Lake Placid Weekend Getaway: The Ultimate Itinerary

Are you planning to visit Lake Placid for a weekend? You are for a treat!

Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid is the perfect destination for a Family weekend getaway. Surrounded by pristine lakes and vibrant foliage, this charming town is an oasis for nature lovers seeking adventure and relaxation every season!

Whether traveling with kids or up for a romantic getaway, you can have an unforgettable time here!

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Mom holding a baby and standing by Mirror Lake during Lake Placid weekend getaway

Where is Lake Placid?

Lake Placid is a small village in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains, sharing its name with the lake in the same area.

To give you an idea, it is about a 5-hour drive from NYC and Boston and 2 hours from Vermont and Montreal. If you are not interested in driving, you can take the train by Amtrak from NYC, Albany, or Montreal. Bus service is available from Adirondack Trailways in NYC. There is also a small airport in Lake Placid, but you will need a private airplane for that.

Why Choose Lake Placid for Your Weekend Getaway

You should choose Lake Placid as your ideal weekend getaway destination for several reasons. Let’s begin by exploring the charming town and its various activities.

Combination of Adventure and Relaxation

Lake Placid offers a perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. This small town has an adorable downtown area filled with shops and restaurants where you can unwind, enjoy delicious meals, and shop for local souvenirs.

If you love adventure, Lake Placid is the perfect destination. Many outdoor activities are available, such as skiing, hiking, and even riding a gondola with stunning views.

Girls sitting on the edge of Whiteface Mountain Overlook and watching a pretty view

Breathtaking Nature

Another reason to choose Lake Placid for your weekend getaway is the breathtaking views and nature. Exploring the various hikes that lead to scenic overlooks provides lasting memories of the beautiful Adirondacks.

Lake Placid, Mirror lake view in the morning

Where to Stay During Your Lake Placid Getaway

While you can have a great time at Lake Placid, the most fun thing happens at Mirror Lake. That is where you should stay. It may sound a bit confusing, but the downtown area of Lake Placid Village is located around another smaller lake called Mirror Lake.

Most of the accommodation options are around Mirror Lake. There are a few lakeside hotels with beach access.

There are more just around the lake, but without beach access. While beachfront hotels have the added benefit of beautiful lakeside views and access to (crystal clear) water activities, the other hotels are located just around the lake on the main street.

Because the downtown area is small, all these hotels are within walking distance of the shops and restaurants. If you cannot get a beachfront hotel but want to do water activities, a few rental options are available.

Where to Stay

  • Best For Families: Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort is one of the best family-friendly resorts in Lake Placid. It offers lake beach access and an ideal location right in the center of Main Street! We recently stayed here and loved our stay. You can read about our whole hotel experience here.
  • Best for luxury stay: Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa – This hotel offers a luxurious experience and is conveniently located on Mirror Lake Drive. If you want to splurge in Lake Placid, this is the place to go. We have not been here personally but have heard many good things about this hotel, so I wanted to include it. If you visit, please share your experience with me.
  • Best for budget stay: Best Western Adirondack Inn – Located on Main Street, this option is excellent if you prefer something more budget-friendly.
Golden Arrow Lakeside resort beach with pedal boards in Lake Placid.

Bed and Breakfasts

If you want to skip larger resorts and hotels, Lake Placid has charming bed and breakfasts for a cozy and intimate stay. The Winterberry is a popular option, with three guest rooms, just a 15-25-minute walk from downtown Lake Placid. You’ll find the perfect combination of comfort and charm at these delightful B&Bs to make your weekend unforgettable.

Vacation Rentals

Are you planning a Lake Placid weekend getaway with friends and family? Consider a vacation rental. Vrbo offers over 500 vacation rentals, including houses and cabins, perfect for groups of friends or families.

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Lake Placid

Explore the Main Street

Whether you are visiting Lake Placid for a weekend or longer, exploring the downtown/main street area is a must. This charming little village offers many local shops and restaurants on pedestrian-friendly streets.

Shopping here is a great way to support small businesses. You can find everything from handmade gifts and crafts to art and apparel.

Our daily activity was to stroll up and down the street to explore nearly every shop and restaurant and enjoy lake views. Here are some of our favorite spots worth checking out on Main Street:

Bookstore captured on main street in Lake Placid

The Bookstore Plus – is a beautiful small bookstore with a great book selection for both kids and adults.

Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery: Lines of people waiting to get a scoop tell you everything you need to know about this place.

