As intimate as it is naturally expansive, Lake Placid is ideal for nature-loving hikers or those relaxing from an Adirondack on the lawn of the Lake Placid Lodge.
By Michael Persson | Photo © Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce
Shrouded in Olympic legacy and winter blankets of snows, Lake Placid is a year-round retreat that is as intimate as it is naturally expansive. This village of 2,500 shows off its welcoming local scene with ample dining, local craft beers, and outdoor escapades. A full calendar of events makes it inviting any time with events like the summer I Love New York Horse Shows and The Lake Placid Ice Dancing Championships.
Floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplaces are a warm welcome to Lake Placid Lodge guests. It makes quite the romantic venue with views of the northern Adirondacks from the balcony just steps from the water. An afternoon drink at Maggie’s Pub can be part happy hour, part art gallery visit, as you’ll find artwork from area artists scattered across the property. Look for PJ LeBarge’s bronze pieces, spotted in almost every room.
At the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, the quartet of dance, music, film, and theater are in full swing any season. Producing high-quality drama, Broadway-caliber song and dance with principals of the NYC Ballet and Big Apple dance troupes, you can leave your opera glasses at home all for the price of a coat-check ticket at the Met.
Local eating taken to the culinary max awaits at this gastro pub. Liquids and Solids at the Handlebar is a beloved eatery to plop down and soak up delicacies creatively treated from an Americanized international menu. The “Liquids” section of this duo is an unadulterated bibliotheque of beers from the length and breadth of Belgium and homebrewed micro-suds from all around the state. Don’t forget about the luxury hotel restaurant at Lake Placid Lodge, either.
The most important meal of the day should be savored. At the breakfast club, etc, their selection of rostis (a bed of seasoned home-fried potatoes served on a hot iron skillet) comes topped with the likes of apples, sausage, and cheddar. Should the festivities commence earlier than normal, an ovation-worthy list of Bloody Marys and mimosas is on standby.
Leaving town for a while gives perspective to the entire experience with a visit to the John Brown Farm State Historic Site. Visit the home of this abolitionist in North Elba and sign up for guided tours, cross-country skiing in winter, hikes, and a wander about Brown’s Farmhouse itself. Or jump right into the historic shoes of Olympians by taking a go at bobsledding at the Olympic facilities a short drive from the lodge.
Arts & Culture
The Lake Placid Sinfonietta’s annual concert series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts is a mix of guest artists and the core chamber orchestra. Under conductor Ron Spigelman, the almost-hundred-year-old sinfonietta, a small orchestra, takes the masters and makes believers of their audience.
The Cloudsplitter Gondola at White Face Lake Placid is ideal for scoping out both Lake Placid and Champlain and the region’s prettiest peaks in one panoramic swoop. The 15-minute ride to the top lets you out at an observation deck and picnic area 3,600 feet up. The mornings are foggier than afternoons, but both times of day offer stark contrasts of the same awe-inspiring place.
To fully prepare for the journey home, a relaxing walk around town mixes sightseeing with a little shopping for mementos. There’s Maine Street’s Antediluvian Antiques & Curiosities with hunting lodge-worthy antler-backed chairs or head down the street for Adirondack-made apparel and quirky tees at Bear Essentials.
Where to Stay Lake Placid Lodge