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Top 5: Museums to Visit in the Adirondacks

by Holly Riddle

Apr 25, 2022

© Jiawangkun | Dreamstime.com

Top 5 / North America

The Adirondacks of New York aren’t just all mountains and outdoor fun. If you visit the region this summer and find yourself stuck with a rainy day or two, head to one of these top five museums.


Whether or not you’re a sports fan, you’ll find lots to love at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Set inside the arena that hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics, the museum is currently undergoing a major facelift, the results of which travelers will be able to enjoy soon. In the meantime, the adjacent Olympic Center is hosting a temporary gallery with an exhibit titled, Totally 80: 80 Objects from the Lake Placid Olympic Museums Collection. The temporary exhibit is free to visit.


Saranac Lake was a prominent tuberculosis treatment destination around the beginning of the 20th century. The Saranac Laboratory was the first lab built in the entire country for tuberculosis research in 1894. Today, the historic lab houses an array of exhibits detailing the destination’s relationships with this deadly disease.


The Adirondack Experience: The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake offers a mixture of permanent and ever-changing exhibits. Permanent exhibits focus on topics like the region’s history as a vacation destination for the state’s elite, as well as the region’s relationships with the lumber industry. Only open in the summer, the museum features a campus with more than 20 buildings and 120 acres, with outdoor activities on offer as well, including hikes and rowing.


The Wild Center similarly combines the outdoors with indoor exhibits, with its 54,000-square-foot exhibit hall surrounded by acres of walking trails and outdoor art installations. Learn about Adirondack wildlife, maple syrup production and more.


Lastly, for literature aficionados, the Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage and Museum is the place to go. The small historic site features the Stevenson family’s original furnishings, books and manuscript materials, as well as other related memorabilia.


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