From history buffs to foodies, the City of Albany offers something for everyone! Plan a day trip to the City of Albany filled with stops at heritage sites, must-see attractions, restaurants, shops and more. Keep reading for a day trip itinerary for the City of Albany.
Jumpstart your day trip in the City of Albany with a stop at Cider Belly Doughnuts. Located in the heart of downtown Albany, the doughnut shop serves up fresh and delicious apple cider-based doughnuts with unique toppings, glazes, drizzles and fillings. Cider Belly is an Albany staple, so it is the perfect stop to kick off your City of Albany day trip.
Next up, spend the morning learning something new about Albany's rich 400-year old history by visiting one of the historic homes located within the city limits. Visit the Stephen & Harriet Myers Residence, operated by the Underground Railroad Education Center. Learn about the Myers, the central Underground Railroad activists in the Capital Region during the 1850s, who welcomed freedom seekers into their home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Head to Ten Broeck Mansion, the historic home of Revolutionary War General Abraham Ten Broeck, to admire the stunning formal gardens and tour the Federal-style mansion. Go to Historic Cherry Hill, now open after a decade-long restoration, to learn a story of America through the lives and experiences of the five generations of the Van Rensselaer family with the historic home's renewed interiors. Tour Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, the home of Philip Schuyler, his wife Catherine Van Rensselaer, and their eight children. See the elegant parlor where Alexander Hamilton married Eliza Schuyler, view Philip Schuyler's law library and learn more about this Albany family on a guided tour.
After visiting a heritage site or historic home in Albany, enjoy lunch inside a historic building in Quackenbush Square. The Olde English Pub is housed in Albany's second oldest building referred to as the "Quackenbush House". Dine on classic pub fare comprised of fresh, scratch items that rotate seasonally. The CH Evans Brewing at the Albany Pump Station is another great spot for lunch in Quackenbush Square. Located in the original water pumping station for Albany Water Works, the craft brewery and restaurant serve up delicious bites and beers.
After lunch, explore one of the newest attractions in the City of Albany! Hop on the Albany Skyway at the entrance right next to the Olde English Pub. The Albany Skyway is an elevated park and pedestrian bridge that connects downtown Albany to the Corning Preserve and Hudson Riverfront. Venture across the attraction to marvel at sweeping views of the Albany Skyline. Once you arrive at the Corning Preserve, relax on a bench and soak up scenic views of the Hudson River. Follow the path at the Corning Preserve all the way to Jennings Landing. Then venture across the Hudson Riverway Pedestrian Bridge back into downtown Albany.
Next up, squeeze in some shopping! Pop into Fort Orange General Store, a charming neighborhood shop with a curated selection of home goods and gifts from designers, artists and small companies from the local area and beyond. The shop is even stocked with fun Albany-themed items! Then head around the corner to The Vandy Thrift Shoppe. Operated by the nonprofit Vanderheyden, the thrift shop is fully stocked with preowned merchandise. All of the proceeds go directly back to support Vanderheyden to execute their vision of empowering youth, adults and families to build brighter futures.
Photo credit: Relentless Awareness
Once you are done shopping, walk up the State Street hill in downtown Albany to the NYS Capitol and Empire State Plaza. Admire the fascinating architecture while soaking up the hustle and bustle of this must-see attraction. Explore the Empire State Plaza Modern Art Collection in the concourse, office buildings and outdoor spaces. The art collection features ninety-two works of Abstract Expressionist art, including pieces by Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell and Mark Rothko, on permanent display.
Venture outside of downtown Albany for dinner! Albany Ale & Oyster, nestled in the New Scotland neighborhood, is a friendly spot for dinner. Dine on salads, sandwiches, brats and sausages as well as fresh seafood (and oysters, of course!). Plus, the restaurant has an extensive list of draft beers, craft cocktails and wines by the glass. After dinner, pop into the bottle shop to browse a selection of over 250 craft beers to bring home!
If you have room for dessert, ice cream at Emack & Bolio's is a must! Popular with locals, the charming ice cream parlor is known for ice cream scoops in candy-covered waffle cones. The menu also features sundaes, ice cream floats, smoothies, frappes and even an "Albany Egg Cream". It is a go-to place in Albany to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Cap off your day trip by catching a live performance or concert at one the many arts and entertainment venues in Albany. From the historic Palace Theater, to the massive MVP Arena, there are a variety of performing arts venues with a great lineup. Don't forget to check out the schedule at Lark Hall, the Egg Performing Arts Center and Capital Repertory Theatre for more options too!