Everything at Lake George, from the House of Frankenstein wax museum to the Million Dollar Beach, seems to date back to the 1950s. Mom-and-pop motels, miniature golf courses, the Great Escape amusement park, the Magic Forest  with its giant Uncle Sam statue looming out front—all cajole you back in time.
Look at the place with one eye and it’s a kitschy Americana theme park, with great appeal for kids. Look at it with another and it’s a greedy tourist trap, sadly out of place in its majestic setting in the Adirondack foothills.
Lake George is basically a one-street town, with the majority of its souvenir shops and restaurants laid out along Canada Street (Route 9). Intersecting Canada Street at the lakefront, Beach Road leads to Fort William Henry and the Million Dollar Beach (Beach Rd., 518/668-0034; vehicle fee: car $8, motorcycle $3), which is much, much smaller and tamer than its name implies. Along the way are docks where boats and water-sports equipment can be rented.
During the summer, Lake George village is packed with tourists—most of them families. After Labor Day, the place shuts down abruptly and remains shuttered until Memorial Day of the following year.