By Sandi Barrett, Contributing Writer
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – In the villages, lakes, and mountains of Milan, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and other local cities and towns, the XXV Olympic Winter Games will descend upon Italy in 2026. February 6 through 22 will bring athletes to our TV screens as we watch them defy gravity, snow, and ice in their quest for an Olympic gold medal.
If you aren’t planning on traveling to Italy for the game, you can revel in the Winter Olympics past at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. The museum commemorates the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, which were based in Lake Placid, New York.
The drive from Central Massachusetts to Lake Placid is about five hours, making it the perfect destination for a short getaway vacation.
Lake Placid Olympic Museum
The museum reminds us of past Olympian feats of greatness and the extensive work it takes to become the best in your sport. As a guest, you can easily put yourself in the metaphorical shoes of the U.S. athletes. Experience a simulated bobsled run where the gravity-defying twists and turns have you wondering how the sled stays its course. Peruse the USA opening ceremony uniforms of Olympics past, highlighting how the styles and textiles have changed over decades of competition. Discover the nuances of distinctly designed Olympic torches used in the relays from Greece to their final destinations.
The Lake Placid Olympic Museum is a peek into the highest of highs for our Olympic champions.
Miracle on ice
When you step into the Herb Brooks Hockey Arena at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, you may get a chill. Listen closely and you can almost hear the thundering roar of the crowd when Winthrop native and Boston University graduate Mike Eruzione scored the winning goal for team U.S.A. That goosebump moment when the puck flew off Eruzione’s stick is etched into the mind of every USA hockey fan.
Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex
Take a little drive down the road and visit the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex. While you wouldn’t want to attempt the intrepid run down the 128-meter or even the 100-meter ski jump, you can ascend to the top. The Skyride gondola rides up, up, up alongside the jumps to the base of the jumping towers. Then you board a glass elevator that takes you to the sky deck of the 128-meter jumping platform. Here you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Lake Placid area.
Dining and accommodations
When it comes to dining in Lake Placid there are lots of great options. Queue up at aptly named the breakfast club, etc. for a tasty on-the-water breakfast. Locals and visitors line up for their famous, filling, and flavorful röstis. For a delicious dinner with views of peaceful Mirror Lake, find a spot on the porch at The Cottage Restaurant and Cafe. The charming cafe serves up a selection of upscale comfort food.
You will find accommodation options for however you like to travel. The Mirror Lake Inn is walkable to downtown and the museum. If you prefer to be away from the hubbub, then the Saranac Waterfront Lodge on Flower Lake nearby Saranac Lake is a wonderful choice.
If you’re a diehard Winter Olympics fan, a visit to Lake Placid and the Olympic complex should be on your pre-2026 Olympics bucket list. As you go through your daily routine, take time to think of the stamina and dedication required of our Olympians. From sunup to sundown, they are continually preparing themselves to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.