Taylor-Mirror-Lake-Inn1

A woman doing a winter weekend trip to Lake Placid, New York

Located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid is a beautiful lakeside village known for its winter sports. Both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics took place in Lake Placid, New York. Even though Lake Placid is a year-round destination, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway in the colder months since there are so many fun winter activities to enjoy.

There is nothing like taking a memorable winter trip every year where you get to enjoy your favorite winter activities, whether that be skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding, etc., cozying up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa or glass of mulled wine or cider; treating yourself to a well-needed spa day and checking out comforting breweries. Everything I mentioned above, Lake Placid has!

A woman on a road trip to Lake Placid, Adirondacks

During January 2022, I made a memorable winter weekend getaway with Lake Placid Adirondacks Tourism and my mom. We stayed at the charming Mirror Lake Inn and enjoyed all the fun winter activities and Olympic legacies Lake Placid offers.

In this article, discover the best Lake Placid winter activities for 2023 that you can enjoy during a weekend getaway.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. My trip to Lake Placid, New York was in partnership with the Lake Placid Adirondacks tourism board.


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Lake Placid, NY weekend winter activities

Lake Placid in Winter – Getting to the Adirondacks

Beautiful views of the Adirondack Mountains during winter

My trip to Lake Placid, NY in winter was a road trip from Northern New Jersey. It took us around 4 hours to drive from the New York City area to Lake Placid and it was straightforward up I-87 North, towards Canada, to route 73.

Lake Placid is around a 5-hour drive from Boston, 6 hours from Buffalo, a little over 2 hours from Albany and 2 hours from Montreal in Quebec. In addition to driving, you can also get to Lake Placid, NY during winter by flight. There are two regional airports near the Olympic resort – Lake Placid Airport and Adirondack Regional Airport. The closest international airport is Plattsburgh International Airport, around an hour from the heart of the village.

Lake Placid village

Some excellent flights to and from Lake Placid are United Airlines/Sky West direct from Washington-Dulles in D.C. to Plattsburgh and a nonstop flight with Cape Air from Boston Logan to Adirondack Regional Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

The public transportation options to Lake Placid in Upstate New York is the Amtrak train from New York City, Albany and Montreal. Amtrak tickets include a bus ride from the Saratoga station to Lake Placid via the Adirondack Trailways. You can also take the Adirondack Trailways bus from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal to Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

A woman doing winter activities at Lake Placid

Once you’re in Lake Placid, especially during the winter, it is best to get around by using your own vehicle to enjoy all the memorable activities. If you don’t have one, I recommend renting a car with all-wheel drive! You can also get around the area by taking the Placid XPRSS, the village’s free public transit system. It is wheelchair-accessible and ADA-compliant.

(Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

Staying at Mirror Lake Inn during a Lake Placid Winter:

Mirror Lake Inn at Lake Placid during winter

One of the best Lake Placid hotels is Mirror Lake Inn. It is a historic and luxurious inn situated on the beautiful Mirror Lake in Lake Placid and faces Mount Marcy, the highest mountain peak in New York state at 5,343 feet above sea level.

During the winter, patches of water freeze in Lake Placid, so there are plenty of fun winter activities on Mirror Lake to enjoy while you stay at the Inn. Mirror Lake Inn can organize many epic things to do in Lake Placid for you and your family. Some top things to do on the frozen Mirror Lake are snowshoeing, sleigh riding, dog sledding, ice skating and more.

Lake Placid in the winter

What I loved most about staying at Mirror Lake Inn during the winter was how beautifully decorated the hotel was. There were still stunning and cozy Christmas decorations all around and as we pulled up to the hotel, the lights display was so magical! We even got to enjoy them from our room.

Mirror Lake Inn also has an outdoor fire pit to enjoy s’mores and admire the gorgeous views of Mirror Lake and the Adirondack Mountains. The hotel also has two restaurants, a spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, a hot tub and a fitness center.

A woman sitting in front of a fire pit at Mirror Lake Inn

In Lake Placid, my mom and I stayed in the Mountain View building at Mirror Lake Inn. The room we spent two nights in was the Oak Knoll, which included an en-suite bathroom, two cozy queen beds and a seating area with gorgeous views of the lake and mountains. (The seating area can be closed off for more privacy.) It was comforting and perfect! Mirror Lake Inn also gave my mom and me a lovely fruit and cheese plate to enjoy.

The other classic rooms in the Mountain View and Terrace buildings are the Ausable Suite, the Lookout room, the Cedar Run room, the Alpine Ridge room, the Great Range rooms, the Main House Marcy room, Cathedral Room and Lake Cottage Cathedral Room.

A room at Mirror Lake Inn at Lake Placid

In addition to the classic rooms, this charming inn also has lovely suites such as the Golden Suite, Whiteface Suites, Adirondack Suite, High Peaks Suite, Kiwassa Suite, Mirror Lake Suite and Placid Suite.

Since Lake Placid is an excellent destination for families to visit due to all the fun winter activities, Mirror Lake Inn has a plethora of family rooms to choose from, such as The Bear Club, Fox Den, Skylight Suite, Little Whiteface Suite, Osprey Overlook and Lakeside Family Suite.

