While the village is a year-round resort, it is most known as the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. In a 1980 USA-USSR hockey game, the "Miracle on Ice," a group of American college students and amateurs upset the heavily-favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4-3. Two days later, they won the gold medal.
Lake Placid hosts a Winter Olympics summer training facility where one can watch sports like ski jumping, aerial jumping and figure skating. The town is charming and fun for the outdoorsy and/or adventure-spirited.
- Adirondack Trailways Service, 2634 Main Street (Olympic Authority building), toll-free: . Highway coach between New York City, Albany, and Lake Placid with stops along the way.
- Amtrak, toll-free: . Closest station is Westport, 40 miles east of Lake Placid. Amtrak runs a shuttle bus service to the village.
- Adirondack Scenic Railroad, 242 Station St, Lake Placid, ☎ . Scenic tourist railroad line from Utica's Union Station to Saranac Lake.
The Lake Placid Airport serves only charter and scenic planes. The closest domestic airport is Adirondack Airport in Saranac Lake. Plattsburgh is international in name only (no scheduled international flights); the nearest international airports are Albany, Burlington, and Montreal.
While it is easy to get around downtown on foot (arguably preferable, in fact, given the frequent traffic snarls on Main Street), and there is a free trolley service along the lake, you'll need a car to see any of the nearby area.
To get out onto the lake, short-term (one hour) boat rental is available.
- Mirror Lake Boat Rental, 1 Main Street (Across from the Hilton), ☎ . $25-50/hour.
Lake Placid is in the Adirondack Park, the largest state park east of the Mississippi River. It is home to 46 High Peaks, all of which rise above 4000 feet, and many of which can be viewed simultaneously from the summit of many of the neighboring mountains. On a clear day it is possible to see Vermont, New York, and Canada from the summit of Whiteface Mountain, which is located adjacent to Lake Placid.
- Lake Placid Center for the Arts, 17 Algonquin Dr., ☎ . Gallery and live theater
- Adirondack Equine Center (Ausable Equine Center), 88 Morningside Drive Lake Placid, NY, ☎ . Year-round. Trailrides, horseback riding and sleigh rides, horse drawn carriages on request, on site special events, weddings. Some of the most gentle horses you will ever find, always treated with love, trust, and respect. Personalized attention given and a free lesson prior to ride. Children Welcome. , www.nysleighrides.com
- Adirondack Sleigh Rides, 6319 State Route 30, Lake Clear NY (Homeyer's Lake Clear Lodge), ☎ , toll-free: . F-Sa or by appointment, mid-December to early March.. Adirondack horse drawn sleigh ride from Hohmeyers Lake Clear Lodge. Hay rides available spring-fall at Plattsburgh, NY Country Dreams Farm.
- Ausable Chasm, 2144 Route 9, Ausable Chasm NY, ☎ . Classic and walking tours, rafting, tubing, mountain biking, rappelling, disc golf and gemstone mining. Motel, campground and souvenir shop on-site.
- High Falls Gorge, Rt. 86, Wilmington, ☎ . Trails and picnic areas along Ausable River.
- Ice climbing
- Adirondack ice forms reliably from November to March. Keene Valley boasts some of the best ice climbing in the northeast.
- Rock and River Adirondack Guide Service, Keene, NY, ☎ . In early December, creates a forty foot high ice wall complete with viewing benches and spotlights for those looking to extend their experiences beyond the daylight hours.
- Northeast Ice, Bartlett, NH, ☎ . Photos, information, ice conditions.
- Speed Skating
- The famed Speed Skating Oval in Lake Placid, home to some of the greatest legends in Winter Olympic history, is open to the public for speed skating and public skating sessions during the winter.
- Speed Skating Oval, 2634 Main St. (Olympic Center), ☎ , fax: +1 518-523-5366. Public skating 7-9pm daily (except Tu,We) plus 1-3pm weekends. Speed Skating 4-6pm daily (except Tu,We) plus 10am-12pm weekends. Gold Medal Café open 8:30am-3:30pm Mon-Sat between the 1932 and 1980 Rinks.
- Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
- Held annually since 1897, Saranac Lake’s ten-day carnival is based on a different theme each year. A royal court is crowned complete with a king and queen, Ice Palace, Nordic ski and snowshoe races. 
- Cross Country Skiing
- Miles of groomed Nordic ski trails on the famous Jackrabbit trail system, extending from Saranac Lake to Lake Placid, include amazing views of the High Peaks... or try your skills on Olympic trails.
- Cascade Cross Country Ski, 4833 Cascade Rd., ☎ . 9-5pm (winter).
- Maple Syrup
- Each year, the sugary scent of maple sap being boiled down to syrup fills the mountain air in time for the spring thaw.
