Just a little bit about the Capital Region of Upstate New York.
Besides the fact today could be a historic snowfall day! With the potential to see 18"-24" of snow! The funny thing is that the last few years in Albany area the winters have been milder. Now, it seems, that ole' man Winter is back for just a little bit longer.
Well, for those looking to acquaint themselves just a little bit more about the area, here is our take on it.
Location is truly everything for people who like to travel and experience all the good things an area has to offer. Albany is the Capital of New York State; the area is known as the Capital Region, comprised of Albany, Troy and Schenectady. The collective region has a population of around 850,000 people; this includes Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.
The area is approximately a two-hour drive north of New York City, a two-hour drive east of Syracuse, a three-hour drive west of Boston & about a four-hour drive south from Montreal, Quebec. The Albany area is tucked right between the Catskill Mountains to the south, the Adirondack Park to the north and the Berkshires to the east, along with the Green Mountains to the northeast.
If you think about it, Albany is a convenient drive to just about any place in the Northeast, without much effort. If you are an outdoors person, you will find countless activities, events and groups to participate in. Cycling and running paths, wooded trails through parks, walks along the Hudson or Mohawk Rivers to paddle on, there is something for everyone. Albany is seeing much growth and expansion over the past decade. Home prices continually increase, having remained insulated from the uncertainty many other areas have experienced in recent years. Albany is, for the most part, a family region. Sports team are extremely popular and many school districts boast great teams who have one many state & even national championships.
If you are seeking employment in the Capital Region, you should find it relatively easier to find work. Much technological investments have been made at University at Albany with the CESTM project headed by Dr. Alain Kalayeros. IBM and many other global technology firms have invested billions of dollars into advanced silicon chip technology and there has been an incredible boom of talent being attracted to the Albany area. High-paying jobs are being introduced, bringing along all the services people of this caliber are looking for. Austin Texas has Sematech, now Albany is being seen as the next big growth area for technology in the United States.
Right now, it is definitely a sellers market, from a real estate perspective. The inventory levels, from what we have heard from realtor friends, are lower than normal, allowing sellers to hold to their asking prices. If looking to buy a home in the Albany area, we recommend taking a good look in the Delmar, Guilderland, Clifton Park and East Greenbush areas. Taxes are going up but they are still pretty good compared to other areas like Schenectady, Niskayuna, Scotia, Glenville and Troy. These latter-mentioned areas have seen exorbitant tax prices, while home values have not gone up proportionately.
If you love to travel, you will find great RV companies offering sales and service along the Northway in Latham. If flying is your thing, you will find the Albany International Airport is centrally-located with convenient access from the Northway and the New York State Thruway.
The downtown scene in Albany is slowing making a rebound with new bars and restaurants opening up. Just this year, the Times Union Center hosted its first UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) event. This, along with other sports and event opportunities will continually make Albany a more desirable place to visit in the coming years.
We are outdoors people and love having access to the many parks in the Capital Region. You can go visit Thatcher Park in the Helderbergs, south of Altamont. From there, you can get a view of the entire Hudson Valley and see for up to 25 miles to the east and north. On a clear day, you might catch a glimpse of the Green Mountains in Vermont! Campgrounds are as close of 25 minutes away depending on your interests.
If you are employed and have children, there are many affordable child care, day care and after-school programs available. TSL Adventures is a great choice if you are looking for an environment where the owners have education background and truly put the children first.
If you are a night owl and enjoy the night life, there are countless restaurants and bars to choose from. Angelo's 677 Prime or Yono's Restaurant in downtown Albany are very popular spots. Wolf Road & Central Avenue have their fair share of choices as well. If you want to go with corporate or franchised restaurants, there are plenty to choose from. Personally, we like the locally-owned restaurants like Wheatfields in Clifton Park or even newer places like Druthers, which has a location downtown Albany and another in Saratoga Springs, with plans for another in the near future.
There are plenty of great museums to check out too! The New York State Museum offers tremendous opportunities to learn about the history of New York as well as many other interesting topics. If you are military buff, you will love the U.S.S. Slater. It is one of only two destroyer escorts from World War II left in the world and is docked on the Hudson River downtown Albany. There are great tours offered & provides for a great experience. If you are interested in shows, the Times Union Center, The Egg, The Palace and Proctors all offer a great diversity of options.
Colonie Center was recently updated in the past handful of years and is now the most popular mall in the area. Crossgates Mall held that position but since lost it. There are many 100's of stores from the most popular to the most eclectic, depending on your interests.
At the end of the day, it comes down to affordability, safety and opportunity. We fully believe that the Capital Region area comprised of Albany, Troy, Schenectady and surrounding areas offer a great place to live for people with families looking for an environment that offers much diversity. Albany is a great place to live and we highly recommend giving it a chance!
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.