DAY 3 — There is every variety of place to stay in Lake Placid (www.lakeplacidregion.com) from B&Bs, motels, condos and houses, and even luxe resorts.
We’re staying at the pet (and kid friendly) Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort (www.golden-arrow.com) which has been in the same family for more than 30 years and has the distinction of being supremely green. It’s on Mirror Lake with a small beach ideal for young kids and plenty of kayaks, canoes and paddle boats—even a gondola the staff takes out in summer for sunset cruises.
On Memorial Day weekend, the place is packed with families building sand castles on the small beach, going out in kayaks and paddle boats, walking their dogs, many with grandparents in tow.
For those looking for more luxury, there’s Whiteface Lodge (www.thewhitefacelodge.com) which is not on Lake Placid but maintains a private beach a half mile away with the requisite canoes, kayaks and more. It was designed to look like a traditional Adirondack “Great Camp,” the general manager Phil Anderson explains and it’s got everything—huge spaces with big comfy couches and Adirondack furniture, fireplaces, and sprawling suites with full kitchens, many with three bedrooms and baths.
This is the kind of place that offers the space of condos—albeit with spectacular views of nearby Whiteface Mountain (nine miles away)–and the woods with the amenities of a first-class resort. Most all packages include breakfast (look for deals with substantial resort credits). There’s a big heated pool, fitness center and spa where even tweens can get massages or facials with mom. There’s ice skating, an old-fashioned two-lane bowling alley, tennis, a stocked fishing pond (yes they even supply rods, reels and bait).
There’s even an ice cream parlor and game room equipped with everything from foosball to pool to ping pong. Unfortunately, Anderson says, kids tend to gravitate toward the computers outside the game room which was conceived as a bow to traditional games played at those Adirondack big houses. Make smores every night in front of a fireplace outdoors. Watch movies in the theater downstairs three times a day—of course popcorn is provided! This summer there will even be star gazing in the courtyard; the evening we visited, Birds of Prey were being showcased.
Parents will love that the Whiteface Lodge offers complimentary organized activities for kids from age three and this summer has expanded to offer special outdoor Kamp Kanu programs for kids aged 11 to 14, where they will learn orienteering, tent building, trail map reading and more, with the Adirondack Mountains as the playground. And if parents want a break for dinner, there is a “sunset” program for younger kids at an extra charge ($30 for the first child).
As in a Great House, there are plenty of comfy areas with big couches and fireplaces to settle in for a drink or a snack and plenty of places where you can enjoy a meal with kids or without. Tapas or lamb? We had both!
We ended our weekend at Lake Placid Lodge (www.lakeplacidlodge.com) –a 30-room (and cabin) property that is the ultimate in quiet luxury along Lake Placid (no kids under 12 please, though pets are welcomed. The house had a history as a traditional Adirondacks Great House for millionaires in the 19th Century who would come here to hunt and fish–it ran as a hotel and then burnt to the ground in 2005 when it was rebuilt reopening just in 2008.
You can sit in, yes, Adirondack chairs along the lake front or on your cabin deck stacked with snacks and even champagne on arrival. Hike or take out a kayak or a canoe. Everywhere you look are works by local artisans—chairs, sculptures, carved mantle decorations of forest animals. In June in fact, an entire weekend will be devoted to local artists who will come and give presentations.
We ended our day—and weekend as dusk fell on the broad deck eating dinner and a good bottle of wine from the hotel’s expansive wine cellar (wine tasting anyone?).