A weekend getaway to Lake Placid,  New York

(If you plan to visit Mirror Lake Inn during the warmer months, there are a lot of fun Lake Placid family activities to enjoy in the summer.)

History of Mirror Lake Inn:

The history of Mirror Lake Inn dates to 1924 when Climena Alford of Lake Placid married William Rufus Wikoff of Massachusetts, a wealthy businessman. After retiring, Mr. Wikoff created the Mir-a-Lac Inn out of an old estate and attracted wealthy clientele, mainly from New York City.

Staying at Mirror Lake Inn

Mir-a-Lac Inn became Mirror Lake Inn in 1933 after the 1932 Winter Olympics. It survived both the Great Depression and World War II and a fire in 1988. In fact, during WWII, the Army took over the Lake Placid Club to use it as a rehabilitation center. The Club then rented the Mirror Lake Inn to house its guests.

The Mirror Lake Inn has been known for its sports-related innovations. After alpine skiing was introduced to the area, the Inn installed the first rope tow that was powered by electricity on Dream Hill, which is behind the hotel. In the later part of the 1940s, the first snowmaking machine was purchased by Mirror Lake Inn.

The best hotel to stay at in Lake Placid - Mirror Lake Inn

Later, Climena Alford Wikoff’s father built the first bobsled run and hosted the first skating camp that housed many future figure skating champions.

In 1976, Ed Weibrecht of New Jersey became the resort’s new owner. The Mirror Lake Inn has been AAA Four Diamond rated for the past 35 years.

Where to Eat in Lake Placid in the Winter:

One of the best winter activities in Lake Placid is visiting all the cozy restaurants and eateries within the village. You can find everything from great breakfast spots to breweries in Lake Placid, NY.

Below is a list of the restaurants my mom and I ate at during our weekend getaway to Lake Placid:

The Cottage at Mirror Lake Inn:

A woman enjoying winter activities in Lake Placid, such as visiting the ski gondolas at The Cottage

What is nice about staying at Mirror Lake Inn is that there are two restaurants onsite – The Cottage and The View. During our first night in Lake Placid, we ate at The Cottage, located across the street from the hotel. It is situated right on Mirror Lake.

Dining at The Cottage is considered one of the best things to do in Lake Placid because there are heated ski gondolas outside the restaurant (that are initially from the local ski resort – Whiteface Mountain) to eat and drink in. The gondolas at The Cottage operate on a first-come-first-serve basis, but you can reserve them ahead of time if you want a guarantee to dine in one of them. Also located at The Cottage are outdoor fire pits to enjoy.

A hummus platter from The Cottage in Lake Placid
Flatbread from The Cottage at Mirror Lake Inn

During our time at The Cottage, I had mulled wine, which was delicious, and my mom had a local red wine. For dinner, we split the hummus platter as an appetizer. I had the flatbread pizza for my main meal with fresh basil pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. My mom had “The Cobble Hill” sandwich with hand-carved turkey breast, sliced apple, NY sharp cheddar cheese and cranberry mayonnaise.

After dinner, I warmed up with the delicious hot chocolate. Everything was amazing! Overall, the food served at Mirror Lake Inn’s restaurants are made with fresh, local ingredients.

The other restaurant at the Inn is The View, which is in the hotel’s main building. Every morning, breakfast is served there from 7:30 am to 10:30 am. You can savor everything from fresh salads to Faroe Island salmon for lunch and dinner.

Across the Street:

Coffee before winter activities in Lake Placid

On our first full morning, right before we headed to Whiteface Mountain for a day of skiing, we fueled up at Across the Street in the heart of Lake Placid village. (It is right next to Starbucks.)

An omelet from Across the Street in Lake Placid

Both my mom and I had the make-your-own omelet with breakfast potatoes and whole wheat toast. Everything was delicious!

Lake Placid Pub & Brewery:

Another one of the best Lake Placid winter activities is visiting a brewery. There are a lot of great breweries in the area that offer tasty IPAs, stouts, ales, lagers, sours and more.

Chicken and biscuits from Lake Placid Brewery

Starting as a microbrewery, Lake Placid Brewery is the perfect spot to warm up during a winter weekend escape to the Adirondacks. Since opening in 1996, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery has received numerous awards for its craft beer.

Peppermint whoopie pie from Lake Placid Brewery

During our evening at this fun spot, I had the Unicorns & Show Ponies IPA and my mom had a local fruity ale. For dinner, I savored the chicken and biscuits dish, which was hearty and delicious and my mom enjoyed the chili. Everything was awesome. We also split the peppermint whoopie pie for dessert!

The Breakfast Club, Etc.:

Our favorite spot for breakfast during our Lake Placid winter trip was The Breakfast Club, Etc. Located on Mirror Lake, The Breakfast Club is a cozy spot to enjoy bakery items like cinnamon rolls, muffins, croissants, etc., along with traditional breakfast dishes like eggs, French toast, pancakes, smoothie bowls and even chicken and waffles, which is what I had during my time at this spot. My mom savored the cinnamon and nutmeg French toast.

Chicken and waffles from The Breakfast Club in Lake Placid

Not only does The Breakfast Club offer delicious meals straight from the griddle, but they also have an awesome drink menu filled with different mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. The coffee doesn’t disappoint either!

