If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you know that I love exploring New York State – if you click here you will find several posts with tips on things to do in different areas of the state. We’ve always chosen destinations that are always a maximum of two and a half hours from New York City, but last weekend we went further. We were in Lake Placid, in the very north of the state – and close to Canada. We were delighted with the area, we did a lot of cool things and, in this post, I’ll give you suggestions on what to do there!
Lake Placid is a village near the lake of the same name, in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains and it became known because it hosted the Winter Olympics two times – in 1932 and in 1980. Although it’s been quite a while since the place last hosted the games, Lake Placid still manages to capitalize on its tourist potential – a lot of the things to do in the area are somehow related to the Olympics. And there’s more: in 2023, Lake Placid will host the World University Games.
How to get to Lake Placid
If you are leaving from New York City, the best option is to rent a car. This time, we rented through a traditional car rental company (for shorter or closer trips, we use Getaround). Amtrack has a line that can also be used – the Adirondack line goes to Albany and Montreal, and you can take that train and rent a car afterward, for example. I strongly recommend the car because there is no way you can get around the area without it!
Where to stay – Whiteface Lodge
Whenever we do these trips around NY State, we stay in an Airbnb. This time, looking for activities in the area, I ended up discovering Whiteface Lodge, a simply wonderful resort. There are a few resorts like this around NY state and we’ve always wanted to try something like that and Whiteface Lodge was a great choice. Besides the rustic style in the decoration and the incredible location, it has several types of accommodation – our room had a full kitchen, two bathrooms, living room, and even laundry! It also offers a lot of activities and amenities such as movies and s’mores, as well as a spa and two restaurants, a heated pool and much more! Oh, and our reservation also included breakfast. It was a very wise choice and it’s a very cozy place – especially for fall/winter! I also think families will love the place!
O que fazer em Lake Placid
This was the place that made me want to plan a trip to Lake Placid. The Cliffside Coaster is the longest roller coaster in North America and was open last year and it follows the alignment of the 1932 & 1980 Olympic Bobsled track as it descends the mountain. It runs for 1.4 miles. Tickets are $55! Honestly, I’m not the biggest roller coaster enthusiast – I’m scared to death. But I wanted to go there for two reasons – the tracks pass through the mountain vegetation – and seeing the fall foliage from there is amazing! Also, at the Cliffside Coaster, you are the one who controls the speed, so it’s a lot more relaxed, you know? We just loved the experience – but remember the fall foliage shows up earlier in the Upstate, and by the time we were there the peak was over. But was so beautiful! I would repeat the experience for sure.
The Wild Center
It’s located in Tupper Lake, about 40 minutes from Lake Placid. Formerly known as the Adirondacks Natural History Museum, it is a natural history center that aims to educate visitors about nature and the wildlife around us and about life within Adirondack Park. This place has been around for over ten years, but it got national attention when it opened The Wild Walk. This attraction is a network of bridges and platforms that takes visitors from the ground to the treetops on 81 wooded acres and still features a four-story tree house, swinging bridges, and a human-size spiderweb. The Wild Walk took nine years to complete. It’s like looking at the forest from above – the place provides a fantastic experience and view, as well as educating about the animals that live in the area. So cool! Another experience that families will also enjoy!
At the on-site museum, you can learn more about the vegetation and animals – The Wild Center even rescues vulnerable and abandoned animals.
Stand alongside the ramp that ski jumpers launch themselves from before flying over the length of a football field. Explore the site on our 8-person Skyride, a state-of-the-art pulse gondola, followed by a glass-enclosed elevator ending at the observation deck of the K-120 meter jump. At the top of the new glass-enclosed elevator, enjoy the panoramic vista of Adirondack High Peaks and then experience what the jumpers see as they start to accelerate towards the end of the ramp.
It’s amazing to see this structure of the Olympic Games up close and also, of course, to enjoy the view. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take this ride because on the day we missed the last time slot for 10 minutes. But we could see the structure up close and it was amazing!
There is no way to visit Lake Placid without stopping by Mirror Lake, the lake circumcised by the small town. There is an area with a “public beach” and green space to walk around and enjoy the view, which is beautiful, especially in fall. In the same area, there is a Toboggan Chute that is used during winter.
And, of course, Lake Placid has a museum dedicated to the Winter Olympic games and its mission is to tell the world about the Olympic movement and Lake Placid’s rich winter sports’ history in order to promote the values of Olympism to the broadest possible audience. The Museum is in the Olympic Center, the same building that hosted the games in 1932 and 1980. When we were there, the place was closed for renovations.
Lake Placid has a main street with many shops and other establishments and we stoped by to see some of them:
- Saratoga Olive Oil – this store specializes in olive oils – I think they have at least 20 varieties of oils with the most diverse infusions – and also balsamic vinegar. In addition, there are some spices and also products such as candles, liquid soap, and body lotion. The store is beautiful and the oils are delicious!
- Beef Jerky Experience – The Beef Jerky Experience not only offers more than 100 varieties of Jerky Beef, but also a wide selection of hot sauces, BBQ sauces, spices. For those who like hot sauces, it has the weakest to the strongest in the world!
- Simpli Nature – in addition to natural products, essential oils, and accessories, it features handcrafted candles with the most varied fragrances! As a candle lover, I obviously brought one home!
Restaurants in Lake Placid
It is Lake Placid’s only AAA Four Diamond Restaurant Winner of the Four Diamond Award and the most recognized and therefore the busiest restaurant in the area. It is open for dinner and has a Contemporary American menu and the main dishes range from $33 to $55. The food was delicious! We had mussels and a cauliflower soup (amazing!) as appetizers, a risotto and a burger as main and also a warm cookie with ice cream as dessert. The environment is sophisticated (check the dress code) and it is a great choice for a special occasion!
Bitters & Bones
This restaurant is located in Saranac Lake, a town next to Lake Placid, super cute. This is the kind of restaurant that would never catch my attention if I were just passing by – but the reviews and photos on the internet convinced us to have lunch there and what a pleasant surprise! It has a rustic vibe and a menu that combines Asian and Mexican influences, with sandwiches, flatbreads, bowls, salads, and more. We ordered fish tacos and also a Korean bowl, with rice, and meat. In addition to the super well-served portions, the food was very well prepared and super delicious. For beer lovers, they have a good selection!
On our last day in Lake Placid, we drove to Plattsburgh, a very charming little town, and ended up having lunch at this restaurant, which has a more natural menu and many vegetarian and vegan options. We loved the fresh food and creative meat-free options (we are not vegetarians, but we avoid eating too much meat).
PS: It’s worth remembering that the resort where we stayed has two restaurants and we had dinner there twice, at Peak 47, which has pub vibes and a pub menu, including an incredible variety of beers!
Did you like this post? We had such a great time exploring this other region of the state! Everything is so beautiful!
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!