Itching for a weekend getaway or staycation this spring? Book a trip to Albany for must-see museums, craft beverage experiences and much more! With blooming tulips and blue skies, it is a picture-perfect time of year to visit Albany. Scroll on for a weekend itinerary to discover Albany this spring.
Check in at one of Albany’s charming boutique hotels to kick off your spring weekend getaway. Housed in a 1884 turreted Victorian mansion, the Washington Park Inn is a perfect home base. The boutique hotel is a stone’s throw away from Washington Park and a short walk to downtown Albany. Another great option is the Washington Park Inn’s sister property, The Argus Hotel. The urban inn, located in a renovated, century-old mansion, has 12 guest rooms available.
For dinner, head to Lark Street, dubbed Albany’s “Village in the City”. The bustling corridor is home to charming shops, local restaurants and small businesses. 288 Lark Wine & Tap is a wine bar serving pizza from next door at Villa di Como Ristorante. Rain Modern Chinese is a destination for contemporary authentic Cantonese fare in Albany.
Vegan or vegetarian? Go to Savoy Taproom for scratch-made food, cocktails and regional craft beverages. Or check out Bar Vegan, a new vegan tapas and cocktails bar, boasting an entire plant-based menu.
Nearby in Albany’s Center Square neighborhood, dine at Rosanna’s on Dove or Dove + Deer. Rosanna’s specializes in Old World Italian fare with a modern twist. Dove + Deer serves up elevated pub eats. Both eateries are totally Insta-worthy and shake up must-try craft cocktails!
Jumpstart Saturday morning with a hearty breakfast at Iron Gate Cafe. The family-owned and-operated restaurant is a 15-minute walk from the Washington Park Inn. Housed in a converted historic mansion, it is a go-to spot for brunch in Albany. Savor delicious eats including Benedicts, omelets, scrambles, pancakes, French toast and more. If the weather cooperates, don’t miss out on dining al fresco on the charming patio.
Burn off breakfast with a scenic bicycle ride through Washington Park. For $5 an hour, rent a bike from CDPHP Cycle!, a bike-share program operated by CDTA and CDPHP, to see the sights. At the end of April and beginning of May, Washington Park transforms into a sea of tulips. You won’t want to miss these beautiful blooms!
Located not too far from Washington Park, the Albany Institute of History & Art is a must-see museum. It is one of the oldest museums in the country and specializes in art and historical objects documenting the life and culture of New York’s Upper Hudson Valley from the late 17th-century to present. Admire a stunning collection of Hudson River School paintings and view the latest exhibit The Four Elements of Leigh Li-Yun Wen.
After visiting the Albany Institute of History & Art, take an afternoon stroll through downtown Albany. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the New York State Capitol Building. Go the Empire State Plaza to view the art collection, a treasure trove of Abstract Expressionist art. Wander the streets of downtown Albany to soak up the city’s rich history and to admire the fascinating architecture.
If you prefer to listen to something as you walk, tune into the Artful Albany podcast. Each podcast episode serves as a self-guided walking tour in downtown Albany. Learn about the city’s 400 year-old history and the #CapitalWalls mural project. The Artful Albany Podcast is presented by Discover Albany, the Downtown Albany BID and Albany Center Gallery.
Hop in a rideshare to make it to Albany Distilling Company’s Distillery by 3:00 PM for a tour. Tours dive into the entire production process for the handcrafted, small-batch spirits. The tour concludes with a sampling of Albany Distilling’s spirits. Please note that tours must be reserved in advance!
Located in the heart of downtown Albany, The Hollow Bar + Kitchen is a great spot for dinner. The Hollow’s menu features seasonal dishes crafted with farm-fresh ingredients. The eatery boasts an extensive craft beer list and a handful of signature cocktails. Many of the dishes are also vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
After dinner, go to an arena football game or a concert. Sports fans, plan your getaway or staycation on a weekend with an Albany Empire home game. Cheer on the professional arena football players during an exhilarating game! Home games at the MVP Arena this spring are on Saturday April 23, Saturday May 21 and Saturday June 4. More of a fan of concerts and live music? Lark Hall, a historic performance arts venue, was recently restored and reopened. Check out the concert schedule and plan your trip around a Saturday show that catches your interest!
Check-out from your hotel and grab a rideshare (or drive your car) to The Skinny Pancake for breakfast. The Vermont-based creperie is downtown Albany’s newest breakfast and brunch hotspot. The menu has a wide selection of sweet and savory crepes made with local ingredients. Reservations encouraged!
After breakfast, explore outside the city of Albany limits. Either hop in a rideshare or drive your own car to the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands. It is a 15-minute drive from downtown Albany and a tranquil place for a morning walk. Be immersed into the sights and sounds of spring along the network of trails. Marvel at the blossoming magnolia trees, azaleas and wildflowers! The grounds are open for free from dawn to dusk, 365 days per year.
If you are not quite ready to end your weekend getaway or staycation, plan for one last stop! Near the Pine Hollow Arboretum, check out Art on the Rail Trail (ART). This public art initiative is a volunteer committee of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. Go for a walk to soak up scenic views of nature and admire the vibrant art installations. Find information on the locations of the art installations at this link.
Written by: Michelle Ancona
Michelle Ancona is the Content Marketing Manager for Discover Albany. She grew up in Boise, Idaho and moved to the East Coast to attend Marist College. After working at several PR agencies, she joined Discover Albany to follow her passion of showcasing all the wonderful events, experiences and attractions that New York’s Capital City has to offer travelers and locals alike!