June 14-17, 2012
At the Ottawa Gatineau Golf Expo in March of this year I a met group from the Whiteface Club & Resort. Plans were made to visit the Lake Placid area in mid-June when courses in the area were reaching their peak conditioning.
Our accommodations were set at the High Peaks Resort for a two night stay but I made arrangements for an extra night to enjoy the Lake Placid area in more detail. The Resort is ideally situated at the corner of Saranac Avenue and Main Street; overlooking Mirror Lake and walking distance from great dining, outlet stores, and entertainment. After our round of golf on Friday at the Saranac Inn Golf & Country Club we were given a complete tour of the Resort. I was surprised at the number of conference rooms the Resort had to offer. Just about any size group could be handled and some of the smaller retreat-type rooms were superb for a business getaway.
I wasn't aware that the Spa at High Peaks Resort was actually part of the Resort as an entrance exists off of Main Street. I thought the Spa was a different entity but during our tour we made a stop and found the services offered to be exceptional. It appears many wedding parties and athletic treatments are handled. I was informed that many men take advantage of the Spa facilities and I can understand why. With the number of athletic events that take place in the area a pre- or post-event treatment will certainly have benefits.
In addition to the Spa, both indoor and outdoor pools are available. The indoor pool was about average size (for a hotel) but the outdoor pool was substantial.
After getting settled upon our arrival at High Peaks Resort we headed down for a drink and a light meal at Dancing Bears. Dancing Bears has been a favourite spot of Olympians to celebrate their victories. The restaurant has an outdoor deck with a great view. We anticipated that eating on the deck would be cool but a number of area heaters and a fire pit warmed the outdoor experience. Each morning we ate breakfast at Dancing Bears street level dining area and were never disappointed with our varying menu selections.
The Great Adirondack Steak & Seafood restaurant offers a good dinner selection. Their outdoor patio is a much used area when the weather is nice. They also brew their own beer which is very popular with patio patrons.
Main Street Lake Placid offers unique shops ranging from a Christmas Store to a few outlet clothing stores. As expected, you'll find sporting specialty stores and Olympic oriented souvenirs as Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980; the first to host the Winter Olympics twice.
The international flavor can often be heard while walking through town as it's not unusual to hear languages of varying countries.
After our round of golf on Saturday we headed over to Whiteface Mountain and took the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the top. The spectacular view is worth the expense. In the summer it isn't unusual to see mountain bikers make the downhill trek. I asked one biker, "which way do you take down?" I was told, "the easiest way."
Along the way to Whiteface Mountain you can stop in at the High Falls Gorge and take a nature walk. Besides getting some much needed exercise the view of the Gorge is another must stop for any one with a camera.
Don't forget to add in the Lake Placid Olympic Museum as another stopping site.
We started our weekend with a round at the Saranac Inn Golf & Country Club. The Saranac Inn name is a bit misleading as I was expecting more of a resort-type facility but the original Saranac Inn closed in 1962 and burned to the ground in 1978. There are rooms available and golf packages but not of the Inn type variety. The par 72 Saranac Inn Golf Club is one of four U.S. courses that are one hundred years or older that received four and a half stars by Golf Digest.
A review of the Saranac Inn Golf & Country Club can be read by clicking here.
The Whiteface Club & Resort is a must play while in the Lake Placid area. This was my personal favourite of the three courses we played while in Lake Placid. The course was extremely lush and well-maintained. Built in 1898, the Whiteface Club & Resort does not have the length of modern day courses but it does have the challenge. And if your game is going so well you can always focus on the spectacular views.
A review of the Whiteface Club & Resort can be read by clicking here.
Craig Wood was a professional golfer in the 1930s and 1940s and born in Lake Placid. Craig Wood is best know for being the victim of being Gene Sarazin's double eagle in the 1935 Augusta National Invitational (now know as "The Masters"). Original named the "Lake Placid Golf & Country Club" the course changed it's name to the Craig Wood Golf Course in 1954.
A review of the Craig Wood Golf Course can be read by clicking here.