Albany, New York

Albany, New York

Albany, the capital of New York State, lies on the twisting Hudson River and is surrounded by beautiful countryside, scenic mountains and pristine farmland, a far cry from crazy Manhattan, which is just an hourеs drive away by rental car in Albany. The city features stately Victorian architecture, historic churches, colonial era homesteads and fine museums, all showcasing the cityеs rich heritage.

Getting there

Albany International Airport is a fast growing regional airport serving over 130 flights per day. Excellent and reliable transport into the city is provided by ShuttleFly buses, while cabs and shuttle services are also available. Most international visitors arrive via New York City, the East Coastеs major air traffic hub which offers flights to destinations worldwide.

Amtrak provides several train services that make stops in Albany. The Adirondack travels to and from New York and Montreal in Canada, while trains also run between New York, Niagara Falls and Toronto. The Lakeshore Limited runs between New York and Chicago and there are also services up to Vermont. Greyhound provides a reliable bus service to nearby cities, including Montreal, Plattsburgh and New York City, as well as connections to all major U.S. cities.

By car rental to Albany, it is barely an hours drive north of the Big Apple but the places are worlds apart. Interstate Highway 87 is the main north-south route through Albany, while the I-90 runs east west. Best national deals on travel to Albany are online.

Key attractions

a wander around downtown will reveal numerous well-preserved colonial homes contrasting with modern shopping malls. Nearby is the Albany Urban Culture Park, which includes the cityеs oldest building, Quackenbush House, built in 1736. Other exquisite old buildings include Cherry Hill, built in 1768, Schuyler Mansion, and Ten Broeck Mansion, featuring beautiful formal gardens.

Opposite the State Capitol is the towering Empire State Plaza, an eclectic mix of government offices and cultural attractions. It is the home of the New York State Museum, which documents the areaеs history from the ice age to the life of local Indians to the development of New York City, and including the original set of Sesame Street. The Corning Tower offers stunning views of the surrounding city and beyond to the Catskills and Adirondack Mountains.

There are also two theatres in the center where you can take in a cabaret show, a chamber music concert or a musical, and it also houses the Empire State Performing Arts Center, known locally as дThe Eggе due to its oval shape. Next to the plaza is the Knickerbocker Arena, while nearby is the lovely Washington Park, and the oldest museum in the U.S., the Albany Institute of History and Art, where you can see everything from early Dutch works, textiles, antique furniture and sculptures to an Egyptian gallery complete with a mummy.

Out and about

driving along the Hudson River Valley lined with thick forests and historical homesteads, including that of the Roosevelt family, is a delightful experience by rental car in Albany. Just to the north of Albany is Saratoga Springs, a refined summer resort centered on a very popular natural spa and mineral springs, one of the few that rank with the elegant European versions. Over the summer months Albany is home to the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, New York City Opera and the New York City Ballet. Summer is also horseracing season, with meets held regularly at Americaеs oldest Thoroughbred racecourse.

If you keep driving west through the picturesque farmland to the opposite side of the state by car rental, you will reach the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls. Equally awe-inspiring is New York City, an hour to the south of Albany, with such famous sites as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Central Park. Further east, take in the sights of Long Island with its great beaches, dramatic cliffs, picturesque farmland and holiday mansions of New Yorkеs rich and famous.

Leisure options

rising dramatically nearby are the Adirondack Mountains, a rugged yet beautiful wilderness perfect for hiking and skiing. West of Albany are the Catskill Mountains, part of the Appalachians and a popular New England tourist destination whose maple and beech forests come alive with breathtaking oranges and golds during Fall. Hiking, fishing and camping are popular pastimes here, as is skiing during the winter. Look online for national travel deals for Albany.


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