Troy (New York)
By plane, fly into Albany International Airport. If you visit via train, the nearest Amtrak station is Albany-Rensselaer Rail Station. The Greyhound bus drops you off in downtown Albany's Greyhound terminal, from which you can take CDTA bus #22 to downtown Troy.
Troy is easily accessible by way of I-87 North, exit 7. It is also well connected to local highway 787 from exits 7E, 8 and 9E.
Public Transportation CDTA (Capital District Transit Authority) serves Troy as well as Albany, Schenectady and (to an extent) Saratoga Springs. For full information on bus routes and schedules, visit the CDTA website at CDTA.org. Many of the cab companies in Troy serve Albany as well but may have different fare structures. Cab fare from downtown Troy to downtown Albany is approximately $30.00.
The Ale House is a pub located just north of Hoosick St. on River St. and is well known for its big and crispy Buffalo style chicken wings. They offer patio seating on warm nights and frequently host live bands on weekends.
Ali Baba serves affordable and generously portioned Turkish and Greek dishes. Their enormous lavash bread is baked on site in an impressive brick fire oven. http://www.alibabacusine.com/
Bella Napoli Italian Bakery is one of two branches (the other is in Latham). Feast on Italian style cookies, almond horns, cakes and freshly baked rolls and breads. http://www.bellanapolibakery.com/
The Brown Bag fries up burgers, grilled cheese, French fries and other heart-stoppers for Troy's collegiate night owls. Hours are 6 pm to 6 am.
Brown's Brewing Company is a highly rated and very popular craft brewery and pub-restaurant that has been supplying the Capital Region with ales, lagers, stouts and more since 1993. The Taproom is a comfortable spot for after-work drinks and dinner on warm evenings. http://brownsbrewing.com/
DeFazio's makes homemade pasta and award-winning pizza, as well as their own sauce. Adjacent to the small restaurant (just a couple tables, take-out also available) is a small Italian grocery store where you can buy DeFazio's pasta, sauces, and goods in jars. http://www.defaziospizza.com/
Dinosaur BBQ has become a recent favorite, with several locations throughout New York. Expect hearty portions of Southern-style barbeque ribs, jerk chicken, fried green tomatoes, and a mighty spicy macaroni and cheese. Dinosaur is located right on the river and was flooded badly in September 2011 by Tropical Storm Irene; restoration took place in less than two weeks. Varied and affordable beers on tap, outdoor seating and live music on weekends make it a very popular spot year round. http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/locations/troy/
Evelyn's Cafe serves lightish lunch fare and is located inside the impressive EMPAC building at RPI. They have huge cookies. http://empac.rpi.edu/visit/
Greek House offers gyros, souvlaki, burgers, salads, etc. Smart people pass on the Greek fries and substitute the delicious zesty lemon potatoes.
Green Shell is one of many area Chinese takeout joints sandwiched between discount shops in a strip mall, but the excellent food and generous delivery radius make it stand out among the crowd. http://www.allmenus.com/ny/troy/298295-green-shell/menu/
I Love on 4th St. is the only late-night pizza place you need patronize after a long night at The Ruck.
Illium Cafe, located in Monument Square near the intersection of Broadway and River St., offers the best breakfast and lunch in Troy. They have recently begun serving dinner Thursday through Saturday nights. Superb omelettes and sandwiches + bakery on premises. http://www.illiumcafe.com/
Muza is a family-owned Polish restaurant that has trivia on Tuesday nights and serves the best pierogies and golumbkis around. http://muzaeuropeanfood.com/
Plum Blossom in Brunswick is a very popular Chinese sit-down restaurant that tries to change up the typical Chinese-American classics (to varying degrees of success). http://www.yelp.com/biz/plum-blossom-chinese-restaurant-troy
The Ruck functions primarily as a "last stop of the night" bar, but their Buffalo wings (and "wing fries" - French fries drowning in an artery-clogging mixture of buffalo sauce and bleu cheese) deserve a shout-out. Stop by between 6-8 PM on Friday evenings and wait patiently by the counter for free wings at happy hour! http://getrucked.com/web/
Snow Man is a seasonal ice cream stand in Lansingburgh on Fifth Avenue. Expect long lines, diabetes-inducing serving sizes and monster creations like the "Boston Shake," an ice cream sundae floating atop an ice cream milkshake. http://www.thesnowmanicecream.com/
The Ale House Worth a stop north of Hoosick for the nicely priced brews, consistently perfect chicken wings, and lively neighborhood atmosphere.
Brown's Brewing Company is a craft brewery that makes its own beer. Amid the myriad reviews singing its praise lie some complaints that their lines are not always clean, but Brown's offers an undeniably chill and laid-back experience, with lots of weekly/monthly events, theme dinners, and a great patio. You can find Brown's beers at local supermarkets.
Footsy Magoos doesn't have a sign on either side, so ask a plugged-in local where to find it (hint: it's downtown on 1st St). Once you find it, enjoy a relaxed bar with tabletop games, Skee-ball (will cost you 25 cents), cool bathroom decor, and a cozy enclosed patio out back.
The Irish Rover on 102nd and 2nd Ave in Lansingburgh is a hole-in-the-wall with questionable patronage, but their Skee-ball is free.
The Ruck stays open late - until 4 am - and almost everybody ends up there at the end of the night. Their selection of beers on tap is excellent, with lower prices than a lot of competing bars. Thursday night is "Pint Night" and patrons get $1.00 off each pint purchased. Late weekend nights usually mean at least one fight inside or outside The Ruck. Don't look for buybacks from the bartenders.
Ryan's Wake is a fairly generic bar with a superb location and a big patio. It gets very crowded in the summer whenever there's an event by the marina (e.g. Rockin' On The River).
Hilton Garden Inn Troy is just up the hill on Hoosick St. Ample meeting space, free parking, and the Recovery Sports Grill is on site.
Peebles Island State Park in Cohoes is only a 5-10 minute drive from downtown Troy. Take Second Ave to 112th St and turn left onto 470 by the Stewart's. Meander through the woods, see some white-tailed deer and bald eagles, and walk across the bridge from Cohoes to Waterford.
Pittstown State Forest is a few miles east of Brunswick and a peaceful escape from concrete and brick.