Empire State Plaza - In The Heart Of Albany
Visit the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza (ESP)! Located in the heart of downtown Albany, New York, the Plaza is a 98 acre complex of several state government buildings and convention centers. Built between 1965 and 1978, the Plaza is a spectacular capital center for visitors, state employees, and locals alike. Enjoy fountains, pools, an observation deck, year-round events, a museum, farmers market, parks, shops, theatres, fine art, and much more.
Hours: Plaza & Concourse: 6am-11pm Daily
(Corning Tower: Open Monday-Friday, 7:00am-6:00pm)
Phone: (518) 474-2418 (The Empire State Plaza Information Office)
Parking: Limited paid parking is available at the Plaza or close by during weekday business hours. On-street parking is limited and several parking garages are available.
From The North - Take Interstate 87 (the Adirondack Northway) to the Interstate 90 East exit. Continue east to Interstate 787. Take the Empire Plaza exit.
From the South - Take New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) to Exit 23. Go straight through the Toll Booth to Interstate 787 and take Empire Plaza exit.
From the East - Take Interstate 90 and cross the Hudson River. Take exit to Interstate 787 South, along the river. Take the Empire Plaza exit.
From the West - Take the Interstate 90 to Exit 24 (Albany). Proceed east on Interstate 90 to Interstate 787 South, along the Hudson River. Take Empire Plaza Exit.
Interested in taking a tour of the New York State Capitol? You can! Walk-in tours are available Monday-Friday for individuals and groups of under 10 persons. (Persons under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult). (Closed weekends and holidays). Reserved tours are also available M-F for groups of ten or more. 2 weeks advanced reservation required. Call 518-474-2418 to book a tour.) All tours begin at the State Street Lobby of Capitol Building, with a maximun of 45 people per tour.
Public Tour Hours:
- Monday-Friday: 10am, 12 pm, 2pm, 3pm
Take a Tour of Empire State Plaza
Looking for something fun to do in the Capital City? Spend the day exploring the Plaza! Head to the Empire State Plaza Visitor Center in the North Concourse and learn the history about the Plaza and the former Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. Discover the unique architectural styles. View the ESP Art Collection and visit the Plaza Memorials. The memorials commemorate heroic citizens including the New York State Vietnam Memorial. The tour also includes a stop at the Corning Tower Observation Deck.
Tour Hours: Self guided tours available: 8:30am- 5pm Monday-Friday
Summer Hours: (Summer guided public tours also available in July & August M-F, 11AM and 1pm for individuals only.)
Additional Info: Download audio files from the Empire State Plaza website and begin your tour at any of the 19 stops.
Phone: 518-474-2418 for additional information about Plaza Tours.
Visit the Plaza Art Collection
Discover 92 paintings, tapestries and sculptures located in the ESP concourse, buildings, and outdoor areas. Said to be "the most important State collection of modern art in the country." By Glenn D. Lowry - Directory at the Museum of Modern Art, the Plaza Art Collection is definitely worth seeing!
Hours: 6am-11pm daily
Interested in going on a tour of the art collection? Tours and educational programs are available for individuals and groups by appointment only. Call the OGS Curatorial & Tour Services Office at (518) 473-7521.
Catch a Performance at The Egg
Located within the Empire State Plaza, The Egg's unique sculptural curves define Albany's skyline. The Egg houses two theatres, the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre and the intimate Lewis A. Swyer Theatre, both offering superb lighting and acoustics. Enjoy comfortable seating and free parking. Comedy, dance, music, film, theatre, and family events can all be seen at The Egg.
Box Office: (518) 473-1845
Administrative Office: (518) 473-1061
See the Sights From the Corning Tower Observation Deck
Open to the public, the Corning Tower boasts the best view of Albany! Head to the 42nd floor for spectacular views of Albany, ESP, Hudson River Valley, the Port of Albany, foothills of the Adirondacks, Catskills, and the Berkshires.Bring your ID! In order to gain access to the observation deck, you need to present photo identification at the Corning Tower Security Station. Anyone under 16 must be an accompanied by an adult with photo ID. Quick Fact: Made of glass and marble, the magnificent 42 story Corning Tower is the tallest building in New York State! (outside of New York City)
Observation Deck Hours: 10am- 4pm* Monday-Friday (Closed weekends and holidays) (last check in 3:45pm)
Corning Tower Hours: 6am-6pm Daily
* hours subject to change without notice.
Learn at the New York State Museum
View countless and ever-changing exhibitions and collections at the New York State Museum. Dedicated to promoting knowledge in geology, anthropology, biology, and history, the museum is also a research location with over 35 scientists and historians directing projects here.
Hours: 9:30am-5pm (Tuesday - Sunday, Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years Day)
Cost: Free! (Donations are accepted)
Phone: (518) 474-5877
Where: Cultural Education Center (Madison Avenue, across the Plaza from the State Capitol Building)
Walk Through The Historic New York State Executive Mansion
Since 1875, The New York State Executive Mansion has been home to the state's governors and their families. The mansion can be found in downtown Albany on Eagle Street. Tours are available for individuals and groups by appointment only. Please Note: if you would like to take a tour, it is required to make a reservation at least 2 weeks in advance and photo identification is required for all adults.
Hours: Thursdays, 10am- 2pm (closed July and August)
Phone for Tour Reservations: (518) 473-7521
Where: Eagle Street in Downtown Albany New York
Enjoy Year-Round Fun
Come to the Empire State Plaza and take the time to walk around the buildings and enjoy the many events, concerts and festivals that are held here each season. Go to the Farmer's Market outdoors in the summer (or indoors on the concourse in the winter months). Hungry? Head to the concourse for cafeterias and eateries. Insider Tip: Food vendors can also be found in the park area adjacent to the Plaza. Enjoy many craft shows and food festivals held at the ESP throughout the year. Come during the warm weather months for "Summer at the Plaza" where you can enjoy a myriad of concerts and gatherings. Head to the Empire State Plaza in the winter and bring your ice skates! One of the pools is converted into an ice-skating rink!