Big Slide Brewery:

In addition to Lake Placid Brewery, another excellent beer spot to check out in Lake Placid is Big Slide Brewery. What is remarkable about Big Slide Brewery is that it is home to one of New York State’s best double IPAs.

One of the best winter activities in Lake Placid - visiting breweries

Big Slide opened in 2016 and is considered a hybrid barrel brew house with 10 house beers on tap from sours to goldens and pale ales to porters. They also offer a great seasonal beer menu! During our time at the brewery, I had the gingerbread sour, which was part of Big Slide’s holiday menu and it was delicious! My mom had one of the pale ales.

Beer and soup from Big Slide Brewery

For our meals, I had the soup of the day, which was a tomato garlic chicken soup with farro along with “The Newest Version of the Brewhouse Salad” that consisted of arugula, toasted spiced barley, pulled confit duck, roasted beets, shaved fennel, candied pecan pepita crumble and orange marmalade vinaigrette.

A salad from Big Slide Brewery in Lake Placid

My mom had the “Lettuce Meat in the Middle” salad that included grilled hanger steak, cold lo mein noodles, cabbage, cucumber, mango, roasted red pepper, cashews, green onions and smoked chili lime dressing. It was the perfect lunch!

Lake Placid Winter Activities – Best Things to do:

The Adirondack Peaks in Lake Placid, New York

Since two Olympic Games took place in Lake Placid, New York, in 1932 and 1980, there is a lot of fun for all ages during a winter weekend trip. Lake Placid was the second Olympic ski resort town I visited in January 2022. The first one I got to travel to was Whistler Blackcomb in Canada.

Below are the best winter activities Lake Placid has to offer:

Take a Cross-Country Ski Lesson at Mt. Van Hoevenberg:

A woman enjoying one of the best winter activities in Lake Placid - Nordic skiing at Mount Van Hoevenberg

One of the most memorable activities my mom and I did during our weekend escape to Lake Placid in the winter was taking a Nordic skiing (or cross-country skiing) lesson a Mount Van Hoevenberg!

This newly renovated Olympic center has over 30 miles/50 kilometers of Nordic ski trails. One thing to note is that Nordic skis are much thinner than regular alpine skis and the boots are also different. If you are unfamiliar with skiing, the thinner the actual ski is, the faster you will glide on the snow.

Overall, I thought cross-country skiing would be a lot more complex than it was. We took a lesson where we were taught the basics of Nordic skiing, and we made our way through the Olympic Trails and into the enchanting forests of the Adirondack Mountains.

Nordic skiing at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid

The trails we Nordic skied through were easy, but we did go down some small hills, and wow, those skis do go fast! It was a lot of fun.

During our cross-country skiing lesson, my mom and I got to see both the new and old lodges and how much Mount Van Hoevenberg has developed since the 1980 Olympic Games. We also got to see the state-of-the-art combined skeleton and bobsled track, along with North America’s longest mountain coaster – The Cliffside Coaster. In addition, we got to watch someone practice the biathlon, which combines Nordic skiing and rifle shooting. (You can also go snowshoeing at this spot.)

Another thing I want to note is that there are three types of Nordic skiing. There is classic, which is what my mom and I did, that requires the most natural movement on skis and is simple, like walking; skate requires more physical work and speed and it is a similar technique to ice skating where you glide on the snow, and lastly, there is backcountry cross-country skiing, which is Nordic skiing off track and onto different terrains.

Olympic Nordic ski trails in Lake Placid

After a Nordic skiing lesson, a great place to warm up and grab some celebratory drinks is at The Mountain Pass Lodge. You can enjoy great craft beers, warm soup, hot cocoa and more!

Ski Down Olympic Slopes at Whiteface Mountain:

A woman enjoying the best winter activities in Lake Placid - skiing at Whiteface Mountain

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular Lake Placid winter activities. A trip to Lake Placid is only complete with doing a ski day at Whiteface Mountain!

Whiteface Mountain is an Olympic Legacy iconic for the longest single intermediate run in the Northeast, the 2.1-mile-long Wilmington Trail. Overall, I loved skiing at Whiteface Mountain. Even though the weather was cold, the snow conditions on the trails were incredible and I had enjoyable rides down the mountain.

For reference, green trails are for beginners; blue trails are for intermediate and black diamonds are steep slopes for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders. Whiteface Mountain is split up into different ski and snowboard trails based on the level of expertise.

The Olympic ski slopes at Whiteface Mountain

The Main Valley Area, where I mainly skied, consists of green and blue trails. The Lower Mountain is great for beginner skiers, snowboarders, or those in the learning process, as it offers small, beginners’ slopes. Bear Den Mountain has green and blue trails like The Main Valley Area.

Little Whiteface has a lot of blue and black diamond trails for advanced skiers. There are also some double black diamonds on this mountain! Lookout Mountain is even more advanced with some blue, mainly black, and double-black diamond trails. Whiteface Summit also features blue, black and double black diamond slopes.

Like most other ski resorts, Whiteface also has terrain parks and the best Lake Placid snow tubing! You can also take a lesson at Whiteface Mountain with a professional to learn how to ski or snowboard or perfect your skills.

