The Olympic Sliding Center in Lake Placid


An Adirondack Golf Getaway:

Enjoying New York State's Olympic Vacation Destination.

Posted by: Rick Parnham


If you are a baby boomer like myself, when you hear Lake Placid there is a good chance the first thing that comes to mind is the Olympic hockey, “Miracle on Ice.”  The sleepy Adirondack village will forever be connected to the marvel of not one, but two Olympics and arguably home to one of the most stunning upsets in any sport. A chance for an Adirondack golf excursion brought us to Lake Placid to sample some fairways and greens, with a side trek to the ice rinks and ski slopes once traversed by Olympians.


Crossing over the St. Lawrence at Cornwall, the Malone Golf Club with its historic beginning dating back to 1909, was our first destination. A couple minutes south of the town center on Duane Road we began our Adirondack golf adventure traversing fairways and greens that have long been considered one of the premiere golf options in Upper New York State. The 36 hole facility boasts holes carefully and masterfully crafted by Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones. The courses fit the rolling terrain with a blend of old-school and contemporary designs. Wooded corridors, ravines and plenty of water add to the challenge of the generous but heavily contoured greens. The East Course features some of the original holes crafted by Ross giving it an old-school feel to the routing. The West is pure Trent Jones, fitting the course to the landscape with tree-lined corridors, lots of water and signature greenside bunkering. [Read more of our review here]


Malone Golf Club


A reservation at Donovan’s Steak & Ale was our highly recommended dinner choice. The roadhouse style restaurant is filled with an eclectic collection of decor and an even more diverse menu. The restaurant has something for every palate. Salads, sandwiches, pasta, poultry, and the namesake steaks all offer delicious dining choices. A quiet ambiance with great service and a plentiful selection of traditional favorites along with a fine sampling of local craft beers and wines compliment the appetizing entrees. The great food, superb service and unique ambiance made this a welcomed Malone dining choice. [Website]   


The second day took us to play golf at a local favorite named after a former Master’s and U.S. Open champion. The Craig Wood Golf & Country Club dates back to 1925 and was crafted by Seymour Dunn. Now operated by the Town Of North Elba the course offers a fantastic public play opportunity. Routed on an Adirondack mountain side, every hole contends with the moderate to severe slopes which Dunn used for his canvas. The front side is open and windswept, while the back takes advantage of the thick forest within a creek valley to offer up some memorable holes. The drivable par 4 10th is a fantastic risk / reward hole that could offer a 2 or a 10 to the scorecard. The routing’s par 3 holes are all varied in both length and shot demands. This pleasurable round, combined with soaking in a bit of the rich golf history of two time major champ Craig Wood and his Hall of Fame credentials, was a welcome addition to our Lake Placid stay. [Website]


A post round stop at Big Slide Brewery & Public House offered up some much needed sustinece. A recent addition to the Lake Placid craft brew scene, this sister property of Lake Placid Pub & Brewery boasts a delicious local farm to table cuisine and award winning brews. The modern contemporary styled taproom hit the spot on our way back into town offering a light fare of traditional salads, sandwiches and pizzas, that are complimented with tasty grilled chicken and pork chops for those looking for more than a casual lunch. A wide variety of tasty craft beers flow from the taps, including their signature Big Slide IPA and Giant IPA, both award winning and a perfect post round refreshments. A robust selection of seasonal and small batch brews lead us to sampling a wide variety of flavors including a delicious currant beer that found its way into a couple of crowler cans for consumption later in the trip. [Website]


