I pondered where my husband and I could go for a couples’ getaway for a few days this summer. We agreed we wanted to see and experience the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of scenic upstate New York! Summer is the perfect time to explore Lake Placid. With so many great eateries and shops right on/near the lake in addition to the many fun outdoor activities and Olympic arenas, there is so much to do in Lake Placid. Discover Beautiful Lake Placid, NY in Summer!
As much as I love the ocean and beach, the mountains are quite enticing during the summer. Why should you go to Lake Placid in the Summer?
-breathtaking, green panoramic views of mountains, lakes, streams, wilderness and wildlife
-swim in the lake without getting pummeled by waves or a mouthful of salt water
-cooler, summer temperatures but, can still wear shorts and flip flops; less humidity and fresh, crisp air
-not as much traffic and crowded as the beach in the summertime
-many great places to eat and shop within walking distance from each other
-no snow or ice to interfere with you arriving at your destination
-check out the Olympic arenas where remarkable athletes have competed and where current athletes train
Top Summer Things to Do in Lake Placid:
-biking and hiking on many popular trails
-boating, canoeing, row boats
-kayaking, paddle boating, stand up paddle boarding
-swimming in the lakes
-birding and wildlife
-visit the Olympic Sites
Discover Beautiful Lake Placid NY, in Summer
Below is what we decided to do on our three-night stay in Lake Placid, NY in August.
Where We Stayed (Resort and Location)
It is worth explaining why we didn’t stay right on Lake Placid lake. Lake Placid is a lake and the town name. However, there is only one hotel on Lake Placid lake. The rest are million dollar summer homes and estates (called summer camps) and very few are available for rent.
However, there is one hotel with rooms costing about $1400 per night. Other than that hotel, there is no commerce on the lake itself other than the boat tour company. I believe one summer home can be rented for $3k$-4k per week and sleeps 15 people. Therefore, Lake Placid town visitors are mostly staying on Mirror Lake or thereabouts.
We stayed at the High Peaks Resort on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY. Our nicely furnished room with comfy bed and pillows was lake view and the building is located across the street from the lake. However, you can rent lake front rooms from this resort as well. The location of this hotel was perfect because we were walking distance from the village (Main St.) and town center. In addition, our resort offered unlimited access to their paddle boats and kayaks included in our stay.
I highly recommend staying in a place that is walking distance to the town center where there are lakeside restaurants, bars, a library, post office, retail shops, book stores, and the Olympic Stadium. Also, you are close to the mountains as you can see below. Whiteface mountain is located in the picture below on the far left and it took us less than a half hour drive to arrive at the bottom of the mountain from Mirror Lake.
Paddle Boating and Kayaking on Mirror Lake
Our resort included use of paddle boats and kayaks so, we made sure to get on the lake in a paddle boat and enjoy the beautiful lake in a serene setting. When my legs were sore from hiking and paddling the next day, we got in a two-person kayak so could let my husband do the work and I could relax a bit. Note to self: get your quadriceps ready before the next hiking trip!
The views in Lake Placid remind me of the ones I’ve seen in southern Italy when visiting my relatives minus the grape vines, olive and lemon trees. The beautiful landscapes are quite similar.
Sunrise on Mirror Lake
I woke up at 5:56 a.m. to see this beautiful sunrise and snap some pictures. The sun does not set on Mirror Lake but, it certainly rises on it! This picture defines the lake for which it refers! Thankfully, I was able to go back to sleep afterward.
Boat Tour of Lake Placid
Boat Tours Lake Placid Marina, One hour tour, Cost $17 for adults
First, we took a bout tour of Lake Placid which, I highly recommend. Our guide gave us factual, interesting and useful information on the lake. She recommended us to go to Whiteface Mountain and suggested calling ahead to make sure the elevator was working (which, was broken that particular day) in case of necessity. You can see the castle atop Whiteface Mountain from Lake Placid and the hike leading to the top.