Beautiful views of Lake Placid, Adirondacks

It was a beautiful day skiing at Whiteface Mountain and I also enjoyed the cozy lodge. In between runs, I met up with my mom in the lodge; since she doesn’t ski, we enjoyed mulled cider that warmed us up.

You can enjoy other food and beverages at the main lodge at Whiteface Mountain. The restaurants and eateries located at the ski resort are Waffle Cabin, Growler’s Grill, Cloudspin Bar & Grill, Taste NY Café, Legends, 4610′ Grill, Al Forno Sicilian Pizza, Black Bear Market and Base Camp Market.

Whiteface Mountain is 20 minutes from downtown Lake Placid and Mirror Lake Inn. The ride from the village center to the ski resort is one of the most beautiful in New York State. It will make you feel like you’re not even on the East Coast anymore.

High Falls Gorge near Whiteface Mountain

If you’re looking for a breathtaking spot to check out along the way, High Falls Gorge is considered the Adirondacks’ most breathtaking 30-minute walk. You will hike along the gorge and discover four impressive waterfalls.

Have Fun Ice Skating on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval:

Best winter activities in Lake Placid - ice skating at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval

Another of the best Lake Placid winter activities is ice skating at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, located in the heart of the village.

“The Oval” is a fascinating skating rink where Olympian Eric Heiden won five gold medals in 1980. This speed skating oval is one of the few outdoor rinks of its kind left in the country and it recently underwent some revitalizations.

The best time to ice skate at “The Oval” is at 7 pm or later. The ice on the rink is perfect for a smooth and fun skating experience. It is the best spot to channel your inner Apollo Ohno, my favorite Olympian speed skater!

Tour the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex:

A woman enjoying a tour of the Olympic Ski Jump at Lake Placid - one of the best winter activities

One of the unique Winter Olympic sports is ski jumping. During a trip to Lake Placid, a tour of the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex is one of the best winter activities before you head home.

The ski jump at Lake Placid

Touring the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex allows you to watch ski jumpers soar through the air. Many of these jumpers fly the length of a football field! Most of the trainees you see at this complex are practicing for future Winter Olympics!

The Olympic Ski Jump of Lake Placid

When you first get to the complex, you will ride the gondola to the base of the ski jumping towers. From there, you will hop in the newly remodeled scenic elevator that will take you up 26 stories to the sky deck of the 120-meter ski jump.

View of the Ski Jump

Once you’re at the top, you will enjoy panoramic mountain views of the Adirondack’s High Peaks, which are the views the jumpers get to see before they accelerate down the ramp. (You can see Mount Marcy and Whiteface Mountain for this bird’s eye view!)

Relax at the Mirror Lake Inn Spa – Peaceful Lake Placid Winter Activities:

A woman relaxing at the pool at Mirror Lake Inn

In addition to all the fun and active winter experiences at Lake Placid, it is also essential to take time for yourself and relax!

Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa is known for its world-class, award-winning spa within Lake Placid. You can enjoy everything from massages and facials to hair appointments and manicures/pedicures. The Inn also has excellent day spa packages for an intensive and refreshing experience for the body and mind.

What is remarkable about Mirror Lake Inn’s spa is that it also offers salt therapy, including art halo therapy treatment, which cleans your lungs and enhances your respiratory system.

One of the best winter activities - enjoying a spa day in Lake Placid

The spa now includes both a women’s and men’s sanctuary to enjoy peace in a comforting area with hot and cold beverages. There is also a great steam room and sauna too.

On our last morning in Lake Placid, my mom and I relaxed at the indoor pool, which features a stunning mountain lodge design and makes you feel like you’re out in nature. The indoor pool includes a 60-foot lap section for those looking to get a great workout in.

In addition to the spa, pool and hot tub, Mirror Lake Inn also has private yoga and personal training sessions onsite.


A woman enjoying a winter weekend getaway

Looking for other great winter destinations? Here are some of my other recommendations.

Vancouver to Whistler Winter Trip

Winter Ski Trip to Tamarack Resort in Idaho

Skiing at Kronplatz in the Dolomites

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best winter activities during a weekend escape to Lake Placid in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NY State Capital: Albany, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Lake Placid Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on February 8, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    What an awesome winter getaway ~ I had so much fun with you Taylor! From riding in the amazing, sporty looking Chevrolet Trailblazer to participating in cross country skiing, ice skating on the Olympic Oval rink, watching the ski jumpers and so much more. Loved the stunning Mirror Lake Inn ~ such a beautiful luxurious hotel and the grounds were breathtaking ~ with all the Christmas trees, beautiful lights, firepit area and the outside oversized chess game right across from the lovely Mirror lake. The amazing view from our room allowed for us to wake up to beautiful sunrises over the mountains and lake! Loved the welcoming delicious cheese and fruit tray that the hotel gifted us! Such a nice treat to enjoy after our 4 hour road trip~ perfect winter get away. Lake Placid, NY is a wonderful place to vacation any time during the year but especially in the winter. Awesome guide and blog ~ love you, mom xoxo 👩♥️🏞🗻⛸⛷🏂❄

    • Taylor Deer on February 8, 2022 at 10:24 pm

      We really had such a blast in Lake Placid with the new Chevy Trailblazer! I cannot wait to go back and enjoy this cozy and adventurous trip again. <3

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Taylor-Mirror-Lake-Inn1

A woman doing a winter weekend trip to Lake Placid, New York

Located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid is a beautiful lakeside village known for its winter sports. Both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics took place in Lake Placid, New York. Even though Lake Placid is a year-round destination, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway in the colder months since there are so many fun winter activities to enjoy.

