New York's capital city has evolved over the past four centuries from a small Dutch settlement on the banks of the Hudson River into a bustling city surrounded by an emerging high-tech valley. Albany event venues include many art and history museums, and the city has a vibrant arts and music community that includes a number of festivals and events year round.
The Empire State Plaza Convention Center is 16 miles from Albany International Airport. There are 70 flights daily, including nonstop flights to Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Tampa, and Washington. Most hotels offer a complimentary shuttle.
Chief among convention venues in Albany, the Empire State Plaza Convention Center has a total 81,000 square feet of space that includes a 26,000-square-foot exhibit/convention hall and seven meeting rooms. In addition, Times Union Center offers arena seating for up to 17,000 people and 51,000 square feet of exhibit space, and The Egg Performing Arts Center offers seating for 1,400.
There are several substantial hotel venues in Albany; the largest capacity is found at the 385-room Hilton Albany, which has 22,000 square feet of meeting space. The 323-room Desmond Hotel features 28,000 square feet of meeting space, while the 356-room Albany Marriott Hotel offers 16,000 square feet, and the 312-room Holiday Inn Albany has 21,000 square feet.
The Albany area boasts more than 100 special event sites. Among the most popular are the gracious 2,844-seat theater at the Palace Performing Arts Center; the New York State Museum (which is the largest and oldest state museum in the nation and offers 31,000 square feet of event space); the Albany Institute of History & Art, which was founded in 1791; and 90 State Street, a restored bank building with 14,000 square feet of special event space.
Planners have an abundant list of options when it comes to dining in Albany. For the best steak in town, head to 677 Prime; for great seafood with steak, try 100-year-old Jack's Oyster House. C.H. Evans Brewing Co. at the Albany Pump Station is a longtime family brewery, housed in a former water pumping station, that is popular with locals for both its food and drink, as is Yono's, which serves a fusion of French and Indonesian cuisine. When fun and festivity are on the menu, Buca di Beppo and Recovery Sports Grill are welcoming locales.