Part 2: Lake Placid, NY – Things to Do

If you haven’t already, take a look at Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat.

This blog post features some of our adventures during our 4 night, 5 days stay in Lake Placid, NY.

Adirondack Wildlife Refuge

We love animals, so being able to see wolves, foxes, bald eagles, owls, and coyotes up close was really cool. We snapped a lot of pictures! The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge operates on donations, so make sure you leave a few dollars to keep this non-profit organization running smoothly.

Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex

I always watch the Olympics. We got at the complex at the perfect time; the Olympians were practicing ski jumping into the pool. We watched them in awe. Then we took an elevator ride to the top of the ski jump. It gave us great views of the complex and high peaks.

Olympic Platform

Olympic Platform in the Ski Jump Complex

Ski Jump, Lake Placid NY

Ski Jump Complex, Lake Placid, NY

Hiking Cascade and Porter Mountain

If you are not in decent physical shape and don’t have the appropriate gear, please don’t attempt the high peaks! This was grueling. It took us six hours to do both Cascade and Porter mountains. The conditions were terrible; muddy and high water everywhere. Jason and I are in decent physical shape and we struggled! If you can do it, I would recommend it. The summits are beautiful and we enjoyed a breathtaking view. There are plenty of easier, shorter hikes if this is too challenging. I would recommend getting outside and on a trail!

Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain

Fly Fishing

Jason visited the local fly shop, The Hungry Trout, and had the best day in his fishing career. He fly fished the Ausable River and caught (and released) over 20 brown trout. This is a fisherman’s dream!

Balanced Bodywork and Massage

I treated myself to a 90-minute massage and cupping treatment with Tim. It was one of the best massages I have ever received. I made sure to bring my AromaTouch essential oil, which made me feel super relaxed and calm. When I go back to Lake Placid, I will be getting another treatment at Balanced Bodywork and Massage.

Balanced Bodywork

Inside Balanced Bodywork and Massage

Shopping in Lake Placid

After my massage, I spent the rest of the day shopping in downtown Lake Placid. I purchased local olive oils, salts, dish towels, local brews, and other novelties. Each shop is unique!

Final Thoughts

This is a great trip for families, couples, and singles. There is truly something for everyone in any season. If you like the great outdoors, relaxing, adventure, and enjoy the Olympics, you would really enjoy visiting Lake Placid, NY. We will be re-visiting Lake Placid in the near future.

Have you been to the Adirondack region? What was your favorite thing to do?

Namaste.

Lake Placid, NY - What to Do

 

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Part 1: Lake Placid, NY – Where to Stay & Eat

Lake Placid, New York has always fascinated me. My friends have told me stories about skiing, hiking, the Olympic sites, and the quaint downtown. My husband and I purchased a Groupon Getaway to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, New York for January 2017. I injured my back, and the hotel allowed us to reschedule our 4 night, 5 days stay for May 2017. We were thrilled. We stayed on the fifth floor Marcy Specialty room, which had a jetted tub, fireplace, and private balcony.

Lake Placid, NY

Lake Placid, NY

Here’s why I would strongly recommend staying at the Golden Arrow:

  • Beach access, right on Mirror Lake
    • Canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, docks, plenty of water toys
  • Indoor pool with two hot tubs, a wet sauna, and a dry sauna
  • Fitness Center with locker room and dry sauna
    • Insider tip: use the sauna in the fitness center instead of the indoor pool area
  • Generations Restaurant
    • Happy hour all day when you show your room key
      • $5 house wine, $3 well drinks, $4 select draft beers
    • Free breakfast included with your stay
      • This was delicious!
  • Alpine Mall Shopping attached to hotel
    • Restaurants, shopping, and liquor/wine store
  • Location of hotel
    • Right in the center of Lake Placid, convenient to shops and restaurants

There are two issues with Golden Arrow: parking for a full size truck (even though they have a lot across the street, the parking is terrible during peak season) and the layout of the hotel (could only access the fifth floor from certain elevators & the elevator signage is confusing and varied in each elevator).

Lake Placid, NY Balcony View

View from the Balcony

We would absolutely stay at the Golden Arrow again. This was an incredible resort and we not only enjoyed our room but took full advantage of the amenities.

Where to Eat

Smoke Signals

If you love BBQ, put this on your list. Smoke Signals has indoor and outdoor seating and a fabulous menu that will make your mouth water. We had not one complaint about eating at Smoke Signals. The food was really delicious after a long drive up to Lake Placid.

What we ordered: 

  • Perpetual Pig BBQ Wings
  • Jason: Brisket and Macaroni & Cheese
  • Danielle: 1/2 rack of ribs and Macaroni & Cheese
  • Two local draft beers

Big Mountain Deli & Creperie

After a long day seeing the sites, we stopped here for delicious sandwiches.

What we ordered:

  • Jason: Table Top with chicken and a bag of Kettle Chips
  • Danielle: Algonquin sandwich with a side of potato salad

Big Mountain Deli and Creperie has 46 sandwiches to represent the 46 High Peaks. They also have soups, salads, and crepes. The sandwiches are very filling, great after a hike!

