Living in Albany NY: A Mover’s Guide to the Capital

Joining the Capital District? The New York state capital has amazing opportunities for businesses, young professionals, and growing families. As a local business in the area, we want to assist you with your upcoming move to the Albany, NY, area. ValuSpace Personal Storage has resources to help you move and settle into the city, including our complete guide to Albany. See our neighborhood is one of the best locations in the Capital Region!

Table of Contents

I. Living & Working in Albany, NY

II. Attractions

III. Arts, Culture & Museums

IV. Restaurants

Discover the Economy

Quick Facts

Population: 100,826

Median Home Value: $186,500

Median Household Income: $52,583

Albany is much more than just a political hub. Situated on the west bank of the Hudson River, it holds a significant place in regional and national history, having been a center of trade and industry since the late 18th century. Living in the city offers a unique blend of urban conveniences and natural beauty, thanks to its proximity to the Adirondacks, the Catskills, and the Berkshires.

Economically, Albany is a diverse and thriving city, and its infrastructure is namely based off of three industries: state government, health care, and education. The city is host to a number of significant government institutions responsible for large portions of the overall Albany workforce, including several influential state government departments such as the Executive Department, Department of Transportation, Department of Civil Service, and Education Department, and it is noted that nearly 25% of the city’s overall population works in government-related positions. The website All Over Albany lists Albany’s largest private employers as St. Peter’s Health Partners, Albany Medical Center, Golub Corporation (Price Chopper), and General Electric. Additionally, largely due to the city’s governmental presence and wealth of surrounding educational institutions, Albany has the fourth highest amount of lawyers in its employment pool compared to the rest of the nation (an estimation of eight lawyers per every 1,000 jobs).

Within the modern era, however, Albany’s economy has since pivoted, and the city is currently known as a substantial technology hub. Since the 2000s the economy of Albany and the surrounding Capital District has been redirected toward a high technology focus, aptly named Tech Valley. This technological climate has been fostered by Albany-area technologically focused academic institutions including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute. Subsequently, the city has experienced significant growth in the computer hardware side of the high-technology industry, and a number of significant tech companies have settled within the area, including GlobalFoundries, a leading globally-influential computer chip manufacturing company.

Discover the Excitement

Geographically, Albany and its surrounding area is largely synonymous with the nearby Adirondack State Park, a large protected park in North Eastern NY that is known for its fall foliage viewing​ and forested mountains throughout. Fittingly, this area is host to a number of notable hiking trails and natural attractions, including 46 scalable high peaks measuring 4,000 feet and upwards. Additionally, visitors of this park can enjoy a variety of nature-oriented activities throughout the summer season, including fishing, boating, river rafting, and more.

During the winter these same mountain ranges provide a recreational area for a variety of winter sports, including cross country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowmobiling. Notable Albany and Adirondack area ski resorts include Willard Mountain, Maple Ski Ridge, Prospect Mountain Ski Area, Gore Mountain, and the Royal Mountain Ski Area. Of the previously mentioned, Gore Mountain is perhaps the most significant destination, and the mountain is noted as a popular winter destination to visitors across the state of New York. Indeed, Gore is the largest mountain in New York nearest to the Albany metro area, and is noted to feature more than 100 trails and 15 lifts, including a gondola lift, and a fully-operation snow train. Considering a visit this year? Visit Gore Mountain’s website for their latest ticket prices and trail conditions.

Discover the Culture

Albany offers a number of significant theaters, museums, performance arts centers, and more to keep you entertained and continuously learning. Pictured above, perhaps the city’s most significant cultural venue is the New York State Museum, the oldest and largest state museum in the US. Originally established in 1836, the New York State Museum houses art, artifacts, and ecofacts that reflect New York’s cultural, natural, and geological development. Permanent collections and exhibits include the Cohoes Mastodon (the skeletal remains of a mastodon dating back to 1866), various exhibits dedicated to the surrounding Adirondack Wilderness, an American Stoneware Collection from the early 19th-century, and the Fire Engine Hall, an exhibit of historic fire fighting vehicles from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Additionally, beyond the museum’s collections and exhibits, the New York State Museum acts as a significant research institution. The facility houses several programs, centers, and initiatives that further the geological, biological, archaeological and historical understanding of areas within and outside of New York State. Programs established include the Biodiversity Research Initiative, the Wildlife Science and Conservation Initiative, and the Laboratory for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, among many, many others. Overall, this center is a cultural destination that holds significant influence to Albany and its surrounding areas.

