The words “Lake Placid” either brings you fear of alligators or a strong emotional state of Joy (or disappoint if you’re from the formerly known USSR) by knowing the history that took place in that city during the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. With a population close to 2,000 people, Lake Placid is located in Upstate New York within the Adirondack Mountains. This town may be small in number of inhabitants, but it’s one of the most well-known hockey towns in the world!
Whether you’re looking for adventure, thrills, tranquility or history, Lake Placid has it all, and then some. Here are some of our recommendations and tips to exploring this quaint little mountain village.
Lake Placid may be small, but there sure are a handful of hotel choices. If you pick one off of Main Street (between Sara-Placid Street & the Olympic Conference Center), chances are you’ve made a great choice. Here you’ll find some well-known chains with great views and respectable reputations as well as some independent hotels & resorts.
- High Peaks Resort, where we stayed, was the epitome of a small town, mountain side resort. With a cozy fireplace, spa, restaurant & bars, this hotel was perfect to keep warm during the -15F weather we endured!
- The Cottage– If you are fond of cute & cozy restaurants, this is the place for you. The Cottage is located on Mirror Lake and has a small yet delicious menu. If you are fortunate to go during winter time when the lake is frozen, bring your skates! You can walk down from the restaurant and work up your appetite before eating here!
- Dancing Bears– The Dancing Bear is located on the bottom floor of the High Peaks Resort and is a great spot to grab a bite to eat or drink with friends. The warm and cozy atmosphere make you feel like you’re right at home and the friendly staff makes you feel like family. This is a great spot to end your day and wind down for the evening.
- Players: Sports Bar & Grill– In a town filled with love for Hockey, this is a sports bar where most decorations are hokey centered (which is non-existent back home in Texas). Players is located off Main Street and is a great place to come watch some games while grubbing. It’s reasonably priced, great location and a chill atmosphere!
- Pond Hockey – If there’s one activity to make you feel like a kid again, it’s this one! The magic you feel being on the ice and out side brings the joyful youth out of any participant!
- Ski Jump – You can take an elevator to the top of the Olympic ski jump where you get a 360 degree panoramic view the Adirondacks. Careful though, if you’re afraid of heights, a serious case of vertigo can set in when you look down the ramp the Olympians use!
- Skiing – The nearest ski area, White Face Mountain, is only a short 15 minute drive up the road in good conditions. The views from up top are great and the trip down the mountain is a blast!
- “Miracle” Rink – If you’re a sports history buff, this rink is a must see! The history and energy from the 1980 Olympic games still linger in the air. Just stepping into the arena will fill your head with ideas of what the magic truly felt like the night the young Americans did the impossible and defeated the Russians.
Other activities you can take advantage of while in Lake Placid (depending on time of year, of course):
- Ice climbing
- Skating the Olympic oval
- & so much more!
How to Get There:
- Fly into Albany International Airport. From there you can rent a car and make the 2 hour drive up North. It’s an easy, quick drive with little to no traffic. The roads are lined with boulders, mountains and beautiful greenery or snow (depends when you come up!).
- Fly into Montreal International Airport. Same concept as the one above, but with this one you’ll need a passport, and potentially more documents, depending which country you’re from. Check the Passport Index for more information!
- Fly into NYC and take the Amtrak Train. You will need to make your way to Penn Station. There you will take the train to Westport, NY. Shuttle rides to Lake Placid are offered with certain tickets. Contact the Lake Placid CVB for more information!