Happy Memorial Day Weekend! The Friday before Memorial Day is "National Road Trip Day," the official kick off to the summer road trip season. We've created three mini-road trip itineraries in Albany County curated for families, couples and friends. Whether you are a Capital Region local looking to make a day of discovering the hidden gems in your own backyard, or a visitor looking for a way to experience all that Albany County has to offer, these mini-itineraries are for you!
Itinerary for Families
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM: Tour the USS Slater, Albany's floating museum. Kids will get a kick out of seeing, hearing, smelling and touching objects used by the brave men who lived and fought on board the ship.
Travel Time: 11 minutes (car)
12:15 PM to 2:45 PM: Head to Crossgates, the Capital Region's ultimate dining, entertainment and shopping destination. Grab lunch at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants such as UNO Pizzeria & Grill, Maggie McFly's or 110 Grill. Or, combine lunch with arcade games at Apex Entertainment and Dave & Buster's. Pile on the afternoon fun with interactive games at 5 Wits, the indoor play park at Billy Beez or on wall-to-wall trampolines at Get Air Trampoline.
Travel Time: 8 minutes (car)
3:00 PM to 4:45 PM: After kidding around indoors, travel to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve to explore this unique fire dependent habitat in the heart of Albany County! Wander through the indoor exhibits at the Discovery Center (closes at 4:00 PM) and then explore the kid-friendly Albany Pine Bush Discovery Trail. Located outside the Discovery Center, it is a universally accessible trail with gardens and restored habitat.
Travel Time: 12 minutes (car)
4:45 to 6:30 PM: Head to Albany County's busiest commercial corridor, Wolf Road for dinner! Located in Colonie, there are tons of kid-friendly restaurants to choose from. Warehouse Grill & BBQ and Buca di Beppo have families covered with kid's menus available.
Travel Time: 9 minutes (car)
6:45 PM: Cap off the day with ice cream at Guptill's! Boasting 48 flavors of hard ice cream and 32 flavors of soft ice cream, Guptill's has even the pickiest of eaters covered with a multitude of flavors.
Bonus: Not ready for the fun to end? Next to the ice cream is the world's largest indoor roller skating rink! Open on Friday and Saturday evenings evenings from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, roll around Guptill's Arena!
Itinerary for Couples
10:30 AM to 12:15 PM: Enjoy brunch or an early lunch at the charming Iron Gate Cafe. The family-owned and operated restaurant, housed in a converted historic mansion, is nestled on the edge of Albany's Center Square neighborhood. The patio is totally Insta-worthy and picturesque spot to start your date.
Travel Time: 6 minutes (car)
12:30 to 2:30 PM: Cruise along the scenic Hudson River on a Dutch Apple Cruise to marvel at stunning skyline views of Albany and to uncover the city's historic connection to the waterway. Afternoon sightseeing cruises are narrated by a Hudson River Historian. Albany's riverboat is the ideal backdrop for a romantic date!
Travel Time: 7 minutes (car)
Travel Time: 18 minutes (car)
4:20 to 5:00 PM: Check off a major bucket list item for your next stop: Cohoes Falls! Venture to Falls View Park or Overlook Park to see the impressive waterfall, the second largest in New York State. Soak up the picture-perfect views by walking across the 192-foot-long pedestrian bridge.
Travel Time: 5 minutes (car)
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM: Explore the emerging culinary scene in Cohoes for dinner! Enjoy tacos and margs at the daisy, diner fare at The Tiny Diney, homestyle Lebanese cuisine at Teta Marie's, or craft cocktails and classic dishes with locally-sourced ingredients at Cafe Monocle. After dinner, savor craft beer from Bye-i Brewing or Table 41 Brewing, both located on the newly revitalized Remsen Street.
Bonus: During the month of July, end the night with a performance by Playhouse Stage Company. Stay in Spindle City to catch Alice In Wonderland at the historic Cohoes Music Hall (July 27 - 31). Or, travel 20 minutes back to the City of Albany for outdoor theater under the stars! From July 6 - 24, watch Ain't Misbehavin' at the Washington Park Lake House.
Itinerary for Friends
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM: Conquer your high flying fears with your friends at your side at WildPlay Thacher! Perched high above Albany in the scenic John Boyd Thacher State Park, this outdoor adventure course boasts ziplines, rope swings, swinging logs, wobbly bridges and more. It is a fun way for everyone to blow off some steam.
Travel Time: 14 minutes (car)
1:15 PM to 3:00 PM: Plan your mini-road trip on Saturday or Sunday so you and your friends can grab lunch at the outdoor Biergarten at Indian Ladder Farms Cidery and Brewery (opens at 11:00 AM on weekends). Dine on farm-to-table eats while enjoying farm-to-glass ciders and beers! It is located on the popular 100 year-old family-owned Indian Ladder Farms, so after lunch peruse the shop, say hello to the farm animals and explore the nature trails. Don't leave without trying a fresh cider doughnut!
Travel Time: 13 minutes (car)
3:15 to 4:45 PM: Ride to Slingerlands to explore the Pine Hollow Arboretum. This hidden gem is home to a distinctive horticultural collection including magnolia trees, lush firs, stunning flowers and more. Hit the network of trails with your friends to enjoy the peaceful scenery.
Travel Time: 7 minutes (car)
5:00 PM to 6: 45 PM: Head to Delmar for dinner with your friends! Check out the locally-owned and operated Swifty's Restaurant and Pub for great food and drinks. Another great spot is Delmar's first nano craft brewery, The Real McCoy Beer Co which often hosts pop ups with Suburban Kitchen or other local food trucks.
Travel Time: 12 minutes (car)
7:00 PM (time may fluctuate): After dinner, experience a night of quintessential summer fun with your friends at Jericho Drive-In and Twist Ice Cream. Located in Glenmont, the old-school drive-in screens movies under the stars. Grab a spot early when the gates open and enjoy ice cream cones before waiting for the flick to start.