Big Mountain Deli & Creperie

Lisa G’s

Lisa G’s was another fantastic restaurant that had indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating overlooked a scenic waterfall. Everything on the menu is homemade and the drink I ordered, Salty Rikki, was strong.

What we ordered:

  • Jason: Chicken Parmesan
  • Danielle: Crispy Goat Cheese Salad with Chicken
  • Drink: Salty Rikki

Salty Rikki

Honorable mentions:

  • Generations Restaurant (adjacent to our hotel)
    • We ate breakfast here every day as it was included in our stay. The blueberry pancakes were incredible, as well as the special egg concoctions. The Sunny Cove ($2 upcharge) was my favorite. We never had a bad breakfast here!
  • Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery
    • Dairy makes me sick to my stomach but I couldn’t help myself. I got a small maple ice cream. Jason had a scoop each of cookies and cream and double fudge ice cream. Incredible.
  • The Lake Plaid Pub & Brewery
    • Besides the long wait, this had three floors of fun and a store to purchase pint glasses and other keepsakes. Jason enjoyed the Ubu Ale while I imbibed the Golden Ale. The food was hot and delicious. I ordered the Josh’s Fire Fish for dinner while Jason enjoyed the Schulzy Burger.

Final Thoughts

Have you visited Lake Placid? Where did you stay? What was your favorite restaurant?

If you haven’t, what restaurant would you want to try?

Stay tuned for Lake Placid, NY Part 2: What to Do!

Lake Placid, NY Where to Stay and Where to Eat

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Why you NEED a Vacation

I just got back from a long weekend in Lake Placid, New York. I haven’t been on a vacation since August 2016. My husband and I both started new jobs, which comes with new stressors, change, and uncomfortable acclimation. The little things were starting to irritate us; our patience growing thin not only with each other, but with daily life tasks. We needed a break. Whether it be a staycation, a drivable long weekend getaway, or a trip to somewhere exotic, read below why you need a vacation…

Break your Routine

Alarm clock. Coffee. Get ready, commute to work. Work all day. Hit the gym for a super quick workout. Go grocery shopping. Shower. Prepare dinner. Clean something. Throw in a load of laundry. Prepare for the next day. Try to unwind. Sleep. Repeat. Does this sound familiar?

Do you know what my routine was on vacation? Oh wait, there was no routine. None. No alarm clock buzzing in my ear at five thirty AM. No preparing for the next day. No cleaning. I got out of bed when my body wanted to rise. I went to the gym every day at whatever time I wanted to go. I didn’t have to worry about picking up my husband’s dry cleaning or running to the supermarket after my workout. I ate at a new restaurant every meal, not worrying about having to scrub a pile of dishes. I didn’t do one load of laundry. I fixed my hair nicely; I applied makeup. I took a long shower, not worrying about my to-do list. I read a book AND a magazine. I spent quality time with my husband.

Being on vacation allows you a change of routine, habits, and roles, that you need for adequate relaxation and rejuvenation. Sleep in, don’t cook, and sit down and read something other than the monthly bills…

Try Something New

I went for a massage and received a cupping treatment. Cupping is where they use cups to create a suction over your muscles to reduce pain, inflammation, and to promote relaxation and healthy blood flow. I loved it. My back and neck had less tension! I want to continue receiving treatments now that I am home.

My husband and I also hiked two of the 46 high peaks. We tackled and accomplished Cascade and Porter mountains. It was an incredible experience that involved a lot of teamwork and really brought us closer together as a married couple. Hiking the high peaks is no joke, and we were so happy when we realized that we hiked 4,096 feet above sea level together. It was exhilarating and we are so excited to share our adventure with others.

Even if you have a staycation, do something new. Visit a rock climbing gym, experience a cooking class, or get a Reiki treatment.  If you go away, plan an excursion. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and most importantly, have fun.

Hiking in Lake Placid

My husband, at the summit of Cascade Mountain

Take Care of Yourself

I spent time swimming in the pool, relaxing in the hot tub, and sweating in the sauna. Swimming is fantastic exercise, the hot tub is super relaxing, and the sauna helps my body rid toxins. I got an hour workout in the gym every day. My husband and I had conversations at dinner other than what needed to be done (around the house, errands, etc). I felt fantastic. We reconnected. Win-win. I also went to the beach and read a book, which was so calming and soothing. Breathing in the fresh lake air, reading a New York Times Bestseller, and sitting with my toes in the sand, while drinking a local craft brew…what could be better?

Try to rejuvenate all your needs when you take a vacation:

  • Mental: read a book, magazine, or newspaper, play a board/card game
  • Physical: go swimming, to the gym, hiking, walk around town, explore your surroundings
  • Emotional: meditate, reconnect with whomever your with
Relaxing in Lake Placid

Relaxing on the beach with a book & a beer in Lake Placid

Disconnect

I’m guilty of being on my phone; but for a few hours each day, I tried to stay off my phone and be one with myself and nature. We are constantly on our electronic devices when we are at home. Give your brain (and fingers) a rest and disconnect from everything! It feels good, trust me!

