Although the majority of visitors to New York State tend to stay in New York City, they are missing something of an undiscovered gem in Albany. This is the state capital and it is highly regarded as a result of its impressive architecture that takes in everything from Dutch colonial styles to the imposing Empire State Plaza.
But there’s more to Albany than just architectural delights, as the city also has a vibrant nightlife scene that’s more than welcoming to new visitors. So here are some of the top nightlife attractions to take in during your first trip to Albany.
CAPITAL CRAFT BEVERAGE TRAIL
If you’ve enjoyed events like The Evening of Craft Spirits at the Bowery Hotel, you’ll love this trail. This offers you a great way to explore some of the wonderful craft beverages that have come out of Albany and the surrounding area. The Capital Craft Beverage Trail was only established in 2015, but it has already proven to be a real hit with visitors.
Many tourists will start off by sampling the wares of Albany’s own Emporium Farm Brewery or the award-winning CH Evans Brewing Company. But the real fun gets started once you head out of the city to visit little-known companies like the Ledge Rock Hill Winery in Corinth, the Helderberg Meadworks in Delanson, or even the Little Apple Cidery in Hillsdale.
Be sure to get the official Capital Craft Beverage Trail passport before you start your trip. The passport allows you to pick up stamps as you visit each location, and you can then trade in these stamps for a range of prizes that include special CCBT gift glasses and invites to exclusive drink events.
RIVERS CASINO & RESORT SCHENECTADY
This is widely known as New York’s best-known gaming destination, and it offers customers a way to enjoy slots and table games 24/7 in its luxurious gaming rooms.
The resort actually has the same owners as the Philadelphia land-based SugarHouse Casino, which was one of just ten casinos in Pennsylvania State to apply for an online gambling license. These licenses were approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in September 2018 so that SugarHouse could become one of the legal online casinos in Pennsylvania that facilitates real money gambling on slots and table games. All of which means that Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady could become a key player in the online realm if online casinos get legalized in the ongoing deregulation.
But there’s more to this destination than just gaming. Along with a host of touring acts like Neil Sedaka and Johnny Rivers, there’s also some fine dining as well as some smooth jazz in the Dukes Chophouse. Don’t forget that this resort also hosts a range of sporting encounters such as the infamous Cage Wars MMA events.
TOP MUSIC VENUES AND BARS
Being in the middle of major cities like New York, Boston and Montreal makes Albany the perfect stopping off point for many major touring acts. If you go to well-respected venues such as The Egg or the Palace Theatre, then there’s a good chance that you’ll see a big-name music star performing in a much more intimate setting than you would in a large city.
However, there’s also plenty of great local musical entertainment to be found in many bars dotted around the streets of Madison Avenue and Delaware Avenue. These areas provide a great way to spend an evening amidst the unique independent nightlife hotspots with famous places like the Savoy Taproom and Speakeasy 518 providing the perfectly Albany experience.
We would also recommend taking in a quick trip to the Wellington bar that sits snugly inside the Renaissance Albany Hotel. Here you’ll get to see many political types and journalists relaxing after a hard day’s work at the state Capitol and it’s one more example of why Albany is a city like no other.