From historic city streets, to panoramic landscapes, to lush green spaces, Albany County is filled with Instagrammable spots. During all four seasons, explore picture-perfect parks, streets, places and landmarks in Albany County. Scroll on for 21 totally Insta-worthy spots, sorted from A to Z. Don't forget to share your Albany County photos with #DiscoverAlbany for a chance to be featured on our Instagram.
1. Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail
Spanning nine miles from Pearl Street in Albany to Grove Street in Voorheesville, the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail is a local gem. Snap photos of scenic views while biking, hiking or walking along the former Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Railroad line.
2. Albany Pine Bush Preserve
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve, located in the heart of Albany County, is a globally-rare ecosystem boasting Instagrammable views of pine barrens, rolling sand dunes, twisting trails and deep ravines. In the Spring time, keen-eyed photographers can snap photos of the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly fluttering among the wild blue lupines.
3. Albany Rural Cemetery
With winding roads, enchanting wooded hills and exquisite burial monuments, Albany Rural Cemetery is a picturesque spot for a stroll. While the historic cemetery is beautiful place for photos all year long, it is particularly mesmerizing during the Fall.
4. #CapitalWalls Murals
Downtown Albany is sprinkled with over a dozen eye-catching murals that are totally Insta-worthy. The #CapitalWalls project, spearheaded by Albany Center Gallery, Albany Barn and Albany Parking Authority, seeks to inspire the community with uplifting, educational or thought-provoking works of public art. Check out our guide to the murals, artists and locations. Don't forget to tag the artists in your Instagram posts!
#CapitalWalls mural pictured above is "Illuminated" by Cara Hanley
5. Cohoes Falls
Measuring roughly 1,000 feet across and up to 90 feet high, Cohoes Falls is the second largest waterfall in New York State. Walk across the 192-foot pedestrian bridge in Falls View Park for picture-perfect views of the rushing falls and scenic landscape.
6. Albany Corning Preserve
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River, the Corning Preserve is a scenic spot to relax during all four seasons. In addition to the picturesque river, the 15-acre waterfront also offers sweeping views of Albany's skyline.
7. The Crossings of Colonie
Around the corner from the hustle and bustle of Wolf Road, The Crossings of Colonie offers an escape to nature. The winding trails, scenic pond, wooded areas and sprawling meadows are ideal backdrops for photos.
8. Downtown Albany
Urban photographers will be in paradise in downtown Albany. The streets are lined with historic buildings in a variety of architectural styles from Neo-Classical to Greek Revival. Albany is a 400 year-old city, so around every corner there is an Instagrammable sight.
9. Dutch Apple Cruise Views
From April through late Fall, climb aboard a Dutch Apple Cruise for an entirely Insta-worthy experience. While a Hudson River Historian regales you with tales of Albany, snap photos of stunning skyline views and beautiful sights along the historic Hudson River.
10. Empire State Plaza & NYS Capitol
The Empire State Plaza, the seat of New York's government, and the New York State Capitol are must-see Albany landmarks that are incredibly photogenic. The Empire State Plaza features three glistening reflecting pools tucked between towering government buildings. The New York State Capitol is a marvel of late 19th-century architectural grandeur. The opportunities for Insta-worthy photos are endless!
11. Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
From vivid fall foliage to snowy winterscapes, Five Rivers Environmental Education Center is a go-to spot for nature photos. Situated in Delmar, explore over 10 miles of trails and enjoy scenery transitioning from fields, to forests, to wetlands.
12. Huyck Preserve
The Huyck Preserve is a local treasure tucked in Albany's Helderberg Hilltowns. Natural wonders such as the breathtaking Rensselaerville Falls and spectacular Lake Myosotis are phenomenal must-photograph sights.
13. John Boyd Thacher State Park
Located atop the Helderberg Escarpment, John Boyd Thacher State Park features panoramic views of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys and the Adirondack and Green Mountains. The iconic tree perched on the edge (pictured above) is a star of many Instagram photos, as well as the park's waterfalls and hidden caves.
14. Lark Street (and nearby Center Square)
Lark Street, dubbed Albany's "Village in the City", is lined with charming shops, local restaurants and small businesses. From lampposts wrapped in sparkling lights during the holidays, to blossoming flowered trees lining the cobblestone blocks in the Spring, Lark Street is Instagrammable all year long! Around the corner, Center Square's charming architecture, from wood-framed houses to brownstone mansions, is another must-visit neighborhood for Instagram photos.
Albany's top dog, Nipper, is perched high atop the former RCA building in the Warehouse District. The 28-foot-tall, fiberglass statue is a unique piece of the city's skyline. The beloved landmark makes for a doggone good photo op!
16. New York State Education Building
Located on Washington Avenue, the historic New York State Education Building boasts a 36-column colonnade which remains one of the longest in the world! It's the perfect fun fact to add to your Instagram caption.
17. Pine Hollow Arboretum
Nestled in Slingerlands, the Pine Hollow Arboretum is a hidden gem. The 22-aces of land features 3,300 unique plants and 11 ponds. The scenery is perfect for snapping a few photos while enjoying a tranquil walk through nature.
18. Shaker Heritage Society
The scenic grounds of Shaker Heritage Society are picture-perfect. From friendly cows, to a rustic barn built in 1915, to a charming herb garden, there are tons of photo-worthy spots. Plus, the 180-acre Ann Lee Pond Nature Preserve is footsteps away from the historic Shaker buildings with picturesque views of nature.
19. Ten Broeck Mansion Gardens
The Ten Broeck Mansion gardens are an urban oasis. During the spring, the gardens flourish with Albany's treasured tulips. Throughout the Summer months and into the Fall, beautiful flowers and lush greenery create a beautiful setting.
20. Washington Park
From thousands of vibrant tulips, to paths draped in fall foliage, to sparkling holiday light displays, Washington Park is Instagrammable throughout the entire year. Located in the heart of the city, the historic park is a must-visit place for photographers.
21. Wolf Creek Falls Preserve
Embark on an outdoor adventure at Wolf Creek Falls Preserve and do not forget your camera! Tucked in the Helderberg Hilltown of Knox, Wolf Creek Falls Preserve has three miles of trails accented by streams, waterfalls, a wetland, and a few old stone walls.
Bonus: Wolf Creek Falls Preserve is one of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy's 20 preserves across the Capital Region. Check out this list for more picturesque preserves!