One Stop Shops and Scenic Drives in the ADK

One Stop Shops and Scenic Drives in the ADK

Sunday drives. Those two simple words evoke a special sense of calm. When I was young, my parents often piled my brother and me into the car and took off with no real destination in mind. We would take turns choosing right or left at intersections, and wherever we ended up we felt as though we had discovered a secret. With so much natural beauty in the Adirondacks, it’s not hard to find a scenic drive. But what about the destinations? 

Tucked into small towns and down back roads, the Adirondacks is home to countless hidden gems just waiting to be discovered! They all have a story, a unique flair, and a treasure in store for you. They also make for some of the best one-stop shops you’ll ever find. Consider it retail therapy on the road. From tasty treats to arts, crafts, and odd knicknacks, you can find a little bit of everything. So the next time you need to relax, get in the car and turn your wheels toward these one-stop shops. 


The Community Store

A drive south along Route 3 will take you past the beautiful McKenzie Mountain Wilderness and along the Saranac River, eventually bringing you to Saranac Lake. A charming mountain town, Saranac Lake offers a wide variety of local shops, art galleries, and eateries. Park the car and take a stroll to The Community Store, Saranac Lake’s true one-stop shop. They provide a well-balanced selection of artisan items and necessities. True to their slogan, Locally Inspired – Community Owned, The Community Store stocks lots of locally made items. They also offer great discounts to local college students, area residents, seniors, and veterans and military personnel. Shop books, jewelry, craft supplies, home essentials, and even apparel before getting back on the road.


The Washboard/Donut Shoppe

It’s an age-old problem – you need to do your laundry, but you’re also craving a donut. We’ve all been there. Luckily, Tupper Lake’s unique one-stop shop, The Washboard/Donut Shoppe, has you covered. That’s right, there is a genius out there that combined a laundromat with a donut shop. While I can’t speak to the quality of their washers and dryers, their donuts are to die for. Old fashioned and homemade, they are the perfect perfume for your newly clean clothes. As if that wasn’t enough, the same location also stocks locally-inspired arts and crafts! Pick out an assorted dozen of donuts, hop in the car, and cruise along Route 30 toward Long Lake. You’ll wind past Tupper Lake itself and then hit one of my favorite stretches of road in the Adirondacks. Gently rising and falling, this straight shot affords long-distance mountain views with lakes and ponds to your left and right. It’s Insta-perfect.


Black Rooster Maple

A drive down Route 73 from Lake Placid through Keene and Keene Valley is stunning any time of year. You’ll pass Adirondack Loj Road and one of the best views of the High Peaks Wilderness before winding your way down the Cascades. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the road opens up and before you lies the Great Range. As you’re taking in all this beauty, be sure you don’t miss Black Rooster Maple. This specialized one-stop shop offers maple syrup, maple cream, maple candy, and even Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup, all held in a tiny hut just outside of Keene. While you can find them at many of the region’s farmer’s markets, it’s way more fun to visit them in person!


Adirondack Life

Route 9N is another picturesque riverside drive you won’t want to miss. Mosey along with the windows down and you may even see a moose! Nestled between Au Sable Forks and Keene is the tiny town of Jay, home to the well-known Adirondack Life publication. Since 1968, they have been the premier magazine of the Adirondacks, keeping locals and visitors alike informed, educated, and entertained. Now, they have a store as well! Much like their magazine, their store covers everything Adirondack, from hats and t-shirts to Adirondack baskets, regional maps, and artisan crafts.


The Market Barn

All roads lead to Malone, so there’s no dull way to get to their best one-stop shop, located just outside of downtown on Route 11. The Market Barn and MB Deli was originally built as a livestock auction barn in 1968, so you know there is tons of retail space! Updated for year-round comfort, the Market Barn now provides space for 80 individual local vendors to display and sell their art, goods, and antiques. Since shopping can work up an appetite, they also have an onsite deli, open daily, with eat in and take out options. Grab a made-to-order deli sandwich, or try one of their specialty sandwiches, salads, or seasonal items.


Towne Store

The best one-stop shops are the ones with a little history. The Towne Store in Schroon Lake has plenty of it – 136 years in fact! Once the town’s General Store, inventory has changed from dry goods, grains, tools, and material to a wide selection of jewelry, home goods, and Adirondack décor. Head upstairs for Art in the Attic – a display of local paintings, photography, and artisan crafts by local makers. Don’t forget to stop on the second floor first, though, to enjoy NY wines and craft brews at Vine & Barley. Sit out on the terrace and feast on a delicious meal while you’re there too. If you’re in the area to enjoy the outdoors, they also have a selection of camping supplies to supplement your stock or save you from a pinch if there’s anything you’ve forgotten. While The Northway is the easiest and fastest way to get to Schroon Lake, pump the brakes and instead take your time on Route 9. Running parallel to Route 87, this route offers better views for a lazy drive.


Farmers Markets and Stands

If you think about it, a farmers market is really the ultimate one-stop shop, and the Lake Champlain region has tons for you to choose from! Stop by the Elizabethtown Farmers Market on Fridays through October for seasonal produce, freshly baked breads, and locally canned preserves. The Ticonderoga Farmers Market also offers local honey and maple syrup, and a wide variety of artisan crafts. Or, head straight to the source at Triple Green Jade Farm in Willsboro. Dan and Kimmy Rivera have worked hard to restore their 80 acre farm into a working business, and added a wood-fired bread oven where they use local and organic grains and ingredients to create hand-made artisan breads and baked goods. Head down South Mountain View Drive (Route 14) to visit them and take in a different Adirondack view – one of lush, expansive farmland dotted with grazing cows and mounded hay.


Blue Line Coffee House and Finders Keepers Gift Shop

I know Route 28 like the back of my hand. Originally from Utica, NY, I drove Route 28 every time I visited the Adirondacks growing up and now every time I go back to visit family. You would think I’d be bored with it by now, but the rugged wilderness, quaint communities, and frequent wilderness encounters keep it interesting every time. One of my favorite places to stop along the way is Blue Line Coffee House and Finders Keepers Gift Shop. As someone who needs coffee to function, they have become my halfway refueling point on almost every trip. Their coffee is excellent, their lattes are unique and inventive, and they are well-stocked with baked goods and local sweets. They are also one of my favorite places to buy gifts! Their Adirondack-inspired apparel, mugs, glassware, and more make for perfect Christmas or birthday gifts…if you can stand to give them up!

Whether you’re a lone road warrior or traveling with a companion, leisurely drives can be a great way to clear your head, reconnect, and discover something new. Armed with a good playlist, a map, and full tank of gas, there’s no limit to what you can explore. So wrap up your Sunday brunch a little early, and get behind the wheel so you can find what one-stop shops the Adirondacks have in store for you.