Family summer vacations are one of the hallmarks of growing up: creating memories of new places and adventures shared. Tupper Lake is the perfect place for a family vacation, with plenty of opportunities for making memories on the trail, the water, and over a shared sweet treat. Here are our picks to help you craft the perfect family day in Tupper Lake:
For some people, yours truly included, one of the perks of going on a family vacation is breakfast out at a restaurant. In Tupper, we love going to The Lumberjack Inn, a friendly spot popular with locals that serves hearty diner food. Whether you’re into pancakes, French toast, or a classic omelet, you’ll find it at The Lumberjack.
If you’d rather get a quick breakfast to eat on the run, stop by Well Dressed Food on historic Park Street for cappuccino for the grownups and a smoothie for the kids. Just down the street, Washboard Donut Shop offers fresh homemade donuts with a variety of toppings, from the classic cinnamon sugar to their famous maple and bacon frosting. After all, you’re on vacation, so why not indulge?
The great outdoors
The Wild Center
No trip to Tupper Lake is complete without an introduction to the natural wonders of the Adirondacks at The Wild Center, The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks. Through interactive and live exhibits, including river otters, freshwater fish, turtles, and the diverse environments they thrive in. The Wild Center offers a close look at the extraordinary natural world that makes up the Adirondacks. Exhibits were designed with kids in mind, with displays and animal tanks at eye level for little visitors. The otters are especially fun to watch as they splash, swim, and play.
A new exhibit, Ways of Knowing, was unveiled in 2018 and shares the dynamic story of New York’s first residents: the indigenous Iroquoians. The multi-faceted exhibit shares Iroquois teachings about living in the natural world and how we can learn from the world around us. The exhibit was created in cooperation with the Six Nations Indian Museum, Native North American Traveling College, and Akwesasne Cultural Center.
Outside, the Wild Walk is a treetop adventure, providing a unique view of the forest, with opportunities to learn about the small mammals, including birds, bats, and squirrels, that live in the trees. Jump in a giant spider’s web and climb into a human-sized bird’s nest. You just might feel a little less human and a little more wild.
The Wild Center also offers guided paddling trips on the adjacent Raquette River, a gentle spot letting you get close to nature and is designed for paddlers of all levels. If you'd rather stay on dry land, why not try a walk on one of the trails on the property? Guided walks with a naturalist are offered, but you can explore on your own.
Little Logger Playground, on the shore of Raquette Pond just north of downtown, is a fun new spot for a scenic picnic and some playtime on the playground's tree fort-style jungle gyms and climbing boulder. Your little ones will have a blast running, climbing, and swinging, while you can soak up the sun and the great view. Interpretive panels along the waterfront, created by The Wild Center, provide information about the environmental impact that industry has had on the land around Tupper Lake, which was once a major logging community.
If you'd like your day to have a bit more of a challenge, then a hike up Coney Mountain might be just the thing you're looking for. Winding through pine trees, this hike is within the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest and features a new trail. The 1.1 mile route is easy to moderate, so even small children can enjoy the wooded, sometimes rocky terrain. From the top, views of Goodman Mountain, Mount Morris, and Tupper Lake are awesome and perfect for snapping the ultimate family vacation photo.
Tupper after dark
Make sure you save time and energy for some evening activities; Tupper Lake has some of the most unique around! The popular Summer Sunset Series will be returning on Fridays in July, providing entertainment in the bandshell at Flanders Park, adjacent to Little Loggers. The gorgeous backdrop of the water and a famous Adirondack sunset make an excellent setting for live music and entertainment.
A stellar finish
Once the sun sets, for some the adventure is just getting started and the biggest stars in Tupper Lake activities have their time to shine. The Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory on Big Wolf Road is dedicated to sharing the wonders of the night sky. Every Friday night in summer, as long as the weather cooperates, the Observatory offers free stargazing through their collection of telescopes. Guided by enthusiastic volunteers, you'll have the opportunity to see planets, nebulae, and stars, their light reaching us from millions of light years away, deep in the past.
Summer in Tupper Lake is full of events, including Woodsmen's Days, the Adirondack Sky Festival, and the long-running Masonic Flea Market & Craft Fair, so be sure check our events page when you plan your Tupper Lake vacation, to maximize your fun.
Our lodging page is a handy guide to help you find the perfect place to rest your head. After a busy day in Tupper Lake, you'll sleep well and dream of newly made memories.