the Mohicans.”
The lake and natural beauty of the area have drawn visitors since the late 1800s, and the western shore, called Millionaire’s Row, was once dotted with the summer mansions of the wealthy escaping the city heat. Teddy Roosevelt supposedly dubbed it the Queen of American Lakes, and the moniker stuck. By the mid-1900s, Lake George was more accessible to the middle classes, and families began staying in summer camps and hotels all around the lake.
“Lake George is very family oriented; some families have been coming here for generations,” said Christina Curley, special events and convention sales director at the Lake George Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Oftentimes, people who came here with their family want to bring back a group for a meeting.”
Active pursuits like hiking and biking, boating and snow skiing appeal to adventure seekers, and lake cruises, historical sites and a renowned art collection add to the overall feeling of peace and serenity.
Resorts and destinations sprawl along the lake’s edge, rambling through several villages, but everything is within a 15-minute drive. About 50 miles north of Albany, Lake George is a convenient getaway from the city vibe for groups looking for a retreat atmosphere.
Most groups want to experience the lake by way of a cruise, and two cruise companies provide lunch and dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises of varying lengths.
A new event space, the Festival Space at Charles R. Wood Park, will open this fall on the south end of the lake. The facility will host a variety of events, such as performing arts, festivals and corporate events.
Painted Pony Rodeo
The Adirondacks were once home to several dude ranches and rodeos, and that heritage is evident every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in July and August at the Painted Pony Rodeo. The Painted Pony is a championship rodeo that draws professional rodeo circuit riders with weekly cash prizes. Groups can enjoy a Texas-style barbecue dinner before the rodeo and get their country swing on in the Longhorn Saloon afterward.
Calling to mind the luxury of a bygone era, the Sagamore is the region’s only AAA Four-Diamond hotel. It first opened in 1883 as the center of social activity along Millionaire’s Row and appealed to wealthy clients traveling from cities in the East on the rail line between New York and Montreal. The resort is set on a 70-acre island and has more than 32,000 square feet of meeting space with a conference center, a ballroom, an event center, boardrooms and outdoor spaces. The resort also has a spa, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and swimming pools, and it operates dinner cruises on a replica 19th-century touring boat.