From Long Island To Quebec City And Home Again
Time to say au revoir to Quebec City and take the three-and-a-half-hour drive to Plattsburgh for our final vacation day. When we arrived at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Plattsburgh (www.plattsburghcomfortinn.com), just 20 miles south of the Canadian border, we had some pleasant surprises in store for us. The Indoor Splash Park with 105-foot and 80-foot flume waterslides was the perfect way to unwind from the ride. We didn’t even have to venture outside for dinner. We wound up walking through the hotel hallways to Plattsburgh Brewing Co., where we found home-brewed beers and a full dinner menu with something for everyone. After dinner, we headed down to the hotel’s lower level, where we discovered Champy’s FunZone Family Entertainment Center, a 6,000-square-foot indoor space that included a 30+ game arcade, nine-hole glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course and two-lane bowling alley.
Before our last stop, we worked out in the well-equipped, on-site Eclipse Fitness center, complete with sauna and steam room, and fueled up with free breakfast before our 20-minute drive south to Ausable Chasm (www.ausablechasm.com).
When Googling midway points for the drive home, I read rave reviews for Ausable Chasm and couldn’t believe I had never heard of it. Discovered in 1765, the vertical-walled canyon made of 500-million-year-old rock, is the oldest natural attraction in the U.S. and has had more than 10-million visitors. The scenic trails offer breathtaking views from natural stone walkways, stairs and bridges, but rafting or tubing at the bottom through the narrowest and deepest region made for an unforgettable day and the perfect end to our vacation. My daughter, who had studied Earth Science during the school year, said that it was like the entire course summarized in one place.
Ausable Chasm also offers nighttime lantern tours, rock climbing and an adventure trail. To avoid long waits, staffers encourage visiting before noon or after 2 p.m., and recommend a minimum of two hours to explore.
For the last and longest leg of our journey, we spent the five-hour ride home with smiles on our faces.