Lake Placid is a picturesque, resort town located in the northern part of the Adirondack Mountains. Famously known for hosting both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid has become a popular travel destination for families, couples, and single travelers throughout the year.
Lake Placid, located on Mirror Lake, offers a number of things to do throughout the year. For example, travelers can mountain bike, kayak, swim, or relax by the lake in the summer months. During the winter months, Lake Placid is known for skiing/snowboarding, tobogganing, ice skating, and so much more!
Kevin and I recently visited Lake Placid during the winter and had a blast. Below is our list of recommendations for anyone planning a winter weekend getaway to Lake Placid, NY.
No matter your skills, we are sure you will enjoy a day at Whiteface Mountain. Whiteface Mountain delivers a world-class experience for both skiers and snowboarders alike. Whiteface Mountain also offers trails for both beginners and experienced riders as well as a wonderful Snow Sports School for children and adults just starting out.
Don’t ski or snowboard? Not a problem spend the day relaxing in the lodge or enjoy a gondola ride to one of Whiteface Mountains’ three peaks, Little Whiteface, to take in the breathtaking views! Kevin and I were truly stunned when we got to the top of Little Whiteface and overlooked the valley below. It is definitely not something you’ll want to pass up!
Whiteface Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Adirondack Mountains and the fifth largest mountain in the state of New York. Whiteface Moutain has 11 lifts including a gondola and 86 trails that stretch over 22 miles. Since Kevin and I currently live in New Jersey we are used to the option of night skiing/snowboarding in the Pocono Mountains. Unfortunately, night skiing/snowboarding is not offered at Whiteface Mountain, but the trails are open daily from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
Kevin and I visited the mountain on Presidents Day Weekend, and I bet I know what your thinking…it was packed, right? Though Lake Placid was crowded and almost every hotel was sold out, the trails never seemed crowded with skiers and snowboarders which was awesome!
Lift tickets for Whiteface Mountain vary depending on how many days you are planning to ski/snowboard. Generally lift tickets for Whiteface Mountain can be purchased for $96 per day for adults, $74 for teens and seniors, $60 for juniors, and free for children six and under. However, if you purchase tickets online in advance you can save up to 50%! Kevin and I recommend doing this!
The Cloudsplitter Gondola Ride is $20 for adults and teens when bought online ($23 if purchased at the ticket booth), $16 for juniors and seniors, and free for anyone six and under. These prices are for those of you who do not wish to ski or snowboard and only want to see the views at the summit of Little Whiteface without purchasing a lift ticket. That being said you will take the gondola to the top of the mountain and back down once you are done. Don’t forget to dress warmly if you do this, it is very cold at the summit!
If you purchase the Olympic Sites Passport, The Cloudsplitter Gondola Ride is included in the pass. The Olympic Sites Passport can be purchased for $35 online or for $40 if bought in person. This passport grants you access to all of Lake Placid’s Olympic Sites including the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, Olympic Museum, Olympics Sports Complex, Olympic Jumping Complex and more!
The town of Lake Placid is full of things do and see. Main Street, located around Mirror Lake to the west, is a little over 0.6 miles and is full of creative local artisan shops and cafes that are always bustling with people! This area is also home to numerous Olympic venues that are open in both the winter and the summer months!
Some of Kevin and my favorite shops include The Bookstore Plus, Saratoga Olive Oil Co, Where’d You Get That Hat, and There and Back Again. The Bookstore Plus is a small, locally owned bookstore that has been serving Lake Placid for 35 years. The Bookstore Plus offers a great selection of books for all readers and prides themselves on selling books to in-store customers rather than online. If you like to read, buy a book and help keep this awesome bookstore in business!
Saratoga Olive Oil Co. may be my favorite store on the strip! Saratoga Olive Oil Co. named “1 of the top 5 stores in the world for Olive Oil selection” by the Olive Oil Times is truly a can’t miss if you enjoy olive oil! Inside feel free to enjoy a variety of dipping oils and balsamic vinegars.
There and Back Again, a souvenir shop sells everything from clothing to home decor and Where’d You Get That Hat sells customers, well you guessed it…HATS!
As for our recommendations on where to eat around Mirror Lake, they are listed below.
It was here in Herb Brooks Arena in 1980 that the US Men’s Hockey team made history after beating the Soviet Union on their way to winning the Olympic Gold Medal. Although the Miracle On Ice game is in our past, teams, and individuals are still making memories here in this arena. For example, Herb Brooks Arena hosts annual USA Hockey events, figure skating events, and more!
Kevin and I would definitely recommend checking out Herb Brookes Arena if you are visiting Lake Placid, especially if you are a fan of the 1980 Miracle Game!
