“I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world that I have ever had. It certainly changed me forever.”

“I believe New Mexico was the best experience from the outside world that I ‘ve ever had. It certainly changed me eternally.”

The sun shines a little brighter, a little more difficult among the wide open spaces of New Mexico. To be out among the juniper hills and vast skies, cities and the Pueblos, the desert plains that bloom with wildflowers every spring, is to be part of a living painting. A landscape that has inspired everyone from Georgia O’Keeffe to Billy the Kid, New Mexico doesn’t only stand apart from the other 49 states.

Come for the arts arena and a cuisine that’s been shaped by Native American, Hispanic, and American influences; stay for outdoor adventures, culture, and New Mexico’s history. You won’t want to leave.

“Well! Well! Well!… This really is wonderful! No one told me it was like this.”

Georgia O’Keeffe summed up why a lot of artists come and not leave. The state’s history, culture, and loaded landscape are woven into the local art scene.

Come see yourself.




new mexico fibre arts

New Mexico is worth a trip for the cuisine alone. An unique fusion of American influences, and Native American, Spanish, there’s more to the local food arena than chile…though it’s a pretty fantastic improvement to, well, everything. Take on the Breakfast Burrito Byway or the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail to find out for yourself.

Or head out on the New Mexico Ale Trail, the Culinary Treasures trail (emphasizing the best of New Mexico’s family-operated hotspots), the Wine Trail; the Chocolate Trail…

new mexico true wine trail



New Mexico’s cultural scene is unmatched. From Santa Fe’s 95-year old Indian Market — the biggest Native art fair in the nation — to the weekly Native American dancing at Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, to the whimsy of October’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, to the concerts and performances that happen in towns and cities across the state, the culture and cultural offerings here are incredible.



Not many places have a history as rich as New Mexico’s. Home to nearly two dozen Native American nations, half a millennium of Hispanic culture, and plenty of True West lore, today’s New Mexico is a beautiful mashup of influences. From the windswept ruins of Chaco Culture National Historical Park to the once lawless town of Lincoln, here are just a few of the state’s most interesting historical sites.




With over 13 million acres of public land, virtually all of monuments and it open for use, as well as 17 national parks, 35 state parks, and 25 wilderness areas, it’s accurate: New Mexico was made for adventure.

World class rafting, kayaking, and fishing; rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking; windsurfing, scuba diving skiing — you can do it all here. And you’ll likely while you’re at it get astonishing weather. All things considered, New Mexico sees over 300 days of sunshine annually.



biking atlas huertas canyon


Search Results This is why I hate the term ‘gap year.’

Photo: Richardhe51067
Photo: Richardhe51067

N’T TAKE A GAP YEAR I DID,, and I don’t believe I should have. If I went back to my 18-year old self today, I still wouldn’t propose taking a year long jaunt around the world just a few weeks after my high school prom. At that time, I wasn’t besieged by folks who understood the benefits of overseas journey. My adolescent self could barely identify all the states in Europe, let alone Asia or Africa.

I hate the term gap because it’s white and too black. It doesn’t leave any room for flexibility. What I did do, and what changed my life in a remarkable way, was study abroad. I had lots of firsts to encounter, although by then I was 20.

To future generations, in the 1960s, elds looked in postwar Britain to encourage world peace and to prevent further conflict. They considered that if young people had the opportunity to experience different ways of life and different cultures, the attempts of world peace would then improve. Generation X, more popularly known as the baby boomers, were one of the first generations to openly challenge the lifestyle of the parents. They sought after new experiences, new challenges, and chances to meet new people. From an outside view, it appears that both generations were heading in the same direction, even if their initial motivations were marginally different. It was that the occurrence of the gap year started. Just one generation later, the gap year had become a rite of passage.

When, and did this notion of seeking new challenges and chances to meet people that are new shift? When did this become this type of contentious subject? For example: the experience must be long, that it can only occur within the transition from high school to college, that it must need a large sum of money.

Instead, I landed in a bunch of friends who were European, and each one among them spoke a handful of different languages — among the benefits of growing up a part of the EU, after all was the independence to travel throughout the countries that encompassed them. I was often forgotten about by my buddies and reverted back to their native languages in dialog. After a short while, I became furious and it wasn’t just because I felt excluded. Because I was the ignorant among the group I was angry with myself. I could only speak English. In frustration, I visited the bookstore and purchased some books so that you can learn French. Only half my group of buddies were French, but I thought that if I could at least understand something fundamental, numbers, days of the week, fruits and vegetables, it’d be better.

