CapNY offers the perfect blend of small city charm and rustic nature.
The region is a vast area that ranges from the foothills of the Catskills to the foothills of the Adirondacks, and in between those 90 miles are cities, towns, countrysides, forests, mountains and lakes, all with their own unique flares.
Photo: Samascotts Garden Market, learn more below!
Your Summer Rompin’ HQ
The area provides a wide variety of things to do, eat, and drink, and is located just three hours away from New York City. Definitely don’t overlook the Capital Region when planning your next weekend romp this summer. And if you do plan on visiting, here is a 48-hour itinerary to help map out your trip.
Late Afternoon: Arrive in Hudson, NY
If you’re coming from downstate, Hudson is the perfect first stop on your CapNY trip. Hudson sits on, given its name, the Hudson River, and is a quaint small city with an artsy vibe. If you’re a fan of antiquing and interior design, you could spend a whole weekend just here, going up and down Hudson’s main street, Warren Street, to all the shops and boutiques.
Shop at The Antique Warehouse
Not on Warren street, but definitely a must-see, is The Antique Warehouse, a literal warehouse, filled with furniture, decor, art, and architectural pieces like windows and pillars. Do a little shopping before checking into your hotel.
Check into your hotel!
If you’re in Hudson, you gotta keep with the interior design trend, and stay at The Maker, a beautifully designed boutique hotel, clad in leather, velvet and fringe, making for a luxurious and stylish stay. You won’t have to stray far for dinner, as The Maker has an incredible restaurant right at the hotel. Their restaurant sits in a glass conservatory, and focuses on seasonal plates with a local emphasis. They also have a separate menu in their candle-lit lounge, which serves more casual fare, as well as craft cocktails, wine and local beer.
Morning: Stop at Bartlett House for breakfast
Once you’ve left Hudson, drive 20 minutes to Ghent, NY, and make sure to stop at the Bartlett House for breakfast. The Maker’s in-house cafe serves Bartlett House’s pastries, but why not go right to the source. Grab a coffee, one of their breakfast sandwiches made on a freshly baked English muffin, and a croissant, because why not? You’re on vacation.
Check out Art Omi
After breakfast, take a 6 minute drive to Art Omi, a 120-acre outdoor sculpture and architecture park and gallery, where you can enjoy beautiful art pieces while also taking in some fresh air and upstate NY nature. You could easily spend half a day exploring the park, but you can also make it a shorter 2 hour stop, where you stick to one area. Art Omi is completely free, which is always a plus, but donations are encouraged. And make sure to wear your walking shoes, as it’s a nature walk as much as it is an art gallery.
Afternoon: Stop for a snack in Valatie, NY
After checking out Art Omi, head up North towards Troy, NY. If you’re hankering for a snack after all that walking, you can make a pitstop in the town of Valatie on the way. Stop at Golden Harvest Farms for one of their famous apple cider doughnuts, rated the best in the Capital Region, which they have year-round. Or go to Samascotts Garden Market, which has delicious homemade ice cream, and also happens to be a plant nursery. Lap up some ice cream in their greenhouse while you peruse their great indoor plant selection. And make sure to greet their very helpful feline manager.
Arrive in Troy, NY for lunch
Troy is a newly revitalized city that also sits along the Hudson River, just north of Albany. You could say Troy has a bit of a Brooklyn vibe, but it truly does have its own unique personality. Depending on what time you arrive, you might be able to hit Troy’s popular farmer’s market, right in the heart of it’s downtown, which runs from 9 am to 2 pm every Saturday. The farmers market not only has fresh fruit and vegetables, but also a ton of food vendors serving up all kinds of cuisines. If you miss it, no fret, as there’s plenty of restaurants in the cute downtown.
