5 Great Places to Visit in Schenectady: A Local Renaissance

Schenectady is undergoing a renaissance! There’s something new to explore every time you pop by.

Come explore the craft breweries and distilleries, dynamic restaurants with authentic flavors, and everything in between.

Schenectady has become a center for unique boutiques and retail incubators that house local talent. Come see for yourself!

Our Top 5 Great Places to Visit in Schenectady

The Clinton Street Mercantile
The Clinton Street Mercantile

Clinton Street Mercantile, AKA the “Merc” is the first of our great places to visit in Schenectady. It’s the downtown go-to spot to shop for local goods made by artisans all over the Capital Region. The cozy storefront is host to furniture makers, jewelers, photographer, fashion designers, and much more. Everything is creatively curated by the owners, Brandon and Michelle Whittall, who opened the store in order to give artists a chance to build their brands. By learning business skills such as interacting with customers, artists begin to realize their dreams of owning a business. The Merc also offers workshops and classes that are led by the vendors themselves. Additionally, the Merc has expanded to a second location on Lark St. in Albany.

Bluebird Home Decor
Bluebird home Decor

When you walk into Bluebird Home Decor, you be treated to a peaceful, comforting, home-like space. You’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful work from over 20 artists and businesses from around the U.S., as well as six fair-trade companies. They sell many vintage pieces that are one-of-a-kind. In our opinions, these really speak to the soul. The array of beauty and self-care products ensure this shop is truly an experience for the senses. 

The Schenectady Trading Company

Eating well and taking care is always in season. That’s where The Schenectady Trading Company comes in. Schenectady-native Caroline Bardwell was inspired by the creativity of the people around her. She opened her business to showcase local goods and connect the modern consumer to the modern producer. We think she’s nailed it. With products covering almost every genre from food to apparel (plus workshops!), you’ll walk away with a load of goodies and an appreciation for the amazing breadth of talent living and creating in Schenectady. 

Villa Italia

Ain’t no sweet tooth like a CapGirl sweet tooth! We couldn’t be happier that Villa Italia exists in this world. Step inside and let your senses be treated to a heavenly array of baked goods from cannoli to rugelach to cupcakes and beyond. Seriously, give yourself a moment to take it all in. Inhale. Exhale. Ahhh… For over 50 years, Villa Italia has been treating locals to delicious sweets. And, if you’re feeling something savory, they have you covered too with soup, salads, and sandwiches. 

b. Inspired

We love, love, love this store and its impact on its local community. b. Inspired was originally located just outside downtown Schenectady in Scotia, and now it has a second location on Upper Union Street. b. Inspired hopes this lifestyle concept store acts as a catalyst to spark further development of the walkable downtown area.  The goal of the shop is to inspire and motivate. Create your lifestyle that tells your unique story in new and interesting ways. Choose from among their handpicked items with an emphasis on a boho-chic vibe. Oh, don’t forget to stop at the terrarium bar and create your own terrarium to bring home! 

There’s a flavor for everybody’s taste in Schenectady. These great places to visit in Schenectady are worth a road trip or weekend adventure. Explore these gems and get lost discovering Schenectady on your own! Be sure to tag us in your adventures, so we can share the love: @CapGirlsNY.

Written by: The CapGirls

Two women living in CapNY, who say if you’re not having fun here, you’re doing it wrong. Follow them on IG!