A recent fall getaway to the Adirondacks allowed me to scope out the best places to shop. No outlet malls on my list (If you want ’em, they’re in Lake George)! Here are my top 5 places to visit to find great artisan, antique and unique local finds.
1. Keene and Keene Valley. These two little towns don’t seem to be worth stopping in and in fact we drove through them twice before I insisted we put the brakes on and check it out. You will want to go in The Birch Store, which is next to the Noon Mark Diner. Then head a tiny bit north and pop into Dartbrook Rustic Goods for a true Adirondack experience. I bought an amazing artisan-crafted hemlock basket here. Within walking distance is a soap shop and a few other shops to pop into. I didn’t notice most as we drove past but once I got out and walked, there were a lot of places to go. ADK Market and Rivermede Market are also worth a stop. We bought some truly amazing Nettle Meadow Cheese here which made nearby. Keene Valley is also a beautiful spot for photos. There is a dilapidated barn in a field that is probably the most photographed spot in town. There
are also lots of little turn offs for creeks that are very picturesque.
2. Bolton Landing I was taken by surprise by Bolton Landing. The town of Lake George is a super tacky tourist town with nothing I wanted to buy. 15 minutes down the road, Bolton Landing surprised me. There are tons of fun little shops all packed together in the town center on Lakeshore Drive. I really enjoyed Trees, a book and gift shop. Be sure to stop in at Lakeview Trading, Indian Teepee Gifts (kind of touristy, but I checked it out), Serendipity Boutique, Adirondack Trails, and Lakeview Antiques, a tiny little shop set at the end of a driveway inside an old garage. It’s bigger than it looks and we bought a couple of things in here.
3. Saranac Lake. Saranac Lake is about a 10 minute drive from Lake Placid, so it’s definitely easy to add it to your itinerary. At first glance, there’s not much here, but we found
two galleries worth a stop. Adirondack Artist’s Guild is a cooperative gallery and we bought an original watercolor (not cheap) as well as some amazing pottery decorated with driftwood from the lake (cheap). Northwind Fine Arts is the other gallery in town.
4. Lake Placid. There is plenty of shopping to be done in Lake Placid. Main Street is very walkable, once you find a parking spot (there was plenty of parking on the fall weekend we visited, but it clearly becomes crazy in the summer). We stopped in at Saratoga Olive Oil. If you’ve been in a shop that sells a variety of flavored oils and vinegars this will be nothing new to you, but we thought it was fun. They have other locations, including one in Saratoga Springs. Other shops in town worth a stop include Lake Placid Christmas, , Fanfare, The Haus on Mirror Lake, The Glass Blowing Shop, and The Adirondack Trading Company. We really like the Adirondack Popcorn Company which has
a lot of very thoughtful and nicely made flavored popcorns and caramel corns. Buy some of their locally themed flavors like Adirondack Jack or Firestarter. Outside of town, we also stopped at The Adirondack Store and the antique shop next door where I bought a nice Fire King Jadeite bowl for a good price. If you’re in the market for an Adirondack chair, you’ll find several furniture shops in town.
5. Glenwood Manor in Queensbury. If you’re visiting Saratoga Springs or Lake George, this is within 20 minutes and is worth a drive. I kind of lost my mind in this antique store. It’s three floors of a huge, huge old house and
each room is a different dealer. There is simply tons and tons of wonderful old things to look at and there is also one room that is a gift shop with new items. They say the third floor is haunted, which simply adds to the appeal. I left with a couple boxes of finds, at very good prices.
6. Oscar’s Smokehouse. I was skeptical about Oscar’s Smokehouse which is located in Warrensburg, very near Lake George. If you think you’ve heard of Warrensburg, it’s because they have the world’s largest garage sale every fall and we happened to be in town for it. My advice is to skip the garage sale unless you want to spend at least an entire day combing through piles of everyone’s junk. We were told that lots of dealers come and set up booths here but I didn’t seen anything worth stopping for. Instead, head into Oscar’s. Rachel Ray is from this area and touts Oscar’s. She’s dead on. It’s basically a butcher shop with cases of smoked everything you can imagine, all smoked locally. I would be more excited if the meats were organic, but I made an exception. You’ll want to get bacon of course, but we also brought home smoked turkey, chicken, pheasant, pork chops, mozzarella, brie, and cheddar. We also bought some sausages (not smoked) which were all wonderful. The counter staff is a bit rough and tumble and we got some attitude when we asked about gluten (“In my day we didn’t have gluten, we just had cholesterol.”). Oscar also lets you order from their web site, so you don’t have to come in person with your cooler like we did! So far we’ve enjoyed the turkey, pheasant, sausage and cheese and it is all excellent with a very delicate smoke flavor. Nettle Meadow Cheese is located about 10 minutes away from Oscar’s so that is something else to add to your itinerary.
A recent fall getaway to the Adirondacks allowed me to scope out the best places to shop. No outlet malls on my list (If you want ’em, they’re in Lake George)! Here are my top 5 places to visit to find great artisan, antique and unique local finds. 1. Keene and Keene Valley. These two … Read more