My family and I opted to take a 3 day trip this summer just to get away, but we didn’t want to travel too far and spend most of our time on the road. I started looking at cities that were 3 -4 hours away from Ottawa and stumbled upon Lake Placid, NY. My husband had visited the Olympic city way back in the 1980’s and remembered how beautiful the village was and the scenic drive by car. Well, he was right as the view of the Adirondacks mountains were breath-taking and the highway road was so picturesque as we entered villages on our way to Lake Placid. It took us exactly 3 hours, including spending only a few minutes at customs in Corwall, to arrive in the village of Lake Placid.
I searched for hotel accommodations in the village and after viewing many options online, I opted for the Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club in Lake Placid. This resort hotel is located in the middle of the village, adjacent to the Olympic Center. I booked 2 queen beds room with a view of Mirrow Lake and ended up receiving an upgrade to a 1 King and 2 double beds family suite at no additional charge! The kids had their own room with 2 beds and a TV while we took the king bedroom. Our room was on the main floor facing Mirrow Lake and the main street, so we could take advantage of just walking out of our room to walk down the hill to the stores and enjoy sitting in, of course, Adirondack chairs! We ate at the hotel’s restaurant the first evening and had a succulent meal. We also took advantage of the Hot breakfast buffet for $12.99 including beverages per adult and half price for kids under 12. The view of the main restaurant is phenomenal as it overlooks Mirrow Lake and the main street! They also offer ample free parking, an indoor swimming pool, and complimentary Wi-Fi. If you are part of the IHG Rewards Club, which is free to sign up, late check out is available at no additional cost. Everytime we stopped at the reception desk, staff were courteous and polite, and gave us directions to the different sites. They also provided us with maps to visit around the city. We really enjoyed out stay at the Crowne Plaza Resort.
The next morning, we headed out to visit the Olympic Sports Complex to enjoy a Bobsled Experience with my family. I am not much of a thriller seeker, but since I enjoy roller coaster rides, I thought this would be up my alley! The Olympic Sports Complex is home to the combined bobsled, luge and skeleton track, the only one east of the Rockies, as well as 50 km of groomed cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails, and a biathlon shooting range. In the summer the Olympic Sports Complex offers wheeled bobsled rides on the historic 1980 Olympic track, cross-country mountain biking, and horseback riding. We reserved a time for the wheeled bobsled ride at the gift shop/museum and headed out on a sightseeing tour of the 3 tracks. We ended up at the top of the newly built track in 2010 and took the opportunity to walk it down rather than a ride back in the shuttle bus. We took many photos walking down the interior course and taking the twists and turns of the world-class bobsled, skeleton and luge racers, except they do it at 80-mph.
Afterwards, we headed to the half way run point of the 1932 bobsled track to get geared up with helmets and meet the bobsled team. A professional driver and brakeman are with you in the boblsed. We opted for the girls versus the boys in a race down to the finish line. The girls took 40 seconds to race a 1/2 mile track at 50 mph while the boys beat us by .10 of a second. We filmed my daughter and I’s run with a Go Pro camera that was attached to the top of the bobsled and also my husband and son arriving at the finish line. Many thanks to Future Shop in Orléans for lending it to us!
At first when the bobsled is rolling down the pace is relatively slow and you pick up speed and more speed, and a curve followed by a zig zag at the end not too far from the finish line. In no time you are going 5o mph! The wheeled boblsed ride is totally amazing! I totally recommend trying it at least once in your lifetime. I always enjoyed watching the bobsled runs during the Olympics and definitely have a much better understanding of the intensity these athletes put themselves through every time they hit the tracks. OMG this is fast, furious, and dangerous!
|Adult: Ages 20+ | Teen: Ages 13-19 | Junior: Ages 7-12|
For your bravery, you will be rewarded:
- Bobsled lapel pin
- Commemorative team photo
- A team t-shirt
- Membership in the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
- 20% off your second bobsled ride
While visiting Lake Placid, purchasing the Olympic Sites Passport at $32/person is ideal as it will give you access to the Olympic Sport Complex, Olympic Jumping Complex, the Olympic Centre, and Whiteface Mountain. You can purchase it at a ORDA Store and at all of their ticket offices. The Passport saves you time, money, and gets you into the venues at a good value. It also gives you 20% off the Bobsled Experience at the Olympic Sports Complex!
