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New York Only in Albany

Stories of Shakers, 9/11 firefighters, baseball legends and World War II heroes await groups that tour Albany. A number of museums and attractions around the city offer glimpses of New York that will resonate with visitors from all over.

Baseball Legends

Baseball lovers will want to head to the Albany Institute of History and Art. Founded in 1791, it’s the oldest museum in New York State, and the second-oldest in the nation. Three exhibitions that celebrate baseball are opening this month and will coincide with the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, July 26.

The exhibitions are “Baseball: America’s Game,” a traveling exhibit from Bank of America’s collection that features artifacts, audio and video that encapsulate baseball’s history; “Play Ball: Baseball in the Capital Region,” which showcases the upper Hudson River Valley’s history of the sport; and “The Locker Room: Baseball Memorabilia From the Community,” which borrows entirely from area collectors and highlights baseball memories and memorabilia from coast to coast.

“These exhibits are something new and different for us and intimately connect our local history with the sport’s national history at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,” said Schuyler Bull, director of marketing at the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Historic Cornucopia

Groups interested in history will enjoy touring the nation’s last remaining “Destroyer Escort,” at the USS Slater Museum. The ship’s restoration earned one of six New York State National Historic Preservation Awards after it returned from drydock last year following extensive hull reinforcement and interior restoration. The exterior’s World War II geometric camouflage has also been repainted. The vessel hosts tours and accommodates up to 50 overnight guests.

Albany’s architectural marvel remains the New York State Capitol and Empire State Plaza, which encompasses 11 government buildings. The Capitol’s War Room, which is available for group functions, features murals of New York’s heroes and statesmen. In October, the Capitol Hauntings Tour entertains groups with spooky stories about paranormal activity in the building.

The neighboring Empire State Plaza features an impressive modern art collection, reflecting pools and an ice skating rink in winter. The Empire State Plaza Art Collection has been touted by art historians as “the greatest collection of modern American art in any single public site that is not a museum.”

Elizabeth Hey

Elizabeth Hey is a member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association and has received numerous awards for her writing and photography. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @travelbyfork.