Main information

Empire State Plaza

Population

The population of the city of Albany is approximately 100,000 while Capital District residents number about 800,000.

Elevation

30 Feet

Area

21.4 square miles

Location

Albany is located on the Hudson River, approximately 138 miles north of New York City, 144 miles west of Boston, Massachusetts, 108 miles east of Syracuse and 196 miles south of Montreal, Canada.

Time Zone

Eastern Standard Time. Daylight savings time is in effect from 1am on the first Sunday in April through 1am on the last Sunday in October.

Weather

Average weather in Albany, New York

 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temp. (°F) 22.2 24.8 34.8 46.6 58.3 66.6 71.5 69.5 61.0 49.6 39.4 28.2
High temperature (°F) 31.2 34.3 44.5 57.3 69.9 77.7 82.6 80.2 71.8 60.2 47.8 36.2
Low temperature (°F) 13.1 15.3 25.1 35.9 46.7 55.4 60.4 58.6 50.1 38.9 30.9 20.2
Precipitation (in) 2.6 2.2 3.1 3.3 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.8 3.3 3.3 3.3 2.7

 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Days with precipitation 13 11 12 12 13 11 10 10 10 9 12 12
Wind speed (mph) 9.8 10.1 10.6 10.5 9.0 8.3 7.5 7.0 7.4 8.0 9.1 9.3
Morning humidity (%) 78 77 76 72 75 79 81 86 89 86 82 80
Afternoon humidity (%) 64 58 54 49 53 56 55 58 59 58 63 65
Sunshine (%) 46 52 54 54 56 60 64 61 57 52 37 39
Days clear of clouds 5 6 6 5 5 5 6 7 8 8 4 5
Partly cloudy days 8 7 8 8 9 11 13 12 10 9 8 7
Cloudy days 18 15 17 16 16 13 12 13 12 14 18 19
Snowfall (in) 16.7 13.7 11.6 2.7 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 4.3 14.6

Local Seasons

Summer is peak season, accounting for about 40% of New York State tourism. From June to August, the weather is pleasant and mostly sunny, though it tends to be humid. Summer weather is ideal for travel; parks and campgrounds are filled with vacationers, even more so on weekends.

Fall, from September through November, is another popular time to visit. The air turns to crisp jacket-weather in September, but farther south summertime lingers until early October. New York’s beautiful fall foliage is a huge draw, especially in mid-October — the best time to catch trees sporting brilliant reds and golds.

Contrary to popular belief, winter temperatures aren’t miserable — they normally range from the mid-20’s to highs in the 40’s. Most of upstate New York is blanketed in snow from December to March.

The spring thaw begins in March, but it’s not unusual for snow to fall in April, or even May. There are spring showers, but the average amount of precipitation is no heavier than in summer or fall. If you enjoy the quietly melting snow and fresh spring breezes, this season may be your golden opportunity to indulge in outdoor activities before the summer rush.

How to get there

By Car

To get to Albany from points north, take the Adirondack Northway (I-87) south to I-90 east to I-787 south. From points south, take the New York State Thruway (I-87) to exit 23 to I-787 north. From the western part of the state, take the New York State Thruway (I-87) to exit 24 and follow I-90 to I-787 south.

By Train

Three main Amtrak routes cross New York State, connecting major metropolitan areas and the towns along the way. Several trains, including Metroliner shuttle service and high-speed Acela Express trains, travel the Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Empire Service runs north from New York City to Albany, then west to Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls; the Maple Leaf runs daily, extending the same route through Toronto, Canada. The Adirondack travels the Hudson River Valley north to Albany (making stops in Yonkers, Croton-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, Rhinecliff, and Hudson), then follows along Lake Champlain to Plattsburgh and finally Montreal, Canada.

By Plane

Most visitors traveling by air will arrive via Albany International Airport; (518/242-2299) located about 10 minutes from downtown Albany and about a half-hour from Saratoga Springs. The airport is served by most major domestic and several international airlines. Driving from the airport to downtown Albany, you can either take Albany-Shaker Road south, which will put you close to the visitor’s center and Broadway, or take I-87 south to I-90 west.  The information desk can provide details on getting to either Albany or Saratoga Springs. The significantly smaller Saratoga County Airport (518/885-5354) handles small charter flights.

By Bus

Greyhound (518/434-8095) and Adirondack Trailways (800/858-8555) travel to both Albany and Saratoga Springs. The Upstate Transit Albany-Saratoga Bus Service ( 518/584-5252) travels between Albany and Saratoga.

Getting Around

Most of the year, the only way to navigate Albany is by car.  If street parking in not available, check out the very large parking lot below Empire State Plaza off Madison Street.