Lake Placid Olympic Center is also the location of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum in addition to the Herb Brooks Arena. The Lake Placid Olympic Museum shares the incredible story the small town of Lake Placid that hosted the world twice in 1932 and 1980, while also displaying equipment and videos used and shot during the Winter Olympic Games that were hosted in Lake Placid.
Located off the main strip you will find Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex is open year round to both skiers and tourists. During the summer months you can view aerialists practicing their moves on Mondays and Saturdays and during the winter months, you can view numerous events and activities here such as tubing, ski jumping, and more.
When Kevin and I visited the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex in the winter we watched youth skiers practice their long jump. They were so good and impressive!
While visiting Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex feel free to take a ride up to the top of the 26-story, 120-meter Olympic Ski Jump, to see some amazing panoramic views of the Adirondack Mountains and other Olympic venues in the area. Also atop the 120-meter ski jump check out the small “museum,” for lack of a better term, in the jumpers preparation room, where tourists can learn more about USA Winter Olympic Gold Medalists who won their events!
At the top of the 120-meter jump, tourists can see first hand what the view is like for ski jumpers right before they start their descent. It is truly breathtaking!
Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex has been and will continue to be the training site for many aspiring athletes who dream of one day earning a spot on the U.S. Winter Olympic Team, though this is a quick 30-40 minute activity, Kevin and I definitely recommend checking this place out!
Pricing for the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jump is the same during the winter and summer. It is $11 on non-event days for adults and teens and $8 for juniors and seniors. On event days however the prices increase and are $16 for adults and teens and $10 for juniors and seniors.
Protip: Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex is be closed from March 2019 until January 2020 for rennovations!
Remember the 1980 Olympics when Eric Heiden won 5 Gold Medals for Speed Skating, you could be next? The Olympic Speed Skating Oval is open to the public throughout the winter for those who want to practice their skills or those who just want to enjoy ice skating with friends and family. To skate at the oval it is $10 for adults and teens, $8 for juniors and seniors, and free for anyone six and under. Skaters can feel free to bring their own skates. However, they do offer skates to rent for $6 if you don’t have or forget your own!
Don’t want to pay to skate? Not a problem. Skating on Mirror Lake is free when it is frozen and the town is able to clear the snow. However, be careful when skating on Mirror Lake it is not nearly as smooth as the Olympic Speed Skating Oval and therefore can be hard for beginners!
Looking to pamper yourself while your family is enjoying the outdoors? Head over to Mirror Lake Inn’s full-service salon and luxurious spa. Mirror Lake Spa offers signature body treatments, massages, facials, hair and cosmetic services, steam rooms and so much more. Pricing at the spa ranges from $20 for waxing to $460 for the couples getaway package but is worth the money for the day of pampering!
For those thrill seekers out there, feel free to visit Lake Placid Bobsled Experience where the fastest Olympic winter sports happen. Visitors can either ride with a professional on the famous ice track or those brave enough can choose to go solo in the Lake Placid Skeleton Experience.
March 30th to 31st: Lake Placid will be hosting the IBSF Para Bobsleigh World Championships at 10:00 am sharp. Admission for teens/adults is $9, juniors/seniors $7, and free for anyone six and under.
Along with ice skating, Mirror Lake also offers toboggan rides for those trying to get the full winter experience! The toboggan chute, made from one of the original 50-foot ski jumps from the 1932 Olympics, has been modified slightly over the years for safety purposes but still used today. Tobogganers can catch speeds up to 40 mph and shoot close to over 1,000 feet across the frozen Mirror Lake.
Lake Placid Toboggan Chute costs $10 for children and $15 for adults but is only open when weather permits.
When weather permits, feel free to enjoy this wonderful Adarondak past time on Mirror Lake. Visitors can walk down to Mirror Lake and pay the driver/owner of the dog sled for a ride across the lake.
When Kevin and I were ice skating we witnessed numerous people enjoying dog sled rides, even the dogs seemed to love running around on the frozen lake!
Looking for good food and drinks right on the water? Look no further than The Cottage, also known as “The Locals Meeting Place”. The Cottage offers great soups, salads, sandwiches, and flatbreads, while also offering a fun and inviting atmosphere. The Cottage is rather small though and they do not take reservations so be aware that there may be a bit of a wait depending on the time of the day you go.
The Cottage was easily both Kevin and my favorite place to eat in Lake Placid. Though we did have to wait about an hour for our table it was totally worth it! During our wait, Kevin and I both enjoyed a drink while we sat outside and took in the incredible lakeside views next to one of The Cottage’s firepits. Not only were the drinks and the views great but the food was even better! Kevin and I ordered Lobster Bisque soup, buffalo chicken dip, and the warm brussels sprouts salad. It is safe to say we were not disappointed!
