Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: Lake Placid, NY & Burlington, VT

Lake monsters, teddy bears, camping and ice cream—watch out, folks, this was the quintessential Number Kevin weekend. Megan and I have road-tripped and explored many new lands this summer, but this trip (I know I say this every time) was easily my favorite. It was my first time in the Adirondak mountains as well as in Vermont. Believe it, guys and gals, believe the hype.

Lake Placid

Our weekend began in Rochester, NY, where we live. Megan had Friday off, and I took a half day. This afforded us the extra time we needed to get into town and set up camp before sunset. From Rochester, Lake Placid is a five hour drive without hitting traffic or giant alligators. I’m referencing the monster movie, Lake Placid, of course, which was a favorite of mine as child. Sadly, the town seemed more interested in its Olympic history than its cryptozoology.

SIDE NOTE: IMDB told me the movie was actually filmed in British Columbia. Lucky for me, a neighboring lake held its own monster legend (but I’m getting ahead of myself).

As it turns out, the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics were both held in Lake Placid, home of the “Miracle” USA Hockey Team which I found pretty endearing. Also, I found a bobsled.

Not yet sponsored...

Not yet sponsored…

The town itself was quaint and beautiful; its downtown strip was among one of my favorites yet. We filled up on candy-by-the-pound, got some coffee, and did a little magnet shopping for our travel fridge. Because cheesy married couples need magnets. We’ve accepted it. Moving along…

Lake Placid street 2

Main Street, Lake Placid

Pipe Tobacco Building

Main Street, Lake Placid

Mirror Lake, the view from the cafe.

Mirror Lake, the view from the cafe.

The picture above is actually Mirror Lake, a neighboring lake accessible in town. I didn’t see any motored boats on the water but only canoes, paddle boats, and the like. It’s calm, gorgeous, and placid, but its not Lake Placid. Lake Placid, as it turns out, is actually quite illusive. We couldn’t find any public beach, only a private boat dock. We snuck onto it and snapped a picture.

Lake Placid lake

Lake Placid

We ate at this quirky “seafood” place called Tail of the Pup. There was some sort of theme going on at this family restaurant/BBQ/campground, but I’m not quite sure what it was. A country-bluegrass cover band serenaded us and the picnic tables while we ate. There were margaritas being served. Really, it was just a lame family camping experience (and I loved every minute of it).

Tail of the Pup 2

Tail of the Pup

Finally, our campground was amazing. Megan chose the KOA by Whiteface Mountain, and I would highly recommend it (if you can stand KOAs). There’s this river with rapids and a waterfall nearby. Quite beautiful. It reminded us both of the Northwest, which filled our souls with a kind reminiscence we both desperately needed.


Burlington, Vermont

From Lake Placid, Burlington was just shy of a two hour drive. There’s this ferry that takes you over Lake Champlain and directly in to Burlington, but we chose the slightly longer (and cheaper) route over the bridge. While driving along Lake Champlain, I swerved off the road as we passed by a sign highlighting monster (!) sightings. We turned around. Apparently, Lake Champlain has its own monster: Champ.


From there we drove into Burlington, stopping, of course, at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. Megan’s dad had bought her and her sisters bears every year on their birthdays, so this was special for her. I’m glad I got to take her there. The tour was absolutely precious. And cuddly. And ADORABLE.

Teddy & Megan

I can’t bear it.

Are you seeing this?

From the factory tour. Are you seeing this?



From there we set up camp (again), this time in Vermont at a campground near Lake Champlain. We rested for only a few minutes, because we still had a lot of new ground to cover in the little time we had left, and also, really, the ground isn’t very comfortable, is it? Onward!

And to where?

To Ben & Jerry’s!

This way to heaven

This way to heaven



Ben & Jerry's collage

I know what you’re thinking. Kevin, how can you possibly fit more into this weekend, this blog!?

I know. I’m starting to ramble. I do want to say that Megan and I LOVED Vermont. It’s everything we wanted it to be and more. Way to go, Vermont. We knew you could do it. Well, here’s the rest in pictures. I think you can piece it together.

The Rest of Burlington

  • Church Street marketplace
  • Magic Hat Brewery tour (one of my favorite East Coast beers!)
  • Little Garden Market, a tiny (but hearty) sandwich shop on the way out of town
Church Street in Burlington

Church Street in Burlington

more Church Street

more Church Street

Lake Champlain, downtown Burlington

Lake Champlain, downtown Burlington

One last shot for Champ

One last shot for Champ

Magic Hat factory tour

Magic Hat Brewery factory tour

Little Garden Market

Little Garden Market, awesome sandwiches

This is Rik of Little Garden Shop. He is awesome.

This is Rik of Little Garden Market. He is awesome.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Have you been to either of these places? What did I miss? What would you recommend?

Previous Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors:

Toronto, Canada

New York, New York

Cleveland, Ohio

Ithaca, New York



  1. My family rented an RV once and took a New England swing that included stops at the Teddy Bear factory as well as Ben & Jerry’s. Very memorable.

    I’m so glad you are enjoying what the East coast has to offer. I share your admiration for the Adirondacks.

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