There is nothing like taking a memorable winter trip every year where you get to enjoy your favorite winter activities, whether that be skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding, etc., cozying up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa or glass of mulled wine or cider; treating yourself to a well-needed spa day and checking out comforting breweries. Everything I mentioned above, Lake Placid has!

A woman on a road trip to Lake Placid, Adirondacks

During January 2022, I made a memorable winter weekend getaway with Lake Placid Adirondacks Tourism and my mom. We stayed at the charming Mirror Lake Inn and enjoyed all the fun winter activities and Olympic legacies Lake Placid offers.

In this article, discover the best Lake Placid winter activities for 2023 that you can enjoy during a weekend getaway.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. My trip to Lake Placid, New York was in partnership with the Lake Placid Adirondacks tourism board.


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Lake Placid, NY weekend winter activities

Lake Placid in Winter – Getting to the Adirondacks

Beautiful views of the Adirondack Mountains during winter

My trip to Lake Placid, NY in winter was a road trip from Northern New Jersey. It took us around 4 hours to drive from the New York City area to Lake Placid and it was straightforward up I-87 North, towards Canada, to route 73.

Lake Placid is around a 5-hour drive from Boston, 6 hours from Buffalo, a little over 2 hours from Albany and 2 hours from Montreal in Quebec. In addition to driving, you can also get to Lake Placid, NY during winter by flight. There are two regional airports near the Olympic resort – Lake Placid Airport and Adirondack Regional Airport. The closest international airport is Plattsburgh International Airport, around an hour from the heart of the village.

Lake Placid village

Some excellent flights to and from Lake Placid are United Airlines/Sky West direct from Washington-Dulles in D.C. to Plattsburgh and a nonstop flight with Cape Air from Boston Logan to Adirondack Regional Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

The public transportation options to Lake Placid in Upstate New York is the Amtrak train from New York City, Albany and Montreal. Amtrak tickets include a bus ride from the Saratoga station to Lake Placid via the Adirondack Trailways. You can also take the Adirondack Trailways bus from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal to Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

A woman doing winter activities at Lake Placid

Once you’re in Lake Placid, especially during the winter, it is best to get around by using your own vehicle to enjoy all the memorable activities. If you don’t have one, I recommend renting a car with all-wheel drive! You can also get around the area by taking the Placid XPRSS, the village’s free public transit system. It is wheelchair-accessible and ADA-compliant.

(Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

Staying at Mirror Lake Inn during a Lake Placid Winter:

Mirror Lake Inn at Lake Placid during winter

One of the best Lake Placid hotels is Mirror Lake Inn. It is a historic and luxurious inn situated on the beautiful Mirror Lake in Lake Placid and faces Mount Marcy, the highest mountain peak in New York state at 5,343 feet above sea level.

During the winter, patches of water freeze in Lake Placid, so there are plenty of fun winter activities on Mirror Lake to enjoy while you stay at the Inn. Mirror Lake Inn can organize many epic things to do in Lake Placid for you and your family. Some top things to do on the frozen Mirror Lake are snowshoeing, sleigh riding, dog sledding, ice skating and more.

Lake Placid in the winter

What I loved most about staying at Mirror Lake Inn during the winter was how beautifully decorated the hotel was. There were still stunning and cozy Christmas decorations all around and as we pulled up to the hotel, the lights display was so magical! We even got to enjoy them from our room.

Mirror Lake Inn also has an outdoor fire pit to enjoy s’mores and admire the gorgeous views of Mirror Lake and the Adirondack Mountains. The hotel also has two restaurants, a spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, a hot tub and a fitness center.

A woman sitting in front of a fire pit at Mirror Lake Inn

In Lake Placid, my mom and I stayed in the Mountain View building at Mirror Lake Inn. The room we spent two nights in was the Oak Knoll, which included an en-suite bathroom, two cozy queen beds and a seating area with gorgeous views of the lake and mountains. (The seating area can be closed off for more privacy.) It was comforting and perfect! Mirror Lake Inn also gave my mom and me a lovely fruit and cheese plate to enjoy.

The other classic rooms in the Mountain View and Terrace buildings are the Ausable Suite, the Lookout room, the Cedar Run room, the Alpine Ridge room, the Great Range rooms, the Main House Marcy room, Cathedral Room and Lake Cottage Cathedral Room.

A room at Mirror Lake Inn at Lake Placid

In addition to the classic rooms, this charming inn also has lovely suites such as the Golden Suite, Whiteface Suites, Adirondack Suite, High Peaks Suite, Kiwassa Suite, Mirror Lake Suite and Placid Suite.

Since Lake Placid is an excellent destination for families to visit due to all the fun winter activities, Mirror Lake Inn has a plethora of family rooms to choose from, such as The Bear Club, Fox Den, Skylight Suite, Little Whiteface Suite, Osprey Overlook and Lakeside Family Suite.

