As you may have seen on my Instagram, David and I spent a long weekend in Lake Placid, New York last month. Since we stayed at a fabulous hotel (which I’ll review separately, it was that good!) and since it was a record-breaking cold couple of days, we ended up spending lots of time indoors. Still, we managed to squeeze in a few fun excursions. I had read up extensively on the area before our trip, so I thought it would be worth putting together a guide of all there is to see and do there.
Lake Placid hosted two Winter Olympics, and the town hasn’t forgotten. Lots of infrastructure remains from the past sporting events, so pick up an Olympic Sites Passport for one flat fee and see as much of it as you can. It was too cold for us to ride to the top of Whiteface Mountain, but you can on an enclosed gondola for the views. We walked through the massive Olympic Center to see the ice rinks from the 1932 and 1980 games. We also toured the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, which was small but had a surprisingly thorough selection of medals, torches, equipment, memorabilia, and uniforms. The Olympic Jumping Complex, opposite Whiteface Mountain, was probably my favorite stop: after a zippy elevator ride and a steep stair-climb, you can stand at the top of the 120m jump tower and take in the entire town.
Lake Placid offers just about every winter sport you could imagine. Despite the cold, we squeezed in some skating on the historic 400 meter Olympic Speed Skating Oval–it was gorgeous but huge, without walls, and the other skaters were very, very good. We also did a bit of cross-country skiing on a Nordic track near our hotel, but had to head back as the cold started seeping through our clothes. Of course there is also downhill skiing, lake ice skating, dogsled rides, and carriage rides–in the Olympic Sports Complex you can even pay to ride on a bobsled/luge/skeleton track! Main Street in the main town is walk-able and chock full of stores and restaurants if you’re looking to do some low-key shopping and eating. I love anything Art Deco, so I knew I wanted to see a movie in the town’s Palace Theater, which dates back to 1926. It was as quaint as I imagined it: tiny rooms, cramped chairs, and cash only, but still so much fun.
One of the many reasons I wanted to visit Lake Placid was for its food options. Across the board, everything boasted menus that were full of housemade and locally grown items. There are seriously so many amazing places to eat in the town that I found it hard to choose. Again, the cold kept us indoors, so we got the most use out of the restaurants in our hotel.Artisan’s at the Lake Placid Lodge, is an upscale, cozy place with plating that could fit right into Manhattan’s culinary scene. Maggie’s Pub, also in Lake Placid Lodge, had elevated versions of classic bar food (their lobster mac-and-cheese was literally one of the best things I’ve ever tasted). We also ate in Kanu at Whitface Lodge. Their food was great but their drinks were incredible, all very unique and well-mixed. For the drive home we stopped at theBig Mountain Deli & Creperie. Their claim to fame is a menu boasting 46 different types of sandwiches–the two we ordered were New York-deli good. We didn’t have enough time to try every place we wanted, but if we ever head back I’ll be sure to sample the food in the quirky Liquids and Solids, the apres skiJ. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Café & Wine Bar, and Top of the Park or The View at Mirror Lake Inn, both of which boast views of Mirror Lake.
More on this in a separate post, but we loved our hotel, the Lake Placid Lodge. It was homey and historic, like an upscale bed and breakfast, with excellent service and stunning decor. If you’re looking for a larger, less intimate resort experience, try the Whiteface Lodge, which is kid-friendly and full of amenities (like an onsite movie theater and indoor pool). As for chains, there is actually a Courtyard by Marriott pretty close to the main town that seemed lovely–and it’s themed like a log cabin to fit right in.