10 Can’t-Miss Tourist Attractions in Albany, NY: Albany, NY is a vibrant city filled with incredible Tourist Attractions that should not be missed! From historical sites to outdoor activities, Albany has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re a resident looking for a great day trip or a tourist visiting the area, these 10 Can’t-Miss Tourist Attractions in Albany, NY should definitely be on your to-do list.
1) The New York State Capitol
No trip to Albany, New York is complete without a visit to the magnificent New York State Capitol. Situated on State Street in the heart of the city, this grandiose building is the official seat of government for the state and is a must-see attraction. The New York State Capitol was designed in 1867 by Thomas Fuller and Leopold Eidlitz and has been declared a National Historic Landmark. The capital is home to many monuments and statues, such as the statue of Civil War hero General Philip Schuyler, a copy of the Statue of Liberty, and an impressive collection of paintings depicting important figures from New York history. Tours are available daily from 10 am to 3 pm which will take you through the magnificent Senate chamber, Assembly chamber, and executive chamber, as well as through some of the beautiful galleries and halls. The New York State Capitol is sure to impress any visitor with its grandiosity and beauty.
2) The Empire State Plaza
The Empire State Plaza is a complex of government buildings in the heart of Albany, New York. It was designed by architect Wallace K. Harrison and built between 1965 and 1976 at a cost of nearly two billion dollars. The plaza features nine buildings that cover over two million square feet of space.
The centerpiece of the plaza is the Corning Tower, which stands 42 stories tall and is one of the tallest buildings in Upstate New York. There are also two outdoor public plazas, the South Mall and West Mall. The South Mall is home to the iconic Reflecting Pool, while the West Mall has an outdoor amphitheater and numerous sculptures.
The plaza is also home to several other attractions, such as The Egg performance center and the New York State Museum. There is also an underground concourse that houses many shops and restaurants. The plaza is connected to the downtown area by a pedestrian bridge over the Hudson River.
Visitors to the Empire State Plaza can enjoy a variety of activities, from taking in the magnificent views of downtown Albany to participating in outdoor concerts. The plaza is also home to a variety of events, such as weekly farmers’ markets, outdoor movies, and holiday light displays. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or explore, the Empire State Plaza has something for everyone.
3) The New York State Museum
If you’re looking to learn more about New York State’s rich history, then The New York State Museum is the place for you. Established in 1836, the museum is located in downtown Albany and offers a wealth of exhibits and artifacts spanning four centuries of history. From the Revolutionary War through modern times, visitors can view displays on the natural sciences, anthropology, local art, and more. In addition to permanent exhibits, the museum hosts special events throughout the year such as lectures and workshops. During your visit, be sure to take a look at their diverse collection of historic artifacts, including Native American tools and weapons, fossils, jewelry, pottery, quilts, and photographs. With something for everyone, The New York State Museum is a must-see attraction when visiting Albany.
4) The Albany Institute of History & Art
The Albany Institute of History & Art is the perfect place for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike. With its collection of more than 65,000 artifacts, it’s one of the oldest cultural institutions in the nation. Founded in 1791, it is located in downtown Albany, New York, in the former state bank building. This historic site was made a national historic landmark in 2001.
Visitors can explore three floors of galleries that feature rotating exhibitions on everything from decorative arts to local and regional history to Hudson Valley folk art. There are also interactive activities and permanent displays, including the New York State Collection – a collection of paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs of the Empire State – and the Mohawk Valley Collection – an extensive selection of items from the area’s Dutch settlers.
The Institute also houses two of Albany’s most treasured artworks – the 18th-century Life of Washington painting by John Vanderlyn and George Inness’s Storm in the Mountains (1848). Other pieces by American artists like John Trumbull, Jasper Cropsey, and Louis Comfort Tiffany can be found here as well.
The Institute also serves as a research facility and holds educational programs, including lectures, tours, and workshops. For those looking to learn more about Albany’s history, the Institute offers a range of classes that explore topics such as colonial Albany, 19th-century architecture, and local folk art. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun day out with the family, The Albany Institute of History & Art is the perfect destination.
5) The Egg
Located in the heart of Albany, The Egg is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Constructed in 1966, this unique building is home to the Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center and hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Inside the building, you’ll find three performance spaces, including the 914-seat Concert Hall, a 450-seat Theatre, and a 200-seat Club. The Egg offers an impressive array of entertainment options, ranging from music to theatre, dance, comedy, and more. Whether you’re looking to take in a show or just explore the building itself, The Egg is a great place to visit in Albany. It’s also worth noting that the building is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parks, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful stroll. Be sure to check out The Egg next time you’re in Albany for a truly unique experience!
