Albany, New York has many things to offer both visitors and residents. The city was first settled by the Dutch in 1624 and became the capital of the state in 1797. The Henry Hudson Planetarium at the Albany Visitor’s Center has shows that can introduce the first-time visitor to some of the fine points of Albany life. There are numerous concert and theater performances, as well as educational and historic sites. Sports enthusiasts will find hockey, football, baseball, and basketball. The city’s location on the Hudson River has always made it a center of transportation since its founding.
Arts and entertainment venues are not in short supply in the city of Albany. The New York State Museum and the Albany Institute of History and Art are two of the most popular cultural destinations. The Egg, a performing arts complex at the Empire State Plaza is known for its world class performances. The historic Palace Theater is a performing arts venue that boasts the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Albany/Schenectady League of Arts. The Capital Repertory offers residents year-round theater entertainment. And the Pepsi Arena hosts many different types of national touring events and performers. Park Playhouse puts on an annual musical productions which is performed during the hot summer months in an outdoor theater. The city awards $260,000 annually in arts grants.
There is plenty of opportunity to watch spectator sports in Albany. A number of minor league football, basketball, baseball, and hockey teams play here, including the Albany River Rats, the Albany Conquest, the Albany Patroons, and the Tri-City Valley Cats. NCAA Division I teams include the University of Albany, Siena College, Union College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The city also offers plenty of golf, playgrounds, basketball, seasonal pools, and skating.
The Pine Brush Preserve is a nearby pine barren ecosystem that features sandy soils, dunes, and tiny trees. Songbirds find a home here, as do endangered insects, grasses, and amphibians. Visitors can sit, meditate, and reflect, or they can stroll through the trails and watch the abundant wildlife. Bike trails are plentiful here and they weave through the sandy terrain which can change according to weather conditions. The Adirondack region gives residents and visitors plenty of opportunity for outdoor activity. They can hike through virgin forest, sleep under the stars, or climb mountain peaks. The mountains are wild but friendly enough to enjoy the outdoors. An extensive hiking trail system provides something for everyone. Phelps Mountain rewards its climbers with a 360-degree view of the surrounding peaks.
Nighttime in Albany offers a wide array of activities for just about anyone interested in staying out. A variety of pubs, clubs, bars, and related nightlife await the visitor or the resident any night of the week. One of the most popular destinations is Lark Street, which features many concerts, festivals, and other events. There are martini bars with great wine selections. Many happy hours occur throughout the city. Some of the most popular places to go are Lark Tavern McGeary’s, Jillian’s Billiard Club, and Danceland Boomers.
Comparing Albany to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in New York (State):
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