In the next weeks, I uncovered a natural ability and passion for foreign languages that I never knew existed.

Let ’s for a moment take away and break it down to the base, the first intent of the term from its resurrection in the 60s that is ’. Boost world peace, avoid further conflict. Expertise different cultures and different ways of life. Seek challenges that are new. Meet new people. I might like to incorporate another idea to the mixture, one that I consider is the best benefit of traveling. Step out of your comfort zone. Whichever interpretation you relate to most, it is within these notions that the largest personal growth originates.

When we break down the term gap year and look more carefully at what it’s truly designed to embody, we understand quite quickly these ideas can be realized at any age, with any amount of available time, be it one week or one year, and with any budget.

My semester abroad in New Zealand, which happened almost ten years ago, lit a fire in me that is still burning. I was quickly taken by that to China where English teachers were in high demand and where I could study yet another foreign language. A total of six years in China led me to work in a 5-star resort in Shanghai and most recently, move back to the United States to begin my own business designing personalized itineraries for clients traveling around the globe.

I’ve traveled solo, I’ve stayed with my family in boutique hotels, and I’ve also spent less than $5 USD a night to sleep with one eye open in hostels that are questionable in seeing with almost 20 countries. I sometimes prefer to be idle on a beach, to zone out and unplug, when traveling. Other times I head directly to the top of mountains and volcanoes. Taking time to do anything will require a little cash, but perhaps not as much as you think.

I’d hesitate to support any sort of long-term, or a gap year traveling unless the traveler has specifically identified a motive due to their journey. Give yourself a little liberty mixed in with some construction. Volunteer with the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps. For three weeks more meditation and study yoga for a couple of weeks in a ashram, then explore the state. Live with a local family while studying a language that is new, then travel on your own before heading home. Offer to dig water wells for three weeks, then travel for one more. Immerse yourself first, surround yourself with locals which will empower you as a voyager to peer into their lifestyle. This will offer you a brand new view once you start traveling around their country. Because each of the above alternatives can happen at any point in your lifetime, not only during the transition between high school and faculty I dislike the term gap year.


Walking into the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an incredible experience, no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

sheikh zayed grand mosque


Walking into the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an unbelievable experience, no matter how many times you’ve seen it.
Chandeliers made of Swarovski crystals and gold; the world’s greatest handmade carpeting, which took 1,200 craftsmen two years to design, tie its 2,268,000,000 knots, and weave the pieces together before it was concluded; 82 domes; marble walls and 351-foot minarets surrounded by reflecting pools; an unique lighting system designed to reflect the phases of the moon…there’s a rationale why Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has been voted the world’s second-favorite landmark by TripAdvisor users.

Grand Mosque is one of biggest mosques on the planet and receives pilgrims from all over the world during Eid parties. Outside of prayer times, it open to non-Muslims. The free, 45- to 60-minute guided tours are an excellent way to learn and ask questions about Islamic culture.

It’s the ultimate place to fulfill your need for speed.


It’s the ultimate place to fill your need for speed.
You may even do your best Sebastian Vettel impression in a 4.7-litre V8 Aston Martin or 6.2-litre V8 Chevrolet Camaro at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place every November. And in a few years the Warner Bros. theme park and resort — a world first — will also open on Yas Island. Prepare for wild rides that would make Batman and Superman proud.

Children don’t have to miss out on the actions either. They navigate roundabouts and traffic lights under the guidance of skilled teachers and can become Junior GT Ferrari Motorists at the Ferrari Driving School. At Yas Waterworld, children may also try out rides an interactive treasure hunt, like the dizzying looping water slide, and a hanging roller coaster — complete with lasers.

Beach life is never far away.


It’s the ultimate place to fill your need for speed.
You may even do your best Sebastian Vettel impression in a 4.7-litre V8 Aston Martin or 6.2-litre V8 Chevrolet Camaro at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place every November. And in a few years the Warner Bros. theme park and resort — a world first — will also open on Yas Island. Prepare for wild rides that would make Batman and Superman proud.

