Surrounded by fresh air, full of scenic roads and speckled with lake-side cottages.
That’s where you’ll find the cozy town of Lake Placid, New York.
Whether you love hiking, Olympic history or are just in the mood for an Adirondack getaway, Lake Placid is hands-down the place for you to be. I spent four nights exploring Lake Placid this past fall and I would go back in a heartbeat!
As one of the larger cities in the High Peaks region, there are plenty of on-trend eateries and boutique shops to browse. But only a few minutes from the main street, you will find yourself totally secluded in nature. It’s the best of both worlds.
To help make your Lake Placid getaway perfect, I have put together this guide that will show you the best places to stay and things to do in Lake Placid. Let’s get started!
Lake Placid Getaway: Things to Do & Where to Stay
Where to Stay in Lake Placid
During my four nights in Lake Placid, I was fortunate enough to stay in two different places; the Mirror Lake Inn and the Bark Eater Inn. I’ll explain the benefits of both places so that you can make an informed decision on where to stay.
Mirror Lake Inn
The first two nights were spent in the Mirror Lake Inn, which is a luxury resort only steps away from the main shopping district in downtown Lake Placid. And when I say luxury, I mean luxury. The Mirror Lake Inn was recently voted one of the top 10 most beautiful lakeside hotels in the entire world!
The Mirror Lake inn sits on a large property with several different buildings, two on-site restaurants, a full spa, an outdoor pool and a private beach with complimentary boats. My room had beautiful furnishings, a comfortable bed and a stunning view over the lake and nearby mountains! I could have spent all day just hanging out of the window and enjoying the scenery.
During one rainy afternoon, I spent a few hours getting some work done in the big cozy lounge. From there, you can enjoy complimentary coffee, homemade cookies, big comfy chairs and a nice warm fireplace. I wasn’t here during ski season, but I’d imagine that this would be the perfect place to warm up after a day on the slopes!
A 4 star hotel in Lake Placid with 5 star amenities and service. The Mirror Lake Inn is the perfect place to stay for a Lake Placid getaway close to all the action. Be sure to check out their package offers! And don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of their on-site restaurants. They whip up some seriously delicious Adirondack Flapjacks!
Bark Eater Inn
My second two nights were spent at the Bark Eater Inn. A historic yet modern bed and breakfast located on 200 acres of Adirondack wilderness in nearby Keene, New York. And it’s by far one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever stayed!
You feel totally at home from the moment you walk in and see homemade cookies waiting by the door. The shared living and dining spaces are spacious and comfortable. Each of the rooms is totally different but they all have fast Wifi, plush bedding and Beekman 1802 all-natural bath products. I stayed in the Birch room, which was big, bright and had an amazing view of the surrounding meadows!
My favourite part of my two-nights at the Bark Eater Inn was the delicious homemade breakfast. Think huge portions and local ingredients – many of which are found right on the property! All of the food is cooked up by Meghan, the General Manager. She does a fantastic job of making sure you have a memorable experience! I really enjoyed chatting with her in the peaceful backyard and playing fetch with her dog!
An elegant abode tucked away in the Adirondacks and only 15 minutes from downtown Lake Placid. The Bark Eater Inn is truly a nature-lovers paradise with trails leading into the High Peaks and nearby river. You can even book out the entire house for events!
15+ of the BEST Things to do in Lake Placid
Regardless of the time of year that you visit, there will be no shortage of ways for you to occupy your time. I’ve rounded up some of my personal favourite things to do in Lake Placid and compiled them into a handy itinerary.
Start off your first afternoon in Lake Placid by taking a walk down Main Street. One of the first things I always do when visiting a new city is slowly walk around the main district. It helps you get acquainted with the area. And it gives you a chance to scope out some restaurants for later! To satisfy your sweet tooth craving, make sure you stop by Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery!
Make your way to the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum, where you can learn more about the history of the Olympics and even go skating in the winter on the Olympic ice rink! I highly suggest picking up an Olympic Sites Passport, which will give you admission to all of the Olympic sites in the area. It’s inexpensive considering all of the things you get access to!
If the weather is nice, head out to the nearby Brewster Peninsula Trails for some easy hiking through the Adirondack forest. There isn’t much signage, but you can find the area on Google maps easily. I suggest taking a walk to the dam, which is a great spot for photos. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to see the actual Lake Placid. In case you didn’t know, the lake visible from the town is actually Mirror Lake.
End off your day by heading back into town for dinner. In my opinion, the best place to eat in Lake Placid is at The Cottage, which is a part of the Mirror Lake Inn and sits directly on the water. If you’re feeling full after, go for a peaceful walk around the lake – there is a great view of the town from the other side!
After a peaceful night’s rest and a generous helping of Adirondack Flapjacks (available at several places in town), hop in the car and make your way to Whiteface Mountain. Once you reach the town of Wilmington, you’ll begin the ascent up the Veterans Memorial Highway, which has an amazing view of the surrounding High Peaks!
From the Main Base Lodge, take a scenic ride on the Cloudsplitter Gondola, which will take you to the top of Little Whiteface. It’s included with the Olympic Sites Passport or, you can purchase tickets individually.
On your way back into town, consider stopping at the High Falls Gorge. From here, you’ll have easy access to the AuSable River and beautiful Adirondack waterfalls! The walkways are very well maintained and it’s a suitable family activity. There is also a huge picnic area, so feel free to bring some snacks with you.
Visit the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex where you can ride an elevator to the top of the jump tower for a scenic lookout. The ride is included with the passport, but you can also snap some pictures of the tower from the road! You’ll find the John Brown Farm Historic Site nearby. It’s a quaint little property where you can learn more about abolitionist John Brown and the area’s history.
For a scenic photo, head to North Elba and turn onto Adirondack Loj Road. From here, you’ll have a panoramic view of the mountains! It’s also the perfect place to watch the sunset, everything turns a beautiful shade of gold.
For dinner, you might want to check out this cool place called Liquids and Solids at the Handlebars where the menu is almost as creative as the name! They have great beer too, so feel free to stay for drinks afterwards!
If you have any further time in Lake Placid, I highly recommend spending some time in the Keene Valley. Staying at the Bark Eater Inn made me truly appreciate the area and surrounding wilderness.
It would be a shame to be in the area and not check out some of the scenic stops and trailheads along Highway 73!
Here are a few other ways you could occupy your time while in Lake Placid:
- Visit the Olympic Sports Complex and tour the bobsled track.
- Cross-country ski on the famous Jackrabbit Trail.
- Go for a swim in Mirror Lake.
- Catch a movie at the Palace Theatre on Main Street.
- Take a boat tour on Lake Placid.
The Mountains Are Calling & You Must Go!
Lake Placid is easily accessible from several major cities including New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto. There are plenty of activities to partake in with the family, regardless of the season.
But beyond that, there is something special about Lake Placid. I highly suggest you go and experience it for yourself! And I hope you use this guide as a way to plan the perfect Lake Placid getaway.
If you have any questions about Lake Placid or if you’ve been before, leave a comment below! Feel free to share your own tips & recommendations for the area as well.