New York’s North Country, including much of the Adirondack Mountains and the area around the Canadian border, features significant historical and cultural sites. The North Country is loosely defined as seven of New York’s northernmost counties, including Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence. However, some more liberally define it as the northernmost 14 counties. For this guide, we take a look at towns, villages, and cities predominantly in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence counties, all located within an hour of the Canadian border and each with plenty of nature to explore. Here’s a look at 10 spots to check out in New York’s North Country for a New York City getaway, including some not known for tourism.
Plattsburgh is a city in Clinton County, situated on the northwestern shore of Lake Champlain just outside of Adirondack Park. Plattsburgh is the main commercial hub for the northern Adirondack Mountains, which are sparsely populated. The city of about 20,000 residents was the site of the War of 1812 Battle of Plattsburgh, which ended the final British invasion of the northern U.S. while American and British delegates were meeting at Ghent to negotiate an end to the war. The city also played a major role in World War I by hosting one of the largest Citizens’ Military Training Camps, as well as serving as a strategic location during the Cold War thanks to the Plattsburgh Air Force Base.
The historic city features great views of Lake Champlain at the Plattsburgh City Beach and Point Au Roches State Park, and includes museums such as the War of 1812 Museum, Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, and Kent Delort House Museum. Plattsburgh also houses many historical properties, including the Old Stone Barracks built in 1838, the Winslow–Turner Carriage House, the W. W. Hartwell House & Dependencies, and the 1850 House at 56 Cornelia Street. Plattsburgh offers some of the North Country’s best modern and ethnic restaurants, including Himalaya Restaurant, Twisted Carrot, Sip, and Aleka’s.