Hotspots in Albany, NY

Greek To Me

At first glance, you may overlook this restaurant on the corner of the busy Sheridan Drive and Delaware Avenue. Don’t make that mistake or you’ll miss out on a jewel of Buffalo. Take a trip back in time to poodle skirts and white tee’s as you pick your booth to dine. Pick a booth and quickly you’re greeted with a friendly smile and handed a black and white newspaper menu picturing Elvis and Frank Sinatra. The diner offers a diverse variety: gyros, Texas Hots also known as hot dogs, breakfast wraps, sandwiches, bagels, and everything in between. They’re specialty—everything and anything can be made to order! My favorite is the spinach and cheese omelet with a side of vine-ripe sliced tomatoes and crisp home fries.

Ted’s Jumbo Red Hots

A common-place American staple, the hot dog, has a long and intriguing history here in Western New York. Theodore (Ted) Spiro Liaros, a Greek immigrant had vision and courage to begin a modest business with a horse-drawn hot dog cart. Ted later bought a shack and made it what was the original Ted’s Hot Dog. Although the first store is not open, the second store, established in 1948 on Sheridan Drive is still open and flourishing. Teds is hot dogs. The secret to Ted’s delicious dogs is in the charcoal. Hardwood charcoal versus briquette coal is similar to going from instant coffee to fresh ground coffee when it comes to flavor, taste and quality. Add handmade onion rings and an iced loganberry and have the full Ted’s experience.

Tiny Tots Tea Room

Perfect destination if need a break from the confines of the car. Parents enjoy the open playtime where they can grab a baked dessert or fresh fruit snack while the little ones have some interactive play with puppets, dress-up, and play houses. The Tea Room has open play hours for weekday traveling, but is closed for the weekends for private parties. 

Empire State Plaza Indoor Concourse

Need a lunchtime break from indoor winter playtime with the kids? Head to the winter farmer’s market for local produce, baked goods, and ice-skating! Parents love strolling with the kids through the concourse trialing fresh fruits and tasting decadent desserts. 

Park Playhouse

Plays do not have to be a thing of your past before you had kids—at least not now with the creation of The Park Playhouse. Kids are welcomed, encouraged, and many of the plays are casted with youngsters after hours of practice. Families come to the Playhouse to enjoy the summer productions free of charge and spend quality time together outdoors. 

Dyngus Day

What is Dyngus Day and what’s the deal with pussy willows? It’s a Polish-American tradition that celebrates the end of the observance of Lent and Easter. Pussy willows are used to gently hit women on the legs as a practice associated with purification, cleansing, and fertility. While women reciprocated by throwing dishes and crockery!

Buffalo, NY is the Dyngus Day Capital of the world while other smaller Polish-American festivals are found throughout the world. Why are Buffaloians the best Dyngus Day hosts—the food buffet begins mid-morning with kielbasa, ham, fresh breads, and polka music and continue until the next morning!

Glidden House

The Glidden House is situated in the cultural epicenter of Cleveland, on the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Just steps away from the front door are several museums, a botanical garden and a music hall. The suites in the 1910 mansion are vintage in style, but fitted with modern amenities. Every room has a 44-ich flat screen and wireless internet. Start your day with a buffet breakfast served in the hotel’s original parlor, and end it with dinner in the carriage house.

Taconic Hiking Club

Get involved and stay involved during the entire winter season with new and exciting activities for all fitness abilities and a myriad of different winter fun with Taconic Hiking Club (THC). The name is deceiving: they do more than just hike--they snowshoe, cross-country ski, and most other winter sports. The online weekly schedule is a great place to start to find where to get plugged in and see the pages of planned outings and person to contact. Bring your friends or make new ones...they welcome soloists with big mitten-gloved hands! If there is a winter activity you have never tried, meet up with the THC get the best insider's tips and how-to from the locals.

Children's Museum of Science and Technology

Best bang for your buck—Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) is $5.00/per person for 9 exhibits! Young explorers enjoy the hike along a ½ mile trail, while exploring a living collection of exotic animals, or creating their own invention at the museum. A variety of educational shows and interactive workshops fun for parents and the kids are offered throughout the day and vary week to week so check out the detailed calendar to organize your day.

Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area

Get the travel guides before you plan your trip for seasonal weekend extravaganzas or book a 2-hour cruise to discover all the history and charm of the Hudson River Valley. From the deck of the cruise, you’ll see lighthouses, mansions, historic bridges, and much more! If trekking via foot is more appealing definitely include the Donald Kendall Sculpture Garden in your visit. The garden is a 168-acre collection of natural and manmade sculptures that wind around a garden stream and four additional gardens.