Albany County is full of discoveries. Explore natural wonders in the Helderberg Hilltowns. Dive into history at world-class museums in the City of Albany. Marvel at New York State's second largest waterfall in Cohoes. Follow along as we showcase all there is to explore in the towns of Albany County.
The City of Albany's history can be traced back more than 400 years. From the 17th-century Dutch settlement Fort Orange, to being established as the official capital of New York State in 1797, there are tons of fascinating tales to uncover. Today Albany is known for rich architecture, an evolving culinary scene, world-class museums and more. Comprised of multiple neighborhoods from Center Square, to Pine Hills, to Downtown, there are tons of attractions for visitors (and locals!) to explore in the City of Albany.
Please note that some of the below businesses and attractions may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19. We recommend to visit each business's website or social media before making plans to visit.
Attractions & Museums
The city of Albany is filled with fascinating museums and exciting attractions. The Empire State Plaza, the seat of New York's government, and the New York State Capitol are both must-see landmarks in Albany. Atop the city's State Street hill, the New York State Capitol is an architectural marvel. Admire the grand building's exterior, or head inside to view the splendor of the Million Dollar Staircase, the Senate Chamber, or the War Room. The Capitol is connected through underground tunnels to the Empire State Plaza concourse filled with casual dining and shops. Journey above the concourse to stroll around three beautiful reflecting pools tucked between the towering government buildings. The Empire State Plaza is home to a world-class modern art collection and the location of many festivals throughout the year. The New York State Museum sits opposite the Capitol building at the other end of the Plaza. It is the oldest and largest state museum in the country with a variety of exhibits exploring the cultural and natural history of New York State.
Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art is the second oldest museum in the country. Explore a variety of exhibits showcasing art and historical objects documenting the life and culture of New York's Upper Hudson Valley from the late 17th-century to present. The museum has captivating rotating exhibits and is well-known for its legendary collection of Hudson River School paintings.
Climb aboard Dutch Apple Cruises for a scenic adventure along the historic Hudson River. Sightseeing cruises are narrated by a Hudson River Historian, who tells tales of Albany's past and points out landmark sights along the river. Soak up the sunshine and river breezes from the outdoor deck, or enjoy the cruise from the comfort of a fully enclosed and heated/air-conditioned deck.
All-aboard the USS Slater DE 766, Albany's floating museum! Moored on the Hudson River in Albany, the USS Slater is the only World War II Destroyer Escort afloat in the United States. The historic treasure has recently undergone extensive restorations. On a tour, visitors will be transported back in time and explore the ship deck-by-deck.
Restaurants & Craft Beverage
Albany's culinary scene boasts fresh farm-to-table cuisine, innovative craft beverage producers and plenty of international flavors. From award-winning fine dining at Yono's and Jack's Oyster House, to casual eats at Public House 42 and McGeary's Irish Pub, Albany is bustling with a variety of restaurants. Meet for cocktails and delicious bites at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, a well-known restaurant, bar and live music venue. Taste chicken spiedies or beef on weck at Excelsior Pub, Albany's only New York-themed pub. Searching for the perfect al fresco dining spot? Olde English Pub, Iron Gate Cafe and City Beer Hall all boast Instagram-worthy patios. Savor innovative plates at dp An American Brasserie, modern Mexican street food at ama cocina, craft beer at CH Evans Brewing at the Albany Pump Station or true Southern comfort food at Allie B's Cozy Kitchen. Venture to the Delaware Avenue neighborhood for comfort food with local ingredients at New World Bistro Bar, delicious Italian dishes at family-owned Sam's Italian American Restaurant, upscale dining at Nicole's, ice cream at Emack & Bolio's and gluten-free and dairy-free treats at Sweet Eats.
Ale enthusiasts and craft beverage connoisseurs will be at home in the Warehouse District. Enjoy crisp hard cider created with New York apples at Nine Pin Cider, cheers with a craft beer from Fort Orange Brewing or sip on cocktails expertly crafted from small batch liquor at Albany Distilling Company. Visit Lost & Found Bar & Kitchen to dine on unique bites and craft beer on the spacious patio beneath twinkle lights. Or head over to Wolff's Biergarten for German ales and Bavarian style pretzels in a authentic German biergarten.
Parks & Preserves
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine in the city of Albany! Washington Park is an oasis in the heart of the city. Created in the 1870s, the “Olmstedian” park features a picturesque lake and many winding paths. The park is home to a variety of festivals and events including Albany's signature Tulip Festival every Spring. Located in the South End neighborhood, Lincoln Park was established as Albany's first public playground in 1900. The park boats unparalleled views of the city skyline and features a swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, handball courts, playgrounds, ball fields, and a youth fitness center.
