10 Must-Do’s for UAlbany Students

Lets face it, starting off your college career in a new place can be scary! Whether you’re new to the Albany area, or you live somewhere close by, a guide of the must-do Albany attractions and eats is a great tool for anyone! The four of us here at Dube & The Girls have compiled our top 10 Must-Do’s for UAlbany Students list to help get you familiar with the area and have some fun here while you’re here at UAlbany!

1. Chicken Joe’s | 486 Yates St, Albany, NY 12208

Chicken Joe

Located on 486 Yates St., Chicken Joes is one of the top must-do choices for UAlbany students to grab a quick, cheap bite to eat. They have an extensive menu with all different types of fried foods that come together either in sandwiches, wraps, fries, chicken wings, and desserts to top it off. Not only are chicken Joe’s a great late night snack, but they also deliver until 1:30 am for students who live on campus without access to a car. For incoming freshman to UAlbany, this one place you definitely don’t want to miss out on. http://chickenjoesalbanyny.com/ 

2. Van’s Vietnamese Restaurant | 307 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12206

Vans Restaurant

Hidden right in downtown Albany on Central Ave, Van’s Restaurant is one of the top authentic Vietnamese food places in the area. They offer a wide variety of food from different types of salads, to noodle soup, 30 plus main courses, and a vegetarian menu that is delectable. Vans is a step up from Chicken Joes in pricing, but if you are looking to get away from the fried food and dive into a healthy meal, Vans is the place to go. http://vansrestaurantny.com 

3. Cafe Madison | 1108 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12208


Image courtesy of: INGAx666

If you are looking for the perfect place to brunch Sunday mornings, look no further. Cafe Madison offers everything breakfast from waffles, french toast, omelettes, & chocolate chip pancakes to chicken wraps, cheeseburgers, & salads. However, we say their “specialty mimosas” are good enough reason for a visit! http://www.cafemadisonalbany.com/menu/ 

4. Pearl Street Pub | 1 Steuben Pl, Albany, NY 12207


Image courtesy of: Antti Kotiranta

Although PSP is the V.I.P. of bars for older UAlbany students, PSP also happens to offer a huge variety of food. They just relocated across the street to a bigger venue due to the high volume of guests. They offer different appetizers, salads, wings, sandwiches, quesadillas, & burgers. They’re even on Grubhub (you’re welcome!). http://theupperroomalbany.com/the-pearl-st-pub/

5. Crossgates Mall | 120 Washington Ave Ext Ste 1, Albany, NY 12203


Image courtesy of:  Sreejithk2000

Crossgates Mall is the largest shopping area in the Capital Region. Home to great stores, restaurants and entertainment, Crossgates is definitely a must-do. “Lucky Strike” was recently added to the mall (see http://luckystrikesocial.com/locations/albany/) which is a next-generation bowling alley. It includes an arcade, multiple bars, restaurants and even a concert hall. Although Lucky Strike is a chain business, it brings a whole new vibe to the Albany area. http://www.shopcrossgates.com/

6. Ice Skating at Empire Plaza | Empire State Plz, Capitol Hill, NY 12210


Image courtesy of: O World of Photos

Bored on a cold Friday night? Try Empire State Plaza ice rink! Located downtown, this ice rink offers FREE skating every Friday night during the winter, which is why it made our must-do list. The rink opens December 4th and closes March 6th. Make sure you don’t miss out! https://winter.empirestateplaza.org/

7.Thatcher Park | 1 Hales Cave Rd, Voorheesville, NY 12186


Image courtesy of UpstateNYer

John Boyd Thacher State Park is a state park located 15 miles southwest of Albany, New York near Voorheesville. It’s a must-do for uniquely beautiful hiking trails, scenic picnic areas and for just relaxing and taking photos. Throughout the year, people visit Thatcher for a nature-filled getaway (without having to go very far at all). http://nysparks.com/parks/128/details.aspx

8. Pumpkin/Apple Picking At Indian Ladder Farms | 342 Altamont Rd, Altamont, NY 12009

Indian Ladder Farms

Located only twenty minutes from UAlbany, Indian Ladder Farms has a range of must-do fall activities that any student would love. It’s widely known as the place to go for pumpkin and apple picking, but don’t miss out on the yummy apple cider donuts! Apple picking is a fun and budget friendly activity that you and all your roommates are sure to enjoy. http://www.indianladderfarms.com/

9. LarkFest/Tulip Fest | Lark St. Albany NY

Lake Fest

The Albany area offers two must-do seasonal street festivals: Lark Fest and Tulip Fest. Lark Fest kicks off the school year in September and Tulip Fest ensures a memorable end of the school year in May. Both festivals are always packed, and include fun vendors all from the Albany area.  This event is well known by UAlbany students, and even students from The College of Saint Rose and Siena join in on the fun! http://www.albany.org/events/annual-events-and-festivals/lark-fest/ & http://www.albany.com/news/tulip-festival.cfm  

10. Broadway in Saratoga | Saratoga Springs, NY


Image courtesy of UpstateNYer

Saratoga Springs is a world-renowned city with a touch of home-town comfort. Visiting Broadway located in the downtown area is a must-do. Home to delicious restaurants, beautiful hotels, bars, clubs, boutiques, spas and gift shops, Saratoga will leave a lasting impression. Visit Caroline Street for unique nightlife (bars are open until 4 a.m.!) During the summer, visit the Saratoga Race Course for horse racing, eating, drinking and socializing (but don’t forget to wear your track hat!). http://www.saratoga.com/hotspot_downtownsaratoga.cfm


Top image courtesy of Pete Dzintars

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