The autumn (commonly known here as "fall") is very beautiful. Unfortunately, the season is short and the temperature is extremely changeable. Be prepared for 85o F (25o C) one day to be followed by 50o F (10o C) the next day. Evenings are always cool. It rains often, and you should bring an umbrella with you--you may even need it the first week you arrive. The winter is probably the longest season here. You will hear people complain about the winter and the snow, but it has its own charm. The snow (yes, there will be plenty of it) is enchantingly beautiful, especially if you have never seen a lot of snow before. Temperatures range from -29oC to 3o C. The best way to learn to live with the long winter is to have appropriate warm clothing. You might also want to consider learning to ski (cross-country or downhill), or snowshoe. The College Outing Club has cross country skis that you can borrow for a $10 annual membership fee. To get started, take advantage of the courses in cross-country skiing offered by the Athletics Department. The spring weather is variable and wet. It is also a short season. The temperature change can be as extreme as in the fall.
Although you may not be here in the summer, you might wish to know that the campus is green and lovely at that time. Temperatures range from 68o F to 85o F (20o C to 29o C). There are a few hot and humid days, but the nights are generally cool and comfortable.
Clinton is a small town, but it does have a downtown business area. During the school term shuttles run down College Hill between the campus and the town. You can find a grocery store, three banks, two pharmacies, a US Post Office, several restaurants and coffee shops, hair stylists and barbers, pizzerias, movie rental, bars, a "dollar store," and several small clothing and gift shops right in the village. The town hosts an annual arts festival, summer farmers' market, and a number of concerts throughout the year. Holiday events, from the Fourth of July parade and fireworks to the Thanksgiving Friday "shoppers stroll" and public Christmas Tree lighting will give you a taste of life in a small-town America. Get to know Clinton before you come!
Stores in the U.S. usually open at 9:30 or 10 a.m. In Clinton, stores close by 6:00 p.m., but at the large shopping centers close at 9 p.m. Stores and businesses usually remain open during lunch hours, but at Hamilton College, offices generally close from noon to 1 p.m. Banks usually close by 3:00 p.m. except Fridays, when they are open until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. Banks in Clinton are open for a few hours on Saturday morning and are closed on Sunday. Generally, with the exception of stores, businesses are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Look for opportunities to explore our neighboring towns and cities. If you're here for break, take advantage of a bus trip to the nearby Carousel Shopping Mall in Syracuse. And don't forget that Clinton is on the edge of New York's Adirondack Park! Even if you're not an experienced outdoor adventurer, try to join an Outing Club hiking, camping or canoeing trip and get to know this beautiful area.