Here's What to Do with 24 Hours in the Adirondack Mountains

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The largest park in the lower 48 states is just a few hours outside NYC.

The Adirondacks have enough nature-filled acreage to satisfy any adventurous spirit looking to escape their routine in favor of crisp, inexplicably fresh mountain air. In fact, they comprise six million acres of peaks, valleys, and lakes.

Adirondack Park is the largest in the lower 48 states. They boast an area “larger in size than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks combined,” according to Visit Adirondacks.

Whether you’re keen on exploring Lake Placid and unwinding at a luxurious inn or would prefer to hike White Face, the Adirondacks are filled with endless options. While you can’t do it all in one day, we’ve designed a 24-hour itinerary to highlight some of the most magical spots within Lake Placid and the surrounding areas.


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9 a.m.: If you’re staying in Lake Placid, you’ll want to start your day at the breakfast club etc. before embarking on your mountain-high adventures. The BC is known for the best Bloody Mary in the area and their röstis, a traditional Swiss breakfast dish of iron-skillet fried potatoes served with eggs and various toppings. They also have six benedicts that get rave reviews, including their sausage biscuit benedict and their decadent filet mignon benedict.

10 a.m.: Lake Placid was home to two Olympic games, so a trip up north isn’t complete without visiting the Lake Placid Olympic Sports Complex. The views from the top of the Olympic ski jump tower is worth the stop alone. You can also give a few Olympic sports the old college try if you’re up to it—riding the bobsled run tends to be a crowd-pleaser.

11:30 a.m.: To experience the full breadth of the Adirondacks’ beauty, taking in the views from White Face Mountain is a must. In the winter, of course, White Face is a skiing destination. Fervent powder chasers can spend their 24 hours in the Adirondacks on the slopes. If you’re there in the warmer weather and don’t have the time for a hiking adventure, you can drive up Veteran’s Memorial Highway to cash in on the views. The highway is open from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 14. You’ll park at the base of the castle and make the short but steep climb to the peak where you can languish and enjoy the view of Lake Placid from 4,500 feet above sea level.

1:30 p.m.: White Face Mountain is only half an hour from Lake Placid, so you can easily loop back to your hotel at Lake Placid to freshen up and then head to lunch. For lunch in Lake Placid, head to Big Slide Brewery & Public House, where you’ll find farm-to-table food and their local brews. They take their craft seriously, serving creations like their Hot Pepper Ale, an American Pale Ale brewed with fresh poblano and jalapeno peppers. Their food is sourced locally—try the smoked venison sausage and walnut pesto pizza.


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4 p.m.: Take on High Falls Gorge, which is a low-effort, high-reward outing relatively close to Lake Placid and White Face Mountain. One of the classic Adirondack sights, it’s a short, hiking experience along bridges that climb and cross the falls. The waterfalls themselves are astounding, and the glass-floored walkways even allow you to marvel at the water rushing beneath your feet.


Courtesy Mirror Lake Inn

7 p.m.: Located in the rustic-chic Mirror Lake Inn, The View is fine dining in an exceptional setting. As the name implies, the restaurant is in a room with a view—the patio overlooks the lake, making this the perfect place to spend golden hour. The bulk of The View’s ingredients are sourced from the region’s farmers—and the menu incorporates wares from their very own vegetable and herb garden. An award-winning menu for 20 years running, the wine list is also not to be overlooked.


Courtesy Mirror Lake Inn

Luxury Accommodations:

For luxury accommodations in the Adirondacks—close enough to White Face, Lake Placid, and High Falls Gorge—you can stay at The White Face Lodge or Mirror Lake Inn. Mirror Lake Inn, the resort that’s home to The View restaurant, has stunning lake views and the property is known for their hospitality as well as their dining options (try the flapjacks at The View in the morning). The White Face Lodge is walking distance to Lake Placid village, and the timber-style design is simultaneously cozy and beautifully intricate. Surrounded by awe-inspiring foliage in the fall, White Face Lodge has a lovely spa and a lavish outdoor hot-tub.