‘Tis the après-ski season. Whether you get your fill of thrills and chills on the slopes or fireside, the opportunities for winter fun in the Capital-Saratoga region are bolder and colder than ever. Take a peek at some peaks all within an hour or less of Albany.
Schenectady offers a lively après-ski scene where you can kick back and relax after a day at Maple Ski Ridge, mere minutes from downtown. If you find yourself in the Saratoga Springs area, Willard Mountain is just 15 minutes away and offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Enjoy Adirondack vibes and adventure without a long drive at Royal Mountain Ski & Motocross Center in Johnstown, the foothills of the Adirondack mountains.
Credit: @GreatFlats on Instagram
This family-owned, quality-focused, farm craft brewery in downtown Schenectady is just 10 minutes from Maple Ski Ridge. Featuring a rotating menu of more than a dozen beers on tap, there is plenty to go around. Great Flats’ name pays homage to the fresh water aquifer underneath the city which provides the most important ingredient— clean, fresh groundwater.
Credit: @frogalleybrewing on Instagram
Continue your brew tour with a quick 3-minute walk from Great Flats Brewing to Frog Alley Brewing Co. This large entertainment venue is a local favorite for beer, gourmet pizza, and live music. Join the beer club for a bunch of extra perks.
Credit: @stumpcitybrewing on Instagram
Known for its friendly, cozy, and rustic atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home when you go to Stump City Brewing. This local hidden gem is about 15 minutes from Royal Mountain Ski Center and features a taproom built from the ground up using sustainable, reclaimed wood and materials. The brewery proudly displays much of the Gloversville and Johnstown heritage in its tap room.
Two is better than one when it comes to Argyle Brewing Company. Offering two distinct locations, the Greenwich address is only 10 minutes from Willard Mountain and houses a brewery, small tasting room, and large outdoor patio. The Cambridge location carries its own charm, housed in a historic train station. Enjoy weekly live entertainment while you sip beers made from locally-sourced hops and barley.
Credit: @theshakerandvine on Instagram
They had us at “self-serve wine.” The wine and dine opportunities at The Shaker & Vine are nearly limitless. Enjoy self-serve wine preservation machines that showcase more than 70 wines for sampling. House-made cocktails, spirits, and gourmet food all await you at this popular spot just 15 minutes from Maple Ski Ridge. For the best après-ski instagram post, order one of their signature charcuterie boards and chocolate fondues.
One of the most popular attractions in Saratoga Springs is the Saratoga Winery, a 40 minute drive from Willard Mountain that’s well worth the trek. Try any (or all) of 15 handcrafted wines made on premises along with 10 rotating beers on tap. Wine and beer flights are always available as well as a sampling of five wines for just $5. This venue is also the official tasting room for Saratoga Courage Distillery. On weekends there is a brunch menu, live entertainment, and occasional seasonal events. Reservations are required.
Credit: @druthersbrewing on Instagram
It’s hard to find anyone who’s been to the Capital-Saratoga region who doesn’t know and love Druthers. With locations in Schenectady, Albany, Clifton Park, and Saratoga Springs, you’re never far from good food, good beer, and good company. Suited for all seasons, enjoy indoor and outdoor patios with fire pits and patio heaters. The on-site brewery makes for a picture-worthy atmosphere while you load up on famous appetizers like loaded monkey bread, beer cheese dip, and wings. It wouldn’t be a true Druthers experience without ordering one (or several) of the artisan pizzas and macaroni and cheese specials, featuring pasta made in-house, from scratch.
After a long day on the slopes at Willard Mountain, Wallie’s of Greenwich will fuel you back up with gourmet burgers and pub fare. This hidden gem originally opened in 1929 as a sandwich counter, right after the start of the Great Depression. In 1945, the family-owned and operated business expanded its offerings and is now a favorite spot in town.
Après-ski would not be complete without a private soak in Saratoga’s naturally effervescent water. Discover a delightfully buoyant quality to the mineral water, and revel in Saratoga’s signature brand of aquatic bliss. The mineral water is captured cold from underground springs, then mixed with warm fresh water to a neutral temperature for maximum benefits. The Roosevelt Baths & Spa offers 42 original treatment rooms and a complete menu of services, including mineral baths, massages, facials, scrubs, body wraps, and a full-service salon.
Serene scenes and all-things-spa are in store when booking a day pass at Mirbeau. A day pass allows for full-day access to all amenities including: heated whirlpool, large resting area with fireplace, aquaterrace, private bar, steam room, sauna, yoga, and exercise classes. For an additional price, treat yourself to one of many massage options, facials, on-site gourmet dining, and more.
Enjoy a low-effort adrenaline rush for almost any age. Willard Mountain offers its own tubing area where guests can purchase a 2-hour session for $30. Make note that there is only one rider per tube and each session is limited to 60 people to provide each person maximum runs per session.
The Children's Museum, conveniently located in the Saratoga Spa State Park, provides positive opportunities for learning in an interactive setting. Learn about science, history, community living, and the arts by exploring the museum's hands-on exhibits. The museum also offers membership, special events, educational workshops, and birthday party packages.
Skate the day away and take in the festive skyline views of New York’s capital city. It is free to skate and the rink is open for public use Tuesday-Sunday, 12-8pm. Skate rentals are available on-site for $3-4. Every Saturday is a Hannaford-sponsored free rental day. Sign up for a free learn-to-skate clinic offered throughout the season. The rink is conveniently located next to the New York State Museum.
Credit: @oeprophoto on Instagram
The New York State Museum in Downtown Albany explores the cultural and natural history of New York State. The museum features a variety of history, science, and art exhibitions. Within the main exhibit halls are popular long-standing favorites, including Adirondack Wilderness, Birds of New York, Beneath the City: Albany Archaeology, Black Capital: Harlem in the 20s, The Cohoes Mastodon, Fire Engine Hall, Minerals of New York, Native Peoples of New York, and The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response. The museum is free.
The Capital-Saratoga's only full-scale aquarium. Explore more than 25,000 square feet of oceanic treasure as you and your family embark on an exciting self-guided tour visiting more than 2,000 creatures of the sea. The Via Aquarium celebrates aquatic biodiversity through exhibit experiences and public programs designed to connect people to the world of water. Via Aquarium provides an immersive experience for people of all ages. Whether you're exploring the two tunnel tanks, viewing a live piranha feeding, or touching a live stingray, there is always something to be excited about at the Via Aquarium.