If you are like Kevin and I and enjoy a good brewery, make sure to go to Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. In 2018 Thrillest voted the pub “the best watering hole in Lake Placid,” and Kevin and I couldn’t agree more! We visited the pub and brewery on our first night in town and enjoyed a beer, buffalo chicken salad, and fried pickles that were delicious!
If Big Slide Brewery and Public House is not on your list of places to go, Kevin and I highly suggest adding it! Big Slide Brewery is home to the giant IPA and has also been awarded New York’s best double IPA. Aside from the IPA though, Big Slide Brewery and Public House has a lot to offer such as ten house-made beers on tap, a farm to table menu featuring salads, brick oven pizza, sandwiches and more, and Sunday Brunch that locals rave about!
While Kevin and I visited Lake Placid, we stopped at Big Slide Brewery and Public House for a drink after visiting Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex and were not disappointed.
If you plan on going for Sunday Brunch make sure to arrive early. The wait for a table when we were there was over an hour.
Valcour Brewing Company is another great brewery located right on the main strip in Lake Placid along Mirror Lake. Kevin and I visited Valcour Brewery on our first night in town after checking out some of the local shops and the Olympic Speed Skating Oval. Though Valcour Brewing contains a small bar to that of Big Slide Brewing and Public House and Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, the beers are just as good! Kevin and I ordered Holden’s Golden, a golden ale, and a Downie’s Demise, an English pale ale.
In addition to wonderful beers, Valcour Brewing Company also serves both lunch and dinner.
Protip: Valcour Brewing Company is based out of Plattsburgh, NY. The Lake Placid location is much smaller than the Plattsburgh location and does not offer accomadations though it is still a cool place to stop!
Every town has “that place.” You know the place that is always busting at the seams with tourists and locals. Well in Lake Placid “that place” is Lisa G’s. Lisa G’s is known for its great drinks, delicious food, and quirky atmosphere. The food at Lisa G’s is amazing and the prices are even better. Lisa G’s offers everything from appetizers, salads, wings, sandwiches, delicious entrees, and pizza. You literally cannot go wrong here!
The Breakfast Club serves the most important meal of the day…all day! Open from about 8:00 am to 3:00 pm daily, The Breakfast Club easily has the best breakfast in Lake Placid! No matter your palate you are sure to find something here. In addition to its extensive breakfast and lunch menu, The Breakfast Club also offers a full-service bar. The Breakfast Club’s bar menu includes award-winning bloody marys and mimosas you won’t want to pass up as well as cocktails that sound incredible!
Kevin and I visited The Breakfast Club for breakfast and ordered the veggie rosti and stuffed french toast. Both dishes were simply amazing so we definitely suggest going here!
In the mood for delicious pizza delivered right to your hotel room? Order Johnny’s Pizza! Johnny’s Pizza offers free and prompt delivery and an awesome Italian menu. Kevin and I ordered a white with broccoli pizza on our last night in Lake Placid and were pleasantly surprised how good and reasonably priced it was! Also, our pizza was delivered in under 40 minutes from the time we ordered it to the time it was delivered!
In addition to a number of breweries, Lake Placid also has several delicious wineries as well.
Swedish Hill Winery, one of New York State’s most award-winning wineries is located just down the road from Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex and Big Slide Brewery and Public House. This winery offers a variety of wines including both dry and sweet red and white wines.
Swedish Hill Winery has exactly 12 red wines to choose from and 15 white wines including Lake Placid’s exclusive Mooscato! Wine flights here cost about $10 and come with a complimentary wine glass that can be brought to Goose Watch Winery, their sister winery. By bringing your souvenir glass to Goose Watch Winery you will receive one discounted wine flight for $5.
Kevin and my favorite wines at Swedish Hill Winery were the Vidal Blanc and the Smart Ass Red, we definitely recommend trying them!
Goose Watch Winery is known for having New York State’s most innovative award-winning wines. The winery is located on the main strip and opens daily from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, except for Sunday when they close their doors at 5:00 pm. Goose Watch Winery has everything from Pinot Grigio to Cabernet Sauvignon but is known for its one of a kind White Port, that is wonderful.
Looking for the perfect itinerary for your winter weekend in Lake Placid, NY? Check this out! Lake Placid, NY has so much to offer in both the winter and summer months. If you are like Kevin and me, Lake Placid is the perfect weekend getaway with something for everyone. In this post, we have included all of our favorite things to do during the winter in Lake Placid and all of our favorite places to eat!
If you have any recommendations on what you like to do in Lake Placid or any questions drop a comment below!