Home / Travel Guides - Albany

More About
Albany, NY

About AlbanyAlbany is the state capital. The city's modern governmental complex, construction of which began in 1962, contrasts with its pastoral surroundings along the Hudson River.

Although French trappers were in the area in the mid-1500s, it was not until 1609 that Dutch fur traders arrived and established a trading center and fort. The first permanent settlement was founded in 1624 by 18 Walloon families, French Protestants who left the Spanish Netherlands seeking religious freedom. The settlement was called Beverwyck until it was transferred to England and renamed in honor of the Duke of York and Albany.

Albany was chartered in 1686 with Pieter Schuyler as the first mayor. By 1750 it had become an important trading center. Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat made the first successful steamboat run from New York to Albany in 1807. The opening of the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Albany in 1825 and the city's growth as a major railroad terminus greatly increased its importance.

Albany's notable citizens have included U.S. presidents Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt as well as authors Herman Melville and Henry James.

Albany is an expanding cultural center with museums, theaters and historic buildings. Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, a 98.5-acre, 11-building complex that comprises state government offices and cultural and convention facilities, commands downtown Albany.

Other cultural showcases include the Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Ave., home of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Park Playhouse, one of the larger outdoor theaters on the East Coast, located in Washington Park at the junction of New Scotland and Madison avenues; phone (518) 465-4663 and (518) 434-0776 respectively. The Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 N. Pearl St., is the area's resident professional equity theater and presents a variety of plays year-round; phone (518) 445-7469. Catch concerts by celebrated acts from the likes of the Rolling Stones and Shania Twain at the Times Union Center, 51 S. Pearl St., where sports fanatics also can watch sporting events, including games played by home team the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League; phone (518) 487-2000.

The Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center, at the intersection of Broadway and Clinton avenues at 25 Quackenbush Sq., has hands-on exhibits tracing the history of Albany; phone (518) 434-0405. The Henry Hudson Planetarium within the visitor center presents shows on the third Saturday of the month. Ten Broeck Mansion, downtown at 9 Ten Broeck Pl., was built 1797-98 for Gen. Abraham Ten Broeck and his wife after fire destroyed their Albany home. Today it is owned by the Albany County Historical Association and can be visited; phone (518) 436-9826.

Nestled along the Hudson River waterfront in downtown Albany is the Corning Preserve, a narrow strip of land several miles long that has nature trails popular for jogging, walking, bicycling and inline skating. The site also beckons picnickers and is frequently used for concerts and festivals.

Visitor Centers Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau 25 Quackenbush Sq. Albany, NY 12207. Phone:(518)434-1217 or (800)258-3582

Self-guiding ToursThe Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center has self-guiding walking tour information.

ShoppingColonie Center, Wolf Road and Central Avenue, has Boscov's, Macy's and Nordstrom Rack as its anchor stores, while Crossgates Mall, on Crossgates Mall Road, counts JCPenney and Macy's among its more than 200 stores and services.

Things to Do Albany Institute of History & Art

Cathedral of All Saints

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Court of Appeals Building

Dutch Apple Cruises

First Church in Albany

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza

New York State Capitol

New York State Museum

Irish American Heritage Museum

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

Shaker Heritage Society

Ten Broeck Mansion

USS Slater

Read More

Albany, NY

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.

Members save up to 10% and earn Honors points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Hilton Garden Inn Albany SUNY Area

1389 Washington Ave. Albany, NY 12206

Book Now

Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Courtyard by Marriott Albany Thruway

1455 Washington Ave. Albany, NY 12206

Book Now

Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Four Points by Sheraton Albany

3 Mount Hope Way. Albany, NY 12202

Book Now

Members save up to 10% and earn Honors points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Hampton Inn & Suites Albany-Downtown

25 Chapel St. Albany, NY 12210

Book Now

call or visit a AAA Travel Agent Today!

Find a AAA Office

As a AAA member, you'll save even more. Your AAA Travel Agent will check to see if AAA Vacations is combinable with other AAA member benefits, plus cruise and tour past passenger discounts and benefits.

Not a Member?

Join Now