Also, the boat tour guide told us of a mysterious disappearance and drowning of Mabel Smith Douglass, camp owner, that occurred at the lake in 1933. Books have been written about this eerie true story and can be found in the village to purchase.
You can do the boat tour of Lake Placid, go to the top of White Face Mountain, stop by the North Pole on the way down the mountain and see High Falls Gorge all in one day. It may take longer if you plan to hike the mountain or at the falls.
4865 ft elevation! This visit can be done in a couple hours and is a relatively short drive from Mirror Lake.
We drove up Whiteface Mountain which, has a toll of $17 but, varies according to number of passengers. The toll building displays mountain top temperature and visibility along with whether the elevator is open or closed. If the elevator is closed, you will have to hike 1/5 mile to the top with side rails to help you climb the rocks and boulders. It is doable. We saw teens on the way up panting. Therefore, this hike is not suitable for toddlers or young children.
You will see scenic Panoramic views , Lake Placid, Mirror Lake and the whole surrounding area as far as about an inch of Lake Champlain, VT and even Montreal, Canada. You will see mountains as far as the eyes can see! Totally breathtaking! Then, we enjoyed lunch in the castle where there is also a gift shop.
North Pole, NY
Then, on our way down Whiteface Mountain, we stopped at Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, NY. It’s a small amusement park for young kids. We sent our two little boys post cards from “the North Pole” from Santa telling them to be good. You have the option to have it sent right after Thanksgiving or to send immediately. Hence, the post cards are postmarked from the North Pole!
High Falls Gorge
High Falls Gorge only takes a short time to see but, you can hike on their trails and make a day of it, if you choose. The beautiful gorge is on the way from Mirror Lake to Whiteface Mountain so you can see both the same sunny day. This activity has a fee of $11.75 for adults and $8.75 for kids (ages 4-12.) Additionally, there are picnic tables to eat a packed lunch and there is an onsite gift shop and restaurant.
Where We Ate
I really do believe there’s no plate like home but, when you are away and want a break from cooking and clean up, you want to know where are the places that have great food. After all, when you’re spending good money on eating out, you want it to be worth it.
Here are the places I’d recommend:
Bluesberry Bakery 2436 Main St. Lake Placid, NY
This little “to-go” bakery has high quality, fresh pastries and breakfast croissants with incredible buttery, flaky dough. We got our breakfast two days in a row and took it across the street at a nearby park so we so we could eat while gazing at Mirror Lake. Included in our two days of heavenly breakfast fare we had a blueberry muffin, blueberry turnover, sausage and egg croissant, ham and cheddar croissant and coffee.
The Breakfast Club 2431 Main St. Lake Placid, NY
This cafe is right across the street from the Bluesberry Bakery. Also, the coffee is great. We had a good bagel breakfast sandwich and a banana nut muffin. Both were good.
Players 2405 Mirror Lake Dr. Lake Placid, NY
We had happy hour and lunch while eating lake side at this restaurant in town. We had chicken quesadillas and drinks for happy hour. another day, my husband ordered a tasty and very filling salmon sandwich and I had chicken nachos which, were big for sharing. Although, I thought the chips were low quality. The best part of eating at Players was being lakeside and the friendly service.
Smoke Signals BBQ 2489 Main St. Lake Placid, NY
This restaurant is also lakeside and had excellent BBQ! I had a half rack of ribs with yummy seasoned fries while my hubby had the beef brisket and mashed potatoes. Both meals were of high quality. Also, the atmosphere was appealing. Get there early to avoid long wait times to be seated, especially if you want lakeside seating. Someone told us this was “the best restaurant in town.”
With so many good restaurants and shops, fun outdoor activities, Olympic arenas, breathtaking panoramic views that are well worth the hike, you will be glad you decided to visit the great Adirondack Mountains. There is so much to see and do in Lake Placid for the whole family. Discover Beautiful Lake Placid, NY in Summer!