Our stay in Lake Placid  had us enjoying one of the town’s many unique hotel experiences. The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort was our overnight home giving us a great launch point for our afternoon activities. The family owned and operated facility has been a fixture in the heart of town for three generations. It is one of only a handful of hotel properties in the world to have a Platinum Certification by Audubon International for its commitment to environmentally friendly practices. The hotel’s alpine stylings compliment the history of the region’s connection to the slopes of Whiteface Mountain and others. The 165 room hotel is located near the southern end of Mirror Lake and a wedge from the Olympic Visitor Center. A beautiful beach with an extensive selection of water toys is waiting for eager and active guests to paddle or float on the shimmering waters. Those looking to enjoy some downtime can relax by soaking up the sun in the plentiful rows of beach loungers. An indoor pool and hot tubs along with a fitness center and racquetball court are also available for guests. Generations Taproom and Grill provides a terrific onsite dining experience, complete with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus all featuring local and farm fresh ingredients. The  hotel is charming, relaxing and steps from the heart of the village and all the charming boutiques. Sitting on our balcony with a vista of Mirror Lake and backdrop of the distant mountains created a more than memorable Golden Arrow experience. [Website]


Beautiful Lakefront Location at Golden Arrow Resort


Our afternoon was a trip back in time with a visit to the Lake Placid Olympic Center. Being the host to two Winter Olympic Games, there is much to soak in on a Lake Placid visit. The Olympic experience begins in the former ice rinks used for the games and the same place the infamous “Miracle on Ice” happened. The entrance to the 1932 rink, famous for the gold medal performance of Sonja Henie, leads you to the Olympic Museum. Walking the corridors of the arena complex and being able to sit in the same seats as those spectators watching the infamous American gold medal took me back to my adolescent hockey dreams. Touring the museum and seeing all the jerseys, equipment and stories while reliving the games is an absolute must. Across the road is the open air Olympic speed skating oval making up the front commons of the local high school. Purchasing an Olympic Sites Passport gives you access to the museum along with Whiteface Mountain’s alpine site, the sliding facilities and the ski jump center. Not many get to be a competing Olympian, but getting to walk in their footsteps in the venues is inspiring and enlightening. [Website]


Where Miracles Happen


The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery has been a staple in the village since 1996 when a pair of homebrewers took to crafting tasty and award winning beers. Housed in a charming three story location directly across from the Lake Placid’s public beach, a table on one of the terraces affords idyllic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The brew pub is even family friendly with a kids room on the third floor. Delicious traditional pub fair fills the menu while a diverse collection of carefully crafted brews fill the taps. The signature Ubu Ale, Big Slide IPA and Ubu’s Golden Ale are excellent starting points on your beer sampling, but a couple flights filled with their stouts, wide palette of ales, wits and lagers, take you on a beer tasting junket well worth the visit to Lake Placid alone. A robust crowd gave the indication of the The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery being “the” place to be and our experience left little to dispute the first impressions. [Website]    


Terrace Dining at Lake Placid Brewery and Pub


The final Adirondack adventure took us to one of the truly hidden golf pleasures with a visit to the Saranac Inn Golf & Country Club. The course’s origins are connected to the historic Saranac Inn which was once a luxury hotel destination on the nearby shores of Upper Saranac Lake. The first hint of golf as part of the resort complex was built 1901 for the enjoyment of the hundreds of Inn guests visiting for the summer. Expanded to its current routing in 1910, the design is timeless in both challenge and variety of holes. The course is characterized by golden age design principles like spacious pushed up green complexes ringed by bunkers, rolling and canting fairways and creative use of the hollows and rises throughout the footprint. A terrific stay and play option is available as the course has a row of cottages steps from the clubhouse and putting green. This extremely walkable, yet challenging golf experience was both a fantastic step back in time and a welcome finish to our Adirondack adventure. [Website]


If your summer plans have not yet been built, an Adirondack golf getaway is worthy of serious consideration. Whether it be a buddies trip, a couples retreat or a family excursion to do some hiking, swimming, and touring, Upper New York State would amply fill any summer travel itinerary. A very comfortable drive from the GTA, the countless activities, stunning natural landscapes, wonderful golf and time away from home will be a breath of fresh air and a trip hard to forget.

Lake Placid Tourism
















































Tasty Food and Brews







Craig Wood Golf











Craig Wood: Hole 13


















Golden Arrow Resort



























Olympic Museum Experience

















Saranac Lake Inn Golf