A weekend getaway to Lake Placid,  New York

(If you plan to visit Mirror Lake Inn during the warmer months, there are a lot of fun Lake Placid family activities to enjoy in the summer.)

History of Mirror Lake Inn:

The history of Mirror Lake Inn dates to 1924 when Climena Alford of Lake Placid married William Rufus Wikoff of Massachusetts, a wealthy businessman. After retiring, Mr. Wikoff created the Mir-a-Lac Inn out of an old estate and attracted wealthy clientele, mainly from New York City.

Staying at Mirror Lake Inn

Mir-a-Lac Inn became Mirror Lake Inn in 1933 after the 1932 Winter Olympics. It survived both the Great Depression and World War II and a fire in 1988. In fact, during WWII, the Army took over the Lake Placid Club to use it as a rehabilitation center. The Club then rented the Mirror Lake Inn to house its guests.

The Mirror Lake Inn has been known for its sports-related innovations. After alpine skiing was introduced to the area, the Inn installed the first rope tow that was powered by electricity on Dream Hill, which is behind the hotel. In the later part of the 1940s, the first snowmaking machine was purchased by Mirror Lake Inn.

The best hotel to stay at in Lake Placid - Mirror Lake Inn

Later, Climena Alford Wikoff’s father built the first bobsled run and hosted the first skating camp that housed many future figure skating champions.

In 1976, Ed Weibrecht of New Jersey became the resort’s new owner. The Mirror Lake Inn has been AAA Four Diamond rated for the past 35 years.

Where to Eat in Lake Placid in the Winter:

One of the best winter activities in Lake Placid is visiting all the cozy restaurants and eateries within the village. You can find everything from great breakfast spots to breweries in Lake Placid, NY.

Below is a list of the restaurants my mom and I ate at during our weekend getaway to Lake Placid:

The Cottage at Mirror Lake Inn:

A woman enjoying winter activities in Lake Placid, such as visiting the ski gondolas at The Cottage

What is nice about staying at Mirror Lake Inn is that there are two restaurants onsite – The Cottage and The View. During our first night in Lake Placid, we ate at The Cottage, located across the street from the hotel. It is situated right on Mirror Lake.

Dining at The Cottage is considered one of the best things to do in Lake Placid because there are heated ski gondolas outside the restaurant (that are initially from the local ski resort – Whiteface Mountain) to eat and drink in. The gondolas at The Cottage operate on a first-come-first-serve basis, but you can reserve them ahead of time if you want a guarantee to dine in one of them. Also located at The Cottage are outdoor fire pits to enjoy.

A hummus platter from The Cottage in Lake Placid
Flatbread from The Cottage at Mirror Lake Inn

During our time at The Cottage, I had mulled wine, which was delicious, and my mom had a local red wine. For dinner, we split the hummus platter as an appetizer. I had the flatbread pizza for my main meal with fresh basil pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. My mom had “The Cobble Hill” sandwich with hand-carved turkey breast, sliced apple, NY sharp cheddar cheese and cranberry mayonnaise.

After dinner, I warmed up with the delicious hot chocolate. Everything was amazing! Overall, the food served at Mirror Lake Inn’s restaurants are made with fresh, local ingredients.

The other restaurant at the Inn is The View, which is in the hotel’s main building. Every morning, breakfast is served there from 7:30 am to 10:30 am. You can savor everything from fresh salads to Faroe Island salmon for lunch and dinner.

Across the Street:

Coffee before winter activities in Lake Placid

On our first full morning, right before we headed to Whiteface Mountain for a day of skiing, we fueled up at Across the Street in the heart of Lake Placid village. (It is right next to Starbucks.)

An omelet from Across the Street in Lake Placid

Both my mom and I had the make-your-own omelet with breakfast potatoes and whole wheat toast. Everything was delicious!

Lake Placid Pub & Brewery:

Another one of the best Lake Placid winter activities is visiting a brewery. There are a lot of great breweries in the area that offer tasty IPAs, stouts, ales, lagers, sours and more.

Chicken and biscuits from Lake Placid Brewery

Starting as a microbrewery, Lake Placid Brewery is the perfect spot to warm up during a winter weekend escape to the Adirondacks. Since opening in 1996, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery has received numerous awards for its craft beer.

Peppermint whoopie pie from Lake Placid Brewery

During our evening at this fun spot, I had the Unicorns & Show Ponies IPA and my mom had a local fruity ale. For dinner, I savored the chicken and biscuits dish, which was hearty and delicious and my mom enjoyed the chili. Everything was awesome. We also split the peppermint whoopie pie for dessert!

The Breakfast Club, Etc.:

Our favorite spot for breakfast during our Lake Placid winter trip was The Breakfast Club, Etc. Located on Mirror Lake, The Breakfast Club is a cozy spot to enjoy bakery items like cinnamon rolls, muffins, croissants, etc., along with traditional breakfast dishes like eggs, French toast, pancakes, smoothie bowls and even chicken and waffles, which is what I had during my time at this spot. My mom savored the cinnamon and nutmeg French toast.

Chicken and waffles from The Breakfast Club in Lake Placid

Not only does The Breakfast Club offer delicious meals straight from the griddle, but they also have an awesome drink menu filled with different mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. The coffee doesn’t disappoint either!

