Some ski towns slumber in the summer. Others, including Lake Placid, come into their own. Well-heeled vacationers have summered here since the Age of Steam, when they arrived by train to escape city heat in the lush, cool Adirondacks. They enjoyed the same activities as modern visitors: camping, fishing, hiking and canoeing in the six-million-acre Adirondack State Park, or merely relaxing in a cottage by the water.
Today there's all that, along with all the great restaurants and hotels and, more important, all the activities associated with Lake Placid's Winter Olympic heritage. Visitors can take a turn on the "Miracle On Ice" hockey rink, peruse 1932 and 1980 museum memorabilia, watch ski-jumpers soar, ride a bobsled or mountain bike at either the cross-country center or the ski area.
Oh yes, the ski area. At Whiteface, you can ride the gondola for stunning views, with or without your bike, or drive to the very top (4,867 feet) on the Memorial Highway. Special events? Like you need them. But ESPN stages the Great Outdoors Games (lumberjacking, sport-dog trials, target shooting, etc., July 12-15). And the Ironmen (and women) measure their mettle July 29. Be sure to observe the swimming leg from behind a mimosa at a lakeside café and debate who's having a more enjoyable morning: you or them.