Albany City Trolley

Quackenbush Square at Broadway and Clinton Avenue

518-465-3632

July to September, 11:45am-1:45pm

All summer long you can catch the Albany City Trolley, which runs through the middle of the day from Quackenbush Square at Broadway and Clinton Avenue, and makes stops along State Street and Washington Avenue to Empire State Plaza.

Sports

Albany Conquest

Pepsi Arena
51 S Pearl St
Albany, NY  12207
518- 487-2222

Call for exact dates and times.

Admission charged

Arena football is back. The Albany Conquest play their home games at the Pepsi Arena. The Conquest season runs from April-July.

Albany River Rats

Pepsi Arena

51 S Pearl St
Albany, NY  12207
518-487-2244

Call for exact dates and times.

Admission charged

2004 marked the 10th Anniversary season of the Capital Districts only professional hockey team, the Albany River Rats. The Albany River Rats are the top minor affiliate of the New Jersey Devils.

Empire State Plaza

Outdoor Plaza

518-474-2418

Call for hours and conditions.

Admission charged

Seasonal outdoor skating rink.

Swinburne Rink and Recreation Center

Clinton Ave, below Manning Blvd.

Albany, NY

518-438-2406

Call for hours and conditions.

Admission charged

Outdoor rink.

Golf Courses

Call for fees and tee times.

Mill Road Acres

30 Mill Rd, Latham, NY

518-785-54653

18 holes

Capital Hills at Albany

65 OíNeil Rd, Albany, NY

518-483-2208

18 holes

Stadium Golf Club, Inc.

33 3 Jackson Ave, Schenectady, NY

518-374-9104

18 holes

Arts and Entertainment

Empire State Performing Arts Center

Madison Avenue at Swan Street

Empire State Plaza

518-434-1845

Call for hours

Admission charged

Albany’s most visible performing arts space holds 880 and has a smaller hall for smaller events. It hosts music, theater, and dance companies.

Capital Repertory Company

111 North Pearl Street

Downtown

518-462-4534

Season:  October-June

Admission charged

Albany’s most fearless theater company premieres new plays and playwrights as well as the classics at this converted grocery store.

Albany Civic Theater

235 Second Avenue

518-462-1297

Call for hours

Admission charged

Four productions every year are all this bijou theater can manage, but each run is completely booked out well in advance. The building is a converted Victorian firehouse with seating for just 50 people.

Palace Theatre

Palace Theatre

North Pearl Street

518-465-4663

Call for hours

Admission charged

This 1929 Art Deco movie theater was designed by architect John Eberson, and is a must for any walking tour of the city.

Albany Berkshire Ballet

25 Monroe Street
518-426-0660

Call for hours

Admission charged

The Albany Berkshire Ballet is nationally recognized for its versatility in performing both classical and contemporary dance works with excellence. The company’s classical repertory rivals that of any large company performing today.

Lark Street

Central Square

518-434-6311

This street two blocks west of Empire State Plaza is studded with diverse gift shops, collectibles and antiques stores and cafes, mainly between Madison and Washington Streets. Lark Street borders the comfortably yuppie borough of Central Square, with glorious Victorian houses one after another, almost all by Albany architects like Ernest Hoffman or Charles Nichols.

Nightlife in Albany

Lark Street

518/434-1217 ext, 409 (Albany Alive Events Line

Lark Street and the surrounding streets are your best destinations for fun, with all manner of choices. Just walk around here at night until you hear your kind of live music: Pauly’s Hotel at 337 Central Avenue (tel. 518/426-0828) or the Lionheart Blues Cafe at 258 Lark (tel. 518/436-9530) for blues music; Bogie’s at 297 Ontario (tel. 518.482-4368) or Valentine’s at 17 New Scotland Avenue (tel. 518/432-6572) for rock or folk, QE2 at 12 Central Avenue for alternative or house or dance music (tel. 518/434-2023)

Events

Early May

Albany Tulip Festival

Washington Park, Albany

518-434-2032

Admission free

One of Albanyís oldest and most highly anticipated events is the annual Tulip Festival set in Albanyís beautiful historic Washington Park. Each year, this traditional Albany event greets spring with thousands of tulips blooming in a myriad of colors and varieties. Thousands from across the Capital District Region and beyond come to Tulip Fest each May to celebrate Albanyís rich Dutch heritage. Tulip Fest features entertainment on 4 stages including a Dance stage.  The KidZone features crafts and family fun entertainment, and  Jazz Sunday is the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Don’t miss the over 100 crafters, the fine arts show, Gardening Talks or the vast array of food vendors.

June-August

Hudson River Way Walking Tours

Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center

25 Quackenbush Square

518-434-0405

10am

Admission free

The Hudson River Way is a pedestrian bridge that connects Albanyís historic downtown to the Hudson River, allowing direct access for pedestrians and bicyclists. The bridge visually tells the story of Albanyís history through a series of paintings, many depicting historical artifacts discovered in various archeological excavations. The paintings are done in 17th century trompe líoeil style, which ìtrick the eyeî into believing it is seeing actual objects. Free parking in Visitors Center parking area off Broadway via Spencer St.

