Lake Placid – Learn to Savor a Good Cigar – Fall Travel 2009

DESTINATION: Lake Placid, NY

CLASS TIME: An evening

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy

I’d heard there were two keys to enjoying a good cigar: Give yourself enough time, and setting is everything. I clearly see the wisdom of both as I sit in front of a fire pit in the Adirondacks with Scott Waller, the sommelier at the Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid. We’re tucked away in what the Lodge calls a private "lean-to" but is really more of an early-1900s hunting camp, with one side completely open to give window to a beautiful mountain view. I confidently order a nice, peaty glass of scotch to start, but for my next move, I must defer to the pro who’s there to show me the ropes of pairing a good cigar with a fine sip. Waller recommends a heavy, full-bodied cigar that takes over nicely where the scotch leaves off. I sip, puff and repeat, the burning end of my cigar twinkling along with the stars in a wide-open sky.

SYLLABUS
Allow at least an hour to enjoy a good cigar (think one puff per minute); with the right view, that hour can easily turn into three or four. At the Whiteface Lodge’s "lean-tos," cigars range from $8 to $45, and more than 25 single-malt scotches are available, in addition to a full bar. The Whiteface Lodge, 800-903-4045, thewhitefacelodge.com.

BUNK  
Inspired by the "Great Camps" of the surrounding Adirondacks, Whiteface Lodge mixes woodsy traditional with modern luxe. Suites (starting at about $400 a night) have an upscale-cabin aesthetic – timber A-frame ceilings, cast-iron – fireplaces-that gives you the feel of being one with nature without the hassle of tents or bugs. The whole resort has a small–village aura, with a spa, a year-round indoor–outdoor heated pool, a movie theater and a bowling alley right on the property. The Whiteface Lodge, 800-903-4045, thewhitefacelodge.com.

STUDY BREAK
The Winter Olympics are still alive and well in Lake Placid. You can actually take a bobsled joyride (with a pro, of course) at the Olympic Sports Complex; tour the Olympic Center, the site of the "Miracle on Ice" in the 1980 games; and visit the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics Museum. Or just enjoy a stroll along Lake Placid’s quaint Main Street. Olympic Regional Development Authority, 518-523-4436, orda.org; Main Street, 800-447-5224, lakeplacid.com.
 
MEAL PLAN
Join the locals at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, where the burger is a must and washing it down with one of the Pub’s own brews, like the signature Ubu Ale, is even more mandatory. At Whiteface Lodge, there’s fine dining at Kanu-try the Yukon Gold gnocchi, cowboy steak or barbecued salmon. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 518-523-3813, ubuale.com; Kanu, 518-523-0510, thewhitefacelodge.com.

GETTING THERE
Just over an hour by plane to Albany and 2.5 hours by car from Albany to Lake Placid; seven-hour drive; almost eight hours via Amtrak (under $200 round-trip; amtrak.com).

PACKING
Dress is resort/casual at the Whiteface Lodge. Pack appropriately for cold weather, as plenty of outdoor activities are available.

EXTRA CREDIT
Back in Philly: Head for the Mahogany on Walnut (1524 Walnut Street, second floor, 215-732-3982, phillycigarbar.com), a cigar bar that looks like an English library. Or check out the Philly Cigar Club (phillycigarclub.wordpress.com), which organizes "cigar nights" at area restaurants.

MORE FALL TRAVEL IDEAS

 

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.