Children don’t have to miss out on the actions either. They navigate roundabouts and traffic lights under the guidance of skilled teachers and can become Junior GT Ferrari Motorists at the Ferrari Driving School. At Yas Waterworld, children may also try out rides an interactive treasure hunt, like the dizzying looping water slide, and a hanging roller coaster — complete with lasers.

It’s home to a hospital you actually want to visit.


It’s the ultimate place to fill your need for speed.
You may even do your best Sebastian Vettel impression in a 4.7-litre V8 Aston Martin or 6.2-litre V8 Chevrolet Camaro at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place every November. And in a few years the Warner Bros. theme park and resort — a world first — will also open on Yas Island. Prepare for wild rides that would make Batman and Superman proud.

Children don’t have to miss out on the actions either. They navigate roundabouts and traffic lights under the guidance of skilled teachers and can become Junior GT Ferrari Motorists at the Ferrari Driving School. At Yas Waterworld, children may also try out rides an interactive treasure hunt, like the dizzying looping water slide, and a hanging roller coaster — complete with lasers.

This is the greenest emirate in the country.


First -timers can’t consider the quiet city of Al Ain, two hours east of the capital, is part of Abu Dhabi. Here there are no skyscrapers, the roads that are narrow are lined by date palms, there’s barely any traffic, and the names of shops are in Arabic. Once an essential oasis on the caravan route between Oman and the UAE, Al Ain is encircled by six oases fed by the underground falaj irrigation system dating back to 1,000 BC, and is the birthplace of the late creator of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Zayed is accountable for spearheading the development of projects including Green Mubazzarah, where you can lease a chalet surrounded by manicured lawns and appreciate natural hot springs at the base of the Jebel Hafeet mountains and maintaining by demanding height limitations on buildings Al Ain’s tranquility.

Al Ain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can explore Emirati history.


Al Ain is also the place to go to find the most direct glimpse of Emirati history in the UAE. This is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited settlements, where visitors can get real insight into the traditions of the country.

To discover the origins of the UAE, visit Al Ain National Museum, featuring 4,000-year-old pottery and coins, golden swords, and traditional musical instruments; the beautiful Al Ain Palace Museum, once home to the royal family; the fairytale-like, 19th-century Al Jahili Fort; the stunning Qasr Al Muwaiji, a new museum and exhibition space which tells the story of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the city and celebrates the birthplace of UAE president HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan; and Hili Archaeological Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Fossil Valley that’s home to 5,000-year-old petrogylphs and Bronze Age settlements.

The Al Ain Camel Market is as authentic as it gets.


The biggest livestock market in the state is open at the Al Ain Camel Market. You’ll discover yourself being led by proud owners to newborns, young camels, and long legged race-bred studs for photo opps (it’s a nice gesture to make a little payment). See on you and a busy day ’ll be treated to friendly although convincing market banter with potential buyers.

The beauty of the Empty Quarter is unparalleled…


That is actual desert, and a landscape that is truly surreal. Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter, is the biggest and least forgiving desert on the Arabian Peninsula, where the shifting sands reflect red and the gold -streaked sundown. An occasional sighting of the endangered Arabian oryx is a welcome bonus on a tour by means of this unique location.

…and it’s just the place for a desert safari.

desert safari

Organize your excursion with one of the emirate’s many outfitters and get picked up from your hotel in a 4×4. Time to head deep into the world biggest contiguous sand desert that is ’s for “dune bashing” — ripping around miniature sand mountains — an enormous Arabic bbq, quad biking and camel trekking, and sand surfing while the sun sets.

This is the only desert in the world that hosts a beauty pageant.


Every December, those in the know make the journey to the 15 -day Al Dhafra Festival in Liwa, an unique festival celebrating Emirati culture and heritage. The highlight of the occasion is the Mazayna — a beauty contest featuring UAE Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, and Yemen., Saudi

Their owners and the animals journey to compete for prizes worth around $15 million. Other events worth watching are the classic car competition, camel racing, horse racing, a dog race of purebred Arabian salukis, and — of course — falconry.


