17 Exhilarating Day Trips From Albany, New York

The capital of New York is an amazing city and is a pleasure to explore. Home to lots of architectural wonders like the Empire State Plaza, there are also a lot of fun day trips visitors can take from Albany NY.

The capital is the most famous for being the getaway to the Hudson Valley and The Adirondacks, which are two of the most popular areas in upstate New York.

Needless to say, there are countless places to explore within a day’s trip from Albany and as always, you can count on us to tell you about the same.

Let us explore some of the best day trips you can take from Albany NY.

Hudson, New York

Hudson River

This river has a lot to offer for the entire family. You can enjoy breathtaking views from the Walkway Over the Hudson which is the world’s longest pedestrian bridge.

For travelers who want to just soak in the city, walk over to the city’s shopping district, have a cuppa at the independent coffee shops or enjoy a meal at the farm-to-table restaurants.

Children can create beautiful art at one of the galleries and play at the many parks. 

If you have time, you can also take a walking tour with historic experts or visit Club Helsinki for live music.

Distance: 45 minutes

Ideal for: A Relaxing getaway

Saratoga Springs, New York

Saratoga

Ranked as one of the top 10 places to live in New York, a stroll through the streets of this city and it is hard to deny the fact.

Best know for Saratoga Race Courses, this city attracts visitors from all over the country and makes for one of the best day trips from Albany. Saratoga Spring is also home to exquisite mineral springs, horses, and fine dining.

Only a few minutes away from Albany, you can stay here all day and enjoy the lovely outdoor recreation activities it has to offer. 

The springs in this city bubble to the surface in various locations around town, each presenting distinct-tasting water, from sweet to incredibly bitter.

Distance: 40 minutes

Ideal for: Enjoying hot springs

Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid

Just around two hours away from Albany, Lake Placid is one of the United States’ most favorite vacation spots. Nestled within the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid gives visitors a truly unique outdoor experience.

This pristine lake is surrounded by long swathes of wildflower fields that shift from purple to orange throughout the year.

You can explore miles and miles of terrain which is made for hiking, swimming, boating, and camping. There is a wonderful small-town charm this place has which can make you feel refreshed when you visit from a city like Albany.

There are plenty of attractions also plenty of historical sites, museums, and learning centers both indoors and outdoors that are great for the whole family.

Distance: 140 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor recreational activities

Cooperstown, New York

Cooperstown

Best know for baseball, this city is a paradise for baseball enthusiasts. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located here and is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city.

The best player from our National Pastime has been enshrined here.

There is more to Cooperstown than baseball though. Enjoy camping, lodging, and fishing at the lakes here.

Visitors can also check out the  Ommegang Brewery to the Glimmerglass Opera along the main street.

Distance: 90 minutes

Ideal for: Baseball enthusiasts

Manchester, Vermont

Manchester

The beautiful city of Manchester makes for a great day trip from Albany. This picturesque town has an old-world charm that is hard to miss. 

Offering a lot of activities that can be fun for the whole family, this city in Vermont has a lot going on. Come here to visit the museums, indulge in shopping, hike The Shires of Vermont and watch incredible musical performances.

There are many varieties of eateries that Manchester offers. Plus, there are two ski mountains and arts-and-crafts shops in the bucolic village.

This town is just one and a half hours away from Albany.

Distance: 90 minutes

Ideal for: Family fun

Lake George, New York

Lake George

Located in the  Adirondack Mountains, it was one of the first places to be called an American vacation destination. Lake George makes for the perfect day trip from Albany, NY.

Think cruise boats, fine dining and the stunning lake itself- Lake George really packs up a punch when it comes to holidaying here.

The lake is pretty massive and there are over a dozen hotels on the shoreline along with amusement parks, beaches and camping areas as well.

Located just an hour away from Albany, visitors can also try fishing, boating, and hiking here.

Distance: 60 minutes

Ideal for: A relaxing day trip

Shawangunk Mountains, New York

Shawangunk Mountains

Also referred to as “the gunks”, the Shawangunk Mountains are a local favorite. They have more trails, waterfalls and swimming spots than any other recreation park in the state.

The gunks are a premier rock-climbing site and thousands of people hike up to these mountains every weekend.

If you are not interested in hiking, then Lake Awaiting in Minnewaska State Park, The Mohonk Preserve are great places to explore. 

You can also visit the  Mohonk Mountain House spa to relax during your day trip from Albany. 

Distance: 90 minutes

Ideal for: Hikers 

Catskills Scenic Trail, New York

Catskills

Located with Delaware County, Catskills is approximately one and a half hours away from Albany. Though this area is owned by the state, it is open to hikers and campers and makes for one of the best day trips from Albany.

The Catskills Scenic Trail is a 26-mile route that offers breathtaking views of the river. Visitors can walk their dogs, hike, run bicycles or do horseback riding as well. 

In the winter, you can also get the cross-country skis out to navigate the trail.

