Best Things To Do In Potsdam, New York

things to do in potsdam new york

Established in 1806, Potsdam, New York has a long history and is actually one of the oldest towns in the state of New York as it is one of the original towns in St. Lawrence County. It is also one of the top educational cities in northern New York, with such top schools as St. Lawrence Academy and Clarkson University, as well as others. In fact, the population of the city grows more than 8,000 people, while school is in session. It’s reasons such as these that Potsdam has become such a thriving city, with plenty to do and discover. The students from the schools bring life to the city and then tend to stick around after graduation and start a family, only adding to the wonder that is Potsdam, New York.

1. Experience the history of Potsdam at the Potsdam Public Museum

PotsdamSandstone xbeds
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael C. Rygel used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Founded in 1940, this non-profit institution strives to collect, preserve, study and exhibit artifacts and materials, relating to the history of Potsdam and the surrounding areas. Here you can dig deep into the past, through the archives and uncover letters, books, journals, cemetery records, magazines, and much more and truly discover what has lead to making this town so great. One specific thing that Potsdam is known for is its local sandstone (known simply as Potsdam Sandstone), and at the museum, you can view the sandstone map to see where the best places in the city are to go find some, yourself. But, there is only so much I can talk about here, so be sure to head down to the Potsdam Public Museum and see everything that they have to offer.

Potsdam Public Museum

Address: Civic Center, 2 Park St, Potsdam, NY 13676

Website: Potsdam Public Museum

2. Be an art critic at the Roland Gibson Art Gallery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Now known as the Art Museum at the State University of New York, the Roland Gibson Art Gallery contains a collection of visual arts that are accessible to students, faculty, staff, alumni and residents of New York. The collection is full of artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries and some from even earlier. There are also many activities at the gallery, such as exhibitions, publications and programming, which are used to help with classroom curricula and to frame the minds of young artists at the school.

If you are interested in art and if would like to broaden your mind with work you may never have seen before, this is a great stop. It’s also good for individuals who are thinking about going to art school and want to see what they could do at the State University of New York.

Roland Gibson Art Gallery

Address: 44 Pierrepont Ave, Potsdam, NY 13676

Website: Roland Gibson Art Gallery

3. Enjoy the sunshine at Lehman Park

Feeling much better now! Zen!!!

Posted by Michelle Humburg on Sunday, 11 September 2016

Owned by the State University of New York (SUNY), Lehman Park is open to the public and is used by the university as a laboratory for their students. It provides access to the Raquette River, as well as picnic areas, boat launch facilities and open space along the river for recreational use and is a great area for fishing. The luscious green grass makes for a great scene for pictures and the vast, tall trees provide an excellent form of shade on those days that get just a little too hot.

The view from the Raquette River makes for a great spot to watch the sun go down after a fun day with family and friends. Once you get to Lehman Park, the kids will put down their phones, run and play as they’re meant to and you’ll feel much more relaxed.

Lehman Park

Address: Lehman Park, Pierrepont Ave, Potsdam, NY 13676

4. Be a kid again at Swing Time Mini Golf

Snow is gone - Clean-up day today. If the weather cooperates maybe we can play some mini golf next Sunday!

Posted by SwingTime Mini Golf on Sunday, 9 April 2017

Let’s face it, golf isn’t for everybody. But mini-golf is! Swing Time Mini Golf is newly opened so it’s state-of-the-art, with a beautiful landscape and a quirky design that is as fun as it is frustrating - in a good way, of course! A great way to spend the day as a family, this mini course is great for children and adults as the putting greens are the perfect combination of simple yet challenging.

Everybody remembers going mini-golfing as a kid and it’s time to make those same memories with your children. It’s also a great idea for a date - to laugh and be outdoors with that special someone, instead of sitting in a dark theater, where you can’t even talk. So, go relive your childhood at the new Swing Time Mini Golf.

Swing Time Mini Golf

Address: 7065 US-11, Potsdam, NY 13676

Website: Swing Time Mini Golf

5. The heat goes up as the lights go down at Backstreets Nightclub

Come out to Backstreets on Thursdays for great drink specials including $4 Bud Light 40oz!

Posted by Backstreets Nightclub on Thursday, 2 March 2017

If you’re out on the town without the kids, then the Backstreets Nightclub is a great place to go after a day of exploring the city. Open Thursday-Saturday, this club offers a full-service bar with live music, entertainment and great people. The atmosphere at this nightclub is one that will you get you excited to hit the dance floor, with its unique combination of pub and club. And every night features a different list of drink specials that you won’t find anyplace else.

Backstreets Nightclub even has you covered if you have to be up early the next day (or need to relieve the babysitter) with happy hour drink specials from 9:30 to 10:30. The Backstreets Nightclub is the ideal place to forget about your worries and feel (and act) like you’re in your early 20s, again.

Backstreets Nightclub

Address: 31 Market St, Potsdam, NY 13676

Facebook: Backstreets Nightclub

Much to discover in Potsdam, New York

Potsdam New York
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John Marino used under CC0

If you’re looking for a great city to spend the day, or week for that matter, then Potsdam, New York will not disappoint. With its educational museums, an art gallery, a park located directly on the water, mini-golf for families and a nightclub for the younger adults, there is something for everybody, in Potsdam.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Matthew Klatzke is a 30 year old American from Michigan residing in Canada where him and his wife are expecting a baby. Following his passion of writing, Matthew has begun a rewarding career in the...Read more

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