Photo Header Credit: Bizi Media Co.

School is (almost!) back in session. From bustling shopping malls, to locally-owned boutiques, we've got the scoop on where Albany college and university students can go back-to-school shopping. Keep scrolling for all the details on where to go back-to-school shopping in Albany County, New York. 


Crossgates Mall


With over 180 shops, Crossgates is the largest shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the Capital Region. Located in Guilderland, Crossgates is a stone's throw away from the University at Albany and quick drive from Siena College, The College of Saint Rose, The Sage Colleges and more. Shop at Zara, H&M, Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters to pick up must-have clothing pieces and browse Macy's and JCPenney for dorm room essentials. Forget to pack earbuds or looking to upgrade your tech? Apple and Best Buy have college students covered. Across the street is the Homewood Suites & Tru by Hilton at Crossgates, so have your parents book a night at the dual-branded hotel to conveniently shop until you drop before move-in day. 


Rad Soap at Stuyvesant Plaza

Stuyvesant Plaza

Stuyvesant Plaza, tucked in Guilderland, is a go-to shopping destination offering a mix of boutique style stores and popular retailers. With a "Main Street" vibe, it is a great place to shop with your family before move-in day. Pop into RAD Soap (pictured above) for locally-handmade, all natural soap. If you are moving into a suite or apartment-style dorm, Different Drummer's Kitchen sells a variety of kitchen gadgets. Or if you are interning this semester, browse LOFT, Circles and White House | Black Market for professional attire. While back-to-school shopping, make sure to scope out the restaurants at Stuyvesant Plaza. From Bountiful Bread, to Peaches Cafe, to Starbucks, to Bellini's Counter, the plaza offers several restaurants serving up quick bites to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 


Colonie Center
Photo courtesy of Colonie Center

Colonie Center

Polish off your back-to-school shopping at Colonie Center, located on Wolf Road in Colonie. Browse over 100 specialty shops including Barnes & Noble, Sephora, L.L. Bean, J. Crew Factory, Ulta and more. From dorm decor, to books, to wardrobe staples, check all of the items off of your shopping list at Colonie Center. After back-to-school shopping, catch the latest blockbuster flick at Regal Cinemas or dine at P.F. Chang's or the Cheesecake Factory. 


Fort Orange General Store

Fort Orange General Store

Jazz up your college dorm with local swag! Fort Orange General Store, nestled in downtown Albany, is 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. Decorate your dorm room walls with vintage-style Albany pennants or prints and posters of Capital Region landmarks such as Nipper and John Boyd Thacher State Park. The shop sells locally-inspired sweatshirts and t-shirts, so pick one up to rock your Upstate pride around campus! 


Discover Albany Visitors Center Gift Shop

Bonus Shops:

Lark Street Mercantile 
Discover Albany Visitors Center Gift Shop
Albany Institute Museum Shop 
Empire State Plaza Visitor's Center Gift Shop
The Store at ACG