Previously mentioned, the Capital District is home to many venues for the performing arts, including the Times Union Center, the Palace Theatre, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), among others. Albany’s SPAC is particularly noteworthy. Housed in Spa State Park in the nearby Saratoga Springs, SPAC is a large amphitheater that hosts summer performances of classical music, jazz, pop and rock, country, comedy, dance, opera, as well as a Wine & Food Festival. Previous performers and performances include The Grateful Dead, Phish, the Dave Matthews Band, and the New York City Ballet and Philharmonic Orchestra.

Discover the Cuisine

Give your taste buds a treat and dive into Albany’s varied culinary scene. We’ve gathered a few of our area favorites below. 

  • Caffe Italia – Part of the business community in the greater Albany area for nearly three decades, Caffe Italia Ristorante serves traditional Italian-fare that mirrors and mimics the flavors of Siderno, Calabria and Salerno, and Naples, Italy. Menu highlights include dishes such as Capellini Ala Dugan, Shrimp and Broccoli Fussili Seminario, Fettuccini Alfredo, and their signature Veal Luciana.
  • El Mariachi Restaurant Voted No. 1 fifteen years in a row on the Best of the Capital District Reader’s Poll for Best Mexican by Metroland Magazine & the Capital Region Living Magazine, El Mariachi is Colorful neighborhood spot serving classic Mexican & Spanish bites along with house-made sangria. In particular, this Albany restaurant staple seeks to mimic the flavors and recipes of the owner’s great-grandmother from Mexico.
  • Yono’s Fine Dining – Originally opened in 1985, this restaurant features Chef Yono Purnomo’s signature blend of contemporary American cuisine with Indonesian influence utilizing seasonal, farm fresh ingredients from Upstate New York and beyond. Menu highlights include the Chilled Island Creek Oysters, Pan Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Duck Fat Roasted Lamb Loin, and the Pan Seared Atlantic Swordfish. This restaurant is the ideal visit for a romantic date night, or a celebration dinner.
  • The Cuckoo’s Nest – Located in the heart of Downtown Albany, The Cuckoo’s Nest is a casual and colorful restaurant that specializes in Southern-comfort cuisine. Fittingly, the menu is host to a bevvy of Southern comfort-food classics, including Fried Green Tomatoes, a Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich, Biscuits and Gravy, and the restaurant’s signature dish, their Chicken and Waffles.
  • New World Bistro Bar – New World Bistro Bar is an 80 seat gastro pub in the heart of Albany’s Delaware Avenue neighborhood. Overall, this restaurant is known its farm-fresh and locally-sourced eats, and its wide selection of regional craft beers.

Additionally, beyond the city’s restaurant scene, Albany is host to a number of innovative breweries and distilleries, including:

  • Druthers Brewing Company – Boasting 3 locations in Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Albany, NY, Druthers Brewing Company is a lively brewpub that features an innovative craft beer list, and an extensive food menu featuring pub-style fare. Previously, this popular brewery has taken home a Gold Award at the 2014 World Beer Cup and a Silver Award at the 2016 World Beer Cup.
  • The Albany Distilling Company Bar and Bottle Shop – The Albany Distilling Company is a small craft distillery located in Albany, New York’s historic downtown. Using both modern and traditional methods, this distillery produces a variety of liquors, including Vodka, Whiskey, Rum, and a number of canned cocktails.
  • C H Evans Brewing Co. at the Albany Pump Station – Originally founded in 1786, the Evans family has been in the commercial brew business for three generations. Currently, this Industrial brewpub is run out of the previous Albany Pump Station, a historic Albany landmark that dates back to the late 1800s.

Make Albany, NY, Home with the Help of ValuSpace Personal Storage

As you can see, Albany, NY, is an exciting city, whether you are looking for a vacation spot or to settle down for your next adventure. If you are considering moving to the Capital District, look no further than ValuSpace Personal Storage to assist you with your storage needs.

With three locations in the Capital Region, including one in Albany on North Russell Road, ValuSpace is your #1 choice for reliable, secure self storage in the area. We believe choosing and renting a storage unit should always be a simple experience. We provide a number of resources to assist you through the rental process online—such as our list of expert tips and online storage unit size calculator—so you can find your storage solution in no time. Our indoor self storage facility is near downtown Albany and close to several of the higher education campuses around the city. Whether looking for summer storage or extra space for your upcoming move, we have you covered. Stop in today to take control of all your residential, commercial, and student storage needs in the Capital District!rent now button

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Tim Glasow

About the Author: Tim is the SEO Manager at Storage Asset Management in York, PA. He is a self-storage industry specialist who has written about everything from storage advice and helpful resources to industry trends. In his free time, Tim enjoys sampling craft beer and exploring the local music scene.