The Getaway
15 Things to Do in Plattsburgh, NY

On the northwestern shores of Lake Champlain and shadowed by the majestic Adirondack Mountains lies Plattsburgh, NY, a city where history and modernity blend seamlessly. Known for its pivotal role in the War of 1812, Plattsburgh isn't just a historical landmark; it's a vibrant community brimming with art, culture, and outdoor adventure. From its charming downtown to the vast natural landscapes that surround it, Plattsburgh offers a diverse array of attractions that cater to history buffs, art enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike. Whether you're exploring its historical sites, enjoying a leisurely day at the beach, or tasting local brews, Plattsburgh reveals itself as a hidden gem in the Adirondacks, promising memorable experiences for all who visit.

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01 Historical heart of Plattsburgh

The city's rich history is most notably captured at the War of 1812 Museum, where the Battle of Plattsburgh comes to life through artifacts and exhibits. This battle, a turning point in American history, is commemorated throughout the city, reminding visitors of Plattsburgh's significant past. The museum not only offers a deep dive into the strategic maneuvers of the battle but also portrays the daily life of soldiers and civilians during that era, providing a comprehensive view of the city's historical landscape.

02 Stroll through downtown Plattsburgh

Downtown Plattsburgh is a testament to the city's charm, with local shops, cafes, and architectural marvels lining its streets. It's a place where history meets modern life, inviting visitors to explore its unique blend of past and present. Walking through downtown, one can't help but feel transported to a different era, yet the vibrant energy of contemporary life pulses through the streets, offering an intriguing mix of experiences.

03 The literary haven: Corner Stone Bookshop

For book lovers, Corner Stone Bookshop is a paradise. With floors stacked with titles from various genres, this cozy bookstore offers a perfect escape into the world of literature, making it a must-visit spot in Plattsburgh. The smell of old books and the quiet nooks found within its walls create an atmosphere that encourages visitors to linger, perhaps finding that one book they didn't know they were searching for.

04 Antique and thrift shopping adventures

Plattsburgh's antique shops and thrift stores are treasure troves for unique finds. From vintage clothing to quirky home decor, these shops offer hours of browsing pleasure for those looking to take a piece of Plattsburgh's history home. Each item on the shelves has its own story, waiting to be discovered and cherished by new owners, making shopping in Plattsburgh an adventure in itself.

05 Sip and savor at local wineries and breweries

The local craft beverage scene in Plattsburgh is thriving, with places like Elfs Farm Winery & Cider House and Valcour Brewing offering tastings of wines, ciders, and beers. These spots provide a perfect setting to relax and enjoy the local flavors. The friendly staff and the stories behind each brew or bottle add a personal touch to the tasting experience, making it not just about the drink but about connecting with the community.

06 Art and murals in the city

Plattsburgh's streets are adorned with vibrant murals that reflect the city's artistic spirit. These public artworks, created by local and visiting artists, add a splash of color and creativity to the cityscape, showcasing Plattsburgh's commitment to cultural expression. The murals vary in style and theme, offering a visual feast that celebrates the diversity and talent of the city's artistic community.

07 Outdoor escapades at Point Au Roche State Park

Point Au Roche State Park is an outdoor enthusiast's dream, offering activities like hiking, biking, and swimming. Its natural beauty and accessible trails make it an ideal spot for a day of adventure in the great outdoors. The park's diverse ecosystems, from dense forests to open waters, provide a habitat for various wildlife, making it a fantastic place for nature observation and photography.

08 A beacon of history: Bluff Point Lighthouse

The restored Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island

The historic Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island is a must-see for its unique architecture and stunning views. Accessible by boat, it offers a glimpse into the region's maritime history and breathtaking vistas of Lake Champlain. The journey to the lighthouse is an adventure in itself, with the tranquil waters of the lake providing a serene backdrop for exploration.

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09 Plattsburgh City Beach: Lakeside leisure

One of the country's largest freshwater beaches, Plattsburgh City Beach, is perfect for swimming, kayaking, or simply enjoying the sun. With its sandy shores and scenic views, it's a summer haven for locals and visitors alike. The beach also serves as a venue for various community events throughout the summer, adding to the lively atmosphere and offering fun for all ages.

10 Country Dreams Farm: A family adventure

At Country Dreams Farm, families can interact with animals, enjoy seasonal activities, and learn about local agriculture. It's a place where the simple joys of farm life can be experienced firsthand, making it a delightful stop for visitors of all ages. The farm's commitment to sustainable practices and education on rural life provides a meaningful experience beyond the fun and games.

11 The Strand Center for the Arts

The Strand Center for the Arts is a cultural hub in Plattsburgh, offering a range of performances, exhibitions, and events. This historic theater and arts center is a testament to the city's vibrant arts scene and its community's creative spirit. The diverse programming ensures that there's something for everyone, from classical music lovers to contemporary art aficionados.

12 Ausable Chasm: Nature's marvel

Often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks," Ausable Chasm offers an awe-inspiring natural landscape. With activities like river rafting and cliff hiking, it's a place where nature's beauty and adventure converge. The chasm's unique geological formations and the roaring waters of the Ausable River make it a must-visit for anyone seeking the thrill of nature's wonders.

Visitor crossing adventurous rope bridge over Ausable River at Ausable Chasm in Upstate New York. The gorge is about two miles 3.2 km long Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

13 Culinary delights in Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh's dining scene is as diverse as its landscape, with options ranging from waterfront dining at the Naked Turtle to cozy downtown cafes. The city's culinary offerings reflect its rich cultural tapestry, promising delicious experiences for every palate. Local ingredients and creative menus highlight the region's bounty, offering a taste of Plattsburgh's local flavors and culinary innovation.

14 Seasonal festivals and events

Throughout the year, Plattsburgh comes alive with festivals and events that celebrate its history, culture, and community. From art shows to music festivals, these events offer a glimpse into the city's lively spirit and traditions. They provide an opportunity for visitors and locals alike to come together, enjoy the arts, and celebrate the unique aspects of Plattsburgh's community life.

15 Day trips and nearby attractions

Island Bike Trail along Lake Champlain, VT.

Plattsburgh's location makes it an ideal base for exploring the wider region, including day trips to Burlington, VT, and the Lake Champlain Islands. These nearby attractions extend the adventure beyond the city limits, offering even more to discover. The ease of access to these destinations adds to Plattsburgh's appeal as a versatile hub for tourists looking to experience the beauty and diversity of the Northeast.

Plattsburgh, NY, isn't just a stopover; it's a destination rich with history, culture, and natural beauty. Its diverse attractions, from historical sites to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, make it a place worth exploring. Whether you're drawn to its past, its art, or its landscapes, Plattsburgh promises a memorable journey for all who venture into this hidden gem in the Adirondacks.

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