Last Updated on December 12, 2022
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
By Carla Marie Rupp and Jason Rupp
It’s easy to get into the right, relaxed “state of mind” (like that famous Billy Joel song) in Albany, New York, the Capital City of the Big Apple’s state.
Here, you’ll find so much beauty, history, art, music, good food, and friendly people!
Already, thousands know this, as they flock to the local museums, tour the architecturally interesting New York State Capitol building, see the gems at the New York State Museum, take the really fun Aqua Ducks Tour on the Hudson River, savor the tulips in season in Washington Park, check out the farmer’s market with produce and delectable, homemade goodies, browse the artsy areas, such as wonderful Lark Street, and find area music concerts and festivals.
This is a really great town where a small-town, convivial atmosphere pervades. It’s a destination in itself. Stroll the well-kept streets, find a good restaurant or local bar, maybe one making their own ale. Eat some oysters at Jack’s Oyster House: so delicious and fresh. And aren’t they good for you?
Actually, we found a website called Keep Albany Boring. Are they really trying to keep Albany a secret from even more visitors-in-the-know? It’s anything but…boring. This place is definitely “not” boring. It’s alive and well: in fact, quite lively — and well-worth visiting, discovering and exploring in summer, fall, or any time of the year. For example, the fall colors in the autumn are just stunning. And Albany’s perfect for all ages.
We’ve seen the city during several seasons. But when the Legislature is in session, Albany is particularly interesting, viewing and observing lawmakers and lobbyists in action, even demonstrators for various causes.
And sure, everyone, young, old and in-between, ought to visit their state’s important legislative buildings, but New York State’s has these amazing, historic structures, beautiful interiors…and they, and everything else, take one by surprise.
It’s an eye-opener in Albany, even for the fantastic, exciting, weekly musical entertainment at Alive at Five’s free Summer Concert Series at Riverfront Park on the Hudson. What sights and sounds!
Or for the unique exhibits at the must-see, free New York State Museum: the 9/11 display is one of the most moving in the building, and the Sesame Street exhibit will trigger childhood memories. You just have to love and enjoy the working, colorful carousel when you take a ride and smile. The Iroquois Longhouse is also popular for the curious, as is the Native People’s exhibit.
Try also to see the Albany Institute of History and Art’s priceless collection. The ongoing Ancient Egypt exhibit is one of the many spectacular collections displayed now, which features the Albany Institute’s mummies along with loan objects from major national museums.
While New York City might get most of the attention in the state, Albany, NY, offers an adventure, an amazing discovery. Whatever interests the visitors, it’s all available in Albany (easily accessible by train on Amtrak, by bus, or car), with its great scenery, food, culture and even, as Billy Joel calls it, that wonderful New York State of Mind.
If you go:
Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center
25 Quackenbush Square
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 434-1217, (800) 258-3582
(A good first stop for material on Albany’s attractions!)
New York State Capitol Tour
Plaza Visitors Center
Washington Ave. & State Street, Albany
(if you go for the tour at 12-1 p.m., arrive at 11:30 a.m.)
New York State Museum
Empire State Plaza
(One of America’s best state museums with top tours!)
Albany Institute of History & Art
125 Washington Ave.
(Participating in NY State Museum week end of May-early June)
New York State Tourism