Albany is situated on the banks of the historic Hudson River. Head to the Corning Preserve for a scenic waterfront park complete with plenty of benches, the Jennings Landing Amphitheatre, Upstate Kayak Rentals and a playground. The Corning Preserve connects to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and is also the home of the Albany Rowing Center. Tucked within the city limits, the Tivoli Nature Preserve is one the largest urban nature preserves in the area. Explore the winding pathways and soak up picturesque views of the Patroon Creek and Tivoli Lake. While hiking around, explorers might even see a train pass by!
Historic Homes & Heritage Sites
Albany is a 400-year-old city filled with many historic treasures. 48 Hudson, the Van Ostrande-Radliff House, is the oldest surviving building in Albany. Historic Albany Foundation is working to stabilize and preserve this important piece of America's Dutch history. As an effort to raise money and awareness, there is a large theater scrim draped over the building depicting what the building may have looked like in the 1700s. The rendering is based on research from the New Netherland Research Center and was designed by artist Lee Dixon.
Visit a fascinating stop on the Underground Railroad in Albany! Operated by the Underground Railroad Education Center, the Stephen & Harriet Myers Residence reflects Underground Railroad history from the perspective of Stephen Myers as a man enslaved in New York and from the perspective of Black abolitionists. Stephen & Harriet Myers were the central Underground Railroad activists in the Capital Region during the 1850s and welcomed freedom seekers to their home on Livingston Ave.
Perched above the Arbor Hill neighborhood is Ten Broeck Mansion. The elegant mansion was built in 1797-1798 for Revolutionary War General Abraham Ten Broeck. The mansion's formal gardens are a true hidden gem, open to the public from dawn to dusk. Fans of Hamilton The Musical will adore explore the Schuyler Mansion. Located in the South End, the Georgian-style mansion was the home of Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler and his wife Catharine Van Rensselaer. The affluent Dutch family raised eight children in the mansion including their daughter Eliza Schuyler Hamilton! On a tour, see the parlor where Eliza Schuyler married Alexander Hamilton. Historic Cherry Hill is also located in Albany's South End neighborhood. Built in 1787 for Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer, the home tells the story of America through the lives and experiences of five generations of an Albany, New York, household. Historic Cherry Hill is in the final phase of restoration.
Arts & Culture
Albany has a thriving arts, culture and entertainment scene. Home to the award-winning Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Palace Performing Arts Center is an entertainment destination. Built in 1931, the historic theater has been entertaining audiences with vaudeville acts, concerts, plays and performances for decades. In addition to being a key fixture along the city's skyline, the Egg Performing Arts Center is a great spot to catch a concert or performance. The unique performing arts venue features two curved theaters that offer excellent acoustics and a naturally intimate atmosphere. Downtown Albany is also home to Capital Repertory Theatre (theREP), the Capital Region's only resident professional theater company. theREP is opening a new location after converting a late 1800s bakery into a modern performing arts venue in the Clinton Square neighborhood.
For over 40 years, Albany Center Gallery has promoted contemporary visual art produced by artists living within a 100-mile radius of Albany. The downtown art gallery features engaging rotating exhibits by regional artists with the goal of creating accessible art for everyone. Albany Center Gallery, along with Albany Barn and Albany Parking Authority, established the #CapitalWalls public art program resulting in over a dozen colorful murals brightening up downtown Albany.
Searching for shopping in Albany? Browse the selection of curated goods at Fort Orange General Store, a charming neighborhood shop. It is the perfect shop to pick up household goods, trinkets, local products and even Albany-themed gifts! Head to Albany's Lark Street to visit Capital Wine, a neighborhood wine shop, or Lark Street Merchantile specializing in local and hand-crafted gifts.
Beyond local farmers markets, Albany has several options to shop fresh food and produce. Located on the edge of the city limits, Honest Weight Food Co-op is a friendly public grocery store that provides the local community with area's largest and best selection of local and organic produce and groceries. In downtown Albany, Steuben Street Market offers fresh deli selections, essential grocery items, local bulk, local nuts, grab & go meals, smoothies, pressed juices, baked goods, snacks and breakfast sandwiches.
More Albany-based Businesses, Parks & Organizations:
- Times Union Center
- African American Cultural Center
- Cider Belly Doughnuts
- Lark Street Yoga
- New York State Writers Institute
- Irish American Heritage Museum
- Albany Barn
- Pearl Street Pub
- Pride Center of the Capital Region
- Albany Art Room
- Stacks Espresso Bar
- Broadway Plaza Liquor
- The Enchanted Florist of Albany