Lake Placid Travel Guide
Lake Placid Summary
- Located on Mirror Lake, one of the most stunning lakes in the Adirondacks
- Free trolley service along the lake
- The perfect vacation sport for outdoor enthusiasts, with mountain biking, hiking, and swimming
- Decent number of restaurants for such a small town -- sourdough bakeries, Caribbean, Greek, and dessert cafe options
- Things going on year-round, from ice climbing and carnivals in the winter, to gondola rides and biathlon races in the summer.
- Variety of hotels to choose from
- Charming surrounding towns that offer even more outdoor activities and beautiful views
- Winter storms can be brutal
- Need a car to visit nearby towns
- Not an active nightlife spot
- Lots of traffic downtown during the summertime
What It's Like
Host city of the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is a winter sports lover's paradise. Although summer is its busiest season, there are plenty of outdoor adventures for visitors at any time of year. And although it's in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains, the compact downtown center has a surprisingly diverse offering of restaurants.
Don't let the name "Lake Placid" fool you; the actual lake is a couple miles away. Instead, the village of Lake Placid lies on the shores of Mirror Lake. Some of the state's best mountains are found here, making it a popular winter ski spot, while summer brings travelers who want to swim or boat. Impressive fall foliage also makes it a destination for leaf peepers.
The nearby Saranac Lake, often labeled the number one small town in America, offers fewer restaurant and entertainment options than Lake Placid, but a mellower, hometown feel. Also neighboring Lake Placid, the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness Area has some of the best canoeing and kayaking spots in the U.S.
Where To Stay
Lake Placid offers the best hotels and resorts in the region. Most are located centrally, in Lake Placid's popular downtown area. Many restaurants and shops are situated on the western side of Mirror Lake, along Mirror Lake Drive, so if you want to be close to the action, best stick to this side of the lake. Visitors seeking absolute seclusion should drive to the southern edge of Lake Placid, where nature reserves and hiking trails abound. Many bed and breakfasts can be found in these isolated, surrounding areas.