22 images that will make you want to travel to Mantua, Italy

MANTUA, found in the Italian region of Lombardy, was named the 2016 Italian Capital of Culture. Jointly with Sabbioneta, it ’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site and has remained untouched. If you not convinced about seeing, well,… check out the pictures below.

From there, Sabbioneta is just over 30 minutes by bus, which runs often even on weekends or by car.

All photographs are from participants in the #inLombardia365 tour in Sabbioneta and Mantua.

1. In the historic center at Piazza Concordia.

Photo: Geotraveler’s Niche
Photo: Geotraveler’s Niche


2. Street scenes of the locals downtown.

Photo @lancestein
Photo @lancestein

3. Saint George Castle, a defensive fortress built in 1406 that later became one of the most important examples of the Italian Renaissance.

Photo Geotraveler’s Niche 1
Photo Geotraveler’s Niche 1


4. The park in front of Palazzo Te.

Photo @celicelo
Photo @celicelo

5. The historic center is full of cobblestone streets.


6. Bibiena Theater, which first opened in 1769.


7.The theater was said of by Leopold Mozart , “In all my life, I ‘ve never seen anything more beautiful of its sort.”


8.The private home of Andrea Mantegna, the ill-famed Renaissance artist, is now an artistic center hosting temporary exhibitions. Just remember to look up. It is possible to locate it in Via Acerbi 47


9.Pumpkin tortelli. Sweet, savory, and served with a nice Lambrusco wine. Swing by Giallo Zucca for some traditional Mantuan cuisine (grab a seat on the outside veranda if you can).


10.Piazza delle Erbe is a great spot to grab a drink or a meal and do some people watching.


11.Road arenas at merely one of the weekend markets within Mantua where you can purchase clothes, vegetables, local cheeses, meats, flowers, handcrafted items and more.


12.The Chamber with floor to ceiling frescoes, of the Giants, is a Renaissance masterpiece by Giulio Romano in Palazzo Te.


13.More interiors at Palazzo Te. This palace was originally constructed for recreational purposes and was surrounded by pristine nature. Take a tour through the multitudinous halls.


14. Peeking out into a stunning courtyard of the Ducal Palace.


15. Classic Italian design.


16.Sabbioneta, referred to as the perfect city, was made in the late 16th century and attributes some of the most unbelievable structure.


17.A guy sits in the only Synagogue of Sabbioneta dating back to 1824. It’s located inside a personal building and still holds service low population of around 400.


18.Newly made pasta at a cooking class in Mantua. Astonishing food, and since they instruct you just how to do it, it is possible to go home. Check out the Peccati di Gola Cooking School to try your hand at homemade tortelli.


19.Only a little something to hold you over while the main courses are cooking.


20. Mincio River.


21. In Mantua you can have happy hour on a boat while you watch the sunset.


22.Viewing the boat take off after a spin on the river…


7 Things Nobody Tells You About Backpacking

Photo  Kate Brady
Photo Kate Brady

I BOUGHT MY FIRST PLANE TICKET for a solo trip when I was 18. I ‘d decided to climb Kilimanjaro much on a whim and with the vague hope of impressing girls, and was looking forward to my first venture. Before I left, my mum insisted on taking me to an outdoor shop where I was piled high with everything from carbon fiber tent pegs (for a tent I didn’t have) to emergency flares. It seemed that everybody in the store, and truly all my mates, suddenly had an opinion on backpacking. I was bombarded from all sides with advice and work out precisely what a backpacker was supposed to and I studied up on-line to try, well, do.

Seven years after and I ‘ve spent most of my adult life backpacking around far flung lands. I thought I knew it all, but it turned out that there are 7 things about backpacking… no one tells you


1. You will never sleep

You’ll scarcely sleep. Instead, you may get up super early to catch a dawn, make the most of the free breakfast that is hostel, steal bread and head out to go exploring. Around midday, it will start to get hot so you have a beer or two, and perhaps will find someplace more amazing to swim, play cards. You’ll bump into someone you seven beers later and recognize you’ll be out on the town. Following a glitzy, loud, sometimes pointblank shameful night, you stumble into your dorm and will scale over the bolted hostel gate. It is going to hit you like a tidal wave when you do sleep and you’ll only lie down in the street to have a small snooze. I’ve been known to fall asleep while hanging to the outside of tuk-tuks.

