Located within New York State’s Capital Region, the city Schenectady is a place that’s worth a visit for a day or two. This Upstate city is full of shops, history, outdoor recreation, food, and culture.
There are attractions and activities for people of all ages, just a short distance from Lake George, Saratoga Springs, Cooperstown, Albany, and the gorgeous Adirondacks. Visitors can explore one of the oldest residential communities in the United States, catch a show at the historic Proctor’s Theater, take a walk along the scenic Mohawk River, and much more.
1. Proctor's Theater
© Proctor's Theater
The Proctor's Theater in Schenectady, New York is considered by many to be one of the premier live entertainment venues in Upstate New York. Situated in the center of the city’s downtown district, the historic theater was originally a vaudeville show palace back in 1926 and has since undergone a complete renovation. This renovation resulted in a much grander theater than before and the Proctor’s Theater is now one of Upstate New York’s largest theaters, capable of hosting some of the largest touring Broadway shows of today, such as Jersey Boys, Lion King, Wicked, and Book of Mormon. More places to visit in NY
432 State St, Schenectady, NY 12305, Phone: 518-346-6204
2. Central Park Rose Garden
The Central Park Rose Garden offers guests an opportunity to pass by more than three hundred varieties of roses and around four thousand bushes, which include hybrid tea roses featured in a variety of hues, floribunda, shrub, and grandiflora. This rose garden in Schenectady’s Central Park is one of eight All-American Rose Selection-accredited “public rose gardens” in the state of New York. At the heart of the Central Park Rose Garden is a large fountain with a flower bed of perennials surrounding it, providing a peaceful place for visitors to stop for a bit and enjoy being in nature. More day tTrips from Albany, NY
500 Iroquois Path, Schenectady, NY 12309, Phone: 518-382-5152
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3. Schenectady County Historical Society Museum
© Schenectady County Historical Society Museum
The Schenectady County Historical Society Museum is located in the middle of the historic Stockade District of Schenectady, New York, which is noted as the “highest concentration of historic period homes in the country” by the National Park Service. Visitors can stop by the museum to join a walking tour of this historic district and beyond, explore several different interactive exhibits highlighting the local stories and historic sites of the city, listen to renowned speakers, and more. The Schenectady County Historical Society Museum, with its adjacent Grems-Doolittle Library, also hosts community events, concerts, workshops, and a variety of educational programs.
32 Washington Ave, Schenectady, NY 12305, Phone: 518-374-0263
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4. Stockade Historic District, Schenectady
The Stockade Historic District, also known simply as “The Stockade,” is the oldest neighborhood in the city of Schenectady. Originally serving as a fort, the area today is the site of some of the city’s most historically significant and oldest homes. The unique and beautiful historic neighborhood features over forty pre-Revolutionary homes, as well as several different architectural styles, including Victoria, Federal, Georgian, and Dutch Colonial. The Stockade is bordered by the Mohawk River, which provides a picturesque setting for the Riverside Park, with beautiful river views and an ideal place for bicycling, running, or just watching the sunset.
Schenectady, NY 12305
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5. Things to Do in Schenectady: Maple Ski Ridge
© Maple Ski Ridge
A “Learn to Ride Center,” the Maple Ski Ridge is an ideal destination in Upstate New York for people of all ages to learn how to ride and ski. Located just six miles outside of Schenectady and around twenty miles from Albany, the family-owned and operated ski area is designed for riders and skiers of all skill levels and ages, and has been voted as the Capital District of New York’s number one “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Ski Center.” The Maple Ski Ridge is also a leading facility in weekend and after-school snowboard and ski programs for children.
2725 Mariaville Road, Schenectady, New York 12306, Phone: 518-381-4700
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6. Things to Do: Schenectady Light Opera Company
© Schenectady Light Opera Company
The Schenectady Light Opera Company is a not-for-profit organization operating as a performing arts center and community musical theater. Located in the downtown district of the city of Schenectady, New York, the Schenectady Light Opera Company dedicated itself to presenting a variety of quality musical theater shows every year, having put on over five hundred quality theater productions at multiple locations since the light opera company was founded back in the year 1926. The mission of the musical theater company is to offer opportunities for both youth and adults alike to participate in and experience the performing arts.
