Sports and Seclusion in Lake Placid
The entire world came to upstate New York twice, for the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, but today, there are few better places to keep the world away, year-round. Within the Adirondack Mountain range, which consists of 42 peaks that rise more than 4,000 feet, the village of Lake Placid one of the region’s most peaceful retreats—with lots of optional adventurous excursions, in the water or the woods.
The cozy Victorian hotel on Signal Hill was built in 1912 and overlooks Mirror Lake. There are 10 tidy, affordable rooms and a stellar restaurant that draws on the region's bounty. The locally sourced New York strip and horseradish cheese grits stand out for their wonderful simplicity—just like the town itself.
Lake Placid Lodge
After a devastating fire in 2005 damaged the original 1882 main house, the hotel reopened a new five-suite 30,000-square-foot main building in August of 2008. The new lodge's style is updated Arts and Crafts with antique local furniture. But the property's best feature is still down by the private shore: 17 luxe log cabins built in the 1920's and 1930's. The service is impeccable and out of sight. Return from dinner and a fire has miraculously been lit in the stone fireplace, and wood replenished in a neatly stacked pile beside the hearth. Breakfast (a plate of raspberry pancakes, tiny jars of house-made preserves) arrives magically in a wicker basket and is whisked away when you're not looking. Blanket-strewn Adirondack chairs from a circle around the fire pit at dusk, with the makings of s'mores (fresh marshmallows, artisanal chocolate) on a tiday table nearby. The hotel's romantic Artisans restaurant offers a fresh spin on the area's warm-your-bones cuisine thanks to chef Mark Hannon, who pairs lamb loin with fava beans, English peas, and mint. What to drink? Perhaps a 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the property’s 6,000-bottle wine cellar.
Olympic Regional Development Authority
Choose from dozens of active pursuits. Two standouts: Strapping into a bobsled (equipped with blades in the winter, and wheels in the summer), or riding a gondola up Whiteface Mountain and hiking down to the lake shores.