No matter what your interests, Plattsburgh, New York, has something for you. With Lake Champlain to one side and Adirondack Park on the other, Plattsburgh has all its bases covered, from outdoor activities to history to classic cars. Surely no visitor will ever say they found Plattsburgh boring.
Plattsburg is located on the shores of Lake Champlain, that 125-mile body of water that separates New York and Vermont. In the rare event you run out of things to do in the Plattsburgh area, you can hop a 12-minute ferry ride to Grand Isle in Vermont.
Fishermen will love Lake Champlain, which boasts some of the best sport fishing anywhere, with trout, perch, Atlantic salmon and many other species. Don’t forget bass! The city hosts the world’s largest bass tournament every summer. Fishermen compete for millions of dollars in prize money in a televised event that is broadcast to almost half a billion homes around the world.
Adirondack Park to the west is another great venue for outdoorsmen, with plenty of hiking, camping, fishing and canoeing to keep visitors to the largest state park in the continental United States busy for days at a time. Adirondack Park, which is bigger than the world’s oldest national park, Yellowstone, has 3,000 lakes and 30,000 miles of streams and rivers.
Plattsburgh is more than just a gateway to the Adirondacks, however. It has a rich historical past dating back to the early 17th century when Samuel de Champlain explored the region. The region was first governed by the French and then became part of the British colonies when it became part of the United States following the American Revolution.
Founded in 1785 by Zephaniah Platt, Plattsburgh was the site of two important battles: the Battle of Valcour Island in the Revolutionary War and the Battle of Plattsburgh in the War of 1812. Indeed, one of the city’s key museums is devoted to the War of 1812, with the Battle of Plattsburgh figuring prominently into its holdings. The museum association also recreates the battle annually.
The Alice T. Miner Museum affords locals and visitors another opportunity to learn more about life in the Colonial era. The house is much like it was when Alice Miner lived there, with portraits of early American presidents on the walls.
Skip ahead a couple of centuries to the time when horse-drawn vehicles were replaced with motorized vehicles. If you enjoy classic cars, a visit to the Champlain Transport Museum is a must. The museum has a small, but quality, collection of cars from 1903 to 1981. The museum is based around the fast, expensive Lozier cars, which were manufactured in Plattsburgh in the early 1900s. One of their vehicles took second place at the 1911 Indy 500!
Other recreational activities are amply represented within the city limits. The city has a beach on Lake Champlain as well as 17 parks located throughout this city of 19,000 people. At one time or another, Plattsburgh was home to several famous people including the actress Jean Arthur; John Henry Hopkins who wrote “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” and John Russell Pope, an architect who designed the Jefferson Memorial as well as the Plattsburgh City Hall.
Plattsburgh State University, founded in 1889, is home to the Rockwell Kent Gallery, which has the largest and most complete collection of the artist‘s works in the United States..
For visitors coming from afar, Plattsburgh has numerous chain hotels and a couple of RV parks. Camping also is available along Lake Champlain and in nearby state parks.