You don’t need to travel far from your Menands Apartment to have a great time on your days off. Try embracing the modern trend of the “staycation,” or spending your vacation time participating in leisure activities within driving distance of your home, so you can save on expensive airline tickets and hotel stays. Staycations allow you the great opportunity to explore your local area through the eyes of a tourist and go to new locations and try new activities you may have not gone to or tried before, all while supporting your local economy. Albany, NY, is the perfect destination for a staycation with its historical landmarks, award-winning eateries, and nightlife.
Here are a few of the many top things you must do on a staycation in Albany, NY:
1. Brush Up on Local History at the New York State Museum
With all the new development and urbanization Albany has gone through, it’s easy to forget that Albany, NY was once a historical city and that laid host to important events and people throughout New York State and United States history. Why not take a few hours and brush up on your local history at the New York State Museum, located at the southern end of the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza? Under the leadership of the New York State Education Department, this museum explores and expresses New York State’s significant natural and cultural diversity, past and present, through such exhibits as “Art of the Erie Canal,” “Native Peoples of New York,” and “Black Capital: Harlem in the 20s.”
2. Take a Stroll through Albany Pine Bush
Located in the heart of the Capital District, this 3,200 acre nature preserve is home to 1,500 plant and animal species and 18 miles of hiking trails. A globally rare ecosystem, Pine Bush was chosen as a National Natural Landmark for its extraordinary sand dunes formed by glaciers during the Ice Age, and it was also selected as a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area for all those avid birdwatchers. Take a trip to the Discovery Center so you can be introduced to everything that makes the Pine Bush preserve special and unique, through interactive exhibits and a fully accessible outdoor Discovery Trail featuring local artwork, green technology, and demonstration gardens. Whether you’re looking to hike, picnic, or wildlife watch, Pine Bush is a destination for the whole family.
3. See a Show at the Palace Theatre
Feel like you’re stepping back in time with a visit to the historic Palace Theater. Located on Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street in the Clinton Avenue Historic District, this Austrian Baroque style theater was constructed in 1930 and artfully restored in 2002. With its grand chandelier, wall murals, and red marble staircases, the Palace Theater is the perfect backdrop to enjoy the sounds of the Grammy Award winning Albany Symphony, or any number of the other 150 events they host each year, including a classic movie series, comedy acts, concerts, and plays.
4. Take Tour of The Albany Distilling Company
Founded in early 2011, the Albany Distilling Company harkens back to upstate New York’s history as a booze manufacturing capital. Located on Montgomery Street in downtown Albany, close to where Albany’s original distillery would have been in the 18th century, this modern company is making high quality, small batch spirits in the style of 1700s. The company hosts public tours of the distillery process, so visitors can learn how they make whiskey, rum, vodka, and bourbon using local New York State grains the old fashioned way.
5. Head to the Beach
You don’t have to fly to the ocean to spend an afternoon basking in the sun on the beach—the Albany area has great lakeside beaches to enjoy in the summer months. Pack up and take a day trip to one of the many beaches surrounding your apartment in Menands: Brown’s Beach on Saratoga Lake, Grafton lakes State park, Cherry Plain State park Beach, and Million Dollar Beach on Lake George are all within an hour drive. Whether you’re looking to swim, picnic, or lay out under the sun, these beaches are the perfect daytime getaway.
6. Try New Foods at the Galleria 7 Market
Expand your eating horizons at the open air food market at Galleria 7 Market. Located in Latham, NY, this expansive food hall lays host to a variety of small eateries and restaurants cranking out fresh, high quality, and delicious food. Whether you’re in the mood for pub food, wood fired pizzas, Thai rolled ice cream, sushi, or Moroccan cuisine, Galleria 7 Market is the place to be for lunch and dinner. Delivering a wide array of casual food options, use your trip to the market as an opportunity to try new foods and discover your next local food obsession. View other local markets >
7. Watch a Game at the Times Union Center
An indoor arena located on South Pearl Street in Albany, The Times Union Center is the place for all sports fanatics to go to root for their favorite team. Home to The Albany Devils of the American Hockey League and Siena College’s men’s basketball team, this indoor arena with a seating capacity of 15,500, is used for sports events such as professional wrestling, tennis tournaments, and college and high school sports. Make sure to check their website to see who’s playing over your days off!
Your Menands apartment at the Lofts at One Broadway is within close proximity to all of these spectacular events.