For a number of years my family seriously considered a summer holiday to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was the 16 hour drive and absence of any direct flights from Trudeau Airport in Dorval which served as the drawback. Well, I am pleased to tell you that is no longer the case thanks to Spirit Airlines (www.spirit.com). You just need to get yourself to Plattsburgh International Airport, a mere 90 minute trip.

Plattsburgh has a nice beach, camp grounds, boating, wind surfing, fishing and some good shopping options. There are also a number of hotels on the main strip. We left a day early and checked in at the Comfort Inn (www.plattsburghcomfortinn.com), spent a few hours at the Champlain Mall and enjoyed a nice dinner at the Butcher Block Restaurant (www.butcherblockrestaurant.com). It was the right decision for we did not have to worry about being held up at customs and got to sleep in a little before our 2 p.m. flight. We landed at 1 p.m. on the return home and following a stop for groceries we were home for supper.

Spirit is known as the ultra-low cost airline of the Americas and home of the Bare Fare. What this means is that fares are unbundled, reflecting the cost of taking customers to their destination without any extras. Every customer gets frill control: the ability to choose what perks and options you’d like to add, independent of the choices of other passengers. Officials at the airline maintain that by structuring fares this way, every passenger has a chance to fly for less than any other airline. Spirit currently operates more than 380 daily flights to over 57 destinations within the U.S., Latin America, Caribbean and Canada.

We were very happy with our Spirit experience. The flight to Myrtle Beach was just over two hours. Their planes have wider seats in two by two seating configuration with extra-large leg room. Spirit calls them the Big Front Seats, which are about the size of a first-class seat, but available for around $25, Make sure to check in online 24 hours before the flight and print your boarding pass from home or your hotel. If you wait until getting to the airport, that will result in an extra $10 charge per booking.

Created from the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, Plattsburgh International Airport (www.flyplattsburgh.com) is quickly establishing itself as a multi-purpose aviation and aerospace complex. We left our car at the airport. Republic Parking charges only $8 a night and it is free if you are there for six hours or less). Just steps from the terminal, a free shuttle service is available to and from the lots. The airport is currently in the middle of a $55 million expansion with an expected two year construction project.

Plattsburgh

The Comfort Inn and Suites is a well-equipped for multiple generations

The Comfort Inn and Suites at 411 Route 3 has tended to be our “go to” spot in Plattsburgh over the years. They have one bedroom suites, which includes a fairly large bedroom, work desk and television and a separate living room containing a pullout couch, a TV, sink and a microwave and fridge.

There is a free hot and cold breakfast. If you sleep in, a new Perkin’s Restaurant is attached to the facility. There is also a Boulangerie Café, a lobby coffee shop featuring Starbucks™ Coffee and fresh baked pastries. Legends Sports Bar is the place to catch the latest game on the tube. The hotel is now in the midst of doubling Champy’s Fun Zone, their family entertainment center, to 12,000 square feet. They will add a two story lazer tag arena, an elaborate two storey soft play full of the latest innovations, Lazer Maze, indoor bumper cars and a Build a Bear area. This is in addition to their current 18-hole indoor mini golf, miniature bowling alleys, redemption games and video games.

You might want to find time to check out the hotel’s health club and fitness center, entertainment room, indoor heated pool complete with a waterslide and other features young children will particularly enjoy. Of their 114 rooms, 28 are suites. They come complete with fridges, microwaves and a kitchenette sink. A gigantic Wal-Mart Super Store, Champlain Mall and Price Chopper supermarket are a short walk away.

For more information you can log on to their website at www.plattsburghcomfortinn.com, e-mail: info@plattsburghcomfortinn.com or call 518-562-2730.

In terms of dining, the Butcher Block has been around for decades at 15 Booth Drive. While the menu includes scrumptious chicken, pasta, and other quality delights, seafood and beef still grab most of the headlines. They have a nice kids menu as well.

Daily featured entrees are written on a board in the lobby and repeated at the table by the wait staff. This place has an excellent soup, salad and bread bar. It comes with all main entrees or can be ordered as a meal. I highly recommend the prime rib. For fish lovers, the maple Dijon salmon is top-notch. If you have room for dessert, consider a hot fudge sundae. For reservations call 518-563-0920

Mike Cohen’s email address is info@mikecohen.ca. Follow his travels at www.sandboxworld.com/travel.

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