Welcome to Albany County! Over the past four centuries, Albany has grown from a small Dutch settlement into New York State's Capital City in the heart of burgeoning Tech Valley. Albany is the oldest continuing settlement in the nation. The City of Albany still serves under its original charter, which dates back to July 22, 1686, and has been the capital of New York State since 1797.
Today, visitors to Albany County can enjoy a wide range of activities, both indoors and out. Nature lovers will enjoy the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, one of only 20 inland pine barren ecosystems that exist, while the Indian Ladder Trial at Thacher Park is one of the richest fossil bearing formations in the world. If you’re visiting in May, don’t forget to head to Washington Park to see more than 100,000 tulips blooming for our annual Tulip Festival. Those seeking history and art have plenty of options between the New York State Museum, an impressive collection that reminds you why New York is the Empire State, the Albany Institute of History & Art, which is one of the nation’s oldest museums, and the Shaker Heritage Society—the founding location of the Shaker Religious Movement. Of course, Albany also boasts a great collection of galleries and evidence of this city’s burgeoning creative economy can be found in the wide array of public artwork as well. Head out for a night on the town at one of Albany County’s fine restaurants. Follow up your meal with a show at one of our many performing arts venues, including the Palace Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Times Union Center, or the gravity-defying Egg at the Empire State Plaza. With so many things to do and see, Albany truly is An Amazing Discovery!