Just retire the Off-Hill Activities award right now, because Whiteface and its neighboring Olympic facilities dominate competitors the way Heiden dominated speed skating on Lake Placid’s oval in February 1980. Te oval is still right there downtown, but skating on it is just another attraction alongside the Olympic Museum, the Miracle on Ice arena, the 90-meter ski jump, and the crazy-fast bobsled rides. Lively, lovely Lake Placid—No. 3 for Dining, Après, and Scenery— is a refuge for more relaxing diversions such as shopping. Readers remind us that town and mountain are 10 minutes apart, that it’s cold around there, and, as one reader put it, it’s “wonderfully isolated” (No. 25 for Access). But we can’t forget the skiing: the East’s biggest vert (3,430 feet), with terrain ranked No. 5 for Challenge. Olympic caliber indeed.
Family Experience >> High-speed bobsled rides will get any thrill-seeking kid’s squeal of approval. (Not for the littlest ones, though.)
Aprés Spot >> Cocktails at the Cottage, the four-diamond Mirror Lake Inn’s shoreside bar with views of Whiteface’s back side.
Mandatory Run >> The Slides, when open, are a short hike north below the summit ridge. Natural slide paths are a classic Adirondack experience. Only Whiteface’s are lift-served.