#adkcoast Arts & Culture Experiences to Explore This Winter

January 27, 2020

Our winter wonderland attracts thousands of visitors each year as they seek out opportunities to explore our stunning region and participate in some of their favorite activities.

Clinton County Historical Museum

Some visitors prefer to appreciate the outdoors from a distance during winter months, and that’s okay! Just because the slopes aren’t your favorite place to be, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty for you to do, see and learn on the Adirondack Coast!

In fact, winter is an ideal time to introduce yourself to our arts and culture scene, peppered throughout the area. Whether you’re here to appreciate or participate, below are some ideas for where to begin your artistic and cultural explorations.

Examine Museums and Heritage Sites

Photo Credit: Adirondack Experience

We credit many of our arts and history sites with preserving our unique history as it relates to the birth and evolution of a young American nation, most notably during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. 

Many sites also offer opportunities to explore our other strengths, including a rich and enduring agricultural heritage and its relationship to the growth of our local diverse economies and infrastructure.

Here are just a few of the #adkcoast's historic sites that are open during the winter season:

  • Adirondack Experience (Blue Mountain Lake, NY): Exhibits and events at ADKX demonstrate the region’s evolving relationships with the people and animals that call these mountains home—as well as those who continually return to visit! From logging to tourism and ecological footprints, learn how our history has shaped navigation and exploration throughout surrounding forests, lakes, rivers, streams and more.
  • Clinton County Historical Association (Plattsburgh, NY): For nearly 80 years, Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) has preserved and interpreted the county’s history through exhibits, displays, events, lectures, community engagement and more. The museum is located right on the Old Base Museum Campus, making it easy to grab a map of the U.S. Oval and head out on a guided (or self-guided) walking tour!
  • Fort Ticonderoga (Ticonderoga, NY): Considered one of North America’s finest collections of 18th century military culture, the exhibits at Fort Ticonderoga include weaponry and equipment that would have been used in colonial and revolutionary warfare. With daily tours of the fort’s architecture, as well as hands-on demonstrations, historic boat tours on Lake Champlain and plenty of living history, it’s sure to be a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
  • Northern NY American-Canadian Genealogical Society (Dannemora, NY): Visitors travel from throughout the U.S. and Canada to discover more about their family history and lineage. Originally founded in 1983, solely for the purpose of researching the French-Canadian ancestors of Clinton County, this community organization has since expanded, incorporating other groups from New England, Vermont and the Maritime Provinces, Palatines and Irish ancestors. 
  • Saranac Laboratory Museum (Saranac Lake, NY): Explore Saranac Lake's unique history as a tuberculosis treatment destination. The museum features exhibits on local history, science and patient care, as well as rotating special exhibits on local history topics.
  • The Wild Center (Tupper Lake, NY): Open limited hours during the winter, The Wild Center's awesome science and experience based exhibits allow you to discover the story of the Adirondacks and explore new ways that people and nature can thrive in the same place.

Watch a Performance

Musical Performance at The Strand Center Theatre

The Strand Center Theatre’s annual lineup offers a home to seasoned performers from all over the U.S. and Canada, featuring a host of respected (and popular!) tribute bands. While local companies like Hill & Hollow Music in Saranac provide a range of musical explorations.

Colleges throughout the area, like SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College, also offer annual shows throughout each semester featuring budding student talent, while local shops, like the Koffee Kat in downtown Plattsburgh, host rotating performances from local writers, painters and more. 

Browse Galleries and Public Art

Photo Credit: SUNY Plattsburgh Art Museum

Drive through downtown Plattsburgh, and you’ll notice colorful murals painted on many historic city buildings; each one expresses something unique about our area’s heritage, as conceptualized and brought to life by the local arts community. Can you spot them all?

Other galleries displaying local and traveling artist installations include:

  • Irises Cafe & Wine Bar (Plattsburgh, NY): A local favorite known for its upscale American Cuisine, Irises Cafe & Wine Bar in downtown Plattsburgh is a visitor favorite with featured paintings (for sale!) by professional artists throughout our area.
  • Plattsburgh State Art Museum at SUNY Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY): The Plattsburgh State Art Museum at SUNY Plattsburgh includes multiple galleries in two buildings, including the Rockwell Kent Gallery at the Feinberg Library, with visiting artist pieces maintained by the college’s Art Department. Kent, a diversely talented artist and dairy farmer, crafted both commercial and fine art while running Asgaard Farm; the exhibit shares his works, as well as his impact on the area’s local history and agriculture communities.
  • The Strand Center for the Arts (Plattsburgh, NY): Art collections at the Strand rotate, along with their annual programming calendar, boasting traveling exhibits with complex themes and subjects sure to spark conversation and inspiration. From sculptures to paintings, there’s something for every art enthusiast to learn and enjoy!
  • Chapter One Coffee and Tea (Plattsburgh, NY): Enjoy a handcrafted beverage with a focus on locally sourced ingredients from this downtown hot spot that offers local artwork, artist spotlights, game nights and so much more!

Learn Something New

The Strand Center for the Arts Class
  • Strand Center for the Arts (Plattsburgh, NY): Classes at the Strand are a “draw” (some sketching humor) for locals and visitors seeking guidance on painting, dance, ceramics and more, offered by guest teachers and resident instructors!

Looking for something less formal? “Paint and Sip” style events are popular throughout the area, with modifications like “Paint and Chug” at various restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries to match your vibe.


However you choose to live out your artsy #adkcoast adventure or lifestyle, do it with flare and an appreciation for creativity and learning! For more tips and travel ideas, browse our Arts and Culture page.

Alina Walentowicz

Alina Walentowicz is "The Write Stuff", an award-winning writer and content creator ready to bring your web presence to the next level. A storyteller at heart, Alina combines a range of writing tools and collaborative experiences to help small businesses embrace their growth potential online. With a B.A. in English Writing Arts and Literature from SUNY Plattsburgh (2015) and 4+ years of experience in blogging and digital content creation, she provides writing, editing, and visual content services including blogs, web pages, social media posts, and more. When she's not clicking away at her keyboard, she's living life (and so should you!). Some of her favorite things to do on the Adirondack Coast include: catching a show at The Strand Theatre, overindulging in Wing Night at Monopole, and challenging herself just enough each summer on a few friendly hikes and paddles with pretty spectacular views. Know a good story that needs telling online? Hit her up at alinawalentowicz@gmail.com.

Adirondack Coast Adventures

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