- South Meadow Farm Maple Sugarworks, Cascade Road, Route 73, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: +1-518-523-8749. Full line of maple products, sugar house open year-round during day light hours.
- Uihlein Sugar Maple Field Station, Bear Cub Road, ☎ . Jul-Aug and mid-Sep to mid-Oct, 1-5PM. Research facility with exhibits of maple syrup production, open to the general public. Free admission..
- World Cup Events
- From snowboarding, bobsled, luge, skeleton to freestyle skiing, see some of the greatest talent each sport has to offer and enjoy the feats and skills of athletes who train year-round for the chance to compete against the best.
- Mountain and road biking
- Lake Placid is home to some of the best mountain biking in the northeast. The trails are technical and range widely in levels of difficulty. Two local bike shops offer group rides during the summer. Mt. Van Hovenburg and Whiteface Mountain are popular for cross country and downhill riding. For road biking, some of the best views can be seen between Lake Placid and Keene, as well as around Essex County.
- High Peaks Cyclery, 2733 Main Street, ☎ . 9-6 daily, 9-5 Sun.
- Placid Planet, 2242 Saranac Ave, ☎ , fax: +1 518 523 2704. 10-6 daily, 11-5 Sun. Bike rental, sales, service, ski and snowboards.
- Whiteface Mountain
- The 8-passenger Cloudsplitter Gondola takes visitors from the base of Whiteface to the summit of Little Whiteface in about fifteen minutes with views of the trails, the Ausable River, and the Intervale Ski Jumping Complex. The Veterans Memorial Highway from Wilmington rises to the summit of Whiteface Mountain with a parking area at the top.
- With the help of a range attendant, test your marksmanship with .22 caliber biathlete rifles at the Olympic shooting complex at Mt. Van Hovenburg. The shooting distance is 50 meters.
- All 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks can be reached from the vicinity of Lake Placid by car. Some are more strenuous than others, and while many have well-beaten paths leading to their summits, many require significant bushwhacking to ascend. Local guides are available. Be sure to set out with a group of people with plenty of water, food, rain gear and safety equipment.
- The Northville Placid Trail (NPT) is a 133-mile footpath that crosses the heart of the Adirondack Park in New York State from Northville, NY to Lake Placid, NY. It is considered a lowland trail in that it doesn’t cross mountain peaks or follow mountain ridges. The trail passes through what many consider the wildest and most remote parts of the Adirondack Park, notably the high plateau that encompasses the Spruce, West Canada, and Cedar lakes area, along with that of the Cold River. The highest point the N-P Trail reaches (3008 ft) is at the crest of the ridge to the E of Blue Mt. and Tirrell Pond.
- Adirondack Decorative Arts and Crafts, 2512 Main Street, ☎ . Furniture, souvenirs and mountain accessories.
- Adirondack Yarns, 2241 Saranac Ave., ☎ . Beside Cuppa Joe, sip coffee and shop for yarn. Workshops available.
- Bookstore Plus, 2491 Main St., ☎ . Selection of books includes uniquely Adirondack titles.
- Darrah Cooper, 2416 Main St., ☎ . Jeweller making charms, pins, pendants and bracelets depicting local themes such as Adirondack Chair, Canoe, Guide Boat, Packbasket, Ice Skates, Snowflakes, Pinecones, Loon, Heron, Moose, Bear, and Racoon.
- G+G Maple Farms, 40 Fawn Ridge Rd, ☎ . Maple syrup and sugar.
- Ruthie's Run, 2415 Main St, ☎ . Skiwear and sportswear.
Most visitor-targeted restaurants can be found on Main St. along the lake front. More local options are on Highway 86 and 73 on either ends of town.
- Saranac Sourdough, 2126 Saranac Ave, ☎ . Selection of deli sandwiches and homemade breads baked daily, country breakfasts.
- Soulshine Bagel, 2526 Main St, ☎ . Breakfast, lunch. Bakery with fresh bagels, made-to-order fruit smoothies and many sandwich options. Cash only.
- Cuppa Joe, 2241 Saranac Ave, ☎ . 8am-5:30pm. Sweet, friendly service and excellent paninis, sandwiches, all-day breakfast and lunch.
- Black Bear Restaurant, 2409 Main St, ☎ .
- Bluesberry's Bakery, 2436 Main St., ☎ . Great for croissants and scones with coffee in the morning
- The Cowboy, 2226 Saranac Ave, ☎ . Grill and southern style cuisine, bar and tavern.
- Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company, 2442 Main Street, ☎ . Upscale pub grub including meat, fish, and (a few) veggie options in a dark wood and leather decorated room across the street from the lake. Brunch served on weekends. Children's menu.
