Summer with Amy Mengel

Amy mengel 1.jpg

Amy at Sleeping Beauty

Amy Mengel is always looking for something new.

Every time we meet up with her we hear tales of another great hike, bike ride or kayaking adventure -- or news of the newest restaurant or craft beer joint she's discovered.

So as part of our stay-cation series, here's some of Amy's advice for getting the most out of your Capital Region summer.

About Amy:

I live in Stillwater, but I work in downtown Albany at Read Media. I grew up in Western NY and moved around a while after that, but I've lived here about 5 years. I like cycling, skiing and hiking. I'm the founder of the Social Media Breakfast and I blog about public relations and marketing at

What are your favorite things to do in the Capital Region during the summer?

Definitely riding my bike. There are just so many great places to ride around here. Check out Map My Ride.
Saratoga county has some of our favorite rides --like the Saratoga Battlefield. We do the loop through the park.
There's also the Mohawk-Hudson path.

We also really like going up to the Adirondacks. North Creek is our favorite town. My cousin owns a bakery on the main st. in North Creek -- Cafe Sarah-- with great pastry and coffee. And down the street there's a place called Bar Vino with amazing tapas and a great craft beer list. We'll take the ski lift up Gore and go hiking at the top -- there are some really great views.

What's your favorite summer food in the Capital Region?

We love getting burgers from the Niskayuna co-op. You can get them year round but you only grill in the summer, and they're better grilled. They've got bacon and cheddar, blue cheese and peppercorn --everything mixed into the burger.

Do you have a favorite Capital Region summer memory?

It was 3 or 4 years ago. My family came to visit when my brother was going through the Police Academy, and we went to Saratoga. We went to the track and there was this horse running called Go Deputy, so all of us put a bet on this long shot and the horse came around that turn and it won! We didn't win a ton of money, but I just remember all of us laughing and cheering.

If friends come and visit during the summer, where do you take them?

We have friends coming this weekend. We'll go see the New York City Ballet at SPAC
and probably take a short hike in Berkeshires or Lake George. Buck Mountain and Sleeping Beauty Mountain are great places to take people who are not ready to commit to high peaks. And the Saratoga Battlefield -- it's also a great place to go because of the history. There's this cool fiber optic map in visitors center that lays out battles and how they played out and gives you a good sense of what happened there.

What do you like the most about Capital Region summers?

Actually, the weather. I've lived in a lot of warm places. I''ve lived in Texas, Florida, Georgia -- we have the best summer weather anywhere in the world.
In the Capital Region you know when it's summer cause people are outdoors hiking and boating or eating outside -- and they love the summer weather .

What do you wish we had here in the summertime?

Maybe more outdoor dining. I always think of this when we kayak at Fish Creek Marina on Saratoga Lake. We always wish we could tie up our kayaks someplace and go have something to eat on a patio overlooking the lake.


Sleeping Beauty is my favorite place to take out-of-towners hiking, too. Great suggestions, Amy!

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