We present results from our high-resolution, high-contrast imaging campaign targeting the circumstellar environments of young, nearby stars of different masses. The observations have been conducted using the ALFA/CA 3.5m and NACO UT4/VLT adaptive optics systems. In order to enhance the contrast we applied the methods PSF-subtraction and polarimetric differential imaging (PDI). The observations of young stars yielded the identification of numerous new companion candidates, the most interesting one being ∼ 0.5″ from FU Ori. We also obtained high-resolution near-infrared imaging of the circumstellar envelope of SU Aur and AB Aur. Our PDI of the TW Hya circumstellar disk traced back the disk emission as close as 0.1″ ≃ 6 AU from the star, the closest yet. Our results demonstrate the potential of the adaptive optics systems in achieving high-resolution and high-contrast imaging and thus in the study of circumstellar disks, envelopes and companions.