Life in Potsdam
Clarkson is nestled in the small village of Potsdam in upstate New York, a region referred to as the North Country. Although it is small, there are still several things that you can find to do in or around Potsdam. Potsdam is in the St. Lawrence River Valley with the Adirondack Mountains to the south, Lake Champlain to the east and Lake Ontario to the west. This location is "central" if you consider all the big attractions and cities nearby. If you like to hike, fish or canoe then Potsdam is perfect for you. You can be in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains hiking in less than a hour by car. However, if you don't want to drive the Raquette River is right down the street from campus, and it is great for canoeing, swimming, and fishing. Also , there is a cool place on the river where you can swing on a rope and jump into the river.
The recreation complex has courts for racquetball, volleyball, basketball, and badminton along with a nice weight room and pool. Outside they have trails for running, tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and a regular volleyball court. The Cheel Campus Center is a good place to go to relax and have a cup of coffee.
If you are looking for somewhere to eat, you can choose from Mexican, Italian, Thai, Chinese, or fast food establishments. The Roxie movie theatre keeps up with the newest releases. There is a bowling alley on the outskirts of the town. Numerous golf courses can be found in the surrounding area and are relatively inexpensive. Potsdam also has a summer concert series in the park nearby. Another local event is the Potsdam Summer Festival. During the festival, downtown is closed off, all the stores have sidewalk sales, food vendors set up shop, and concerts are held at night.
Montreal, Canada is a popular spot for students to visit; located just over two hour drive from Potsdam, students can tour the old city, dine is excellent establishments, and enjoy the unique nightlife, arts, and music the city is known for. Additional nearby attractions include Burlington, Vermont, and the old and walled Quebec City, Canada (~5hour drive), which has a very European feel and hosts many excellent and inexpensive summertime events.
Common destinations and travel times are:
- Buffalo/Niagara Falls - 5.5 hrs
- Toronto - 4.5 hrs
- Ottawa - 1.5 hrs
- Montreal - 2 hrs
- Burlington, VT - 3 hrs (a truly fun town)
- Lake Placid/Adirondack High Peaks region - 1.5 hrs (a must for hikers!)
- Syracuse, NY - 2.5 hrs
- Albany, NY - 3 hrs (Concerts in the Pepsi Arena!)
- Boston, MA - 6 hrs
- Portland, ME - 8 hrs
- Hartford, CT - 5.5 hrs
- Santiago, Chile - 6 days, 7 hrs, 13 min, 2 sec.
This is not to suggest that one need to flee from Potsdam in order to have fun - but that the fun here is not as "in your face" as in any large metropolis. There is an excellent local music scene, a theater, shops, etc. all close by, as well as some quality restaurants . And don't forget to enjoy the Raquette River - its perfect for canoeing/kayaking.