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Go See It, Travel, Weekly

New York State Capitol

While traveling through the states this summer, I was extremely impressed with the state capitol buildings we saw in Wisconsin and Iowa.  While I was going on about some interesting fact about the Iowa capitol building, my youngest son pointed out that we have never visited New York’s state capitol.  He was totally right, it actually never occurred to me to stop by for a visit.  What a great “Go See It” activity.

Albany is the state capitol of New York and the building is located in the Empire State Plaza off of Interstate 787.  Guided tours of the building are given every weekday except for holidays.  We were not able to fit the guided tour time into our schedule so we decided to do a self-guided tour of the building.  After passing through a security check point, we were given a map of the Capitol and started to explore.

There are many things to be seen in the capitol but our favorite was the Hall of Governors.  This hallway had a plaque for every Governor that New York has ever had.  The plaque detailed interesting information for each Governor.  For example, Martin Van Buren was the 9th Governor of New York and the first New Yorker to become president of the United States.  In addition to the Governors’ plaques, the hallway is covered with interesting facts about New York state.  For example, in 1879 the first 5 and dime store was opened in Utica, NY by Frank W. Woolworth and another fact, the Brooklyn bridge was completed in 1883 becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.  We could have spent hours in this hallway.  I was very happy that we were not on a guided tour at this point because there is no way we would have been able to take the time to read as many plaques as we wanted.

We were lucky enough to catch up with a guided tour later in our visit and it was fun to hear some interesting facts about how the building was built or events that occurred in the capitol over the years.  So my advice would be to sign up for a guided tour but make time to go back and view the Governor’s Hall on your own.  This is a great day trip!

For more information on visiting the New York state capitol please visit their website.

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