Activities and Services in Albany, NY

If you’re attending the New York Invasive Species Summit at the Desmond in Albany, NY, use this page as a resource for information about the surrounding area. Be sure to click the links below for directions and more details about local activities, food, and more.

Parks and Nature

Take time to get outside and explore local parks and preserves, including:

Albany Pine Bush Preserve (15 minute drive from the Desmond) – globally rare inland pine barrens ecosystem

The Crossings (5 minute drive from the Desmond) – large town park with trails for running and walking

Thacher State Park (34-40 minute drive from the Desmond) – located on the Helderberg Escarpment, contains numerous trails with excellent views of the Hudson/Mohawk Valley and Adirondack, Green and Taconic Mountains


Food and Services

Town of Colonie – there are a number of restaurants and services within walking distance or a short drive from the Desmond, including:

Wolf Road (1-5 minute drive from the Desmond) – food, pharmacies, gas stations, etc.

Quick bites: Chipotle, Panera, Jersey Mike’s, CoreLife, Wired Coffee + Bagels, Starbucks, Dunkin, etc.

Seated restaurants (variety of cuisines): sushi, Indian, Mexican, BBQ, American, etc.

Grocery stores: Trader Joe’s, Hannaford, Whole Foods

Colonie Center Mall

Downtown Albany – for additional activities and restaurant options (15-20 minute drive from the Desmond), see below:

New York State Capitol – open to public for self-guided or guided tours

New York State Museum – natural and cultural history of New York State

Several vegetarian and vegan restaurants, including but not limited to:

Subculture – Lark Street, Albany

Wizard Burger – Peral Street, Albany

Downtown Troy – at the edge of the Hudson River, enjoy more food and service options near Albany (15 minute drive from the Desmond):

Several local restaurants (variety of cuisines) and shops: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, River Street Market, La Capitol Tacos, Tara Kitchen, etc.


Other Helpful Resources

Discover Albany – Albany visitor info page

Times Union “Best of 2020” Poll – variety of categories such as restaurants, things to do, etc.