Distance: 90 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Adirondack Park Region, New York

Adirondack

This beautiful wooded region is packed full of perfect North American nature. The Adirondack mountains run throughout the region and it provides opportunities to hike, climb, ski and much more.

Adirondack Park Region can be visited for a day from Albany and offers a true escape from the city life. Located around 4 hours away from the city, it is worth a visit.

The park region also has glacial lakes, waterfalls and more, making them popular amongst adventure lovers.

Distance: 240 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston

It is one of the oldest cities in the nation and makes for a great getaway from Albany, NY. Boston has one of the most diverse and prospering communities in New England.

When here explore the clam chowder festivals, movie tours, and bustling marketplaces.

For history lovers, there is plenty to explore from countless museums to Harvard.

Distance: 100 minutes

Ideal for: A relaxing getaway

Columbia County, New York

Columbia County

Just half an hour away from Albany, Columbia County is a great place to relax and enjoy the wonderful countryside and scenery.

There are lots to explore here from unique dining places to art and even historical places. You will find everything here from ex-presidential retirement houses to huge museums and libraries.

There are also a lot of artisan shops which offer unique paintings and sculptures from other parts of the world. 

Columbia County is also full of old mansions and stately homes in residential areas that are surrounded by farms which will make you feel disconnected from the city.

Distance: 30 minutes

Ideal for: Countryside fun

Kaaterskill Falls, New York

Kaaterskill

Located in Hudson, NY, Kaaterskill Falls are popular with artists who come to the falls every year to capture its majesty.

Cascading down, the formation is actually taller than Niagra standing at 200 feet. Many people come here to walk, hike, run.

The water that flows down is Spruce Creek, and just a bit farther on the same trail is Bastion Falls, which is a multi-level waterfall about 120 ft. tall.

Distance: 75 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Tanglewood, Massachusetts

Tanglewood

Located in Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, Tanglewood is the summer home to Boston symphony.

Music aficionados should visit this music center which is just 45 minutes away from Albany. Enjoy the Boston Symphony Orchestra music festival with pop, jazz, and rock.

Distance: 45 minutes

Ideal for: Music enthusiasts

Woodlawn Beach State Park, New York

Woodlawn

This 107-acre park is on beautiful Lake Erie near the Buffalo New York Metropolitan area. This naturally made sandy beach stretches a mile with diverse wildlife and some of the most romantic sunsets in New York State. 

Visitors can enjoy volleyball nets, nature trails, and a playground. Woodlawn Beach makes for the perfect getaway from Albany. If you want a low-key day just lounging around the beach, this is the place for you.

Distance: 270 minutes

Ideal for: Families

Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park, New York

Natural Stone Bridge

Located just around 90 minutes away in Pottersville, NY, the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves are a natural wonder of the Adirondack Mountains.

Making for a perfect day trip from Albany, visitors can enjoy self-guided trips and learn about the incredible geology of the Adirondacks.

The site includes natural formations that are over a billion years old. Some of the caves are easily accessible on foot. Visitors can explore these above-ground caves and caverns where they can find raging waters and spooky, dark pools.

Adventure enthusiasts can also go for the half-day tours which are spelunking adventures with expert cave guides that include a float trip through the beautiful mountain caves.

Distance: 90 minutes

Ideal for: Adventure enthusiasts

Howe Caverns, New York

Howe Caverns

This stunning adventure is located just 45 minutes away from Albany. Howe Caverns have so many attractions that it is tough to do them all in one day!

Visitors can take a pick from several types of cave tours according to your age and how adventurous you want to be. Families and kids can have fun learning about the history of the caves.

There is even a Naked Cave Tour for adults that promotes body positivity. If you find certain rocks and minerals, you are allowed to pick it up in a bag!

The enormous caverns are lit with multi-colored lights that highlight the intricate details of this subterranean wonder. Plus, visitors can even take a boat tour in the underground river!

Needless to say, there are lots to do at Howe Cavers and a day trip from Albany is a must to see this wonder of nature.

Distance: 45 minutes

Ideal for: Nature lovers

Niagra Falls, New York

Niagra Falls

This tourist destination needs no introduction. Niagra Falls attracts millions of tourists every year and if you live in Albany it would be next to a crime if you do not visit the famed Niagra Falls.

This incredible waterfall is a Natural Wonder of The World and offers outdoor adventure for the entire family. 

Niagra Falls State Park is the oldest park in the country and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Consider viewing the Falls from Prospect Point, or taking a boat tour at the base of the falls to really get up close and personal with Niagra Falls. 

Visitors can also enjoy a fireworks show in the evenings here.

Distance: 270 minutes

Ideal for: Family fun

Conclusion

Albany a glorious town in itself, has lots of day trips within hands reach. From the famed Niagra Falls to the artistic and historic cities of Boston – visitors can take a pick to explore umpteen places from Albany. 

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