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Albany Travel Guide

Albany is the seat of Albany County and the capital of New York State as well as home to several centers of higher learning including the University at Albany, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science, and Sage College.

The state capital is located on the west bank of the Hudson River and about 150 miles (241 km) north of New York City. It was one of the 10 most populous cities in the United States in 1810 but today a medium-size city of just 98,000 (2012). Albany is economically tied with the nearby counties of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs – collectively known as the Capital District.   

Albany’s economy and the rest of the Capital District depend heavily on the government, education, and healthcare. As the state capital, a quarter of the employed residents are in government-related jobs. Thus, Albany is relatively immune from an economic recession that results in an unemployment rate that is usually lower than the state or even the national average. Furthermore, the city has an emerging high-tech industry namely the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and chipmaker GlobalFoundries with its production facility at nearby Malta.

Downtown Albany, New York State

Downtown Albany by Skeat78

See & Do
A must-visit destination for any visitor to Albany is the Empire State Plaza, a city landmark and huge government complex. It is also home to the Empire State Plaza Art Collection, featuring modern art placed across the complex. For a bird’s eye view of Albany and the surroundings, head to the Corning Tower Observation Deck at the Empire State Plaza. Another destination is the late 19th century New York State Capitol, home of the New York State Legislature. Albany City Hall is another historical building, completed in 1883 and features a 49 bell carillon.

Empire State Plaza by Kurtman12208

There are not that many museums in the state capital but a must-visit museum is the New York State Museum. It is the oldest state museum in the United States and explores the cultural and natural history of New York State. Another interesting museum is the USS Slater, a decommissioned destroyer escort used during World War II. Major urban parks include Lincoln Park and Washington Park, featuring green open spaces forested areas, and lakes. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve and Tivoli Lake Nature Preserve are sanctuaries to a variety of natural vegetation and various species of wildlife. 

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