Grab a coffee and walk around Washington Park
If you need a pick-me-up afternoon coffee, make sure to stop at Superior Merchandise Company. I recommend their iced latte with oat milk, it’s my favorite in the Capital Region. And while you’re waiting for your coffee order, you can shop the store’s perfectly curated, vibesy assortment of candles, glassware, clothes, and stationery. Enjoy your coffee on their back patio or walk a few minutes to the historic Washington Park. The park is gated, as it is one of the few private parks in New York State, however, the cobblestone streets and houses around the park are stunning. So much so, the HBO show Gilded Age filmed there.
Get lunch at Nighthawks
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab some lunch at one of the many restaurants in downtown Troy. If it’s before 3 pm, you can’t beat Brunch at Nighthawks, a farm to table restaurant with an often changing menu depending on what’s in season, although their popular burgers are always available to order, veggie ones as well. And they always have at least one vegan option on their Brunch menu. Other options for lunch include the al pastor tacos from La Capital Tacos, the beef bulgogi from Sunhee’s Farm and Kitchen, or if you’re looking for a bomb vegan burrito, BurritoBurrito, which has a completely vegan menu.
Pick up a bottle of natural wine
If you’re a fan of natural wine, make sure to stop at Twenty-Two 2nd Wine Co. The boutique wine store offers a great selection of unique, small-production, naturally-made wines from around the world. I especially love their selection of orange/skin-contact wines.
Early Evening: Drive up to Saratoga Springs
Once you’ve had your fill of Troy, take the 30 minute drive North to Saratoga Springs. It is still a beautiful little city, featuring a walkable downtown with plenty of shops and restaurants, idyllic parks, and is in close proximity to lakes and hiking trails. Check into your hotel, like the newly renovated The Adelphi Hotel, which sits right on Broadway, in the heart of downtown Saratoga. Freshen up and get ready for a night on the town.
Grab dinner at Hamlet and Ghost
Walk over to Hamlet and Ghost, a popular haunt in Saratoga Springs, that serves craft cocktails and modern American fare. Be sure to make a reservation, as it is very busy most nights, and for good reason. I’m partial to their oysters, and grass-fed burger with duck confit fries, but their vegetable small plates are also incredible, like their broccolini with cured egg yolk, mint, and tonnato sauce.
Night: Go to 9 Maple Ave for an after-dinner cocktail
After dinner, walk across the street to 9 Maple Ave, an intimate moody 1880’s area bar with a wide selection of liquor. Order their Espresso Martini, it’s amazing, while you listen to live jazz, which plays every Friday and Saturday from 9 pm to 1 am.
After 9 Maple Ave, you could go next door to the nightclub, The Nite Owl, for some dancing, or go bar hopping down Caroline Street, which is right around the corner, and lined with bars, many featuring outdoor patios or rooftops, so you can enjoy the warm summer nights.
Morning: Grab coffee and a quick breakfast
Wake up early, and nurse that hangover with a quick coffee and breakfast from the nearby Saratoga Coffee Traders or Uncommon Grounds. Saratoga Coffee Traders have great, quick, made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, and Uncommon Grounds is often voted as the best bagels in the Capital Region.
Pack a lunch for later from Putnam Market
Stop by the Putnam Market to get all the makings for a picnic lunch, I recommend ordering a sandwich on their baguettes, you won’t be disappointed. They also have a great selection of cheeses if you want to pack the makings of a charcuterie board. Check out of your hotel, grab some sunscreen, and head out for a day on Saratoga Lake.
Go boating on Saratoga Lake
About a 10 minute drive from downtown Saratoga is Saratoga Lake. The idyllic lake is a popular spot in the summer months for boating, hanging out on the beach, or eating at one of the many restaurants that line its coast. Charter a pontoon boat for a half day (9 am to 2 pm) at Vivi E Basta Rentals, or rent kayaks, also at Vivi’s or at The Kayak Shak, which is located just upstream on a creek that feeds right into the lake. Enjoy a day in the sun and water, and if you still have some time before traveling back home, snag an Adirondack chair at Dock Brown’s Beach Bar for a cold drink to end the day.
Written by: Victoria Diana
Victoria Diana is a writer, director, and stand-up comedian born and based in Schenectady, NY.