Big Slide Brewery:

In addition to Lake Placid Brewery, another excellent beer spot to check out in Lake Placid is Big Slide Brewery. What is remarkable about Big Slide Brewery is that it is home to one of New York State’s best double IPAs.

One of the best winter activities in Lake Placid - visiting breweries

Big Slide opened in 2016 and is considered a hybrid barrel brew house with 10 house beers on tap from sours to goldens and pale ales to porters. They also offer a great seasonal beer menu! During our time at the brewery, I had the gingerbread sour, which was part of Big Slide’s holiday menu and it was delicious! My mom had one of the pale ales.

Beer and soup from Big Slide Brewery

For our meals, I had the soup of the day, which was a tomato garlic chicken soup with farro along with “The Newest Version of the Brewhouse Salad” that consisted of arugula, toasted spiced barley, pulled confit duck, roasted beets, shaved fennel, candied pecan pepita crumble and orange marmalade vinaigrette.

A salad from Big Slide Brewery in Lake Placid

My mom had the “Lettuce Meat in the Middle” salad that included grilled hanger steak, cold lo mein noodles, cabbage, cucumber, mango, roasted red pepper, cashews, green onions and smoked chili lime dressing. It was the perfect lunch!

Lake Placid Winter Activities – Best Things to do:

The Adirondack Peaks in Lake Placid, New York

Since two Olympic Games took place in Lake Placid, New York, in 1932 and 1980, there is a lot of fun for all ages during a winter weekend trip. Lake Placid was the second Olympic ski resort town I visited in January 2022. The first one I got to travel to was Whistler Blackcomb in Canada.

Below are the best winter activities Lake Placid has to offer:

Take a Cross-Country Ski Lesson at Mt. Van Hoevenberg:

A woman enjoying one of the best winter activities in Lake Placid - Nordic skiing at Mount Van Hoevenberg

One of the most memorable activities my mom and I did during our weekend escape to Lake Placid in the winter was taking a Nordic skiing (or cross-country skiing) lesson a Mount Van Hoevenberg!

This newly renovated Olympic center has over 30 miles/50 kilometers of Nordic ski trails. One thing to note is that Nordic skis are much thinner than regular alpine skis and the boots are also different. If you are unfamiliar with skiing, the thinner the actual ski is, the faster you will glide on the snow.

Overall, I thought cross-country skiing would be a lot more complex than it was. We took a lesson where we were taught the basics of Nordic skiing, and we made our way through the Olympic Trails and into the enchanting forests of the Adirondack Mountains.

Nordic skiing at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid

The trails we Nordic skied through were easy, but we did go down some small hills, and wow, those skis do go fast! It was a lot of fun.

During our cross-country skiing lesson, my mom and I got to see both the new and old lodges and how much Mount Van Hoevenberg has developed since the 1980 Olympic Games. We also got to see the state-of-the-art combined skeleton and bobsled track, along with North America’s longest mountain coaster – The Cliffside Coaster. In addition, we got to watch someone practice the biathlon, which combines Nordic skiing and rifle shooting. (You can also go snowshoeing at this spot.)

Another thing I want to note is that there are three types of Nordic skiing. There is classic, which is what my mom and I did, that requires the most natural movement on skis and is simple, like walking; skate requires more physical work and speed and it is a similar technique to ice skating where you glide on the snow, and lastly, there is backcountry cross-country skiing, which is Nordic skiing off track and onto different terrains.

Olympic Nordic ski trails in Lake Placid

After a Nordic skiing lesson, a great place to warm up and grab some celebratory drinks is at The Mountain Pass Lodge. You can enjoy great craft beers, warm soup, hot cocoa and more!

Ski Down Olympic Slopes at Whiteface Mountain:

A woman enjoying the best winter activities in Lake Placid - skiing at Whiteface Mountain

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular Lake Placid winter activities. A trip to Lake Placid is only complete with doing a ski day at Whiteface Mountain!

Whiteface Mountain is an Olympic Legacy iconic for the longest single intermediate run in the Northeast, the 2.1-mile-long Wilmington Trail. Overall, I loved skiing at Whiteface Mountain. Even though the weather was cold, the snow conditions on the trails were incredible and I had enjoyable rides down the mountain.

For reference, green trails are for beginners; blue trails are for intermediate and black diamonds are steep slopes for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders. Whiteface Mountain is split up into different ski and snowboard trails based on the level of expertise.

The Olympic ski slopes at Whiteface Mountain

The Main Valley Area, where I mainly skied, consists of green and blue trails. The Lower Mountain is great for beginner skiers, snowboarders, or those in the learning process, as it offers small, beginners’ slopes. Bear Den Mountain has green and blue trails like The Main Valley Area.

Little Whiteface has a lot of blue and black diamond trails for advanced skiers. There are also some double black diamonds on this mountain! Lookout Mountain is even more advanced with some blue, mainly black, and double-black diamond trails. Whiteface Summit also features blue, black and double black diamond slopes.

Like most other ski resorts, Whiteface also has terrain parks and the best Lake Placid snow tubing! You can also take a lesson at Whiteface Mountain with a professional to learn how to ski or snowboard or perfect your skills.