Adirondack Popcorn Co. – it is almost impossible to miss this place due to the smell of fresh popcorn and kettle corn constantly being cooked.

Adirondack Chocolates – if you are in the mood for tasty handmade chocolates, this is the place for you. They also work as an attractive gift option to stack on!

Visit the Lake Placid Olympics Center

Lake Placid holds an essential place in the history of the US Olympics. It was the center of the US Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. Therefore, visiting the Olympic Center is a must-do activity in Lake Placid.

The Olympics Center is conveniently located within walking distance of Main Street. In addition, you can take a gondola up to the base of the ski jumping towers or visit the Olympic Sports Complex. For booking and more information about the activities, you can click here.

2634 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States

Visit Whiteface Mountain

Whiteface Mountain is the highest peak of the Adirondacks and the fifth-highest mountain in the USA. Because of its incredible views, it is a popular destination for Skiing and hiking.

Whiteface Mountain is elevated at 4,865′ high. It is high enough to see the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the skyscrapers of Montreal on a clear day. If you are visiting Lake Placid, you should find time to make this stop.

How to get there:

Drive—The summit area is easy and accessible because the roads are in good shape. You can drive up to the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway just below the summit and use a passageway to go up to the top, a very short hike away. If you are visiting Lake Placid with kids, I recommend driving.

HikeIf you are up for more adventure, you can choose one of the trails to hike up the top of the mountain. We have never done this hike but have heard that it is somewhat challenging due to the elevation increase, but the views at the end make it all worth it! If you try, please come back here and share your experience.

mom and baby overlooking from whiteface mountain overlook in Lake Placid, New Jersey

Visit The Wild Center

If you want to spend time in nature but are not up for a challenging hike, visit The Wild Center. Besides the “wild walk,” a fun walk that takes visitors up a trail of bridges to the treetops of the Adirondack forest, the Wild Center is home to otters, porcupines, owls, snakes, and fresh-water fish that you can see through their exhibit halls. You can also go inside a bald eagle nest, which is incredible.

Address: 45 Museum Dr, Tupper Lake, NY 12986, United States

Outdoor Activities and Attractions

Explore Hiking Trails

Lake Placid offers a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels. One popular trail is Henry’s Woods, which consists of trails in and around Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

Another great option is the Cobble Lookout trail, just a 20-minute drive from downtown Lake Placid.

One of the most challenging ones is the Whiteface Trail. We have not hiked here but just drove to the overlook area, and let me tell you, it is stunning. If you decide to walk, the views will be so good.

Water Sports

The lakes and rivers around Lake Placid are perfect for various water sports and activities. You can explore the waters by renting a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. If you want a unique experience, consider a guided fly fishing trip on the West Branch of the Ausable River.

For me, nothing beats Kayaking on Mirror Lake. It is the most relaxing and refreshing thing you can do during your Lake Placid weekend getaway.

Mom and baby in the kayak enjoying views in Mirror Lake, Lake Placid

Winter Sports

Lake Placid transforms into a snowy wonderland during winter, providing various winter sports opportunities. You can go skiing, snowboarding, or even ice climbing. For a memorable experience, visit the Lake Placid Olympic Center and appreciate the rich history of Olympic-level sports in the area.

Tip: You can take a scenic gondola ride up the hill at the Olympic Jumping Complex for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Best Places to Eat in Lake Placid

In Lake Placid, you’ll find an array of local culinary delights to satisfy your tastebuds. Stroll along Main Street and discover numerous restaurants and cafes offering delicious Adirondack specialties. Some of the top spots to try include:

  • Generations Tap & Grill is owned by the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort. The menu, like the building design, is influenced by German culture. We found this place to be the most accommodating during busy times.

2543 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States

2431 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States

  • Soulshine Bagels. New York City might have the best bagels in the World, but this tiny place in Lake Placid also offers some top-quality bagels to its customers.

2526 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States

2 bagels captured from Lake Placid weekend getaway
  • Luna Restaurant is another restaurant on the main street offering lunch and dinner options. If you are craving French, American, or Italian food, you can find your dish here. We enjoyed our time here despite long wait lines for dinner. As a bonus, the restaurant has a beautiful entrance.

Address: 2477 Main St, Lake Placid, NY 12946 / (518) 302-5180

Lady posing in front of floral restaurant entrance on main street, Lake Placid
  • Ere’s Pizza. There are a few options for Pizza on Mirror Lake, but this place offers the best views and delicious pizza. It has outdoor seating that overlooks Mirror Lake and a small park where we spent the late evenings. It is a great place; the atmosphere is just right for lakeside dining.

