Plattsburgh is right on Lake Champlain, making it a great spot for a vacation! There’s a quaint downtown with lots of restaurants and shops, and there are parks on the lake for beautiful views away from crowds. If you’re planning a trip to Lake Champlain and staying in Plattsburgh, these are my recommendations for 7 things to do in Plattsburgh, NY- plus 2 day trips!
Airbnb in Plattsburgh
If you are looking for a place to stay, we stayed in the cutest Airbnb! It was a converted barn and it was simple on the inside, but it had everything we needed. But the best part was its location. The owner had a garden with lots of fruits and vegetables that we got to sample, AND it was right on Lake Champlain!
We had our own private access to the lake, and the Airbnb came with kayaks. We went kayaking and swimming, and we got to sit outside the house and watch the sunrise over the lake each morning. It was the perfect place to stay for a quiet vacation!
The view of the sunrises and sunsets over Lake Champlain was incredible!
7 things to do in Plattsburgh, NY
Walk around downtown
There are lots of things to do in Plattsburgh, NY when you tour downtown! You can go shopping at the Antique & Variety Mall (we found some fun things!), see all the historic churches, get some books at The Corner Stone Bookshop, and see MacDonough Monument. The Saranac River flows through the city, so you can sit along the river to relax.
Check out the murals
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Plattsburgh had so many cool murals! You can check them out when you walk around downtown, and look up the background on them because they’re pretty cool.
The “Mountain Lake Mandala” is a tile mural, and it was created as part of the annual Plattsburgh Festival of Tibetan Arts and Culture.
View out the houses
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is see historic houses, and Plattsburgh had lots of cute Victorian homes to see! Plus, we were there when sunflowers were in full bloom, and they were beautiful to see in everyone’s gardens. You can see some historic homes in downtown Plattsburgh and you can tour more right outside in the residential area.
Eat lots of food
We were in Plattsburgh during the pandemic, so we didn’t eat inside any restaurants but we did get takeout and eat outside if the restaurants had outdoor seating. There were a few restaurants that were closed the whole time we were there, so there might be even more restaurants you can check out in the future!
For breakfast, we went to Campus Corner and Chapter One Cafe. For lunch and dinner, we went to Quiche et Crepe, Twisted Carrot, Himalaya, and Aleka’s Mediterranean. My favorites were Twisted Carrot and Aleka’s Mediterranean!
Visit wineries and breweries
There are quite a few wineries and breweries around Plattsburgh! We spent an afternoon at Elf’s Farm Winery and not only did we have great wine and cider, but we also had great delicious cheese curds and poutine! And we got to take in the beautiful scenery of the grape vines and apple orchard.
Go for a hike at Point au Roche State Park
Point au Roche State Park is on the shore of Lake Champlain, and there’s a beach and hiking trails in the woods along the water. You can relax and hang out at the beach and go swimming or you can do a little cardio and go for a hike! The hiking isn’t too strenuous, it’s pretty flat except for a few inclines. And we got to take Annika with us because dogs are allowed!
Visit Lake Champlain
Visiting Lake Champlain should be at the top of your list for things to do in Plattsburgh, NY! You can go swimming or kayaking or just watch the amazing sunrises and sunsets. We mostly hung out at the lake at our Airbnb, but you can visit the lake at Point au Roche State Park or the public beaches.
Annika wasn’t the biggest fan of swimming, but she did enjoy hanging out in the water and even kayaking!
Take the ferry to Grand Isle State Park, Vermont
If you’re looking for some day trips from Plattsburgh, you can take the ferry to Vermont! The ferry will take you across Lake Champlain to Grand Isle State Park, and you can visit the park or drive to Burlington (we did both!).
Grand Isle State Park is an island in Lake Champlain, and it’s a cute little place to visit. There isn’t a ton to do, so you probably just need a few hours or half a day. And you can go camping on the island if you’re into camping.
You can go shopping at Grand Isle Art Works, visit the Hyde Log Cabin & Schoolhouse (one of the oldest log cabins in the U.S.), and take a stroll on the Ironwood Nature Trail!
Visit Fort Ticonderoga
If you want a true day trip from Plattsburgh, you can visit Fort Ticonderoga! It’s about an hour and a half from Plattsburgh, and we visited on our drive back home to Philly. And Annika got to join because it’s dog friendly!
Fort Ticonderoga is an 18th-century star fort built by the French right on Lake Champlain. It’s a cool fort to see with lots of interesting history, and you can get some beautiful views of the lake from the fort!
I can’t recommend visiting Lake Champlain enough, and these 7 things to do in Plattsburgh, NY (and the day trips) will make for a great vacation!