Travel: Plan a Winter Getaway to Lake Placid
- Written By:Christina Valhouli
Lake Placid, New York is best known as being the host of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics. Although the Olympic spirit lives on here, you don’t need to be an Olympic level athlete to enjoy the outdoor activities in this Adirondack town. What do you need is plenty of layers, and a can-do attitude.
Make your base the stylish Hotel North Woods, located right on Main Street in the heart of the village. The design is playful take on a traditional ski lodge, with a Guinness branded bobsled in the lobby and the Delta Blues bar on the street level for southern food and live music. Lake Placid’s best restaurants and Mirror Lake are all right outside the front door.
Warm up your muscles at Mount Van Hoevenberg, an Olympic cross-country ski and biathlon site. Visitors can spend hours cross-country skiing or snowshoeing along the groomed trails, or sign up for a biathlon class. When it’s time to thaw out, head inside to warm up near the fire place and grab lunch from Green Goddess Market, which offers organic and vegan options such as black bean soup.
To get the adrenaline going, head to frozen Mirror Lake and pay $10 for unlimited toboggan rides. A 30 foot high former ski jump has been converted into a toboggan chute, and riders will travel at about 35mph down the slide and across the lake. Want to go even faster? The bobsled experience at the Olympic Sports Complex gets up to 50mph.
A more gentle option is a quick dog-sled ride over Mirror Lake. The mushers set up right on the frozen lake and it’s first-come, first-serve. The ride only lasts a few minutes but is perfect for families with small children.
Bring your skates and head right onto Mirror Lake for a few laps. Or be a part of history and head to the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, located right in the middle of town. Team USA won six gold medals here in hockey and speed skating.
But arguably the biggest draw is a ski day at Whiteface Mountain- its vertical drop, at over 3,000 feet, is the highest in the east. The newly renovated Bear’s Den lodge is the place to go if you have children or are learning to ski; an entire section of the mountain is dedicated just to beginners. More skilled skiers can take their pick of 86 trails.
Apres ski, head back to Lake Placid village for a hot toddy cider at Smoke Signals. Treat yourself to ahi tuna wontons and a Korean bbq taco topped with homemade kimchi. Another option is Liquids and Solids, which showcases house-made charcuterie and nose to tail dining from chef and James Beard nominee Tim Loomis.