427 Franklin St, Schenectady, NY 12305, Phone: 518-730-7370
7. Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail is a scenic trail extending from Rotterdam to Albany and connects to the Erie Canalway bike trail, extending further along the Upstate New York area’s Mohawk River. Most of this trail is made up of paved bike paths, but there are short portions of riding on roads along the route, however, clear signs are posted to direct people back to the dedicated Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail bike path. The trail travels through fields, woodlands, and residential neighborhoods, with a large portion traversing parallel to the river, offering some stunning views and several landmarks along the way.
8. Canali's Restaurant, Schenectady
Canali's Restaurant in Schenectady, New York offers some of the best classically Italian fare and excellent service in the area. The restaurant has hosted gatherings and celebrations in the city for more than seventy years, providing homemade Italian dishes and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Passed down through four generations of the family, Canali’s Restaurant has long held to its original high standards and continues to use the freshest ingredients possible in the dishes it serves to guests, including hand cutting their own steaks and making their own pasta. The Italian restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.
126 Mariaville Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306, Phone: 518-355-5323
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9. Gershon's Deli, Schenectady, New York
© Gershon's Deli
Schenectady, New York’s Gershon’s Deli serves a large menu of old-world favorites and traditional sandwiches, including chopped liver, corned beef, and hot pastrami. The extensive sandwich menu also includes a variety of triple deckers and overstuffed combinations that will please any sandwich lover. In addition to the assortment of sandwiches, Gerson’s Deli also offers a number of grilled items, such as burgers and chicken, as well as homemade soups and salads that are made fresh every day. Guests should also save room for the signature desserts, like strudel from New York City’s famed Carnegie Deli and cheesecake.
1600 Union St, Schenectady, NY 12309, Phone: 518-393-0617
10. Perreca's Bakery, Schenectady, New York
© Perreca's Bakery
Perreca's Bakery first opened in the Schenectady community back in the year 1914, and has since been continuously run by the same family for more than one hundred years. The old, coal-fired brick oven itself has been making hard-crusted, delicious bread for around a century and has made the bakery a destination for several decades, as well as a landmark of Upstate New York. Perreca's Bakery has also been voted by both customers and food reviewers as the “best Italian bakery” within the Upstate region. The signature dish here is the “Eggs in Purgatory,” which are “egg pouches” in marinara sauce.
33 N Jay St, Schenectady, NY 12305, Phone: 518-372-1875
11. Rivers Casino and Resort
© Rivers Casino and Resort
The Rivers Casino and Resort is located alongside the Mohawk River in Schenectady where it offers a fun-filled getaway destination. The adjacent Landing Hotel is the ideal bolt-hole when you need a break from the casino action, offering a selection of spacious rooms, many of which offer excellent views of the Mohawk Harbor. The casino is the pulsating heart of the resort, beckoning guests to come and play their favorite slot machines (including a popular High Limit area for serious players) and table games. You can bet on your favorite sports at the Rivers Sportsbook and enjoy live entertainment at Van Slyck’s.
Rivers Casino and Resort, 1 Rush Street, Schenectady, NY 12305, 518 579 8800
12. Mandeville Gallery
© Mandeville Gallery
Located on the 2nd floor of the historic Nott Memorial, the Mandeville Gallery exhibits contemporary art and explores historic and contemporary cultural themes. The unusual architecture of the Memorial provides 2 semi-circular areas of exhibition space, which lend an innovative atmosphere to the gallery. The gallery exhibits a rotating display of artwork which has been curated by Union College over the course of more than 200 years, as well as recent contemporary works which can be used to educate students. The permanent collection includes everything from 19th century portraits to mixed-media artworks and a host of other thought-provoking items. You can check their website to see what is currently on display.
Mandeville Gallery, Nott Memorial, 807 Union Street, Schenectady, NY 12308,
518 388 6004
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13. VIA Aquarium
VIA Aquarium is chock-full of weird and wonderful marine creatures including fish, reptiles and much more. The aquarium is located within the VIA/Port Rotterdam Mall where it showcases a great collection of aquatic animals which are spread over 45 colorful underwater exhibits. There are underwater tunnels from which you can experience being surrounded by schools of fish and even a shark or two. One of the highlights of the aquarium is the petting tank where you can get up close to stingrays and even feed them yourself. Behind The Scenes Tours are available and you can sign up to be an Aquarist-For-A Day.
