The City of Albany is undergoing a major revitalization effort for its downtown and waterfront areas. It is already a treasure for history-buffs. For information on the many attractions in the Port of Albany, visit the city's tourism website.
The Port of Albany has a humid climate with cold snowy winters and hot wet summers. Snowfall normally exceeds 1.5 meters, although it does not accumulate at that level. Winters are very cold, with temperatures dropping to -18 °C (0 °F) in the evening. Summers can be humid and hot, with temperatures exceeding 32 °C (90 °F). While thunderstorms are common, tornadoes are rare.
Architecture buffs will find many interesting buildings in the Port of Albany. The New York State Capitol building is a work of art, and Albany City Hall was designed by famous architect H.H. Richardson. The 1736 Quackenbush House is the oldest Dutch building in the Port of Albany.
The Port of Albany is home to the New York State Museum, the biggest state museum in the United States with dozens of permanent and unique exhibits that enchant visitors. Plan to spend at least one full day exploring the museum. One exhibit explores the many archaeological excavations that have uncovered artifacts from the early Dutch settlement and the colonial period. Another exhibit tells the story of New York when it was home to dinosaurs.
The Port of Albany's New York State Museum also features the Harlem in the 20s exhibit that portrays the rich culture of that New York City neighborhood in its heyday. Kids of all ages will enjoy the full-size carousel made in the early 20th Century. The Fire Engine Hall contains fire-fighting equipment from the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries. Metropolis Hall tracks the history of New York City from the early natural harbor to the busy port and modern skyscrapers of modern times. The Native Peoples of New York exhibit looks at the cultural and natural history of the state over the last twelve thousand years. A relatively new exhibit tells the story of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and the heroic rescue and recovery efforts that followed.
In 2002, the Port of Albany's Hudson River Way opened to provide a pedestrian walkway from the city's historic waterfront to downtown. Both a great architectural achievement and an outdoor museum, the River Way is lined with engraved bricks from the people and groups that contributed to the walkway and with ornate old-fashioned lampposts that are also unique works of art depicting the historic artifacts that have been discovered in archaeological digs of the city.
The Washington Park Historic District in the Port of Albany was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It contains Washington Park, its lake, and surrounding properties. Renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead designed the park which includes the Park Playhouse offering free musicals and plays through the summer months. Each May, the Tulip Fest celebrates the area's Dutch heritage.