Alive at Five

518-434-2032

Riverfront Park

Summer, Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm

Admission free

The stage comes alive with music from national, regional and local artists; each night plays host to a different genre of music.  The weekend kicks-off with an early start, as many of Albanyís professionals, community members and families enjoy the diverse musical talent presented during the series. The music is not the only form of entertainment at Alive at Five as great crowd participation, dancing and people watching all make for a unique blend of concert atmosphere and hometown block party fun. Summer favorites such as ice-cold beer, fresh squeezed lemonade, cotton candy and delicious BBQ from some of the areas favorite local vendors are available for sale.

June-September

Guided Horse-drawn Carriage Tours

Albany heritage Area Visitors Center

25 Quackenbush Square

518-434-0405

Tours begin at 10am, reservations recommended.

Admission charged.

Guided tours of historic downtown Albany aboard a horse-drawn carriage.

August

GE’s Albany  Riverfest

Usually early August, call for exact date.

Albany Riverfront Park.  Easy access using the Hudson River Way Pedestrian Bridge.  Park in any of the numerous downtown garages and parking lots, and walk across the bridge.

518-434-2032

Noon – 9:00 pm

Admission Free

GE’s Albany’s Riverfest is a day long celebration at the newly renovated Albany Riverfront Park.  Music, food, and children’s activities make for the perfect family celebration on a summer day.  The Amphitheater boasts a stellar line-up of musical entertainment, the KidZone has hands-on activities and a stage, and the evening ends with brilliant fireworks. Food and beverages will be available to complete the perfect summer family festival.

Family Movie Night at Riverfront Park

518-434-2032, call for specific nights.

Thursdays

6:30 pm Radio Disney show

8:00 pm ñ Movie

Admission free

Grab a blanket for a night under the stars for a great family night at the movies!  Food will be available for purchase, and Radio Disney will host an awesome show prior to the movie.

Latin Fest

Usually held early August, call for specific date.

Washington Park Parade Grounds

518-434-2032

12:00 noon to 8:00 pm

Admission free

The Albany Latin Fest is a family festival event that celebrates the contributions of Hispanics to the cultural arts mosaic of American life. As the premier Hispanic cultural festival event in the Capital District, the event has had one of the largest attendance rates of any Hispanic festival in upstate New York.  The Albany Latin Fest features local and international Hispanic artists, childrenís carnival rides, as well as food and craft vendors representative of the diverse Hispanic cultures from across the state.

Summer in the City Art Fair

Call for exact dates.

Pine Street Park, Broadway and Pine Street

518-434-2032

Wednesdays from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Admission free

Summer in the City Art Fair features exhibits by local artists and  musical entertainment.   Artwork is available for purchase.

September

The Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival

Usually in early September, call for exact date.

Albany Riverfront Park

Access the event via the Hudson River Way Pedestrian Bridge at Broadway and Pine Street

518-434-2032

Noon to 7:00 pm

Admission free

The Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival features the hottest in regional and national jazz music, as well as tasty food and beverages.  Albany Riverfront Park provides the perfect setting for a great late summer day on the banks of the Hudson River.

Lark Fest

On Lark Street

518-434-3861

Call for exact date and time

Festival with music, food and fun!

 October

 Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival

Usually held on a Sunday, call for exact date.

Albany Riverfront Park

518-641-7518

1pm parade, 2-6 pm Festival

Admission free
Set in the beautiful fall colors of Washington Park, this festival showcases the best of Italian music and food.  The colorful parade features marching bands, folk dances, a grand marshal and hundreds of participants.  A festival at the Lakehouse follows the Parade.

End of November-end of December

Capital Holiday Lights in the Park

Washington Park

Downtown Albany

518-434-2032; 800-456-7890

Opens at 6pm

Admission free

A dazzling drive-through holiday light display with thousand of lights and more than 100 illuminated scenes and displays creating a wonderland of winter fun.  Most evenings, Santa visits with the children at the end of the ride (call for information).  Refreshments are available. There are always plenty of surprise visits from Frosty, Rudolph and other characters in this winter wonderland. Ends with surprises and holiday treats in the Lakehouse.

New Yearís Eve

First Night Albany

Downtown Albany

518-434-2032

2:00 pm to midnight.

Fun for the entire family — a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve! The magic of this annual holiday tradition is celebrated by the entire community!  Hundreds of performers fill dozens of indoor stages in Downtown Albany.  The celebration  features something for everyone including dance, comedy, fireworks, live music, psychics, star shows, and the famous conga line to ring in the New Year!

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