Explore Albany's Dutch roots dating back over 400 years! 2024 marks the quadricentennial of the establishment of Fort Orange, located in what is now modern-day Albany. The Dutch first learned of the area from Henry Hudson's voyage in 1609, during which he encountered the river that now bears his name. In 1624, the Dutch established Fort Orange as the first permanent settlement in New Netherland. By 1664, Fort Orange grew from a fur trading post along the Hudson River to a vibrant Dutch community. Even after the English seized control, Dutch culture continued to flourish. Follow this weekend itinerary to uncover New Netherland's history and discover ways in which Dutch influence still exists in the capital city today.

Friday Evening

Quackenbush Square olde english

Start your weekend trip into the past by checking into Hyatt Place Albany. Though one of the newest hotels in the city, it is situated right next to Quackenbush Square, an area brimming with Dutch history. The square is named for Pieter Quackenbush, a Holland native said to have arrived in the area in the mid to late 1600s. Upon arrival, Quackenbush would have found his new home within the established Fort Orange. In 1668, he purchased a brickyard comprising the land known as Quackenbush Square today. At that time, the Hudson River would have been right behind the brickyard, and Quackenbush was able to use the rich clay provided by the river for brick making. Some such bricks may have been used to build the Quackenbush House, a historic 1736 home which still stands today as the Olde English Pub.

After checking into your hotel, venture into Quackenbush Square. Don't forget to stop for a photo-op with the Dutch clog sculpture, located near the Quackenbush House. The sculpture was created as part of the Downtown Albany BID's 2012 Stand in the Sole of Albany project.

48 Hudson

If you happen to be visiting Albany on the First Friday of the month, take the chance to join one of Historic Albany Foundation's tours of the Van-Ostrande Radliff House, also known as 48 Hudson. It's the oldest standing building in Albany. Built in 1728, the urban Dutch architecture reflects the settlement that once existed here. Tours are offered at 5:30 PM and 6 PM. If you visit Albany later in the month, it's still worth a drive or walk-by to see this 300-year-old piece of Dutch history. On your way back to Quackenbush Square, take a trip down North Pearl Street. Here you will pass by the First Church in Albany. The Dutch themed church was first founded in 1642 in Fort Orange; the building itself was erected in 1798. 

End your evening with dinner at the Olde English Pub. Since 2010, the pub's owners have worked to preserve the home while bringing it new life. It served Quackenbush descendants for 200 years before becoming the site of various businesses. Sit within the pub's storied walls and toast to your Dutch history exploration. After you're through, take the opportunity to walk the Albany Skyway. This pedestrian bridge highlights the Albany skyline, providing an amazing visual at night. See how Albany has progressed over the past 400 years to become the city it is today.

Not ready to end your first day quite yet? Take a trip over to the Albany Distilling Co. Bar and Bottle Shop and enjoy a drink crafted with their Quackenbush Rum or purchase a bottle as a souvenir. 


Copy of Crailo State Historic Site Tulips at Historic Cherry Hill


Before you head out for a full day of Dutch exploration, make sure to take advantage of the hotel's free Breakfast Bar open until 10 AM on Saturdays. 

Next, head over the Hudson River to Crailo State Historic Site in Rensselaer. Built in the early 18th century "Crailo" was named for owner Hendrick Van Rensselaer's estate in the Netherlands. Crailo is the Dutch word for "crow's wood." The historic site exists today as a museum of the colonial Dutch. Learn about New Netherland through exhibits and guided tours. Guided tours begin at 11 AM and are offered on the hour.


For lunch, head back over the Hudson and grab a quick lunch to-go from one of Albany's downtown restaurants. Whether you pick-up your meal from Common Roots Brewing Company, Quackenbush Sqaure's newest addition, or another Quick Bite nearby, there's plenty of places to enjoy. Next, travel over to Historic Cherry Hill and enjoy a picnic for free amongst the gardens. 

