Background Image

Life in Potsdam

In this Section

Life in Potsdam
Clarkson is located in the small village of Potsdam in upstate New York. Although it is small in size, there are still a number of things that you can find to do in or around Postdam. First, here is what "Potsdam-ites" have to say about living in the North Country. Now, you have to remember that Potsdam is a small town, surrounded by farmland/marshes, and is on the border between the St. Lawrence Valley and the Adirondack Mts. This location is "central" if you consider all the big attractions/cities near by. If you like to hike, fish or canoe than Potsdam is perfect for you. You can be in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains hiking in less than an hour by car. However, if you don't feel like driving 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. You should also take a look at the hockey arena while you are there. 

In town, there are a number of local shops ranging from a coffee shop to a stereo equipment store.  If you are looking for somewhere to eat, you can chose from Mexican, Italian, Indian, seafood or fast food establishments.  The Roxie movie theatre only has two different movies to chose from, but they do keep up with the newest releases.  An arcade is next to one of the pizzerias and there is bowling alley on the outskirts of the town.  A number of 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.

“Massena is about a half-an hour away and has a wider variety of things to do. A drive-in movie theater and a small shopping mall are its biggest drawing points. The city of Cornwall, Canada is just over the border from Massena and offers greater shopping selection. The Canadian capital city of Ottawa is just over an hour drive from Potsdam, and hosts major attractions, concert series, and beautiful museums and parks. Montreal, Canada is another popular spot for students to visit; located just over two hours 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 (~3.5 hours drive), which has a very European feel and hosts many excellent and inexpensive summertime events.

 Common destinations and travel times are:

  • Buffalo/Niagra Falls - 5.5 hrs
  • Toronto - 6 hrs
  • Ottawa - 1.5 hrs
  • Montreal - 2.5 hrs
  • Burlington, VT - 3 hrs (a truly fun town)
  • Lake Placid/Adirondack High Peaks region - 1.25 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. I highly recommend a wee stroll along the banks at night.


Surprisingly more to do than meets the eye...

Sites of interest describing the town and the region are:

Click here to Apply!