- Howard Johnson's Restaurant, 2099 Saranac Ave., ☎ . One of the last of a dying breed (the other is in Bangor). In the chain's heyday more than a thousand of these restaurants nationwide were known for their fried clams, moderately-priced sit-down meals and twenty-eight flavors of ice cream. Most disappeared in the 1980s.
- Lisa G's, 6125 Sentinel Road, ☎ . Burgers, wings, bar, patio, relaxed atmosphere and lots of fun
- Mykonos, 2279 Saranac Ave, ☎ . A taste of Greece in the Adirondacks. Outdoor seating.
- Nicola's on Main, 211 Main St., ☎ . 5-11pm daily. Italian. Mid-range to upscale Mediterranean dining.
- Sugar Shack Dessert Company, 2567 Main St, ☎ . Bakery, specialty desserts.
- Tail O' the Pup, 1152 NY Route 86, Ray Brook, ☎ . Outdoor BBQ and fish fries, live music, full bar. Cabin rentals.
- Villa Vespa, 2250 Saranac Ave, ☎ . Homemade sauce, pasta, and pizza
- The Boathouse, 654 Mirror Lake Drive, ☎ . Wed-Sun. On Mirror Lake, seafood, steaks, pasta, grill, cocktails and desserts. Fireside seating area and bar. Organic and sustainable farming wines.
- Brown Dog Café and Wine Bar, 2431 Main St, ☎ . Wine selection, lunch, multi-course tasting menus as well as à la carte dishes.
- Milano North, 2490 Main St, 2nd floor, ☎ . Italian bistro, homemade pasta, wood-fired oven pizza.
- Interlaken Inn, 39 Interlaken Ave., ☎ , toll-free: . Victorian B&B inn with restaurant, Tuscan wine cellar, awarded by national wine publications
- The Cottage. Upscale Pub Grub and excellent nachos
- Veranda. Bill Clinton celebrated his 54th birthday here, great views of the mountains
- Paradox Lodge and Restaurant, 2169 Saranac Ave, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: +1 518 523-0029. Thu-Sun 6-9pm (restaurant). This restaurant recommends advance reservations, adds an 18% gratuity to the bill and does not serve kids under 13. $27-43.
- Whiteface Lodge, 373 Whiteface Inn Lane, ☎ . At Whiteface Club & Resort.
There are several bars right along the main strip of the town.
- Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, ☎ . Restaurant with pub fare and desserts. Microbrewery has several in-house mixtures, an Espresso Beer which tastes mostly like coffee, an Oatmeal Beer and their award-wining Ubu Ale. Brewery tours 4:30pm Sat or by appointment. $4 draft/bottle beers..
- Zigzags, 134 Main, Saranac Lake, ☎ . Billiards and live music, bobsled out front.
There are numerous resort hotels located in town as well as Bed and Breakfasts in the surrounding area. If a longer stay is desired, various condominiums and timeshare plans are available as well.
- Wildwood on the Lake, 2135 Saranac Ave., ☎ . Check-in: 3pm, check-out: 11am. Lakeside alpine motel, indoor pool, sauna, hot tub. During the summer season the motel has a river-fed pool, play structure, rowboats, paddleboats & canoes. Non-smoking. Refrigerator, microwave, TV, radio in-room. $58-$148 for standard units, cottages $138 - $275.
- Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa, 77 Mirror Lake Drive, ☎ , fax: +1 518 523-2871. AAA 4-diamond, some rooms have fireplace and jacuzzi. Cottages and kitchenettes available.
- Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, ☎ , toll-free: . Check-in: 4pm, check-out: 11am. AAA 3-diamond Eco-Friendly Resort on the shore of Mirror Lake, near Olympic Arena. $120-500.
- Lake Placid Lodge, 144 Lodge Way, ☎ . Only hotel on Lake Placid, thirty rooms and two cottages, member of Relais & Chateaux, no kids under 12 except on a few specified family-friendly weekends.
- The Haus on Mirror Lake, 2439 Main Street (across from Cinema), ☎ , fax: +1 518 523-3775. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Stainless steel kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, 38in. flat screen TV’s, view of the High Peaks. No pets, restrictive cancellation policy. $144-369.
- Keene Valley is less than twenty miles away and offers great hiking, camping, and climbing.
- Wilmington is less that twelve miles away and offers great hiking, downhill skiing, ice climbing, mountain biking, and fly fishing. It is the home of Whiteface Mountain which hosted the downhill skiing events for the 1980 Winter Olympics. It is also home to the West Branch of the Ausable River which is considered one of the best trout streams in the East. Near Wilmington is North Pole (New York), an early Christmas theme park.
- Montreal, Quebec is a 2 1/2 hour drive.