Skip to main content

9 Visitor Attractions You Must See In Albany NY

First time visiting the Capital Region? Albany, New York is a premier destination with lots to see and do when you're in town! From parks to museums, landmarks, shops and more, the vast number of attractions can leave visitors feeling overwhelmed.

For this reason, we've compiled nine can't-miss attractions for tourists. Make sure you check out these hotspots before you do anything else!

Cruise the Hudson River with Dutch Apple Cruises & Tours

Cruise boat on hudson river

Explore the Capital Region by water with a scenic and relaxing cruise aboard Dutch Apple Cruises. Their sightseeing cruises are narrated by a Hudson River historian who will point out local culture and history along the river. Perfect for the out-of-towner to get a lay of the land!

Go Bird Watching at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

Bird at Albany Pine Bush

This 3,200 acre nature preserve between Albany and Schenectady is home to over 90 species of birds. But that's not all! 1,500 plant and animal species, including 45 Species of Greatest Conservation Need and more than 20 at-risk species, call the Pine Bush Preserve home. Animal lovers will appreciate the local flora and fauna in their natural habitat.

See a Show at The Palace Theater

View from stage of the Palace Theater

Located in downtown Albany, The Palace Theater first opened its doors in 1931. Today, the theater remains to entertain Capital Region audiences with a broad array of entertainment, including concerts, stand-up comedy, classical performances, films, and community events. Visit this historic landmark to see its ornate Austrian Baroque design.

Uncover New York State History at the Underground Railroad History Project

Group gathering at Underground Railroad History Project

Visitors to the Underground Railroad History Project are often shocked to learn how the Capital Region played a part in one of the most important movements of American history. Located at the historic home of Stephen and Harriet Myers, key people in the Underground Railroad Movement, visitors can view photographs, written accounts, and other relics dating back to the anti-slavery period and learn about the fascinating history local heroes played in the movement.

Go for a Walk in Washington Park

Moses Statue in Washington Park in Albany

Washington Park is an 84-acre oasis of green in the city of Albany. With over 100 species of trees, a picturesque pond, sports fields, and walking paths, Washington Park is the perfect place for visitors to go for a walk or picnic on a warm afternoon.

Take a Tour of The Capitol Building

Exterior of Capitol Building in Albany

The headquarters for New York State government, The Capitol Building and connected Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany house an art collection, observation deck, state museum, and performing arts center. While you're there, take a tour of the ornately constructed New York State Capitol that in 1899 cost $25 million to complete! Tours are available Monday-Friday from 7AM to 7PM. (And if you're into spooky things, there are haunted tours in October!)

Go Shopping at Colonie Center or Crossgates Mall

Mother and daughter shopping in mall

Are you a shopaholic? Make like locals and visit Colonie Center and Crossgates Mall, two regional shopping destinations with major retails, a variety of restaurants, and entertainment options. With enough to keep you busy for hours, these shopping destinations are the perfect place to unwind during your stay.

Sample Beer at CH Evans Brewing Company

Interior of CH Evans Brewing Company in Pump Room

photo credit: Alan Nudi

Ever imagined what beer tasted like in 1786? At the C.H. Evans Brewing Company located in the Albany Pump Station building, sample one of the 11 beers they have on tap using recipes from their founding in 1786. This historic local brewery also offers Tasting Tours, which include the sampling of 3 to 5 of their house brews, an in-depth explanation of the brewing process and ingredients, as well as a tour of their current facility.

Catch a Game at The Times Union Center

Exterior of Times Union Center

Home to the Albany Empire arena football team and Siena College men's basketball team, the Times Union Center indoor arena, with its seating capacity of 15,500, is used for professional and amateur sporting events, as well as concerts and other special happenings. Catch a game while you're in town and root for one of the local teams!

Looking for more things to do in the Capital Region? Check out our entire list of Albany attractions!