Build Your Upstate New York Summer Bucket List

Explore some of the area’s best events & activities through a summer bucket list!

Experiences Only in Washington County, New York

Our area is historically significant for a number of reasons. From pre-colonial times through the Civil War era and beyond, there are dozens of relics of our area’s past if you’re looking to add some history to your summer adventures!

If you’re not so much of a history buff, you can still enjoy some unique historical structures in passing. There are four incredible covered bridges in Washington County, including one that has been converted into a museum! The Shushan Covered Bridge Museum is open Memorial Day to Columbus Day from 1 to 4 PM so be sure to plan accordingly if you want visit!

For a nod to a different time in the past, don’t miss Scarlotta’s Car Hop in Granville for great food, ice cream, and more. Enjoy the classic vibes on their large outdoor deck or inside the diner. This local favorite is open under new owners, staying true to their family roots: Scarlotta’s Car Hop is owned by the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of the original, namesake owners! Check out more sweet stops along our Ice Cream Trail, including the local-favorite Battenkill Valley Creamery.

There’s no shortage of incredible food near Saratoga Springs, but another spot you won’t find anywhere else is King’s Donut Cart in Cambridge. Open only on Sunday mornings, locals and visitors flock to the roadside cart for freshly baked pastries, desserts, and more. Be sure to get there early: favorites go fast!

One last recommendation for the foodies: Yushak’s Market. Dennis Yushak’s beef, bacon, and sausages are preferred by locals and restaurant owners alike. The Shushan, NY institution has been in business now for 80 years, since Denny’s parents opened the market in 1941.

Lastly, the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area is a mass of grassland habitat, covering 13,000 acres throughout the county. Part of that area is the Wildlife Management Area, which offers two viewing platforms you can find here.

Go for the Instagram, Stay for the Experience

Everyone loves to share their new favorite places, and these next few summer bucket list spots in Washington County make it easy!

Set against rolling hills in the rural countryside of the county is Salem Art Works’ sculpture park. Making up an impressive 119.4 acres, Cary Hill Sculpture Park is home to a rotating roster of sculptures by regional, national, and international artists. Explore the public space from dawn to dusk daily, and find your favorite!

Additionally, another great and Instagram-worthy experience near Saratoga Springs, NY is the beloved Batten Kill. Known nationwide for incredible fishing, the river is also a great place to enjoy a leisurely paddle or float along the beautiful backdrop of the county. And don’t miss your chance for a photo under one of the covered bridges.

If you’re looking for some great places to cool off, check out Lake Lauderdale, Huletts Park on Lake George, or The Georgi (pictured) on the Batten Kill in Shushan. Check out more ways to enjoy our local waterways.

Keep reading: A Photographer’s Guide to Lake George’s Eastern Shore >>

More Great Experiences for Your Summer Bucket List

Or, you could kick back and enjoy great, locally-brewed beer with a side of awesome decor at Slickfin Brewing Company in Fort Edward. Their always-rotating selection of beers brewed on-premise is served with incredible tap handles made with a number of items only a retired Marine Bomb Tech could dream up: think decommissioned grenades, canisters, and more.

Prefer to spend the day outside? Lavenlair Farm is the ultimate backdrop for an epic photoshoot. Stroll the fields and explore the 30 different cultivars and many colors of lavender during their UPick days. Rolling purple hills and their 1820s farmhouse make for a perfect photo!

What’s a photo-friendly trip without an equally photogenic place to stay? From incredible lakeside campsites to fun and funky Airbnb properties featuring yurts, tiny homes, treehouses, and grand farmhouses, you’ll have no problem taking in the sights.

And, while you’re making summer plans, consider a visit to Tiashoke Farm in Easton. You’ll love browsing their renovated historic barn full of local goodies, space for events, and their own farm’s products!  Of course, they have a number of great photo opportunities on the property to top off your summer bucket list.

Plan a Weekend Getaway Around Your Summer Bucket List

Get the most out of your summer bucket list when you plan it around Washington County’s great summer events. From “Food Truck Fridays” and Antique Fairs at the fairgrounds and hot air balloon festivals, to art and studio tours, live music, and outdoor festivals, there’s always something fun to discover.

Plus, August marks the return of the Washington County Fair! You won’t want to miss “New York’s #1 Agricultural County Fair.” Learn more and buy your tickets here!


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