Heading Upstate New York to Lake Placid may not be on everybody’s itinerary…but it should be! Far from the madding crowds surrounded by the vast Adirondack State Park lands, limitless opportunities for outdoor adventure and local cuisine await.
High Peaks Resort
Tucked behind historic storefronts on the corner of Main Street and Saranac Ave., High Peaks Resort offers a luxury hideaway setting complete with indoor and outdoor pools and 3 top dining venues. Here you can simply enjoy all the amenities, ditch your car in the parking garage for a few days, and walk to key attractions and shopping. The property itself recently experienced a transformation from a run of the mill boxy Hilton, to a boutique resort by investing in exclusive room treatments and top technology like flat panel TVs, Allegro coffee makers, and complimentary wireless. The lobby; PR’s lounge; and 2 onsite dining venues, Reflections and The Dancing Bears; were also overhauled to bring the ambiance of a mountain top grand lodge down into town with views of Whiteface Mountain over pristine Mirror Lake.
“In the past, guests could have stayed here and they may as well been in Pittsburgh due to the sterile and generic chain hotel surroundings”, says concierge Jim Coe. But now there’s no doubt you’re in the Adirondacks with many rooms having clear lake views, terra cotta planked floors in the bathrooms and entryway, marble topped latticed credenzas, and inviting wallpaper showcasing a colorful mountain patina. Bathrooms with an Asian-inspired flair are actually the rooms’ centerpiece with solid wooden doors that slide open fitted with a large panel of etched glass offering privacy yet allowing natural light to shine through. Stand up showers inlaid with chunks of locally quarried stone are outfitted with Rain Head nozzles.
In the lobby, now a grand gathering place complete with a floor to ceiling stone fireplace and sumptuous leather sofas and chairs, PR’s lounge is ensconced in the corner serving up signature cocktails along with tasty wines and tapas. Toward the front of the property overlooking Mirror Lake, Reflections offers fine dining inside or out on the terrace while directly downstairs, The Dancing Bears serves up a great pub based menu featuring beers flowing through a unique frozen tap system. Go for their Saranac Pale Ale that’s ice cold and super smooth! Besides their smoky steaks and sizzling fajitas accompanied by sides like fresh down home mashed potatoes and salads, breakfasts are another draw here. My favorites for starting the day are their house blend granola and hearty breakfast sandwiches generously layered with Canadian bacon, egg, and spinach stuffed into a fresh baked croissant. It was here that champions reveled in their glory during the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Downtown Lake Placid
Right outside your door is Lake Placid’s bustling Main Street filled with local shops like the Adirondack Popcorn Company, popping up unique flavors like Fire Starter and Double Cheddar; Goose Watch Vineyards, offering an extensive array of wine tastings for the bargain price of $3, souvenir glass included; and Blues Berry Bakery, daily baking plump scones and traditional French pastries onsite. When you’re ready to explore more further afoot, you can either hop on the free Placid XPRSS trolley for full downtown coverage to places like the U.S. Olympic Training Center or follow the brick paved sidewalk that circles Mirror Lake. Heading left on this sidewalk directly below High Peaks Resort is a short 15 minute walk to Lake Placid Marina. Here you can board a Lake Tours pontoon boat for an hour long narrated tour covering sites like Pulpit Rock where the “lady of the lake” was discovered in 1963, 30 years after her disappearance. Divers pulled her from 100 feet underwater perfectly preserved at a constant 35 degrees F year round.
photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky