Albany New York is the state’s capital city and
is best known as the primary government and banking center
of New York. Although Albany
New York attracts more visitors traveling for business
than for leisure, you won’t be disappointed with
an Albany vacation. The city is rich in history, as is
the entire Upper Hudson Valley. Its spacious parks, public
spaces, and the New York State Capitol make it a worthwhile
place to spend a vacation. Albany travel is best during
the summer when visitors can spend time in the numerous
parks or take historical Albany tours.
Albany New York dates back to the early part of the seventeenth century when the area was founded by fur trappers who made a living by trading along the Erie Canal. The city became the official state capital in 1777. Albany was, and is to this day, a major center of commerce and government activity in the state of New York.
An interesting place to start your Albany travel is at the Quackenbush House, the oldest building in the city. The house was built in 1736 along the Hudson River. A visitor center located next door to the house offers information on the house along with free maps of Albany. The visitor center also leads occasional downtown Albany tours. Both the house and the visitor center are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Albany travel wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the New York State Museum. The museum displays artifacts from the past and offers an extensive display on the history of New York City. Some of the highlights of the museum are the exhibit on skyscraper construction and immigration. If you’re traveling with children, be sure to take them to the original set of Sesame Street, displayed right inside the museum.
Albany tours often stop at Washington Park, a spacious park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who is often considered the father of landscape architecture. The park is the perfect place to have a picnic or go for a walk.
A short walk from the park is the Albany Institute of History and Art. This recently renovated museum specializes in Hudson River School Paintings. If you’re taking your Albany vacation during the week, you may want to visit the Albany Institute of History and Art on Wednesdays when admission is free (the price is normally under 10 dollars a person). The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon until 5 p.m.
Albany tours of New York’s State Capitol are available seven days a week. The Capitol was built in the nineteenth century and is considered by many to be an architectural masterpiece. The gray granite building stands five stories tall and has walls that are nearly seventeen feet thick in some areas.