Romancing the Park

by Lisa Bramen | February 2022, Travel

photograph by Jamie West McGiver


A guide to cozy winter getaways

If s
nuggling with your sweetheart by a crackling fireplace after a day of cavorting in the snow sounds like just your cup of cocoa, the Adirondacks can make your Rom-Com daydreams come true.

Here are a couple of the park’s most enchanting destinations for a winter trip for two.

Friends Lake

This private lake in Chestertown goes quiet after ice-in, making it the perfect spot for some alone time with your one and only. And with two intimate lodges on its shores, it has become an all-season favorite for weddings and elopements.

Whether you’re planning a proposal, a honeymoon or a “just-because” romantic getaway, The Fern Lodge (46 Fiddlehead Bay Road; 518-494-7238; has a package to fit your needs—with optional special touches like rose petals on the bed, in-room massages or a bottle of bubbly. Stay in one of five cozy rooms with modern rustic furnishings, Jacuzzi soaking tubs and including a multi-course breakfast. Spend the evening by your own private fireplace, just the thing for warming up after a snowshoe trek around the lodge’s trails.

Friends Lake Inn (963 Friends Lake Road; 518-504-3860;, under new ownership since 2019, has 17 rooms in the main lodge, some with in-room fireplaces, steam showers and jetted tubs, plus a private cabin. You’ll never need to leave the property: Breakfast is included, and you can order a picnic knapsack to enjoy while exploring the inn’s 17 miles of trails. Dinner is served in the inn’s Adirondack Dining Room or its more-casual Birch Bistro.

If you do choose to explore the area, try a private outing on a one-horse open sleigh with Circle B Ranch (711 Potter Brook Road; 518-494-4888;; sledding at Dynamite Hill (; a snowshoe tour of the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves (535 Stone Bridge Road, Pottersville;  518-424-2283; or skiing at Gore Mountain (518-251-2411;, a short drive away in North Creek. Be sure to stop in for lunch or sundaes at the charming Main Street Ice Cream Parlor (6339 Main Street, Chestertown; 518-494-7940).

Lake George

Winter on the Queen of American Lakes can be surprisingly dreamy. The hubbub of summer settles down, putting the region’s natural beauty center stage. Weekends in February, Lake George village hosts its Winter Carnival (, and a new frozen attraction called Ice Castles takes over the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons (

Bolton Landing’s historic Sagamore Resort (110 Sagamore Road; 866-384-1944; puts on its winter best in late January, with its Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge, elaborately carved out of 18,000 pounds of ice. Bonfires, live music and Saturday-night fireworks create a party atmosphere or, for a bit of privacy, reserve an outdoor igloo. The hotel has a full-service spa, a heated indoor pool and several restaurants, from the upscale Italian La Bella Vita to the casual Mr. Brown’s Pub.

Every fairy-tale romance needs a castle. The Queen Anne–style Inn at Erlowest (3178 Lake Shore Drive; 518-668-5928; on “Millionaire’s Row,” built in 1898 by Edward Morse Shepard, offers 10 sumptuously decorated suites, most with in-room Jacuzzis and fireplaces. Elegantly prepared dinners are served in the dining room, or guests can opt for a private heated glass igloo overlooking the lake.

All that’s left to do is live happily ever after.

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