VIA Aquarium, 93 West Campbell Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306, 518 280 5100
14. Schenectady Civic Players
Schenectady Civic Playhouse is the oldest community theatre in the Capital District. The Civic Players were founded in 1927 by Union College and have been performing at the Playhouse (formerly a Masonic Temple) every since. With almost 450 plays under their belt, the Civic Players have developed a reputation for producing top-quality family theatre which includes Broadway hits, classics and modern shows. Each of their shows runs for around 2 weeks and sometime extra shows are added to the calendar due to demand. You can visit their website to see what’s on and to catch one of their special Murder Mystery Dinner Shows.
Schenectady Civic Players, 12 S. Church Street, Schenectady, NY 12305, 518 382
15. MOPCO Improv Theatre
© MOPCO Improv Theatre
Established in 2016 in what was formerly the historic Schenectady firehouse, MOPCO Improv Theatre is now home to The Mop and Bucket Co, who have been entertaining NY comedy and improv enthusiasts for several years. The company offers comedy improvisation shows and special events as well as various classes to anyone who would like to learn how to become an improvisation artist. The company presents shows every weekend and Monday Workout nights which are suitable for beginners wanting to test their improvisation skills. Classes and workshops are designed to teach you everything you need to know about the art of comedy improvisation.
MOPCO Improv Theatre, 10 N. Jay Street, Schenectady, NY 12305, 518 577 6726
16. Great Flats Brewing
Great Flats Brewing is a family-owned craft brewery which was established in 2017 in the heart of Schenectady. The brewery prides itself on producing a range of fine artisan beers using only New York State farmed ingredients and the cleanest and purest water from the Great Flats aquifer beneath the town. Their range of beers on tap includes a German-style Dunkelweizen, a Belgian Weisbier, ales, lagers, IPA’s and stout. Although Great Flats does not serve food guests are welcome to bring their own or order in from a local restaurant – there is often a food truck in attendance. The Tap Room is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
Great Flats Brewing, 151 Lafayette Street, Schenectady, NY 12305, 518 280 0232
17. Schenectady Distilling Company/36 Locks
Schenectady Distilling Company’s 36 Locks brand is named for the New York Erie Canal, which has transformed New York State over a period of 200 years. When you visit you will find that most of the spirits have been named after strategic locks along the canal, including their Gateway American Whiskey, Tow Rope Gin and Black Rock Bourbon. Besides their own premium spirits, the Tasting Room also offers hand-crafted drinks, wines, ciders and craft beers made from New York State produced grains, apples and hops. Open from Thursday to Sunday, visitors are welcome to stop by for a tasting and/or tour.
Schenectady Distilling Company, 3304 Amsterdam Rd, Glenville, NY 12302,
518 952 1211
18. Frog Alley Brewing Company
© Frog Alley Brewing Company
Located in the Mill Artisan District, Frog Alley Brewing was established in 2018 and is named for the historic 1903 Frog Alley Baseball Team. Today the Frog Alley Tap Room is a popular meeting place where Schenectady locals and their friends gather to enjoy a great community atmosphere and some of the best artisan brews in town. All their flagship beers feature their iconic “frog” labels and the range includes several IPA’s, sours, Pilsner, lager, stouts and more. These are joined by additional seasonal selections. Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the patio and delicious pizza is available from Annabel’s Pizza next door.
Frog Alley Brewing Company, 108 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305, 518 631 4800
19. Mountain Ridge Adventure
Mountain Ridge Adventure is New York’s most popular and thrilling Zipline Park providing a wonderful place to bring the family to enjoy an exciting outdoor adventure. There are 7 adventure courses for (almost) all ages and abilities starting with low-to-the-ground ropes courses which become higher and more complicated as your skills improve. Visitors can choose between the ropes courses and the zipline or buy a combined ticket which gives access to both adventures. The zipline adventure takes you from station to station through the treetop canopy and over a 500 foot gorge. Children over the age of 6 may try the low ropes course while the zipline is only suitable for children 10 years or older.
Mountain Ridge Adventure, 300 Weathermax Rd, Schenectady, NY 12302, 518 227 1058
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