Lake Placid is teeming with sports history and things to do. During our memorable visit we stayed busy exploring the Olympic Village and Whiteface Mountain and more. I’ve already suggested some places to dine and hotel to stay in, but if you’re looking for some things to do on your next visit here are some suggestions.
Olympic Center: Lake Placid was host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and one of the most remarkable hockey events happened at during the 1980′s Games at the Herb Brooks Arena – named for the Miracle on Ice coach (aka the game where the USA beat the top-tier team at the time, the Soviets ). This is also the annual location arena for national and international figure skating competitions. Attached to the arena is the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Museum. View a wonderful collection of memorabilia, videos and photos from these two classic events.
Olympic Jumping Complex: If you visit during the summer months don’t miss the freestyle aerialists getting some good practice runs and landing in a 750,000-gallon pool during the Wet n’ Wild Wednesdays. Afterward, ride up on the chairlifts from the base of the ski jump landing hills, yes they run even without snow. Once at the top, visitors can take a ride up to the top for a tour of the complex and a 26-story glass elevator ride up the elevator to the observation deck at the top of the K-120 meter tower.
Just as we were about to depart a few athletes showed up to to practice their dry jumps (technology has really advanced the sport with it’s snow-free landing plastic shingles sprayed with water). Ski jumping in person is quite a sight to see. TV doesn’t do the sport justice.
Little Whiteface Mountain: Skiers and snowboards love this town in the winter, but summer brings something to the table too, and that’s hiking, mountain biking and a spectacular ride on the Whiteface Mountain Cloudsplitter Gondola to the top of Little Whiteface, where you will catch spectacular 360-degree views from the observation deck. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day.
Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway. This short five-mile ride (from the Toll House) up the 75-year-old highway is not to be missed. Be ready for more grandeur views, but for us the fun began when we arrived at the top of 4,867-foot-high Whiteface Mountain. The peak’s treasure though is climbing the stone path to the top. To tell you the truth, I didn’t think my youngest would be able to make the climb, but she took one step at a time and made it to the top. For those not interested in a hike, they can ride the elevator built into in the mountain!
Don’t miss: A boat tour of Lake Placid at Placid Marina. It’s kind of silly to go to Lake Placid and not experience the lake it’s named for. I have to admit, besides the cliff divers on the skirts of the lake, the giant “camps” (huge lakefront properties) were amazing.
When you go: During our stay I kept seeing people with blue “passports” in a lanyard around their necks. These are the Olympic Sites Passport which allows access to Lake Placid’s top attractions at an amazing discount. Don’t skip this bargain.
Enjoy your trip to Lake Placid! Get ready to be endeared.