After weeks of winter hibernation, I decided it was time for some fresh air. Where? Lake Placid, NY, the two-time host of the Olympic Winter Games. The magnificent mountain town makes a paradise of a playground, which explains why so many Olympians live and train there. This holiday season, I had been consuming more calories than a Michael-Phelps-in-training, and I needed a destination that could light a fire (torch?) under me. With Vancouver 2010 almost afoot, there was no better time—or place—to channel my inner Olympian and get back in shape. A few days in the Adirondacks is truly breathtaking: Not only did it successfully jumpstart my heart rate, I also saw some seriously spectacular scenery. The weekend left me completely rejuvenated, inside and out.
PLAY: Ski or snowboard the slopes at Whiteface Mountain; ice skate around the Olympic Speed Skating Oval or on any of the surrounding frozen lakes; even brave a bobsled ride down the world famous Olympic Sport Complex. For great heights and sights, climb the steps to the top of the Olympic Ski Jumps. Or, hike to the steep summit of Mt. Jo and get rewarded with staggering views of the Adirondacks and buns of steel. Finally, dozens of walking, running, and biking trails weave through Lake Placid. Most popular (and picturesque): 2.7 miles around Mirror Lake.
REST: In each room at the Lake Placid Lodge, tired bodies can relax in a soaking tub or beside a blazing fireplace.
FUEL: Enjoy a meal fit for a champion at the Dancing Bears Restaurant, where Olympians have grubbed for the past 30 years. Also stop in at the BIG Mountain Deli and Creperie for one of the 46 gourmet sandwiches, which are all named after the high peaks of the Adirondacks. (Tip: Save room for a heavenly crepe.) After a weekend of workouts, I chose to "hydrate" one last time at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, where they have been barreling award-winning ale for nearly 15 years. Be a local when you belly up: Order a "Moose" (light) or an "Ubu" (dark) microbrew.