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Albany - One of the Oldest Cities in the U.S.
There are only three cities in the USA that are older than the New York State capital of Albany: Santa Fe, St. Augustine and Jamestown. With a long and colourful heritage, historic Albany was given its city charter way back in 1686. First known by the charming Native American name of Penpotawotnot, Albany is located 136 miles north of New York City in the heart of New York State.

The area around Albany was originally claimed by Henry Hudson on behalf of the Dutch East India Company in 1609. The Dutch built Fort Orange, which the English later took in 1664 and renamed Albany in honour of James II, then Duke of Albany who later became King.

Albany became State capital of New York in 1777 taking over the mantle from Kingston, some 50 miles to the north. The city has developed largely due to its prominent location next to the Hudson River. Once the Eire Canal was completed in 1825, it placed Albany on a direct water route from New York City to the Great Lakes. It is in a prime location, also known as the 'crossroads city' due to the fact that it's almost equidistant between the massive conurbations of New York, Montreal, Boston and Buffalo.

The Albany skyline is dominated by the 589-feet high Erastus Corning Tower of the Empire State Plaza. Conceived and named after New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the Plaza was built between 1965 and 1978, and also includes four smaller towers and 'The Egg'. This is the focal point for live entertainment, acting as the city's contemporary arts theatre. Nearby the Times Union Centre provides an even bigger venue for large name US and international bands, as well as staging many local community gatherings and trade shows. Albany is well-known for its nightlife and boasts a 4 am last call, as opposed to 2 am in most other US cities.

If you are planning a driving vacation around New York State make sure that you allow time for a visit to the historic State Capital - you won't be disappointed. Albany is a popular place to visit all year round but its outlying areas are particularly picturesque in the autumn. Despite its popularity, it is not difficult to book into a top hotel in Albany at most times of the year. And to get the best out of your stay, look to stay near the airport from where you'll be able to easily visit the best the city has to offer.
About the Author
Author of the article is Andrew Regan. For further information check: Hotel in Albany.
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