2439 Main St APT 1, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States

  • The Cottage. This small waterfront spot is one of the Mirror Lake Inn restaurants open to the public. The Cottage is a tiny bit off the main street and is available for guests between lunch and dinner. The views from the restaurant are incredible, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. We enjoyed our dinner here a lot.

77 Mirror Lake Dr, Lake Placid, NY 12946, United States

Bars and Pubs

When the sun goes down, Lake Placid offers plenty of options for nightlife entertainment. Enjoy a drink or two, and maybe even catch some live music at one of these popular bars and pubs:

  1. Roomers Nightclub: This Main Street staple has been a part of Lake Placid’s nightlife for over 25 years, offering drink specials and themed nights
  2. Big Z’s at Lake Placid Lanes: Not only can you enjoy a drink here, but you can also have some fun at their bowling alley.
  3. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery: A favorite among locals, this relaxed pub serves award-winning brews and offers fantastic views of Mirror Lake.

No matter your preferences, Lake Placid offers various dining and nightlife options that cater to your tastes. So, enjoy your weekend getaway filled with delicious food, refreshing drinks, and great company.

Local Events and Festivals

During your weekend getaway to Lake Placid, check out the area’s various local events and festivals. Lake Placid is known for hosting exciting events all year long, but summer is when the town truly shines. Experience these events’ vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, and unique activities.

You might want to begin your exploration at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Here, you will find various activities and events for all ages. The center is a hub for the community and visitors alike, so it’s a great place to immerse yourself in Lake Placid’s culture.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Lake Placid’s parks and waterfront provide an idyllic backdrop for picnics and family gatherings. Enjoy a day in the sun surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Adirondacks, and take advantage of the area’s recreational activities.

Don’t forget to explore the town’s Olympic heritage. Lake Placid hosted two Olympic Games, in 1932 and 1980, and you can visit the sites where these historical events occurred. Head to the Olympic Center, Olympic Jumping Complex, Mount Van Hoevenberg, and Whiteface Mountain to relive the glory of past Olympians.

Tips for Planning Your Lake Placid Weekend Getaway

Best Time to Visit

Lake Placid is a fabulous destination year-round, as there’s always something to do and see. However, it depends on your preferences and your adventurous spirit.

  • Summer: If you love warm weather and outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or swimming, plan your visit between June and August.
  • Fall: A trip between September and October allows you to experience the stunning fall foliage.
  • Winter: For skiing or snowboarding, visit between December and February to enjoy Whiteface Mountain to the fullest. Visit the official Lake Placid website to plan your itinerary based on your preferred season.
flowers captured by Mirror Lake, LakePlacid

What To Pack?

As you prepare for your trip to Lake Placid, consider what you’ll need for the planned activities and adapt your packing list accordingly. Here are some essentials you should include in your luggage:

Clothing:

  • Pack clothes that allow layering, as weather can change quickly in the mountains.
  • Bring a waterproof jacket and shoes for potential rain, even in the summer.
  • Winter visitors should pack warm clothes such as thermal layers, socks, gloves, and a hat.

Hiking Gear: If you’re planning to hike, make sure to pack:

  • Comfortable and supportive hiking boots
  • A backpack with water bottles
  • Hiking poles (if desired)

Outdoor Activities: Depending on which activities you’ve planned, consider packing:

  • Swimsuit for swimming at the Mirror Lake Public Beach
  • Gear for any specific sports or activities you’ll be partaking in
  • A camera to capture the incredible views

Also, ensure you have travel documents, medication, and other personal essentials. With your planned trip, Lake Placid awaits you to hop in and enjoy!

If you visit Lake Placid in the Summer, check out my Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List for families.

Lake Placid Weekend Getaway Overview

I usually do not like visiting the same places more than once (or twice), just because there’s still so much we want to cross off our bucket list. However, we have been to Lake Placid four times already and are looking for an opportunity to revisit it. It is the place where my body and mind feel good and refreshed.

This is a great weekend getaway to relax and recharge with family or friends in fall, winter, spring, or summer.

If you enjoyed learning more about Lake Placid’s weekend getaway, read some of our favorite weekend trips below.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips! Where was the flower photo taken? I’d love to see the lupines 🙂

  2. Thank you! Glad you found these tips helpful! If I remember right, those flowers were near Mirror Lake Inn or nearby its outdoor restaurant. We were walking when I noticed them 🙂

  3. user-865963 says:

    awesome

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