When Dutch settlers surrendered to the British in 1664, King Charles II granted territory to his royal brother James, the Duke of both York and Albany. New Amsterdam became New York-and the village of Beverwyck became Albany.
In 1797 the decision was made to establish Albany as the permanent capital of New York State. But the New York State Capitol isn't the only can't-miss Albany attraction-in the capital city, residents and visitors alike enjoy four unique seasons of entertaining events, historic masterpieces, unique cultural attractions, and culinary delights from around the world.
HISTORYOnce a small Dutch settlement, Albany has grown into New York State's Capital City, nestled in the heart of burgeoning Tech Valley.
Albany is of course home to the New York State Capitol building, which was completed in 1899 at a cost of $25 million. Worth approximately half a billion current dollars, the Capitol was the most expensive government building of its time. Tour the Capitol virtually or schedule a tour with your local Assembly member.
Explore more history at the New York State Museum, which boasts free admission and a carousel that runs every 15 minutes. The New York State Museum explores the cultural and natural history of New York State, featuring approximately 10 new exhibits each year. Favorites include a full-sized Iroquois longhouse and The Cohoes Mastodon.
The Henry Hudson Planetarium offers fun for the whole family. Housed in the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, the Planetarium is an official NASA Space Place.
Tour the Ten Broeck Mansion, built in 1797-98 for General Abraham Ten Broeck and his wife, Elizabeth Van Rensselaer. The home is a Federal-style house with sloping lawns and formal gardens, with a sweeping view of the Hudson River.
Go underground at Howe Caverns, New York State's second most-visited natural attraction after Niagara Falls. Each tour of Howe Caverns starts with a descent 156 feet below the earth's surface, as you journey through limestone corridors and under massive boulders.
FOOD & DRINK
Experience over 70 restaurants, bars and eateries in the heart of Albany. The Albany Distillery Co. is the first licensed distillery in Albany since Prohibition, offering a full range of hand-crafted, small-batch distilled spirits. Stop in to their downtown location, not far from the site of Albany's original 18th century distillery, for a tasting.
Barbecue fan? Try Capital Q Smokehouse, voted Metroland's Best BBQ for 4 years running. Locally-sourced New World Bistro Bar is known for its creative cuisine and sustainable approach, but visitors will also love the Art Deco mahogany bar, originally from the 1939 World's Fair. Visit Albany during Restaurant Week to make the most of this city's world-class dining!