Famous for the historic Battle of Plattsburgh and its proximity to the Adirondacks wilderness region, this upstate New York city is a dream destination for history and culture lovers as well as for outdoor enthusiasts. The city enjoys a magnificent location on the western shores of Lake Champlain, and its famous beach is one of its main attractions.
The city is described as a ‘two state, two nation destination’ as it is close to Montreal in Canada to the north and the US state of Vermont in the east. The town is also near the magnificent ski slopes of Lake Placid and is surrounded by the Adirondack Park, the US’s second largest wilderness region after Alaska.
The town is renowned for its magnificent scenery and visitors can take the beautiful River Walk along the banks of the Saranac River to the shores of Lake Champlain. Those with an interest in history will enjoy visiting the museums in town, including the Clinton County Historical Museum. The Battle of Plattsburgh Interpretive Center at Washington Road is an essential stop, and you’ll find lots of information on the 1812 conflict as well as a range of exhibits. Why not visit in September for the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemorative Weekend, an event that attracts visitors from all over the globe?
Plattsburgh Beach is a big draw for locals and visitors alike, and the pristine sand and colourful marinas are the perfect place for relaxing and watching the world go by. Shopping is a favourite reason for many travellers to make the trip to the town, and there are several malls, while the downtown area offers dining and entertainment to suit all tastes.
The months of May to September are peak season in Plattsburgh as travellers come to walk, hike, cycle and climb in the Adirondacks Park or enjoy sailing trips on Lake Champlain. However, it’s worth considering a visit from March to May to catch the beautiful spring foliage, or in October when people flock to the region to see the trees take on their spectacular autumn colours or to attend the Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider and Food Festival. Low season is from late November to February, but with events like Champlain Valley Winter Wine Festival there is still plenty to attract visitors to this friendly town.
June to August is the most expensive time to visit, and average July temperatures of 27 C make it the ideal period to enjoy the lake and outdoor activities in the Adirondacks. It is slightly cheaper from March to May, though less so from late September to October when autumn in the Adirondacks is a highly popular attraction. Many people would expect winter to be the cheapest time to plan a trip, and with daytime temperatures as low as -3C in January the city is chilly. The town is a wonderful base from which to visit the ski slopes of Lake Placid so the reduction in air fares is not as marked as might be expected from January till March. However, with some excellent deals to be found on flights it is still relatively easy to save on travel.
With several good local bus services to choose from as well as specialised operators who offer trips to the Adirondacks, getting around is comfortable and easy. Buses are clean and safe and used by locals as well as visitors. There are also dozens of local taxi firms who charge reasonable rates, but they cannot be hailed on the street so visitors should call first to book.