After lunch, uncover how generations of the Dutch Van Rensselaer family lived in Albany. Historic Cherry Hill tells the story of an evolving Albany from 1787 to 1963. Built for Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer, the home showcases centuries of books, photos, diaries and more (adding to 70,000 objects) belonging to the family.  Guided tours are offered on the hour from 12 PM to 3 PM. Tours cover topics from immigration to American identity and the roots of prejudice. The grounds are open until 4 PM. 


End your evening at Fort Orange Brewing. The microbrewery which nods to Albany's Dutch history features a massive mural by Katherine Ashby depicting the Fort Orange Trading Post. Sip on delicious craft beers under the twinkling lights of the brewery. Feeling hungry? Make sure to check their website ahead for their food truck schedule. If no food trucks are planned for the night you visit, guests are welcome to bring their own food or ask for a menu of local places that deliver. 

Did you know that breweries were first introduced to the US by the Dutch? Fort Orange Brewing is an example of how craft beverage still thrives in modern-day Albany. Other local breweries include Druthers Brewing Company in Albany's warehouse district, Indian Ladder Farms Cidery and Brewery in Altamont, and Bye-i Brewing over in Cohoes. Visit our craft beverage page to find more places to explore! 

Swirl, sip and savor Albany County's booming craft beverage industry. Plan your craft beverage adventure at Albany County’s breweries, wineries, meaderies, and cideries today!


Albany Institute  New York State Museum


Did you know that doughnuts are considered to have Dutch origins? In Albany there are plenty of places to purchase this tasty breakfast treat. Grab one or one dozen from Cider Belly Doughnuts on Fuller Road or Bitchin' Doughnuts on Lark Street to start your day. Next, make sure to grab your Albany souvenirs from Fort Orange General Store on Broadway. The store is found just two blocks away from the original Dutch fort! The shop opens at 11 AM, browse their selection of home goods and gifts. 


After you grab a quick lunch in downtown Albany, plan the rest of your day to wander the halls of one (or two) of Albany's museums. Both the Albany Institute of History & Art and the New York State Museum delve into Albany's Dutch history. At the Institute explore "Traders and Culture: Colonial Albany and the Formation of American Identity." Learn about the area during the 17th and 18th centuries. Topics include trade, conflict, culture, community, work, and social identity. The Institute is open from 12 PM to 5 PM on Sundays. 

For 2024, the New York State Museum showcases two exhibits that reveal early Dutch life in Albany. Explore "a small fort, which our people call Fort Orange." In the early 70's, ahead of construction for I-787, an archaeology team uncovered evidence of the Dutch-built Fort Orange. The remarkable discovery allowed for a more complete picture of Albany's story. Though the settlement had disappeared with time, its bones laid beneath the city, and its influence still shapes the region today. The exhibit highlights artifacts, footage of the excavation, and decades of research including renderings of the fort. The museum's ongoing exhibit "Beneath the City: An Archaeological Perspective of Albany" continues to showcase pieces of Albany's story uncovered by archaeologists. The museum is open from 9:30 AM to 5 PM.

Dutch Apple Cruises Side Shot

Alternatively, plan your time to enjoy an afternoon on the water. The Hudson River was an integral piece of Albany's Dutch history and the development of New Netherland. Explore the Hudson River aboard a Dutch Apple Cruise. The first half of the tour will guide you through a brief history of the Hudson River and the part it plays in Albany's story. During the second half of the tour, relax in the sun and enjoy some sight-seeing. On Sundays, these 90-miute tours board at 12:30 PM and set sail at 1 PM. 


Looking to explore Albany's Dutch history on a weekday? Make sure to schedule a tour with the Pruyn House! Tours are available Monday through Friday. Book your tour by contacting (518) 783-1435.

Discover New York's Dutch heritage at the country estate of Casparus Francis Pruyn (1792-1846). Along with his job as land and business agent for Stephen Van Rensselaer, the last Dutch Patroon, Mr. Pruyn used this land as his summer home and working farm. Dutch ambiance radiates throughout this...

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