Albany & Area Trip Planner
Welcome to Albany & Area!A visible and alluring combination of history, government, natural beauty, arts and culture greets visitors to New York State's capital city of Albany, set on the Hudson River approximately 136 mi (219 km) north of New York City. Albany's roots took hold when the Dutch founded a trading post here in 1614, the English renaming the town Albany when they conquered the Dutch in 1664. In 1797, the rapidly growing city became the state capital of New York. Since then, its government-driven economy has thrived, now complemented by a cutting-edge technology industry; in fact, the city is located in the heart of the eastern New York region now known as Tech Valley.
Impressive historic buildings, including grand government edifices and stately homes, adorn the attractive downtown area, paying tribute to the city's distinguished past and inspiring its present and future. The Empire State Plaza unites heritage and modern architecture and encompasses significant sites such as the New York State Capitol, New York State Museum, EGG Center for Performing Arts, the Empire State Plaza Art Collection and the Corning Tower. In addition to excellent shopping and dining, locals and visitors enjoy a busy schedule of outdoor events, from the annual Tulip Festival held in May to free summer concerts at Riverfront Park to the Capital Holiday Lights display in Washington Park over Christmas. Albany is also lucky to lay claim to the Pine Bush Preserve, a rare inland sand plain offering a unique environment for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. While in the area, visitors should also tour the historic town of Schenectady. The Altamont Fairground is the scene of local events, including fairs and touring exhibitions. The Erie Canal, which runs from Albany to Lake Erie, can also be seen in the Albany area.