Summers not over yet! Fall may be right around the corner, but there’s still plenty of summer fun to be had in Albany County. Discover unique nature finds, ride a ferris wheel, kayak the Hudson River, or just relax and dine on a patio on a warm summer evening. Read on for 7 things to do before the end of summer in Albany County.
1. Albany Nature Bus
Don’t let summer slip away without checking out some of the unique nature gems that Albany County has to offer. Go on an adventure with the free Albany Nature Bus service provided by CDTA and Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. Take the bus to explore the Pine Bush Preserve and meet the rare plants and animals that call the Pine Bush their home. Find yourself surrounded by trees on a hike through Fisher Trail. Or take in the captivating views along the Helderberg Escarpment at Thacher Park. There’s no limit to amazing outdoor adventures you can travel to for free along the Nature Bus route this summer!
2. "Ride the Plaza" Trolley Tours
Known as one of the most spectacular capital centers in the country, a trip to Albany is never complete without experiencing the Empire State Plaza. Whether you’re just visiting the Capital City or have lived here for years, “Ride the Plaza” Trolley Tours are a fantastic way to sit back, relax, and learn about the landmarks, architecture, impressive art collection, memorials, and history that comprise this local landmark.
Make sure you reserve a seat on the trolley before the end of summer! Tours will conclude for this season on September 1.
3. Altamont Fair
Savor the end of summer with the taste of fried dough, funnel cake, cotton candy, and fried Oreos underneath the flashing bright lights of the Midway at the Altamont Fairgrounds. For over 125 years, the Altamont Fair has been a tradition in Albany County. Jam to live music, view antique farm machinery, get your thrills on carnival rides, dazzle at a shark show and circus, and try your hand at exciting games. The Altamont Fair runs from August 15 to August 20, 2023.
4. Catch a Performance of "The Secret Garden" at the Park Playhouse
The Playhouse Stage Company have been entertaining audiences with free, outdoor summer performances for 35 years. Don't miss the chance to see their final production of the season. From August 3 to August 19 the company will perform "The Secret Garden." This musical brings the classic children's novel to life and tells an enchanting story of forgiveness, renewal, and just a bit of magic.
Pictured murals by artists Vanessa Mastronardi & Arzu Fallahi
5. Explore the Art of Albany
Vibrant murals paint the town in all colors of the rainbow. When taking a trip around Downtown Albany, it's hard to miss the eye-catching displays from the #CapitalWalls murals project spearheaded by the Albany Center Gallery, Albany Barn, and ParkAlbany. Take the time while the weather is still nice to walk around and enjoy some of these fantastic works of art. While you’re at it, embrace the dog days of summer and spot some of the painted Nipper statues placed around the area by the Downtown Albany BID.
Click on the links below for a full guide to the #CapitalWalls murals and a deeper look at Artful Albany.
6. Get Out Onto the Water: Cruises, Boat Launches, and More!
Summer cruises and trips to the lake are always a great way to soak up the season. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the water during the hot summer days in Albany County and beyond. Cruise along the historic Hudson River and enjoy the sights aboard a relaxing Dutch Apple Cruise. If you're up for a drive, head to Lake George and set sail on a scenic cruise aboard one of the Lake George Steamboat Company's ships.
If you'd rather set out on your own, there are plenty of places in the county to rent or bring your own kayak or boat. Kayak on the Hudson River from the Corning Preserve Boat Launch or head out to the beautiful Thompson's Lake to paddle the day away with beautiful mountain views.
For swimming pools, spray pads, and more ways to cool off during the hot end of summer days, check out our blog on Where to Cool Off in Albany County.
7. Enjoy Outdoor Summer Dining
There’s nothing better to end a summer day with than an evening under the stars. There are plenty of charming patios to enjoy dinner al fresco in the Albany area!
Don’t miss out on Summer Fridays on the Patio at City Beer Hall featuring a raw bar with rotating specials and live music. Or soak up the sun during Brunch at City Beer Hall featuring select complimentary cocktails with each entrée. The garden patio at Olde English Pub and Pantry is another great spot for a late summer meal. Enjoy their seasonal menu of delicious British pub food for brunch, lunch, or dinner and relax listening to live music on select nights.
For a sweet end to your summer, head over to Emack and Bolio's for a hand-crafted ice cream dessert. The patio is a lovely spot to be during summer weekends as the ice cream shop hosts live music Friday through Sunday.
For more places to enjoy an outdoor meal during the final few weeks of summer, check out some blogs from our Summer on the Patio series below!