2. At some point, poo will become a problem.

Where the hell you’re traveling to now this depends on: you might get only a bit of an upset stomach if you’re fortunate and headed somewhere comparatively clean. Well, that’s a whole other level, if you’re unlucky. I’ve seen a buddy autumn into a lengthy drop toilet. Another pal of mine had the shits for almost half a year after a particularly poor curry in Delhi. I, however, am pretty much bulletproof and have spent just 2 days out of nearly 1000 with tummy problems. My magic weapon: coconut water. Nothing hydrates coconut water as well as you. If you can’t get that, put some salt in a cocaine — it’s a man’s medicine that is poor, but it undoubtedly works.

3. Your definition of “Clean” changes very quickly.

Suddenly, the tank top will become your ‘Sunday best.’ That is mostly because all your other tank tops smell of curry, fish (you hope) or shame. You’re in a humid, sweaty state and when you just have four pairs of panties, it seems sensible to choose dark shades. By the time I am prepared to wash it, and I tend to wear a tank top for about three days at a time, something I ‘d never do in the UK, I am usually tempted to don a biohazard suit. Saying that, despite the fact that everybody is wearing sweaty, dirty clothes, backpackers all somehow tend to LOOK astounding. After a really short time period, you no further notice dirty hair, perspiration marks or running mascara — everyone is fucking

4. You will fall in love all the bloody time.

You will meet with people who you click with and spend every second of the next week together. They are going to become your partners in crime, your best friends. You get together, will head off investigating together and get lost together. Finally, you’ll have more powerful links with some of these individuals then your best friends back home. Sometimes while you’re traveling you meet someone who you are able to fall in love with in just a couple of hours — if you dig someone and the vibe is appropriate, it’s gonna happen. The hard part is saying goodbye: you understand you won’t see many of the folks you meet. And frankly, this just sucks.

5. You’ll come up with elaborate plans to see EVERYBODY again.

Mine is to get hold of a van and drive it all over the world visiting with the folks I ‘ve met on my travelings… Then I think on recruiting a couple of choice individuals to construct a hamlet in the woods man, with me, so we can be, like, at one with nature. Seriously though, over a few beers, you’ll determine you just MUST see so-and-so and will wind up booking a random flight to the middle of nowhere, chasing down a bus or hitching out to the jungle in search of ‘the blonde girl with the alibaba pants’ (I never did locate her).

6. You can find something for a dollar almost everywhere.

Whether it’s a handcrafted scarf in India, a wooden carving in Guatemala or a clay Saki cup in Japan; you can buy something worth having for under a dollar in absolutely every single nation in the whole world. Give me a dollar, point me in the direction of some arbitrary state, and I’ll find something worth having that is amazing. Since this is true, why spend a bundle on memorabilia? The best things you can buy are frequently paintings or handmade carvings, and you are able to often get these quite cheaply once you learn how you can haggle!

7. People all around the world are generally nice and will want to help you.

It sounds too good to be true, but the world is just not as hostile a location as the media would have us believe. Every nation has people that are good and every country has lousy. I befriended by local folks on innumerable occasions, saved, and have been helped. Linking and meeting with different individuals around the world is what it ’s all around and has always been my favorite part of backpacking. I travel never to explore areas but to investigate new cultures, new folks, and new vibes. Always remember: it doesn’t matter how stern someone looks — they’ll still have a sense of humor (except the French: those guys are relentless motherfuckers). I advocate handstands if you must break the ice.


1. It’s called Mirror Lake for a motive.



As you head out of the bustle of the city and make the drive north into the shadows of the yellow birch and red spruce lining the shores of the area’s thousands of lakes and ponds, you’ll likely end up itching to escape on all that water.

Motorboats are discouraged and jet skis are prohibited, keeping the water magnificently calm. Here, it’s all about quieter water activities. The best is SUP boarding; it’s the perfect means to research a lake of this size (it is possible to walk around the entire thing in under an hour). There’s also canoeing, kayaking, paddleboats, and an excellent public beach.

2. There’s a water ski slalom course.
Major islands — Buck and Moose — breaking up the center. ’s enormous, with two at nearly 2,200 acres, it Many areas around the lake are inaccessible by car, so getting on the water is the only way to take in Lake Placid in all its wild glory.

