While visiting Lake Placid earlier this year, I spent a day exploring this northern New York town. Because it was a rainy day, we skipped some of the outdoor activities but we got to visit some neat places and enjoy good food and drinks (of course!). I shared already about the very well set up Olympics Museum, my “adventure” at the luge training facility, and my skating at historic Herb Brooks Arena (check it all out here). Having covered those sites so tied to Olympic history, I should probably share with you more of what Lake Placid has to offer. In this post, I will share about some of the lodging, food, and drinks that I enjoyed checking out during my visit.
A lodge you can dream of – and then go see for yourself!
One of our stops was the Whiteface Lodge. I had heard it was an incredible place and it did not disappoint! I was staying in the town of Lake Placid proper at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort which was ideally situated close to many places I visited and with a great restaurant (Generations) right on site (more on the restaurant below).
The Whiteface Lodge consists only of suites, and there are suites of every size. Even the “small” ones are well-equipped with nice kitchens, fireplaces, large screen TVs, and balconies. Some of the suites are outright “owned” by private individuals who may live there, visit there, or partially rent them back to the Lodge to then put into its reservations system. The most amazing suite was the Presidential Suite which the General Manager of the resort kindly showed us since it was unoccupied that day. I can safely say the Presidential Suite is bigger than my house!!!
I was impressed by the beauty of the outdoor areas and how the space is well-laid out for different activities that guests may opt to take part in. For example, there is a fire pit for making smores (I didn’t get to eat any!). The resort also has indoor spaces for every age and interest. From a two-lane bowling alley, to its own movie theater, to a game room, and to a phenomenal spa for lots of R&R.
While I did not stay at the Whiteface Lodge, I can assure you I was not going to miss its bar (open to the public) to check out its specialty seasonal cocktails and tasty appetizers while chatting with friends. Though they had a series of interesting martinis, I opted for a specialty cocktail (as I seem to have become a specialty cocktail adventurer) named Jacob Marley’s Return: Bourbon infused with apples, cinnamon, and cloves with Frenet Branca, and maple water. All these ingredients came together excellently for a cocktail perfect for the season and area of the country.
As part of my visit, I was invited to try the thermal pools which was great as it was snowing and being outside in hot waters watching it snow was priceless.
A different lodge
Lake Placid is big enough for more than one lodge and certainly for different kinds of them. The Adirondacks Loj, operated by the Adirondack Mountain Club, is perfect for those wanting a more basic place to stay. Sitting at the edge of Heart Lake, the Adirondacks Loj offers also more of a communal feel with shared dining room and even shared rooms (you can have a private one). The Loj seemed like a great base for hiking and its staff clearly was eager to help with information or anything else. It may be a great place to use as a base but I think I would also enjoy cold winter nights in front of the massive stone fireplace!
This photo of Adirondak Loj is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Great food everywhere. I am not complaining.
No visit to a new town is complete without sampling the food on offer. The night we arrived we went to a pub which was perfect for the mood after a five-hour drive in from the outskirts of New York City. The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery was packed yet we had no trouble finding a spot to perch ourselves on. I drank some pints of the oatmeal stout which was perfect to help me recover from the long day. That stout and a delicious flatbread pizza of the many on offer and ilivetotravel was a happy camper that night!
For my beverage, I kept up the theme from the cocktail I had had earlier that evening at the Whiteface Lodge and chose a Bourbon-based cocktail: The Sassy Cider – Bourbon with maple syrup, lemon juice, some cider, and a little cayenne pepper – perfect to warm me up after a cold and wet day!
The morning I was leaving, we went for brunch at the Generations Restaurant associated to the Golden Arrow (where I stayed this weekend). With a great view of Mirror Lake, we enjoyed all sorts of good and impressive stuff, local-sourced and fresh. The cinnamon roll with strawberries and maple syrup clearly hit the right spot for my sweet teeth (in plural, because I have more than one sweet tooth).
Everything we tried was great and then the piece de resistence came to us: bison burgers cooked on a Himalayan salt block. I had never heard of the concept but a large salt block is heated to high temperatures and then brought to your table. The bison burgers are laid on it and you let them cook until your preferred level of “cooked” Ir was amazing to see this salt block cook my burger. Here are the before and after pictures of this neat trick!
Now that I have shared all this with you, I am developing quite an appetite… I think you get the point: Lake Placid offers great experiences beyond its Olympic history and outdoor activities (which I hope to experience in the near future!). It sits in the beautiful Adirondacks, a blessed corner of our country and one I am glad to have discovered!