Whether they sell groceries and housewares or clothing and gifts, major online retailers were about the only ones who had an amazing 2020. In fact, according to Statista, 52% of U.S. adults surveyed said they were shopping online more during the pandemic, and the most popular e-commerce site, Amazon, saw more than 5.2 billion visitors globally in June 2020 alone.
But there are some parts of the shopping experience that Amazon just can't provide. In Saranac Lake, New York, the many unique shops are ready to remind you why you love strolling the charming downtown streets and browsing the store aisles in person. Now that vaccines are becoming available and there's a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, plan your shopping spree to these one-of-a-kind boutiques, all within a walking distance of Saranac Waterfront Lodge.
Where it's located: 79 Main St.
What it sells: Apparel and accessories
Why it's better than Amazon: Stylish visitors can fulfill all their apparel needs at T.F. Finnigan. If you're looking to upgrade your look, start with designer suits from Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. And with on-site custom fittings, there's no guessing sizes based on a vague measurement chart. If you're in town for a wedding or other special occasion, T.F. Finnigan also offers suit and tuxedo rentals. If you just forgot to pack your hiking or ski gear, stop by to pick up the newest pieces from outdoor lifestyle brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, and more.
The Book Nook
Where it's located: 7A Broadway
What it sells: Books in a wide range of genres
Why it's better than Amazon: Automatically generated book recommendations can't match the personal advice from Book Nook owner Jessie Fischer, who emphasizes the store's community aspect as much as its inventory. She's always around to help shoppers find a novel they'll love or the perfect gift for a loved one, from the newest best sellers to perennial Adirondack favorites. In addition, when there's not a pandemic that limits gatherings, the store hosts regular events such as book clubs, author signings, readings, and children's workshops.
The Village Mercantile
Where it's located: 97 Main St.
What it sells: Apparel, housewares, local crafts and gifts
Why it's better than Amazon: No store epitomizes Saranac Lake's community atmosphere more than The Village Mercantile. The store was created by selling $100 shares to locals and raising a total of $500,000 to open in 2011. Now, it partners with area artisans to carry handmade items that you won't find anywhere else, including art, jewelry, pottery, quilts, skin care, and more.
Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation
Where it's located: 15 Broadway
What it sells: Loon focused gifts
Why it's better than Amazon: If you've been searching for the perfect Adirondack wildlife themed gift, look no further than Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. Showcase this Adirondack icon all throughout your life on apparel, art, jewelry, home goods & more. Bonus: when you shop here, you'll be supporting a not-for-profit organization that works towards research, education, public policy and environmental stewardship for the conservation of loons.
Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery
Where it's located: 52 Main St.
What it sells: Local art
Why it's better than Amazon: At the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery, you get a shopping experience combined with an art exhibit and, if you're lucky, maybe even an in-person demonstration. With rotating exhibits throughout the year, the co-op gallery showcases work from 15 regional artists at a time, and a member artist is always on-site to offer advice or discuss the pieces on display.
Where it's located: 9 Broadway
What it sells: Toys and games
Why it's better than Amazon: Give your children the gift of discovery at the region's best toy store. Stuffed animals, games, puzzles, dolls, building kits, crafts, outdoor activities — Goody Goody's has it all. Let kids roam the aisles and feel the joy of seeing a great new toy, perhaps one they've never heard of or seen on TV ads. It's the perfect place to go when an unexpected rainstorm ruins your family's afternoon plans for a mountain hike or a boat ride on Lake Flower.
Hex & Hops Tasting Room
Where it's located: 34/36 Broadway
What it sells: Craft beer, local produce and meat
Why it's better than Amazon: A shopping break that includes delicious, local craft brews? Yes, please! Hex & Hops' new location in downtown Saranac Lake serves a rotating selection of beers and meads (try the Bob Ross Pale Ale!). It also has a farm co-op that partners with local producers to offer fresh vegetables, meat, flowers, and more. If you like what you drink, make time for a visit to the main brewery and taproom in nearby Bloomingdale.
Grab Your Shopping Bags!
Book now at Saranac Waterfront Lodge so you can be within easy walking distance of these great stores, plus all the other activities, restaurants, and scenic views that downtown Saranac Lake has to offer.