1980: Lake Placid, New York
US Medal Count: (6) Gold + (4) Silver + (2) Bronze = (12) **3rd Place Overall
Why You’d Remember It: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!!!” A group of college-aged US hockey players beat the best team in the world, the Soviets, and eventually won the Gold medal. During the heart of the Cold War and hosted by a US city, this was one of the biggest Olympic moments ever. This was also the first Olympics to use artificial snow for some events. There was much controversy surrounding the comfort of Olympic Village (it later turned into a prison) and unsold tickets.
Why You Should Visit: Lake Placid has done an admirable job with Olympic arena upkeep and related tourism. The still-operational Herb Brooks Arena (site of the “Miracle on Ice”) still hosts many youth and international ice events each year. On Whiteface Mountain, you can ski and snowboard the same trails the Olympians did, and also practice your jumps by landing on a massive air bag. Visit the Olympic Sports Complex to take a real bobsled ride! For non-Olympic related attractions, Lake Placid has much to offer. The Whiteface Golf Club is one of the most gorgeous courses in the area, and its partner in name, Whiteface Mountain offers skiing and snowboarding. If you can, hike up Mount Jo which has high peaks where you can see for miles. Explore the frozen waterfalls at High Falls Gorge, or take in a family-friendly show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. With many fresh water rivers for fishing and lakes for canoeing, Lake Placid is an outdoorsman’s dream. Click here to see vacation rentals in the Lake Placid area.