I have a lot of extreme friends. Ironman athletes, hikers, rock climbers, and extreme outdoorsy types. These are people that go on adventures for vacations. They enjoy jumping off of bridges, climbing the highest peaks, and running marathons on their days off. They think this is normal activity and that I need more adventure in my life. I am really quite content with my kind of vacation. I prefer beaches, pools, and lakes. I like to jump into the lake from a boat, or look at the mountains from an Adirondack chair. I do, however, love photographs with views and family drives through the mountains, so I wanted to take the opportunity to share some ideas with you so you can take in the gorgeous scenery and explore the Lake Placid area, very easily. You do not need to be an extreme athlete or daredevil to get postcard perfect photos.
Drive around the lake
One of my favorite "adventures" is a drive around Mirror lake. I know, I'm not really exerting much energy on this adventure, but that is the point. The 2.7 miles around Mirror Lake has some gorgeous views. Main Street, Lake Placid is one of the prettiest places I have ever seen. I can stop at Mid's Park, and sit on on of the benches to people watch. I can also grab a green Adirondack chair and sit on the shore of the lake. Mirror Lake is full of activity, everything from loons taking their daily swim to canoes leisurely paddling by. The views of Whiteface Mountain and the High Peaks can be seen from almost every turn you take around the lake. The drive around Mirror Lake also allows you to see what the town has to offer like shops, restaurants, coffee houses, a historic theater, and of course, perfect views.
Take the elevator to the top of the ski jumps
Whenever we have visitors coming to Lake Placid, the Skyride at the Olympic Jumping Complex is at the top of the to-do list. The Skyride includes a ride on a state-of-the-art gondola and a glass enclosed elevator ending at the observation deck of the top of the K-120 meter jump. This is great for everyone if the guests are a little older, or have young kids. Both the gondola and the elevator are wheelchair accessible making the views at the top effortless. This is a self guided tour which is perfect because you can take as little or as much time as you would like. On the observation deck at the top you'll enjoy views from the 120 meter jump and panoramic views of the High Peaks. The birds eye view of what skiers see before they soar through the air will take your breath away. We love this view any time of the year and you can see it all just by pushing a button in the elevator.
Horse Show Grounds for a walk
Park your car, and get out for a leisurely stroll at the Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds. It isn't every day that you can simply walk and see Olympic Ski Jumps, the Olympic Torch, and the gorgeous High Peaks. The airport is located here, so watching the small planes come out of the clouds to land on the runway is exciting as well. I always wonder what famous people on that private jet might be landing for their Adirondack get away. My kids and I used to do this a lot when they were younger, now it is a favorite spot to take the dogs for a walk in the fresh air. If you are looking for the best place to see a rainbow after a good storm, this is it. The big open sky is known by locals as the place to be for rainbows and photographs.
Boat tour on Lake Placid
Lake Placid is considered the big lake, and here you can rent a boat, take a scenic boat tour, have a guided tour and even learn to water ski. Enjoy easy views of Whiteface Mountain while you kick back with your cocktail and relax. Fresh air, friends, and views are around every corner. I love taking friends on the Lake Placid boat tour. You can head down to the Lake Placid Marina for an hour long boat ride on an enclosed pontoon boat. Rain or shine, this tour will give you a history lesson while enjoying the pristine waters and the serene views.
Lunch with a view
My favorite way to see some gorgeous sights is by sitting in an Adirondack chair or on a patio for a delicious meal. Mirror Lake is right in the center of town and there are dining options all around the lake. In the warmer months you can sit outside and enjoy from the decks, literally right on the water. These decks offer views of Cobble Mountain, Mirror Lake, and the SUPs going by. There is so much to look at. We love to sit at The Cottage Cafe, or Top of the Park when guests come into town. You really do forget how beautiful it is, until friends come into town and their faces light up as soon as they sit back and see the views from the lake on this side of town. Bring a sweater and watch the sunset with a glass of wine or craft beer to enjoy the evening.
Whiteface Memorial Highway: Accessible views from your car windows
The easiest view of all is the most magnificent. Drive to the top of the Whiteface Memorial Highway for 360-degrees of beauty. This road takes you directly to the summit of Whiteface, the fifth highest peak in New York state, with hundreds of miles of views. You can see Vermont and Canada from the top. If you are feeling more adventurous get out and sit on the rocks, have a picnic in one of the designated viewing areas, or visit the castle, a two story structure constructed from granite when the highway was being made. There is great history here as well. The castle was dedicated to Governor Franklin Roosevelt in 1929, and when it opened in 1936 he was president. Bring the kids and bring the dogs. Everyone can enjoy these views and you'll have a perfect photo op.
There are so many ways to see the gorgeous views of Lake Placid. You do not need to be an extreme adventurer to get beautiful photos. Lake Placid makes it easy, and fun for all ages and capabilities. Come experience the views, from down here.
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