Lake Placid caters to all manner of watersports — analyze the waters on skis, a wakeboard, or a tube. There’s also a water ski slalom course if you’re feeling competitive.

3. Chasing whitewater is not difficult.

chasing white water
The place’s most extreme whitewater rapids are available on the upper Hudson River, a little over an hour approximately from Lake Placid by auto. Rafting day trips start from Table Rock, a big, level, natural sweep at the river’s border just above the chasm.

You’ll find the biggest rapids. In summer, the water becomes warmer and a rafting trip is a comfortable matter.

4. It is possible to see a concert.
SUP Lake Placid offers board rental bundles for the occasion, dinner from Creperie & Big Mountain Deli included.

Live music ranges from reggae to blues to rock. When it’s over, you’re nicely placed for a stroll down Main Street for drinks or dinner.

5. You’ve got access to possibly the most immaculate canoe path on Earth.

The historical Seven Carries canoe course once took visitors between several grand 19th century resorts — the Saranac Inn on Upper Saranac Lake and Paul Smith’s Resort on Lower St. Regis Lake — popular with US presidents of days-gone-by. Both resorts finally burned down, and the class is far less traveled, but no less stunning now. It part of the state’s simply designated canoe place.

Despite the name, there are truly just six carries, among which is especially long at a half-mile from St. Regis Pond to Little Clear Pond. (Fortunately, today’s Kevlar and composite materials make canoes much lighter than they once were.) The consciousness of solitude merely heightens.

6. There’s an awesome local swimming hole.
Take the dip in the cliff above the swimming hole in the bottom of Flume Fall, one of a series of falls along a narrow, gushing expanse of the Ausable River. Try to keep your eyes open during the descent — you’ll see stone and conifer -lined banks before you hit on the cool, clear water rushing past you. Coming here can definitely be an adrenaline rush.

Or not. The autumns above are worth investigating as well, and reachable by bridges and simple trails. As they’re right off Route 86 near Wilmington, about 12 miles from Lake Placid, whatever your approach, there’s no trek essential to check out these cascades.

7. Round here, it is possible to see how the tycoons summered.

The camps of Upper St. Regis Lake are a throwback to the days of huge city swag in the area. They ’re as lavish as they’re pastoral, and each one is well preserved and distant — and now more than half the camps are only reachable by water. Keep a watch out especially for Topridge, which belonged to Marjorie Merriweather Post, one time wealthiest woman in America after she founded General Foods in the 1920s. It’s likely the only camp with its funicular — a cable railway that takes guests from the water up the hill to the primary property.

A fleet of exquisite wooden sailboats built at the turn of the 20th century specifically for the owners of the camps on St. Regis still races throughout the summer months. Despite the atmosphere of exclusivity, anyone can appreciate Upper St. Regis Lake via the public boat launch and marina, even during the boat races.

8. The waterfront dining doesn’t get.
I never leave Lake Placid without grabbing lunch on the deck of The Bungalow on Mirror Lake. Possessed by the nearby historic Mirror Lake Inn, it’s a famous après ski area, but for my cash it better in the summer months. Sip on one of the eight beers on tap, purchase a flatbread pizza, and look out over the water to the High Peaks in the background.

The Brown Dog Café & Wine Bar down the road is another superb waterfront choice on Mirror Lake. You’ll get amazing views of sunset reflections and candlelit dinners of Maine dayboat scallops, organic Scottish salmon, chicken schnitzel — essentially whatever strikes your fancy.

9. It’s even possible to get in the water.

To get a more comprehensive sense of the bodies of water in this region of the Adirondacks, head straight up. Several mountains in the Lake Placid region have hikes that can be completed in an afternoon, with summits that make it simple to appreciate views of some of the 2,700 lakes and ponds scattered throughout north-central New York.

St. Regis Mountain is a relatively simple hike that’s excellent for children and older hikers. The view at the top comprises no fewer than 30 lakes, like Upper and Lower St. Regis, Spitfire, and Upper and Lower Saranac Lakes. The peak view would be worth the effort, although anticipate a couple of relatively difficult scrambles near the top. From here you’ll see Ampersand Lake and the wonderful Saranac Lakes, among others.

The water views are as amazing — and plentiful — from up high from down low as they can be.