Do you know of small towns in the Adirondacks?
August 29, 2008 9:47 AM   Subscribe

What are some small towns in the Adirondacks (NY)- with nice community, local food, and art?

I am looking to spend a few months in the Adirnodacks and am searching for small towns that offer a nice sense of community: art, food, music, books, outdoor activities. Ideally not too touristy, but even that would be okay.

All ideas are appreciated, and anything details about the places would be great!

posted by Nillocsoc to Travel & Transportation around Adirondack Mountains, NY (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The one problem is that most ADK communities that can support a variety of those amenities are those that have the support of tourism dollars. Not meant to be a knock, but just a statement of truth about the major industry within the Blue Line.

Lake Placid certainly meets the criteria, but is probably the most touristy of places. Saranac Lake is slightly less so. More south, Old Forge and Inlet are also quite touristy, but have more amenities. Tupper Lake might be an option as I've always felt it was less touristy and more small-towny (although they just opened The Wild Center there). Essex, along Lake Champlain, is very quaint, but I haven't spent enough time there to comment on the availability of art/food/music/books.

I will try to keep thinking of non-obvious places. Now if you had asked "where can I go in the Adirondacks to be a hermit?", I could have been more help!
posted by stefnet at 10:23 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would add Inlet and Long Lake. Both are smaller towns that have some of what you seek. Also, Old Forge in the Town of Web may be worth looking into. Blue Mountain Lake has a weekly crafts show I think too. BML is between Long Lake and Inlet of it might be worth checking them out.

On preview what stefnet said too.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:29 AM on August 29, 2008

I forgot to mention Indian Lake, which is another less-crazytouristy, more small-towny type place.
posted by stefnet at 10:32 AM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Also, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the cute town, but when I climbed Big Slide Mountain via the Brothers trail, we went through what appeared to be a cute little town.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2008

Also, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the cute town, but when I climbed Big Slide Mountain via the Brothers trail, we went through what appeared to be a cute little town.

Perhaps Keene Valley?
posted by stefnet at 10:40 AM on August 29, 2008

Response by poster: thank you both for your help already. it is greatly appreciated.

JohnnyGunn- hermit options are also appreciated, but I am trying to find an area where short term employment is possibly. maybe hermiting in early spring... so if you wouldnt mind sharing what you know, that would be helpful.

thanks again stefnet and johnnygunn.
posted by Nillocsoc at 10:44 AM on August 29, 2008

What kind of employment are you looking for?
posted by stefnet at 10:47 AM on August 29, 2008

I am a weekend warrior up there. I live downstate. I have a year round cabin, but to say I am familiar with employment opportunities is a stretch. Having said that. I think that in early spring you might find employment with a restaurant, the Park agency cleaning trails or at a hotel. Perhaps a substitute teaching role at the Schools in Indian Lake or the Town of Web schools in Old Forge. Inlet has a one (now two) room school house for its elementary school. Not knowing anything about you, I think that there would be a market in early spring for home owners who want their camps readied for the summer.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:00 AM on August 29, 2008

Response by poster: rather vague... harvesting, bakery, library, cafe... basically just something to pay rent and buy food (and be in a nice location).
posted by Nillocsoc at 11:04 AM on August 29, 2008

I see you are a history "buff". Try camp Sagamore. It is near Raquette Lake. It has internship programs and needs help in the spring summer seasons. The Adirondack Museum between Blue Mountain and Long Lake might also be a possibility.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2008

Slight derail, but speaking of bakeries, there is a bakery in Inlet that is to die for. I would seriously consider seeking employment there. Open year round but only on weekends in winter for the snow mobilers. There is a cafe accross the street from that Tamarack Cafe (?) that is open year round. The Red Dog in Inlet is also open year round serving bar food -- great wings!!!! -- and the like. A long shot is to suggest working at one of the children's summer camps. Warrensburg is a bigger town just off the Northway that would have more empoyment opportunities, but is closer to Lake George in feel than any of the toher towns mentioned.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:10 AM on August 29, 2008

Response by poster: thank you.

the bakery sounds nice. do many places "close up" for the winter months?
posted by Nillocsoc at 11:22 AM on August 29, 2008

do many places "close up" for the winter months?

I'd say it depends on whether the location gets the same amount of tourism for skiing and winter activities as the do in the summer. For example, Lake Placid is pretty much a year-round kind of place.
posted by stefnet at 11:50 AM on August 29, 2008

FYI, just about all places in the ADKs are oil heat and folks are expecting oil bills to be about 2x last year ($4-5k). There was a story about it on NPR, reported from Elizabethtown.
posted by jdfan at 1:33 PM on August 29, 2008

Best answer: This sounds like a fun idea, but the timing has to be right. A lot of places will hire before the summer and winter seasons, but try to shed staff in the spring and fall when things are quiet. So if you wait until you get there, I hope you have some money saved up first.

I lived in Saranac Lake from an August to December a few years ago. My husband's job burnt down, that put a damper on our plans to stay longer. But I really liked it there. I could actually walk from our place to the grocery and the kid's playground. Lots of cute little restaurants and shops, but without the traffic that came to the pricier stores in Placid. And every so often there would be a community event that would close down the downtown for music and sidewalk shopping. I think they had regular Gallery nights in the summer too. And the Winter Carnival is THE big event of the year. But the rest of winter is pretty dead. I remember that the first weekend we were there, they had a Summer Festival and it seemed like a really open, friendly town. But after labor day, a lot of activities slowed down, even the Burger King closed for the winter.

Here's a local paper to find rental information. A lot of students from Paul Smith's and NCCC live in Saranac Lake, so keep in mind that there will be competition for space when the terms is beginning. Craigslist does have a Plattsburgh-ADK section, but they haven't had it long and I rarely see things for the area. Another site for jobs would be America's Job Exchange, I trolled that for a long time and usually saw good openings.

I live just north of the blue line now, where it's actually a tiny bit warmer in the winter. I wasn't really bothered by the snow in Saranac, but it was sad that there was so little sun some days. It sets so soon behind the many hills and mountains. I think that's why I like the open plains of the St. Lawence Valley better now.
posted by saffry at 5:01 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks saffry. very informative.
thank you for the personal persepective!
posted by Nillocsoc at 12:42 PM on August 30, 2008

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