The ice is thawed. The sun is breaking through. Spring is finally here. As I trade in my winter coat for flip flops and tanning lotion, I’ve naturally come up with a list of things to do and places to visit, during this spring season.
But do you find that whenever you plan a day trip, you always end up spending more money than you had expected? I certainly do- and it’s discouraging!
In my local travels, I have bookmarked some great places that I have visited, and would love to visit again. Some of these places were completely free- or did not cost much at all!
Below you’ll find my list of things to do, places to go and sights to see in our region of New York that won’t break your bank.
Explore the Adirondacks (Adirondack State Park, NY)
Arguably one of the most breathtaking state parks in the U.S, the Adirondacks offer a variety of activities that anyone, any age, will surely enjoy. One free activity that I often take advantage of is hiking. It’s free, it’s fun, and it is an excellent chance to find peace in nature. Even if you’re not an avid outdoors-person, and you would much rather sit back and relax, the Adirondacks can still accommodate you. When I’m finished trekking through the mountains and trails of the ADK, it is a necessity to reward myself with the endless restaurant choices in the quaint village of Lake Placid. Can anything compete with an inexpensive but delicious meal, on Mirror Lake, watching the sunset with a panorama view of the mountains? (The answer: no)
For a more in depth view on what the Adirondack State Park has to offer, you can visit their site here and choose from a variety of activities and accommodations.
Visit the Silas Wright House (Canton, NY)
If you haven’t yet visited the Silas Wright House, I highly recommend it. The house, built in 1833 by Moses Whitcomb, was purchased by Silas Wright in 1834. Silas Wright, if you did not know, was an American politician, lawyer, and general of the state militia who resided in Canton, NY.
As I walked in the house, I immediately felt as if I had traveled back to 1800’s Canton. With both the interior and exterior of the house well-kept, the Silas Wright House provides the public with a window into the past, exploring what life was really like in the 19th century.
It is FREE to tour the house and the grounds, and in the process- you will learn a great deal of fascinating information concerning the rich history of St. Lawrence County.
To learn more about the Silas Wright House, you can visit the St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s (SLCHA) website here.
Enjoy the St. Lawrence Wine Trail (St. Lawrence County, NY)
Rather new to the area, the St. Lawrence Wine Trail has become a delightful component to this region of upstate New York. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to enjoy it- here’s the lowdown: The St. Lawrence wine trail consists of 2 wineries, and 1 vineyard/winery. These 3 establishments have partnered to form the St. Lawrence Wine Trail, encouraging locals to experience a fun take on wine tasting throughout the region.
On a Saturday afternoon, I started my trek at High Peaks Winery in Winthrop, NY … then took a scenic drive from there to River Myst Winery in Ogdensburg, NY … and then ended the day at Bella Brooke Vineyard in Hammond, NY- my personal favorite.
With all three establishments offering a variety of wines and other treats at an extremely reasonable price, my entire day felt like a cheap vacation. You can visit the St. Lawrence Wine Trail website here, and plan a day out of it with friends or family!
Tour the Wilder Homestead (Malone, NY)
If you haven’t yet toured the Wilder Homestead, it is a great experience for the whole family. Opening for the season on May 27th, and only $8.50/Adult & $5.50/child (5 and under FREE,) it is an inexpensive yet insightful experience. The general admission includes a guided tour of the restored farmhouse, reconstructed barns, and museum.
I’ve taken this tour- and I found that it touches on this region’s rich history, dating back to the 1800’s, as well as the significance of the site itself- which was the setting for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Farmer Boy.
To learn more or to buy tickets, click here.
The Frederic Remington Art Museum (Ogdensburg, NY)
A staple of the community of Ogdensburg since 1923, the Frederic Remington Art Museum offers the public a comprehensive collection of original Remington paintings, sketches and sculptures.
The museum holds numerous events throughout the year, in an effort to deepen one’s appreciation for art, and enhance the understanding of Remington’s work. General admission is only $9/Adult, $8/Senior Citizens & Students 16+, and FREE admission to members, volunteers, residents of Ogdensburg, and children 15 and under.
To learn more about the Frederic Remington Art Museum, click here.
Discover the Indian Creek Nature Center (Rensselaer Falls, NY)
The Indian Creek Nature Center is not only a sight to see, but also an experience in itself. Consisting of approximately 320 acres of land, the center contains 7.9 miles of trails with a front row seat to observe a myriad of amphibians, mammals, and resident and migratory birds.
The center is FREE and offers numerous events open to the public, ranging from pond exploration, bird-watching, canoeing or kayaking, among other informative sessions concerning this region’s ecosystem.
Click here to visit the Indian Creek Nature center website.
Experience the Greater Adirondack Ghost Tour (Plattsburgh, NY)
Probably one of the most insightful and exhilarating experiences I’ve had- the Greater Adirondack Ghost & Tour Co. will surely entertain you as well.
Offering lantern-lit walking tours to visit Plattsburgh’s most haunting locations, it will certainly scare you but more importantly- it will open your mind to the surroundings. The tour guide is a true professional … and when I say “professional,” I mean that he looks and acts as if he has stepped out of a time machine that has traveled from 19th century Plattsburgh!
At only $10/person and numerous tours offered, it is an inexpensive option if you’re looking to be entertained and spooked! To learn more about the Greater Adirondack Ghost & Tour Co., click here.