Hooray, Albany! Ok, ok. You’re probably not saying that. If you’re one of our readers in Albany, chances are that you work for or with or are somehow otherwise related to the government (except the nice folks at CommerceHub), and if you’re looking for one of our great desk escapes, you’d really like to not see that many other people or be reminded about why government is so awesome when you’re getting away from it all. So we tried to keep that in mind, which rules out every single cultural institution in town, and we’re also going to stick to our normal script of giving you things that can be done in about an hour. Here we go!
Albany, New York Great Desk Escape #1: Kayak Peebles Island
Ok, so most people who do this are trying to go from Albany all the way down to New York, and to pull this one off properly, you’ll need two people, both for safety and to park a car a bit downriver. On the bright side, the river doesn’t move that fast here, so you’re not going to have to park too far apart if you’re only paddling for an hour. And if you don’t know how to kayak, you’re in luck — the Paddle ‘N’ Pole can teach you. And with all that said, we love this because, at Peebles Island, you get so much of what upstate New York offers without having to drive a couple hours north — you get the water, you get trees, and you even get some views of steep cliffs. You get out of the water feeling completely refreshed, and ready to go back and attack some paperwork! Or stay in the water! Let’s do that!
Albany, New York Great Desk Escape #2: Bike or Cross Country Ski the Albany Pine Bush (or, if you’re in Schenectady, Hike the Plotter Kill Reserve)
This is also a fantastic hike, but walking it will take about two hours (running it is about 45 minutes at a steady clip). There are a few things that we love about this - it’s flat, it’s about 10 minutes from anywhere in town, and it’s very different scenery from what you normally get to see. Now, there is a downside — in the summer months, this is filled with ticks, so wear pants and long-sleeved hats until the parks department can solve this problem without destroying the ecosystem. That’s why we really like this in the fall and in the winter, when the scenery gets a little more stark (and there’s less people here, too). Once you go deep enough here, you’ll stop hearing the highway noise. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll see the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly!
Albany, New York Great Desk Escape #3: Visit the Planetarium!
Ok, we just couldn’t resist the Henry Hudson Planetarium. Sure, it reminds us a bit of being a kid, which is half of the point of hopara. But unlike most things that were way cool when you were a kid and then turned out to be sucky, the planetarium isn’t. Alright, we’ll qualify that. It’s cheesy, and you’re probably not going to be as wowed by this as you used to be. But it’s still lots of fun — you sit in comfy chairs, stare at the ceiling, and think about really big explosions and stars moving at millions of miles per hour for a while. Every time we go, we come out totally relaxed and ready to face whatever comes.
That’s it for today. Happy exploring!