"Hooray, hooray! Our summer vacation starts today!"

This is where the summer fun begins: Lake Placid. Two-time Olympic host city, legendary mountain town. Friendly rival of Lake Placid, Florida, and not home to a crocodile, the Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains is full of activities on the water and on the trails, unique adventures like summertime bobsledding, and cool treats for the perfect summer family vacation. Lake Placid is the perfect place for soaking up sunny, mountaintop views, adventures so cool the kids will forget their cell phones, and where you'll spend every dinner reliving the thrills and laughs of the day. Kids will say, "Let's come back at Christmas!" and "Did you see how fast Mom ran from that bear?!" Okay, maybe there won't be a bear, but we promise that Lake Placid is wildly fun. We've put together an itinerary that offers a five-day array of some of our favorite places to take our kids, our friend's kids, and even kids at heart. We can't help it. Lake Placid-style fun just makes us that happy.

Monday

Welcome to Lake Placid! Start your family vacation by hitting new heights at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Just a few miles from downtown, Van Ho (as we like to call it) has hosted Olympic and World Cup winter sports events, but summer is just as exciting, with a big emphasis on fun for all ages.

  • Hit the Climbing Center to try out indoor climbing. The staff are super helpful, the features range in difficulty, and you're totally safe and in good hands. Cheer each other on, tackle the traverse, or challenge each other on the boulder wall! You don't have to have any rock climbing experience to "chalk up" this fun new experience.
  • Climbing gets your head in the clouds, so to speak, but the Cliffside Coaster actually sends you up the mountain! The bobsled-inspired ride, which parallels a former Olympic track, whisks you upward, and then lets you control your speed down the longest mountain coaster in North America! Dips, banks, and curves will have you shrieking with joy and the kids begging for a second run. Go ahead; you're on vacation!
A woman and a boy ride a blue, bobsled-style coaster on rails, with mountain views beyond.

Tuesday

Hopefully, you slept well after your first day of vacation and you're ready for more! (Don't forget breakfast! Lake Placid does breakfast in a big way!) Today, explore Lake Placid by land and water for ultimate fun.

Two adults and a group of teenagers sit in swimming clothing on the edge of a dock in a lake.
  • Remember how we said there's a lot to do in Lake Placid? There's even a lot to do just at Van Ho! Head back for day 2 and enjoy the sweet trails up the mountain, which start right behind the Mountain Pass Lodge, where you'll also find gifts, snacks, and restrooms. The views from this hike are outstanding and you'll love getting a chance for some classic Adirondack adventure.
  • After your hike, grab some lunch to go and make your way to Mirror Lake Beach for an afternoon of sunshine and splashing. Enjoy a picnic, let the kids go wild on the playground, and soak up the sun on the sandy beach. Whether your kids are into sandcastles or cannonballs, the beach is a beautiful spot in the heart of Lake Placid.
  • Close to the beach, local retailers rent an array of watercraft, including kayaks and SUPs (Mirror Lake is motor-less), so that the whole family can happily — and easily! — explore the lake and the views of the village from the water. The kids get bonus points for taking the extra step for a quirky view!
A teenager in swim clothing and a life jacket does a handstand on a stand-up paddleboard on a lake.

Wednesday

We're not just proud of our Olympic legacy here, but we're also excited to keep finding ways to share those big adventures. Today, head to the Olympic Jumping Complex for more thrills and a summery twist on a winter classic.

  • Adventures at the Jumping Complex have three parts and they're all exceptional and offer different speeds of adventure. Start by riding the accessible SkyRide Gondola from the base to the foot of the jumps themselves, which athletes soar off of year-round. From there, the views are great, but we're only just beginning!
  • Ride a glass-enclosed elevator to the observation level of the 128-meter jump. Big, 360-degree views of the High Peaks, the village of Lake Placid, and much more of the Adirondacks await!
  • Descend either by the way you came up or add some speed to your return journey by riding the Sky Flyer Zipline! You'll reach speeds of up to 55mph and get to hear the kids scream the whole way down!
Two teenagers ride down a zipline in red and black harnesses.

Thursday

Okay, friends, you've had a chance for some very big adventures. How about taking a day to relax a bit and see a bit of the village? Main Street is easily accessible and bustling with unique activities and destinations and everything else in town is just a moment away.

  • Shop 'til you drop (or the kids get hungry) on Main Street! Amid the great variety of shops, a few stand out as being beloved by families and kids' shopping dreams come true. There's even a popcorn shop where you're sure to find something to take back to your hotel for movie night!
    • At The Bookstore Plus, explore everything from the latest best-sellers to an extensive Adirondack selection, plus amazing gifts, art supplies, stationery, and more. The children's section here is legendary!
    • Kids of all ages flock to Zack Nation - A Pop Culture Odyssey, where you'll find everything from new comics to classics, vintage collectibles, and everything Grogu.
A teenager girl browses at an arts and crafts gallery.
  • Also on Main Street, visual arts abound!
    • Gallery 46 is a colorful gallery run by the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Here, explore a range of artistic styles and mediums — including painting, photography, and pottery — and pick up something the whole family loves for home. The gallery's offerings are also a great way to inspire the kids to make their own Adirondack creations!
    • The Curious Otter is home to the award-winning photography of Pamela Underhill Karaz. Karaz's photos get you up close with everything from red foxes to deer to owls and fill you with wonder.
    • For a family activity that will let you embrace your inner Monet, a paint event at The Peaks Paintbar is just the ticket. Join talented instructors to create Adirondack-inspired artwork to take home!
  • When it's time for a bit of a break, pick up an elaborate ice cream cone, sundae, or heavenly milkshake at Ben & Jerry's and stroll down to Mid's Park to enjoy your cool treat. The views here are great, and it's a perfect spot to simply relax together. Don't forget to get a family selfie!
A wide angle of a sloping, grassy park in front of a bright blue lake and mountains. People dot the grass.
  • The adventures continue at the expansive, thrilling Experience Outdoors. Home to zip lines and an incredible adventure park in the treetops, this is a great place to breathe in that fresh Adirondack air and experience something new! Coming in summer 2024, the brand-new net park lets you bounce, fly, and play in a treetop net system. No matter your age, you'll be giggling with fun!

Friday

So your vacation is winding down. Bummer. But you can end it on a high note with a trip to Whiteface Mountain! Super awesome! Drive up the Whiteface Veterans' Memorial Highway, which winds its way up the 5th highest mountain in the state, to just below the summit. From there you can hike the last bit, or take an elevator hidden in the mountain! On top of the summit, you'll feel on top of the world with big views and even bigger smiles.

A man and two women in summer clothing walk across a rocky mountain summit on a sunny day.

Invent your perfect week

When you start planning your adventure to Lake Placid, we hope you'll enjoy some or even all of our recommendations. There is even more to explore when you get here! Lake Placid is so full of family-friendly excitement that you'll want a vacation after your vacation. We hear that Lake Placid has great ways to relax, too...