Beautiful views of Lake Placid, Adirondacks

It was a beautiful day skiing at Whiteface Mountain and I also enjoyed the cozy lodge. In between runs, I met up with my mom in the lodge; since she doesn’t ski, we enjoyed mulled cider that warmed us up.

You can enjoy other food and beverages at the main lodge at Whiteface Mountain. The restaurants and eateries located at the ski resort are Waffle Cabin, Growler’s Grill, Cloudspin Bar & Grill, Taste NY Café, Legends, 4610′ Grill, Al Forno Sicilian Pizza, Black Bear Market and Base Camp Market.

Whiteface Mountain is 20 minutes from downtown Lake Placid and Mirror Lake Inn. The ride from the village center to the ski resort is one of the most beautiful in New York State. It will make you feel like you’re not even on the East Coast anymore.

High Falls Gorge near Whiteface Mountain

If you’re looking for a breathtaking spot to check out along the way, High Falls Gorge is considered the Adirondacks’ most breathtaking 30-minute walk. You will hike along the gorge and discover four impressive waterfalls.

Have Fun Ice Skating on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval:

Best winter activities in Lake Placid - ice skating at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval

Another of the best Lake Placid winter activities is ice skating at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, located in the heart of the village.

“The Oval” is a fascinating skating rink where Olympian Eric Heiden won five gold medals in 1980. This speed skating oval is one of the few outdoor rinks of its kind left in the country and it recently underwent some revitalizations.

The best time to ice skate at “The Oval” is at 7 pm or later. The ice on the rink is perfect for a smooth and fun skating experience. It is the best spot to channel your inner Apollo Ohno, my favorite Olympian speed skater!

Tour the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex:

A woman enjoying a tour of the Olympic Ski Jump at Lake Placid - one of the best winter activities

One of the unique Winter Olympic sports is ski jumping. During a trip to Lake Placid, a tour of the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex is one of the best winter activities before you head home.

The ski jump at Lake Placid

Touring the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex allows you to watch ski jumpers soar through the air. Many of these jumpers fly the length of a football field! Most of the trainees you see at this complex are practicing for future Winter Olympics!

The Olympic Ski Jump of Lake Placid

When you first get to the complex, you will ride the gondola to the base of the ski jumping towers. From there, you will hop in the newly remodeled scenic elevator that will take you up 26 stories to the sky deck of the 120-meter ski jump.

View of the Ski Jump

Once you’re at the top, you will enjoy panoramic mountain views of the Adirondack’s High Peaks, which are the views the jumpers get to see before they accelerate down the ramp. (You can see Mount Marcy and Whiteface Mountain for this bird’s eye view!)

Relax at the Mirror Lake Inn Spa – Peaceful Lake Placid Winter Activities:

A woman relaxing at the pool at Mirror Lake Inn

In addition to all the fun and active winter experiences at Lake Placid, it is also essential to take time for yourself and relax!

Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa is known for its world-class, award-winning spa within Lake Placid. You can enjoy everything from massages and facials to hair appointments and manicures/pedicures. The Inn also has excellent day spa packages for an intensive and refreshing experience for the body and mind.

What is remarkable about Mirror Lake Inn’s spa is that it also offers salt therapy, including art halo therapy treatment, which cleans your lungs and enhances your respiratory system.

One of the best winter activities - enjoying a spa day in Lake Placid

The spa now includes both a women’s and men’s sanctuary to enjoy peace in a comforting area with hot and cold beverages. There is also a great steam room and sauna too.

On our last morning in Lake Placid, my mom and I relaxed at the indoor pool, which features a stunning mountain lodge design and makes you feel like you’re out in nature. The indoor pool includes a 60-foot lap section for those looking to get a great workout in.

In addition to the spa, pool and hot tub, Mirror Lake Inn also has private yoga and personal training sessions onsite.


A woman enjoying a winter weekend getaway

Looking for other great winter destinations? Here are some of my other recommendations.

Vancouver to Whistler Winter Trip

Winter Ski Trip to Tamarack Resort in Idaho

Skiing at Kronplatz in the Dolomites

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best winter activities during a weekend escape to Lake Placid in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NY State Capital: Albany, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on February 8, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    What an awesome winter getaway ~ I had so much fun with you Taylor! From riding in the amazing, sporty looking Chevrolet Trailblazer to participating in cross country skiing, ice skating on the Olympic Oval rink, watching the ski jumpers and so much more. Loved the stunning Mirror Lake Inn ~ such a beautiful luxurious hotel and the grounds were breathtaking ~ with all the Christmas trees, beautiful lights, firepit area and the outside oversized chess game right across from the lovely Mirror lake. The amazing view from our room allowed for us to wake up to beautiful sunrises over the mountains and lake! Loved the welcoming delicious cheese and fruit tray that the hotel gifted us! Such a nice treat to enjoy after our 4 hour road trip~ perfect winter get away. Lake Placid, NY is a wonderful place to vacation any time during the year but especially in the winter. Awesome guide and blog ~ love you, mom xoxo 👩♥️🏞🗻⛸⛷🏂❄

    • Taylor Deer on February 8, 2022 at 10:24 pm

      We really had such a blast in Lake Placid with the new Chevy Trailblazer! I cannot wait to go back and enjoy this cozy and adventurous trip again. <3

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