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Local culture and shopping in Saranac Lake has no resemblance to kitschy Adirondack crafts.

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Local culture and shopping in Saranac Lake has no resemblance to kitschy Adirondack crafts.

Soak up Live Music, from Funk to Folk, Year-Round

Despite what you might have expected from such a small, secluded town, Saranac Lake surprises as a serious middle-of-nowhere musical mecca. That’s owed to a variety of venues, from state-of-the-art performance spaces to outdoor pavilions in public parks, serving up stages for bands who pour out of these local mountains to play everything from Cajun to soul.

Where to Listen Up

Walk on the Wild Side at the Wild Center

Imagine something like the Manhattan High Line, just woven through the treetops with larger-than-life interactive attractions along the way, including an oversized bald eagle’s nest, a spider’s web big enough to catch humans, and a four-story twig house. Welcome to the Wild Walk, an elevated trail system raised 30 feet in the air to give you a unique perspective on the region’s lush landscape and diverse wildlife. And you’ll find it less than 25 minutes southwest in Tupper Lake’s acclaimed nature preserve and museum, The Wild Center.

Imagine Your Own "Miracle on Ice" at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum

The biggest draw of this small but comprehensive museum, paying tribute to Lake Placid’s 1932 and 1980 Winter Games, is the opportunity to relive the greatest victory in Olympic history: "The Miracle on Ice," when the US Men’s Hockey team toppled the Soviet Union to take gold in 1980. You’ll not only get up close with the gold medal and net that goalie Jim Craig minded, but also gain access to the nearby Herb Brooks Arena where the legendary game was won.

Relive How Saranac Lake Helped Treat Tuberculosis

In the era prior to antibiotics, fresh mountain air was the only treatment for tuberculosis. And that Saranac Lake had (and still has) in spades, leading to the building of the US’s first TB treatment and research lab here in 1894. Today, the Saranac Laboratory Museum, located across the street from Hotel Saranac, is home to the preserved lab, restored down to the exact cabinets, which treated thousands – including famous patients like Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson, renowned author Robert Louis Stevenson, and Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.

Find that Perfect Adirondack Souvenir

Don't expect any impersonal big-box stores here. Instead, the shopping experience in Saranac Lake centers around small, quiet, and quaint independent storefronts offering artisan items you won't find anywhere else, from rare board games and books to locally made maple syrup and unique gifts galore.

Not Your Typical Shopping

Mingle with ADK Artists in Their Saranac Lake Studios

Artistic inspiration comes easy in the Adirondacks, an undeniable result of the wild natural beauty that surrounds you with every step in this region. And Saranac Lake serves as the confluence where these artists come together to create and display their works in an assortment of downtown studios and storefronts.

See the Art & Meet the Artists

Take in a Show at a Small Theater with Big Talent

With just a 125 seats in a funky barn-like setting overlooking Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay, the Pendragon may be small, but that just means the performances, featuring everything from revived Broadway classics to contemporary drama to family-friendly seasonal offerings, are that much more up-close and personal. Not to mention, as the only year-round professional repertory theater in the Adirondacks, we’re not talking half-hearted actors, but true thespians who have performed all around the country.

Dive into the Literary Brain behind Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The masterpieces of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde might never have been if not for Saranac Lake. That’s because the town hosted the Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson, in one of its “cure cottages”Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage and Museum, the quaint farmhouse, no more than a half-mile from Hotel Saranac, holds the largest compilation of his memorabilia, including original furniture, early photographs, personal letters, and even his velvet smoking jacket.