by D.J. Wilson –
The Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York offers spectacular beauty unlike any other getaway in America. It is a place where high peaks are swept into soft clouds of sky and endless streams meander through pristine land, sweeping past tranquil ponds and gorgeous lakes which reflect the blue heavens. With more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails and 3,000 lakes and ponds, the region is steeped in breathtaking natural beauty and offers visitors a chance to inhale fresh mountain air and reflect upon life while appreciating the natural gift of the land God leaves in our care. Along the lovely Mirror Lake rests a town of charm and beauty, the quaint Village of Lake Placid. The town is best described as an Alpine village, offering shopping, dining, attractions and recreation, with an amazing hometown vibe.
Lake Placid was established in the late 19th century and grew as a tourist destination for the upper class. In 1895, Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System, designed the “Placid Park Club” and inspired the village to change its name to Lake Placid. Proud host of two Winter Olympics, in 1932 and 1980, the town became renowned and to date remains a favorite tourist destination. The Village served as site of the 1980 USA-USSR hockey game, called by many “Miracle on Ice”. During this game, a group of American college students and amateurs won a victory against the highly favored Soviet national ice hockey team, winning a gold medal. Folks may remember speed skater Eric Heiden’s winning of five gold medals.
The Village of Lake Placid is home to less than 3,000 people and draws a large portion of its revenue from tourism. A stroll along the brick sidewalks of Lake Placid’s Main Street is reminiscent of a pleasant scene from a movie. The town boasts an old fashioned movie theatre, a charming library, an antique shop, a long-standing bank, a bookstore and a plethora of specialty gift shops. Many of the shops feature rustic Adirondack style furniture and goods. Other boutiques offer contemporary designer clothing, shoes, jewelry and handmade gifts. It is a lovely place to purchase keepsake gifts or unique souvenirs of the region. Visitors are generally greeted well by the local shop owners who are happy to be of service. The dining in Lake Placid is amazing, with a multitude of restaurants from which to choose. From a simple sandwich shops to gourmet French restaurants, the options seem endless.
Just because you’re going to the Adirondacks doesn’t mean you have to pitch a tent. If camping is not your style, perhaps a stay at one of the Village’s many accommodations is preferred. The options are endless and include luxury hotels, full service resorts, delightful bed and breakfasts, rustic cabin rentals, waterfront property rentals, motels and more. The Whiteface Lodge was voted one of the top hotels in the world according to the prestigious Travel + Leisure and is ranked first in Lake Placid. The hotel is the perfect execution of the marriage of rustic elegance and contemporary luxury. Featuring splendid amenities such as private jetted tubs and cast iron gas fireplaces in most of the rooms, the hotel also has a heated indoor/outdoor pool offering recreation and relaxation. Enjoy a trip to the spa for a Zen-like experience while enjoying a unique Maple Butter Massage inspired by nature. The premier restaurant at the Whiteface Lodge features a wide variety of upscale entrees. Less formal dining is also available with live music for entertainment. In addition, poolside and private beach dining is available. There’s also an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor offering refreshing frozen treats. With 24 hour room service, you won’t be disappointed at the Whiteface Lodge. There is also an abundance of excellent campsites in the area, for those with a sense of adventure who wish to sleep amongst the tall green pines and under the brilliant night sky.
Your sense of spirit can be recharged in the great outdoors. Surrounded in breathtaking views, enjoy a day while golfing on one of Lake Placid’s championship golf courses, many of which are designed by famous golf-course architects. The geographic features of the courses are considered outstanding. Some claim the experience is like golfing in Scotland due to the similarity of the beautiful landscape terrain. Lake Placid’s unique location makes it a base for serious hikers to climb the 46 High peaks. Those who succeed proudly join the prestigious Adirondack 46ers. Located near the West Branch of the Ausable River, the Lake Placid area is a hot-spot for the sport of fly fishing. Over 6 miles of the West Branch is considered optimal, year-round, artificial lure catch and release water. Exciting events take place in Lake Placid, too, such The Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows and the Ironman Triathlon. The winter time is a fun season to visit the Village as one can ski and attend the Annual Winter Carnival, one of the oldest in the country, complete with an Ice Place. In the summer, enjoy listening to the Lake Placed Sinfonietta, a professional summer chamber orchestra which offers concerts lakeside. The Lake Placid Ice Dance Competition is an enjoyable event held every year in July or August and is sanctioned by the U.S. Figure Skating through the Skating Club. Whether you wish to enjoy a nature walk, ride a bike along a beautiful mountain pass, take a cruise on beautiful Mirror Lake, go white water rafting, explore the Olympic sites, shop, golf, or simply relax on an Adirondack chair, it is clear there are plenty of recreational activities to satisfy all ages and interest levels.
Kate Smith, American singer best known for her rendition of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”, kept a summer home on a small island in Lake Placid. For more than 40 years, she spent her vacations and summers in this beautiful place and entertained guests in town and at her home. Embodying the spirit of America, one can surmise that some of her musical inspiration was derived from joyful days spent at her beautiful camp “Sunshine”. She fully enjoyed life in the Adirondacks, as was evident in a snapshot taken of her happily cruising on the lake with her dog Freckles by her side. The Village was clearly an important part of her life, for it became the place where she was baptized and eventually laid to rest. If there is one welcoming place in America to visit that deserves the title “Home Sweet Home” it is the Village of Lake Placid. Come and explore the gorgeous and panoramic Alpine village of Lake Placid, situated amongst six million acres of incredible Adirondack beauty.