As the capital of New York State, Albany is a manageable, medium-size city dominated by government and banking. Locals are proud of their city’s great history in the Upper Hudson Valley, its culture, and continued efforts at urban renewal, but the city has had a somewhat difficult time convincing many from around the state of its charms.
Albany attracts many more visitors for government and business trips than for leisure travel. The latter, though, are likely to find a fascinating dose of history, a full roster of summer festivals, user-friendly public spaces, and a few surprises that may just win the city some newfound respect.
Albany is an architectural haven, from historic buildings to newly built high rise skyscrap-ers to churches and temples.The New York State Capitol, a stunning pile of native stone, took more than 30 years and the e orts of ve architects to build, nally exhausting the patience of the gov-ernor, Theodore Roosevelt, in 1899. In the 1970s another governor, Nelson Rockefeller, left his im-print on the capital by building the dramatic Em-pire State Plaza and remaking downtown as one of the most starkly modern governmentheadquarters
Rockefeller’s ambition was to make Albany the country’s most beautiful capital city; whether that was accomplished or not is a matter of debate, but the modern-art collection he amassed in the name of the capital is the largest publicly owned and displayed in the country.
Albany has more than 60 public parks and recreation areas. Washington Park is a haven for outdoor activ-ity, including strolling, jogging, picnicking, shing, site seeing, and bird watching. The park is also a year-round hotspot for many popular events, displays, and concerts. Washington Park is among the most beauti-fully sculpted and well-maintained parks in the Capital Region.The Lakehouse in Washington Park is a unique amphitheatre, which hosts an array of events. Sum-mertime entertainment at the Lakehouse includes the Washington Park concert series on Monday Nights as well as live musical theatre performances by Park Playhouse. The annual Tulip Festival, one of the most celebrated and well-known events, nds its home each year in beautiful Washington Park.