Nature in Lake Placid

Being one with Cascade Mountain

You’ll Return Happy

When you get home, you’ll be thrilled. You’ll get to sleep in your own bed, bathe in your own shower, and come home to share your stories with family, friends, and pets. You will feel relaxed, rested, and happy. You won’t be ready to return to work, but when you head back into the office, you will remind yourself that working will pay for your next adventure.

Final Thoughts

Take a vacation. You probably need it.

I saw a quotation that stated, “Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.” – I’m not there yet. My life is unfortunately not a vacation. I look forward to getting away from my daily habits, roles, and routines to visit new places, try new things, and reconnect with myself and my husband.

When is your next adventure? Where will you go? What will you do? 

Namaste.

PS. Stay tuned to the next post which will feature a Cruelty Free at Home Spa Night – if you can’t take a vacation, you can still feel like you are on vacation!

Why you NEED a Vacation

Preparing for Lake Placid

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I hate the cold and never participated in any winter sports besides building a snowman. Even then I would run inside, take a hot shower, make some hot cocoa, and sit with a book by the fireplace. My husband has been talking about going on a ski vacation for the past six years. I explained that between an old right knee surgery and having Raynaud’s phenomenon, I wasn’t exactly thrilled on sliding down a mountain in the freezing cold. Alas, Jason’s birthday is in the beginning of January. I strive to make him a happy husband. One of the reasons why I married him is because he pushes me to do new things and to break through the barriers I often place on myself. Although I am a little scared to ski, I try not to let fear and apprehension be a limiting factor in my life. (I was afraid of dogs, remember?) So, I booked Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort on Groupon and told him we are going skiing for his birthday. He went to his parent’s house and collected his ski gear from their basement. I, on the other hand, didn’t even have a waterproof jacket. Here is some information I compiled while preparing for our trip…

Gear

I will be renting my skis, boots, poles, and helmet. Jason has his skis and boots, and will be renting poles and a helmet. We are purchasing ski goggles on Amazon. They have many different types and styles of gear, way outside my scope of skiing knowledge, but we did consider renting skis and poles in our home state, and transporting the equipment up to Lake Placid. We opted against that decision since I am a beginner, and I rather use the gear that they provide me should anything malfunction. For those that have some experience, you may find it more financially beneficial to rent gear locally and transport to your destination, or purchase your own gear. They also have websites where they can ship your gear straight to your hotel.

Dress

This is the most important for me since I don’t tolerate the cold well. Start with a base layer. I love Under Armour’s ColdGear. I have a mock long sleeved waterproof base layer that will wick away sweat and keep me warm. The next layer is a fleece layer, to provide extra warmth. Then, you want a waterproof jacket, or shell. My in-laws purchased me the Columbia Bugaboo jacket (pictured below), which has a fleece layer and a waterproof shell. It is incredibly warm and my new favorite winter jacket.

20170108_095232

On your bottom half, you either want a snow bib or snow pants. Make sure they have insulation and are waterproof. My sister-in-law purchased the Columbia Bugaboo snow pants for me for Christmas. They are super comfortable. You must not forget your ski gloves. You want them to have a drawstring so you could pull them tightly around your wrist to not allow snow inside. I found an inexpensive pair at BJs, and they provide the warmth and are waterproof.

Wool socks that are breathable, warm and odor fighting are imperative for skiing. They are around $17, but will be well worth keeping my feet warm on the slopes. Don’t forget to protect your neck. A balaclava ski mask protects your neck and most of your face. Some people buy a wool buff or neck gaiter. I am opting for more coverage, so I will be wearing a balaclava.

Trails, Lifts & Lessons

Know the mountain in which you are skiing. I look at trails and conditions, and research what days and times are available to take ski lessons. Lessons are highly recommended for beginners. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing and genuinely concerned for my safety, so I want a professional to show me the basics. Lift tickets can also generally be purchased online. Check websites often to stay updated.

Extras

20170107_173743You better believe I will be bringing hand and foot warmers. Keeping warm is my number one priority. I am also bringing Gu Energy Gel, mini Clif bars, sunscreen, and pocket tissues. These will be kept in my Bugaboo’s pockets while we are on the mountain.

Plan B

God willing, I will ski and have a wonderful time. YOLO, right? If skiing isn’t my thing, we have Plan B. Lake Placid offers a plethora of activities including snow shoeing, ice skating, bob sledding, and tubing. We have been researching some activities at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, too.

We picked Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort since it has great amenities (indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam baths) and boutique shopping adjacent to the hotel.  It will be nice after a day of activity to relax. Golden Arrow is right on Mirror Lake, which offers dog sledding. I love dogs, so this will hopefully be checked off my Plan B list.

I have also scoped out some places for grub and brewskis. The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery is on our must-go list.

Advice

What is your advice for a first-time skier? For someone who has never ventured to Lake Placid? Provide some of your own tidbits in the comments below.

I have a feeling this trip will be unforgettable, hopefully in a good way!

Namaste.