Upstate New York is full of fascinating history waiting to be uncovered. While on a trip to Albany, visitors have the chance to take a day trip and explore unique museums on topics ranging from classic cars, to the Iroquois culture, to firefighting. Discover something new and explore one of the following museums in Upstate New York!
Learn about the rich, historic legacy of New York's Schoharie Valley at the Old Stone Fort Museum. The main museum is housed in a 1772 Dutch Reformed Church that was fortified during the Revolutionary War and attacked by British forces in 1780. Exhibits on display range from the world’s earliest fossil trees, a fire engine built before George Washington was born, and Schoharie’s first car, a 1903 Rambler! There are several other buildings on the museum complex to explore, including an early 1700s home, a 1780s Dutch barn, an 1830s law office, and an 1890s one-room schoolhouse. Open May - October.
A quick 40-minute drive west of Albany will lead you to the Iroquois Indian Museum where visitors can learn about Iroquois art, culture and history. The one-of-a-kind museum is housed in a modern building designed in the style of a traditional Iroquois longhouse. The grounds of the museum include an outdoor amphitheater and a 45-acre Nature Park with trails for visitors to explore. The Iroquois Indian Museum hosts various artist demonstrations, workshops and talks throughout the summer, so check out the calendar before planning your visit. Over Labor Day weekend, the museum hosts the annual Iroquois Indian Festival celebrating Iroquois creativity and self-expression with an Iroquois Art Market, storytellers, traditional Iroquois dances, wildlife conservation and more! Open May - October.
Visit the American Italian Museum & Cultural Center to learn about the stories and contributions of Italian Americans. Located in Albany, it is the largest Italian American museum on the East Coast! Explore exhibits on the first floor of the museum honoring and telling the Italian immigrant story and their contributions. The second floor serves as the Italian Cultural Center with a library, class room, memorial room, chapel, Hall of Art, meeting space and more. Open April - January with special winter hours.
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1947 Ward LaFrance Lighting Squad. This apparatus was most recently owned by the Somers, New York, Fire Department. This strong looking rig is powered by a 779 in.³ Waukesha engine. Has a four cylinder water-cooled Onan generator. The hinges canted an angle, to the door cannot stand open in traffic. This unit sports no fewer than two dozen compartments of varying size. #firegear #firetruck #fire #truck #trucks #truck #classic #historic #museum #hudson #nyc #new #york #newyork #firefighting #firefighter #picoftheday
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting displays an extraordinary collection of firefighting equipment including antique fire engines, helmets, 1800s red bibbed shirts, fire apparatuses, photographs and more! Aspiring & current firefighters, history buffs and those interested in the fire service will enjoy browsing this unique collection. This unique museum is extremely kid-friendly with educational activities, a Discovery Room and creative play on select fire engines. Open year-round.
Saratoga Automobile Museum
Start your engines! Car enthusiasts will fall in love with the Saratoga Automobile Museum, located within the beautiful Saratoga Spa State Park. The swanky museum is housed in a completely restored and renovated Saratoga Bottling Plant, a beautiful 1934 neo-classic structure. Ongoing exhibits include The New York State Stock Car Hall of Fame, Racing in New York State and East of Detroit. Learn about the history of classic cars and view the fascinating automobiles on display. Open year-round.
Knickerbocker Historical Society
Hop in a car and drive 35-minutes north of Albany to learn about the historical, cultural, and literary impact of the Knickerbocker Family. The 18th Century Knickerbocker Mansion, constructed in 1780 by Johannes Knickerbacker III, in Schaghticoke, NY is operated by the Knickerbocker Historical Society. Washington Irving pen name "Diedrich Knickerbocker" may have arose from Irving's friendship with Herman Knickerbocker. While the fictional Diedrich Knickerbocker may be the most famous Knickerbocker, other notable family members were pioneers, military officers, politicians, public servants and authors. The mansion offers seasonal tours, educational programs, and several other special events throughout the year. Open May - October.
Stillwater Blockhouse Museum
The Stillwater Blockhouse Museum was built in 1927 as a reconstruction of early 18th century blockhouses of the region. Step inside to learn about what it was like to live in a small town during the battles of Saratoga. View photos, documents and memorabilia telling the story of Stillwater's rich historic past. The Stillwater Blockhouse stands in a small park on the scenic shores of the Hudson River, so take advantage of the beautiful views while visiting the museum. Open May - October.
All-aboard the USS Slater, Albany's floating museum! There were 563 destroyer escorts built during World War II, but the USS Slater is the only destroyer escort left afloat in the United States. On a tour, visitors will explore the ship deck-by-deck and see, hear, smell, and touch the objects used by the men who lived and fought on board the ship. Open April - November
Downtown Albany's Irish American Heritage Museum to learn about the story of the contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America. The museum offers year-round access to fascinating exhibits, lectures, special events, book signings, film screenings and more. Permanent exhibits to peruse include the "Irish Immigration to America" and "Irish-American Catholics." Stop by and learn something new! Open year-round.