Sponsored by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Lake Placid
Lake Placid, to no surprise, is an iconic winter destination. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the only destinations to host two Winter Olympics when you consider the hundreds of acres of Olympic-worthy alpine skiing at Whiteface Mountain, the Olympic Jumping Complex, cross-country skiing trails, and unique adventures like bobsledding. Lake Placid offers winter experiences you can’t just find in any ski destination. As such, it’s the perfect place for a me day, weekend getaway, and more. Let’s show you how to enjoy a me ski getaway in Lake Placid.
Skiing at Whiteface Mountain
Whiteface Mountain sits 13 miles from Lake Placid in Wilmington, New York, and is easy to get to via car or the free Mountain Valley Shuttle that picks up guests throughout the region. Whiteface Mountain has plenty of terrain for any skill level of skier or snowboarder on 86 trails spread over 288 skiable acres served by 11 lifts.
The majority of Whiteface Mountain’s terrain is great for beginners and intermediate skiers. What’s more, one-third of the mountain features advanced terrain, which skiers will particularly find at the summit, where The Slides provide some of the most difficult terrain in the east. The Slides consists of 35 acres of steep, narrow black-diamond chutes that are open as long as it’s safe and conditions allow. Pro tip: Visit Whiteface Mountain midweek to see how many laps you can turn before the lifts stop spinning.
Last but not least, Bear Den Learning Center has excellent learning terrain for first-time skiers and snowboarders, featuring professional instructors who make it as much about fun as learning. There’s also an adaptive program for persons with disabilities.
Experience Lake Placid’s Olympic Legacy Off the Slopes
The best part of a ski vacation in the Lake Placid region is that it can take on many forms for the entire family, even on a me day. You can hit the slopes while sending your family off on their own Lake Placid adventure, or you can all experience it together.
When you’re ready to take a break from alpine skiing, check out the Olympic legacy Mt. Van Hoevenberg venue in North Elba, located 9 miles from Lake Placid’s village center. Mt. Van Hoevenberg has 55 kilometers (34 miles) of groomed cross-country trails for all abilities. For a truly Lake Placid Olympic experience, get tickets for the Bobsled or Skeleton Experience, and during the warmer months hop on the Cliffside Coaster, the longest mountain coaster in the United States. The Olympic theme continues with the 90- and 120-meter jumps at the Olympic Jumping Complex nearby. An elevator takes you to the top, providing an incredible view.
Finally, spend some time at the Lake Placid Olympic Center for a taste of the historic legacy. You’ll find the 1932 Jack Shea Arena, 1980 Herb Brooks Arena, USA Practice Rink, James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, and the all-new Lake Placid Olympic Museum.
Lake Placid Rest and Après-Ski
When it’s time to slow down as those fun me days turn into nights, Lake Placid has all of that covered. Accommodations include stunning lakeside hotels like the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa, charming bed and breakfasts, and unique vacation rentals.
Après-ski takes on many forms in Lake Placid. The nightlife scene is expansive, from wine tastings at nearby wineries to flights at breweries to live music venues to billiards at one of the many local clubs and bars. Roomers Nightclub, Lisa G’s Restaurant and Bar, and Lake Placid Pub and Brewery are among the standouts.
Getting to Lake Placid
Most people drive to Lake Placid and, indeed, a personal car is the best way to get around. Lake Placid is a five-hour drive, without traffic, from New York City. However, New York City travelers have options to take Amtrak. Additionally, you can fly to the Lake Placid region from several cities in the Northeast. Alternatively, Lake Placid is approximately a two-hour drive from international airports in Albany, New York, Burlington, Vermont, and Montreal, Quebec.