6) The Palace Theatre
The Palace Theatre in Albany, NY is an iconic venue that has been providing high-quality entertainment to the city since 1931. Located on Clinton Avenue in downtown Albany, the theater has hosted performances by some of the world’s most famous musicians, comedians, and actors. The 1,800-seat theater underwent a major renovation in 2001 and now boasts state-of-the-art audio and visual technology.
From Broadway shows to live music concerts, the Palace Theatre offers a wide range of performances for audiences to enjoy. This stunning venue is a great place to see popular musical acts and talented theater troupes take the stage. In addition, The Palace also hosts other events such as comedy shows, lectures, and movie screenings.
For those looking to explore the local culture and history of Albany, The Palace Theatre is the perfect place to start. After taking in a show, be sure to grab a bite to eat at one of the many nearby restaurants or explore nearby attractions like the New York State Capitol and the Empire State Plaza. No matter what you decide to do, The Palace Theatre is sure to provide you with an entertaining and memorable experience.
7) The USS Slater
Located in Albany, the USS Slater is a decommissioned destroyer escort from World War II. Built and commissioned in 1943, the USS Slater served in the Mediterranean, as well as participating in the invasion of Okinawa and Operation Magic Carpet. The ship was decommissioned in 1946 and now serves as a floating museum dedicated to those who served on board. Visitors can explore the decks of the ship and learn more about its history through interactive displays. There are also tours available that include access to off-limits areas, such as the engineering spaces, the bridge, and the crew’s quarters. This is an excellent way for visitors to gain a better understanding of what it was like to serve aboard this vessel during its time in service.
8) The Cohoes Falls
The Cohoes Falls, located in Cohoes, NY, is one of the most spectacular sights in all Albany. The falls are over 160 feet tall and are one of the few waterfalls within an urban area in the United States.
The Falls have a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 1600s when they were first discovered by French explorers. The locals referred to them as “La Chute” or “The Great Falls”. During the 19th century, the Falls played a role in industry and technology as they were used to power grist mills and sawmills.
Today, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Falls from the nearby walking bridge. From here, you can witness the powerful rush of water cascading down the limestone cliffs and into the Mohawk River below. The Falls are especially breathtaking during the autumn months when the surrounding foliage takes on a stunning array of colors.
The Cohoes Falls are open year-round and offer a variety of activities. Visitors can take part in guided tours of the area, rent a kayak or canoe for a peaceful trip down the river, or simply enjoy some relaxation time in the riverside picnic area.
Cohoes Falls is a must-see for anyone visiting Albany, NY. With its beautiful surroundings and remarkable history, this natural wonder is sure to create lasting memories for all who visit.
9) The Albany Pine Bush
If you’re looking for a unique natural experience in Albany, New York, then look no further than the Albany Pine Bush. This 3,200-acre preserve is home to an array of flora and fauna, including rare species of plants and animals that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The area features a variety of habitats, including sand dunes, open pine barrens, and hardwood forests.
Visitors to the preserve can explore several trails, ranging from easy walks to strenuous hikes. There are also many educational programs available throughout the year, including lectures, field trips, and guided nature walks. In addition to its natural beauty, the area is also home to a variety of cultural sites, including early Dutch homesteads, archaeological sites, and more.
For those looking for a bit of adventure, there’s even a mountain biking trail that offers over 11 miles of dirt singletrack that winds through the preserve. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or an adrenaline-filled ride, the Albany Pine Bush is the perfect spot for a day outdoors.
10) The Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market
Located on the banks of the Hudson River, the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Albany. This bustling outdoor market has been operating for over 30 years, providing locals and visitors alike with fresh, locally-grown produce and artisanal goods. In addition to the delicious food offerings, the market also hosts live music performances and craft vendors who showcase their wares.
This summertime market typically runs from mid-June through mid-November, and offers a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with locally-produced meats, cheeses, honey, and baked goods. There are also a number of unique food vendors selling items like Indian cuisine, vegan specialties, and Italian sandwiches. Visitors can also browse through handmade items such as jewelry, ceramics, and crafts.
This vibrant farmers’ market is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring the local culture while snacking on some delicious fare. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh produce or a unique souvenir, you’ll find something special at the Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market!