As summer reaches its peak, everyone seems to be heading off on vacation, eager to take advantage of the couple of weeks away from the stress of everyday life. While it seems like everyone and their grandma are heading off on extravagant European sojourns, most of us are struggling to find a trip that's both relaxing, enjoyable, and won't drain our bank accounts.
If there's anything we need more of in this day and age, it's more time spent in nature, far from phones, laptops, and anything Netflix related. That's where Lake Placid comes in. A charming little town nestled in New York's Adirondacks, the site of two past winter olympics, Lake Placid is home to some of the best hiking, camping, fishing, and outdoor adventures in North America.
Only two hours away from Montreal, Lake Placid makes for a perfect weekend getaway, and if you have more time, there are certainly enough activities to warrant a week long stay. And don't get deterred by expense; although hotels in the village can get pricey, there are great options minutes away for much cheaper. Take a look and see how Lake Placid might just be the gem you've been waiting for.
1. There are tons of incredible hiking options
With 46 peaks in total for you to climb, the trail options are plentiful when it comes to hiking in the Adirondacks. If you're an experienced hiker, or have some serious ambitions (and good hiking boots), consider Mount Marcy, the tallest mountain in New York state.
But of course, you don't need to be a pro to enjoy hiking in and around Lake Placid. Mid-range hikes like Cascade Mountain offer incredible views, and even shorter routes such as Mount Jo are nothing short of breathtaking. With something for every experience level, there's just no better way to restore your spirit (and get your muscles working) than spending time in the mountains.
2. Your visit can double as a camping trip
Camping is an incredibly affordable (I'm talking $30-45 per night) option that not many people think of when they consider the lodging options in Lake Placid. If you already have the gear, getting a campsite is an awesome way to save money, and make your trip even more of an escape into the outdoors.
There are lots of choices depending on your comfort level. If you're a new camper, consider the car-friendly sites at the Whiteface Mountain KOA Campground. It's only ten minutes from the village, and you can also rent cabins there for a decent price if you don't have a tent. If you're an experienced camper, the Adirondacks region has boundless acres for you to discover - read this for an overview of the guidelines.
3. Water activities are readily available
The main lake you'll see during your visit will actually be Mirror Lake, not Lake Placid itself. Needless to say, Mirror Lake is large and pristine, undisturbed by motorized boats - meaning it's a perfect, safe spot to rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards.
But the water activities don't just end there. Lake Placid has a marina, so if you have a boat, or want to rent one, you can do so. There are also tons of lakes in the region where you can find your private piece of paradise, and the Ausable river, which runs through the area, is great for swimming and fishing.
4. There are tons of beautiful, secluded swimming spots
There's nothing quite like discovering your own little paradise, a spot that no one else seems to have come across, where you can unwind and relax in nature's pristine beauty. With so many lakes, ponds, and sections of the Ausable river surrounding Lake Placid, there are endless opportunities for you to find somewhere that's all your own.
Whether it's an early morning dip in the serene Heart Lake, or a swim at the base of Beaver Meadow Falls after a tough hike, there is guaranteed to be a peaceful place for everyone. Relax and spend the day relishing in the pure magic of Lake Placid's many bodies of water.
5. The dining and shopping is great
Ask most people what they love about Lake Placid, and after talking animatedly about the natural beauty, the next thing they'll say will undoubtedly be "Shopping and eating." And honestly, people say this for good reason.
Although the town of Lake Placid is small by many standards, the main downtown strip is home to some great local shops that sell artfully crafted, unique products. And though it may be little, this town seriously delivers when it comes to restaurants; there are lots of options for every price range and taste spectrum.
6. One word: waterfalls
Breathtaking, right? The above photo is taken at the High Falls Gorge, a nature walk that takes you along a path that opens up to incredible, close-up views of the waterfalls that tumble through the gorge. Visiting this area is a great way to kill an hour if you're unsure what to do on a quiet afternoon in Lake Placid.
This is one of a few gorgeous waterfalls throughout the region, including Beaver Meadow Falls, and sections along the Ausable river that flow down into some beautiful falls. In fact, just behind the KOA campground mentioned above, you can find one of those sections, which also doubles as a great swimming area. There are even rocks that you can jump off of into the water - sounds like magic, am I right?
7. It's a place that truly allows you to relax, explore, and reconnect with nature
By virtue of being a town surrounded by mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, Lake Placid has such a serene, laid-back vibe all around. There's no pressure to 'see it all' or keep up with anyone; it's just full of people united by a common interest: to escape the daily grind and enjoy the outdoors.
Maybe you'll find your peace on top of one of the High Peaks, on the banks of a secluded section of the Ausable river, or on a paddle board in the middle of serene Mirror Lake. Maybe you want a challenging bike ride through the hills, a rustic camping experience, or a comfortable stay at a quaint bed and breakfast. Maybe you want all of the above - and guess what, in Lake Placid, you can have it. Consider it for your next vacation, and you won't be disappointed; you'll come back more refreshed and restored than you could've ever imagined.