A "vacation spot" refers to the actual place or location where travelers choose to spend their leisure time and enjoy their vacation. Vacation spots are the destinations that people visit to relax, have fun, explore, and experience new things. These can include popular tourist destinations like beaches, cities, national parks, historic sites, and more.
The Adirondacks was the first place Americans embraced the wilderness as a feature of civilization. And so the birthplace of the American vacation was born. This makes The Adirondacks officially the oldest vacation spot in America.
The Smithsonian describes the Adirondacks as the birthplace of the American vacation. Albany International Airport defines Lake George, Adirondacks as the birthplace of the American vacation. Academic Technology recognizes the Adirondacks as the birthplace of the American vacation.
One of the little-known turning points in the history of American travel occurred in the spring of 1869, when a preacher from Boston named William H.H. Murray published one of the first guidebooks to a wilderness area. The Adirondack Park, a forest preserve, was officially established in 1892 by the state of New York. But vacationers were visiting there long before that.
Containing six-million acres, Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the contiguous United States. This makes it bigger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and the Great Smoky Mountain national parks combined. Of the Adirondack Park's 6 million acres, 2.6 million acres are owned by New York State. The remaining 3.4 million acres are privately owned. A large portion of the Adirondack Park is made up of Forest Preserve, which comes with its own land-use codes and regulations.
Most of New York State's entire Forest Preserve is located in the Adirondacks, and there are 286,000 acres of New York state-owned land in the Catskill Forest Preserve. These are the only two areas in the state that are designated as "Forever Wild" – meaning the land is protected under Article XIV of the New York State Constitution – " to preserve the exceptional scenic, recreational and ecological.
The Adirondack Park is officially recognized as both the oldest vacation spot in America and the "Birthplace of the American Vacation." It is not a National Park - there's no fee to enter and the park doesn't close at night, nor is it a state park, a common misconception. It is also home to 105 small towns and villages. The region's mix of public and private land allows for conservation and civilization to thrive.
The story of the Great Camps of the Adirondacks is often told in relation to men: the men who built them, bought, and sold them. One story frequently told is that of W.W. Durant, who built the first Great Camps in the Adirondacks, several of which still stand today. Durant built Great Camp, Camp Sagamore, Camp Uncas, and others. He pioneered what is known as the Great Camp style and his legacy and telling his story in relation to the Adirondacks is important.
The summer of 1869 saw the birth of the American vacation. By 1875, some 200 hotels and camps were operating in the mountains, with new stagecoach services rattling from the train stations and steamboats plying the lakes.
By 1892, a bill establishing the Park passed the legislature, indicating with a blue line the parts of the region where state acquisition of private in-holdings was to be concentrated. By 1900, the Adirondacks’ summer population had risen to around 25,000 from 3,000 in 1869.
Today The Adirondacks are a popular and scenic destination in Upstate NY. Whether you are looking for an adventure in the great outdoors or an enlightening encounter with the diverse history of the area, this oldest vacation destination offers endless possibilities for a family outing or solo trip.