The Olympic Sites Passport Includes one time admission to:
A scenic ride to the top of Little Whiteface on the Cloudsplitter Gondola and a FREE round of Disc Golf
Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway—drive or bike up to the summit, enjoy the views from the castle and look-out point (summer only)
The Olympic Center
Lake Placid Olympic Museum—watch the never released historical footage of the 1980 Miracle on Ice game (summer/winter)
Olympic Sports Complex
Take a tour of our the world class combined bobsled/luge/skeleton track (summer/winter)
Olympic Jumping Complex
Tour the facility and ride the elevator to the skydeck on top of the 120m jump tower (summer/winter)
Receive the following discounts with the Passport:
- 20% off the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience at the Olympic Sports Complex
- 20% off Be a Biathlete at the Olympic Sports Complex
- 20% off Mountain Bike rentals at the Olympic Sports Complex
- 20% off Wheeled Luge at the Olympic Jumping Complex
- 20% off Extreme Tubing at the Olympic Jumping Complex
- 20% off the Behind the Scenes Tour at the Olympic Jumping Complex
- 20% off the “Ready to Fly” ski jumping movie at the Olympic Jumping Complex
- 20% off Saturday Night Ice Show at the Olympic Center
- 20% off a Zamboni Ride at the Olympic Center
- 20% off The Sports Simulator at the Olympic Center
- 20% off a Nature Trek at Whiteface
- 20% off Yoga on the Mountain
- 20% off the Airbag Jump at Whiteface
- 20% off a 4×4 Expedition at Whiteface
- 20% off the Whiteface Adventure Zone
- 20% off of photo novelties at Miracle Moments concessions (summer/winter)
- A free pin at the ORDA Store on Main St. with a $25.00 merchandise purchase (summer/winter)
Our last stop of the day was at the Olympic Jumping Complex. Unfortunately, the extreme tubing and elevator ride to the skydeck were not open on Sunday, so we could not attempt them. It seems like so much fun! See the video below! We did manage to view a team of skiers practising their jumps and landing in a pool. These kids are getting ready for the cold winter months of ski jumping!
We came back to the village feeling hungry and decided to walk down the main street with all the stores and ate our dinner at the Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Restaurant. The meals was delicious, the service was excellent, and the decor was quite rustic. Exactly what you expect from a Steakhouse! There are no chain restaurants in Lake Placid, except for Subway, so take the opportunity to walk around to look and try the local restaurants. They also have many gifts shops to bring back souvenirs and gifts for the family and relatives.
After dinner, we walked to the Lake Placid Olympic Center, home to the Olympic Museum, national, and international figure skating competitions, USA Hockey events, Smuckers’, Stars on Ice, and other special events! In front of the building is the speed skating oval used during the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Olympic.
On Monday morning, we decided to drive to the Crowne Plaza Hotel private beach on Mirrow Lake. We enjoyed taking in some sun, relaxing, swimming, and paddling on the Lake. Time to pack our bags, check out, and head back home, but not before an afternoon spent at the Whiteface Mountain.
The Gondola ride to the top of the majestic Whiteface Mountain was breathtaking! All the way up 3676 feet! We stayed at the top for about an hour to take in the magnificent view and lots of photos. While we we there, a couple of men arrived in the gondolas with their dirt bikes to ride them in the trails. If you don’t like heights, you can drive instead to the top or Whiteface Mountain by taking the Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway.
I strongly recommend making Lake Placid a family destination for your next vacation or getaway. You won’t be disappointed!