Find Summer Miracles in Lake Placid, New York


Do you believe in miracles? Hockey fans do and it's why many make pilgrimage to Lake Placid, New York. Of course, the little village in the Adirondack Mountains was home to the 1980 Winter Olympics where an unlikely bunch of college hockey players dethroned the kings of international hockey, the Soviet Union. Not only did they defeat the Russians in the famous game on February 22, 1980, they claimed hockey gold for only the second time in US hockey history.

Sure, Lake Placid is a picturesque winter wonderland, which is one of the reasons the village hosted the Winter Olympics in both 1980 and 1932. There are even whispers they may make a go for another in the near future. Either way, Lake Placid is the quintessential winter getaway with numerous ski slopes and cross country trails. The lakes even freeze, letting hockey players skate their stuff outdoors where the game was born.

However, if you want to get in on a little secret, this winter paradise is also an absolute summer sensation. Yes, heading up to Lake Placid during the summertime is worth the trip. The views are fabulous and this winter vacation hot spot offers a whole host of fun things to do when the mercury climbs. Don't worry hockey fans. You can still bring your skates. The rink where the above mentioned miracle occurred is open year round, so pack them.

Lake Placid has everything from fabulous shopping, tasty restaurants and a wealth of activities Olympic and otherwise that will satisfy everyone's taste.

If you're headed to Lake Placid for a warm weather holiday, here are some awesome adventures that you simply can't miss out on.

Olympic Memories

It is a deep part of Lake Placid's history and they embrace it. Plan a visit to the Olympic Center and Lake Placid Olympic Museum. You can't miss it. There's a pile of snow right in front, letting you know that there is always a little bit year round. The museum is packed with memorabilia and history from both Olympics. Pull up a bench and watch the hockey team pull off the miracle again. It never gets old for hockey fans. You can even stop by the actual arena. Be sure to leave a few minutes for the hockey player in your midst to pay homage.

You won't be able to skate on the outdoor skating oval where Eric Heiden won his five speed skating medals in the summer. However, you can take a run or an inline skate around instead after you pose for a few pictures.

Olympic Fun

Okay, sports fans you will definitely be in heaven at the Olympic Sports Complex, which is a short ride from downtown Lake Placid. Bobsled ride any one? Yes, you can get a ride in a bobsled as well as be a biathlete. Purchase an Olympic pass and save money on all of the cool Olympic activities Lake Placid has going on. Now, you can't ski jump in the winter, but you can tube down the ski jump as well as ride the ski lift all the way up to the top of the highest ski jump. Great place to spend an afternoon.

Whiteface Mountain

If you love to ski, plan a winter trip to Whiteface Mountain. In the summer, take a gondola ride to the top. The views are spectacular. You can even get out and enjoy the panorama up close and personal.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Take a step back in time and ride the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. The train leaves from the Lake Placid Train Station and stops in Saranac Lake. Sit back and savor a slow ride with gorgeous scenery. The train ride often features a theme such as the Tri-Lake Train Robbery or a clown train. When you arrive in Saranac Lake, enjoy a walk around town and some lunch. Leave time to ride the Adirondack Carousel. Each animal is hand-carved.

Outdoor Fun

From kayaking to hiking to biking, you will have a thrilling amount of activities to pick from. There is an excellent mountain bike facility that offers rentals and lessons if need be on the cross country trails of Mt. Van Hoevenberg. It's a perfect couples or family activity.

Mirror Lake sits right in the center of town. Leave time for a walk all the way around. It's an excellent way to see all the village has to offer and takes you right through their quaint downtown that is filled with cute shops and tasty eateries. Then, rent a kayak or a canoe to see the lake up close from the water.

Lake Placid Boat Tour

The village's namesake lake actually sits just off of the center of town behind Mirror Lake. The Lake Placid Marina is a short walk from Main Street. Hop of board a tour to get some mysterious and informative tidbits about the town's history. Right in the middle of the large lake sits an island filled with homes that are only accessible by boat, which is why they all have a boat house. They're stately and scenic and don't have phone or internet access. Bruce Springsteen and his family have enjoyed many a summer on the island and you must hear the first-hand accounts of the lady of the lake, the town's resident spirit with Jersey girl ties.

The North Pole

If you have little ones or just love Christmas 365 days a year, make it a point to visit Santa's summertime workshop at the North Pole. North Pole, New York is a short ride from Lake Placid and there you will find the Christmas wonderland that is Santa's Workshop. There is anything and everything Christmas including a kid-sized amusement part that is ideal for the five and under set. They can actually feed Santa's reindeer. Don't miss the daily Christmas parade and sit on Santa's lap to put your order in early this year.

Dawn Miller is a freelance writer and mystery author. She lives in New Jersey.