Lake Placid Travel Guide | Upstate NY

Lake Placid is best known for hosting the Olympic Winter games - not once, but twice. (1932 & 1980) Best known for the miracle on ice in 1980 the small town holds a ton of history. But don't write the best known destination in the Adirondaks off as simply a winter destination. This quaint town makes a beautiful weekend trip from NYC three out of four seasons. 

Head to Lake Placid for....

  • natural beauty
  • outdoor sporting activities
  • historic attractions
  • top-knotch skiing

Best Time of Year to Visit Lake Placid

Like I said above, all seasons are gorgeous in Lake Placid but three of the four are perfect. 

If you are into hiking, best to visit in autumn when the temperature is cool and the leaves are changing. The mountain sides are ablaze with colorful trees and although the town will be crowded you won't regret coming.

Summer months are great but crowded. May through August boasts gorgeous weather with temperatures perfect for hiking. This time of year also sees the longest daylight hours so most attractions are open later. Make sure to book at least three months in advance since this is the busiest season. 

Winter is, of course, a popular option. What else would you expect from the city which hosted the Winter Olympics. Mirror lake usually freezes over after in January but keep an eye on the weather. In 2017 the town was skiing on the lake by Christmas! Ski at Whiteface Mountain and enjoy a stay in the historic Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa.

Festivals in Lake Placid

  • Flaming Leaves Festival (October) 
  • I Love Barbecue Festival (July)

How to get to Lake Placid

If you are coming from NYC...

I suggest renting a car and driving the 5 hours upstate. You can make the trip in as little as 4.5 hours if you hit no traffic, but lets be real, you will atleast hit traffic in a bridge or tunnel getting out of Manhattan. 

Alternatively, you can take a train from NYC via the Amtrak. Tickets come with a shuttle to Lake Placid once you arrive at Westport station. 

Flying into Lake Placid

Only private and corporate planes are allowed in Lake Placid Airport. Adirondack Regional Airport is about 20 minutes outside of Lake Placid and there are daily flights on Cape Air from Boston.

You could alternatively fly into Albany and then rent a car for an additional 2.5 hour drive. Montreal and Burlington (Vermont) also have airports around 2 hours away from Lake Placid.

Read on: More information on getting to Lake Placid

Best Things to Do in Lake Placid

Read on: Everything you can't miss while in Lake Placid

Where to Stay in Lake Placid

Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa take the cake as my top choice for lodging in Lake Placid. The beautiful hotel is genuinely family run - no big corporation in sight. This gives it a feeling that is hard to find these days. The resort has won awards year after year and it is easy to see why. It is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. Book your stay here.

Read on: full review of Mirror Lake Inn here. 

Where to Eat in Lake Placid

  • The View at Mirror Lake Inn: Come here to celebrate, enjoy a fancy meal or simply treat yourself. This is Lake Placid’s only AAA Four-Diamond “Exceptional” rated restaurant and the food and views couldn't be better. I enjoyed breakfast here and pretty much wiped my plate clean. If heading there for dinner be sure to make reservations ahead of time! Dress is smart casual. 
  • KANU Dining Room: Located in Whiteface Lodge this dining room is a great place to grab dinner and enjoy some of the best food in Lake Placid. Don't miss the scallops they are perfectly prepared. Also stop in at the Lounge and look for Zachary Blair. One of the best drinking experiences I've ever had.
  • The Breakfast Club: I stopped in here for some coffee and was not disappointed. Looked like a great place to grab breakfast but had a long wait.
  • Wiseguys Sports Bar: Tons of TVs to watch the game and warm up. Great food.
  • Smoke Signals: Awesome BBQ, nice atmosphere.

For your Pinterest

If you are heading to Lake Placid in Upstate NY check out this handy travel guide. Included are the best places to stay, eat, and do in Lake Placid.

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