View of Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, New York, with a canoe

Lake Placid Guide

(Credit: FrankDeBonis/Shutterstock)

Why you should visit Lake Placid

Having hosted two Winter Olympics, Lake Placid’s legacy has been in the spotlight, drawing winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world. In the winter, visitors flock to this small town at the heart of New York’s Adirondack State Park for the bobsledding, cross-country skiing, ice skating and, of course, skiing and snowboarding, as Whiteface Mountain is New York’s premier ski resort with 283 skiable acres, 86 trails, 11 lifts and a 3,430-foot vertical drop – the largest east of the Rockies.

This charming mountain town, which hugs the shore of Mirror Lake, also makes for an excellent relaxing getaway with its many spas, art galleries, restaurants, and luxurious lodging. If you’re looking for something more upbeat, you will find buzz throughout the town with its strong après-ski scene and a bustling nightlife of bars and live music playing throughout.

Ski Resorts Near Lake Placid

What to do in Lake Placid

Lake Placid holds a variety of activities to enjoy for every season from the adrenaline rush of bobsledding on an Olympic course to the stress-relieving kayak rides.

Ice skate alongside history at Herb Brooks Arena , a prominent venue where the U.S. men’s hockey team defeated the Soviet Union at the 1932 Winter Olympic Games to take home the gold. Here you can also learn about the center’s history on a one-hour tour. Or, experience the thrill of a bobsled ride at the Olympic Sports Complex .

If the weather is on your side, enjoy some peace and quiet at Mirror Lake. With a restriction on motorboats, you can leisurely kayak or paddleboard on these calm, glassy waters. If you prefer dry land, stretch your legs on the Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails where you can snowshoe in the winter or hike and bike in the summer. Marvel at the cascading waterfalls of High Falls Gorge located between the Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort and the village of Lake Placid.

There’s also plenty to do in the village proper. Spend the afternoon browsing the antique and high-end shops along Main Street. During the summer, every Tuesday night, feed your live music craving at The Songs of Mirror Lake Music Series located parallel to Mirror Lake. If visiting Lake Placid during the remaining seasons and would like a night for the arts, check out Lake Placid Center for the Arts for live dance, music, and theater performances.

Where to stay in Lake Placid

Lake Placid’s hotels are known for their spectacular mountain and lake views, but you should be aware that prices here can induce sticker-shock, especially if you visit over the winter holidays or in peak summer months.

For those planning to spend their time on the lake, Lake Placid Lodge is the perfect accommodation for you, as guests can enjoy complimentary kayaks, paddle-boards, and electric boats. Another option at the center of the village near Mirror Lake is Golden Arrow Lakeside , which also offers complimentary water sports rentals, as well as direct access to cross-country ski trails. (You should note that there are no downhill ski-in/ski-out accommodations in Lake Placid.)

If you are looking for a quiet oasis, nestled amid the six million acres of Adirondack Park, you will find the luxurious Whiteface Lodge to be a great option. Ski-and-stay packages can also be found at this lavish destination.

Where to eat in Lake Placid

While you won’t find the variety of dining options that are available in larger ski destinations, Lake Placid’s restaurants satisfy appetites with hearty pub-style fare made from local ingredients.

At brunch time, locals hit up Big Slide Brewery and Public House for bottomless mimosas and breakfast favorites like eggs Benedict and French toast. For casual happy-hour eats, make sure to hit Lisa G’s Restaurant which is especially popular on wing night, held every Monday. Meanwhile, The Cottage , adjacent to Mirror Lake is a prime après-ski spot with wood-burning fireplaces and unique takes on classic pub fare. Peak 47 is another local après-ski stop with bistro-style eats, live music, and signature cocktails.

For more of a fine-dining experience, KANU is a great option with its innovative, Adirondack- influenced cuisine and sophisticated lodge-like atmosphere. Upstairs Grill Steak & Seafood is another upscale place serving, yes you guessed it, steak and seafood, with views of the village of Lake Placid.

End the day on a sweet note at the retro-style ice cream parlor, Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery .

Family-friendly activities in Lake Placid

Lake Placid has a variety of outdoor and indoor activities that cater to younger visitors.

As Lake Placid was host to two Winter Olympic Games, visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum to learn more about the history. There you can explore a collection of memorabilia and exhibits linked to the games. In the evenings stay bundled and warm by the fire while playing classic board games like Monopoly and checkers at Maggie’s Pub .

Looking for some outdoor fun? Take flight soaring across Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, Henderson Lake, Olympic Village and the surrounding areas on a scenic flight with Adirondack Flying Services . Embrace your need for speed and soak up the beauty of Lake Placid as you go wakeboarding, wake surfing or tubing with ADK Aquatics .

During the winter, cross-country ski on the Jack Rabbit Trail, which meanders between the towns of Keene, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Paul Smith. Or, hop on a sleigh ride with Lake Placid Sleigh rides , hot cocoa in hand.

Other Ski Destinations

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