Updated 10/26/2022 – Ever since exploring Lake George, and Bolton Landing in the southern Adirondacks, I have been wanting to go back to explore nearby Albany NY to see if it’s a dog friendly area too.
Well, I finally had my chance to visit Albany during the fall. As it turns out, Albany, New York and its surrounding areas is dog friendly.
Albany is located about 150 miles north of New York City, making it an easy weekend trip for many people in the area. The city lies on the picturesque, west bank of the Hudson River in upstate New York.
As the capital of New York State, Albany offers a little bit of everything in one location: history, parks, and a beautiful city. It’s also believed to have the most distinct capital building in the United States.
However, it is a city and compared to Dog Friendly Saratoga Springs, Albany is a big city. Which means you need to be aware of your surroundings.
There are areas that still need to go through a revitalization. Within a block or two, you can easily walk from a beautiful upscale area to one that still needs some love.
When we took our trip to Albany, it was late October and a weekend. I was surprised at how quiet the downtown area was. There were a few people out walking, but not as many as I would have thought. It might have been the weather or the time of year or even that I am more used to NYC.
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Dog Friendly Ways to Get to Albany NY
Before you get to enjoy Albany, NY with your canine companion, you both need to get there.
Albany sits in the county of Albany, which is just above the Catskills. There are a couple of thruways that pass-by close to Albany making it easy to get there by car.
As I just stated, getting to Albany, New York by car is easy. Both the New York State Thruway and the New York State Thruway, Berkshire connector runs right by it.
Here are the approximate time to drive to Albany, NY from:
- Burlington, VT 3 to 4 hours
- Montreal, Canada – 3.5 to 4 hours
- New York City –3 to 4 hours
- Hartford, Ct – 2 to 2.5 hours
- Providence, RI – 2.5 to 3.5 hours
- Boston, Ma – 3 to 4 hours
- Philadelphia, PA – 4 to 5 hours
Keep in mind this does not account for traffic delays.
Amtrak allows you can take a small dog on most of their trains, but there are rules around what types of dogs can ride, where they are allowed and for how long.
Quick overview of Amtrak’s pet policy
Small dogs (under 20 lbs., including carrier) are allowed to ride on most Amtrak trains. However, the combined trip cannot exceed 7 hours in total. This includes time for any layovers.
Dogs must be kept in the carrier at all times while on the train. They are also not allowed in certain parts of the train like the dining car.
Also keep in mind that Amtrak views the pet carrier as one piece of carry-on baggage.
There are more restrictions which you can read about at Amtrak’s pet policy.
New York City to Albany
You can pick up the train in New York City at the Moynihan Train Hall across the street from New York Penn Station. A direct trip is about two and a half hours. The closest station to downtown Albany is the Albany-Rensselaer station at 525 East St, Rensselaer, NY 12144. This is just across the river from Albany.
Boston to Albany
You can also take a direct Amtrak train from Boston to Albany, NY, but make sure to watch the times. Some multi-train trips will take longer than the 7 hours’ time limit.
To make a train reservation for you and your dog, you will need to contact Amtrak 1-800-USA-RAIL or go to an Amtrak ticket counter.
Albany International Airport is located at the junction of Interstate Highways 90 and 87. It’s about a 14-minute drive from downtown Albany. The airport is served by many major airlines.
Parking in Dog Friendly Albany NY
There are multiple parking garages in the downtown Albany area. To get the latest information on parking in Albany please visit Discover Albany
Please confirm with the venue that pet dogs are still allowed prior to visiting. Information listed here is subject to change without notice. While we strive to insure accuracy on Happyoodles.com, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
Also, the mentioning of a business in this post should not be viewed as an endorsement.
When we talk about dog friendly places to go and things to do, we mean places that are friendly to pet dogs. Trained service dogs fall under different regulations.
Below is a list of ideas of things you can do with your pet dog while in the Albany, NY Area.
Going on a dog friendly vacation shouldn’t have to cost a small fortune, you are looking for ways to keep the costs down, read our post on: Cheap Vacations With a Pet: Budget Friendly Ideas
Dog Friendly Albany NY – Things to Do
While Albany is a dog friendly city there are still places your dog cannot go, like taking a tour of the Capital building or visiting the New York State Museum. But as you continue to read, you will find that there are enough dog friendly things to do to make the trip worthwhile.
If you do want to take that tour or a stroll around a museum most are located in areas that also have parks nearby. Allowing you and a human friend to take turns going inside while the other hangs out in the park with the dog. This is what we did while we were here.
Plus, Albany is close to hiking trails and other outdoor activities that lend themselves to being dog friendly. Which we will go over in more detail later on.
1. Stop by the Discover Albany Visitors Center
Location: 25 Quackenbush Square, Albany NY 12207-2311. On the corner of Broadway and Clinton Avenue.
Make your first stop in Albany, the Discover Albany Visitor Center. Here you can find maps and other information about upcoming events and tours. The great thing about this center is that it’s dog friendly.
Plus, it’s open on Saturdays, but you need to get there early. They close at 2:00 pm on Saturdays and are not open on Sundays
If you are in the area in late October, check out the annual “Hounds of Halloween” dog trick or treating event they host.
Parking is located behind the Visitors Center off Spencer Street. There is a fee to park here. For the exact location and additional information, please read the Discover Albany Visitors Center Parking Guide.
2. Check out the Empire State Plaza Area
Location: Downtown Albany
Next check out the majestic New York State Capital. Often stated as one of the most beautiful capitals in the country due to its unique design. This can be contributed to the fact that there were three different architect design teams, over the 32 years it took to complete the building.
By the time the capital was finished in 1899, the cost to build the building was over twenty-five million dollars.
Due to the change in architects the building is a mixture of Classical/Romanesque, Renaissance Classical and Victorian-modified Romanesque style. This resulted in a look that is more like a Chateau and less like a traditional Capital building.
You will find the Capital in downtown Albany between State street and Washington Ave
Across the street from the backside of the capital you will find the Empire State Plaza. Here you will find three reflecting pools and series of tall buildings.
At the time we went the pools were all drained. I assume they were getting ready for the cold weather.
In the winter the first reflecting pool turns into an ice rink.
There is also the Art Collection, which is a selection of modern art located around the plaza.
The architecture of the buildings along the plaza is striking. In particular “The Egg” is worth the walk as is the New York State Museum that is located on the opposite end of the plaza.
3. Olde English Downtown Dog Park
Location: 199 N. Pearl Street (center of Clinton Ave. Broadway and N. Pearl Street)
If your pup is ready for a little off leash time you can head back toward the Visitors Center and stop by the Olde English Downtown Dog Park
This is a small park that is surrounded by a metal fence and a cement wall with a dog mural. There is only one area for all dogs.
The grass is fairly worn but the dogs don’t seem to mind. There are also some benches and trees. Make sure to bring your own water and disposal bags.
For more dog parks in Albany, NY scroll down the dog park section.
4. Grab lunch or dinner at a Dog Friendly Patio in Downtown Albany
If you are ready for lunch or dinner there are a few different options in the downtown area. Including the Olde English Pub on their patio which is just a short walk from the Olde English Dog Park.
For more dog friendly restaurants see the list towards the end of the post.
5. Go for a stroll in a park
Location: Downtown Albany
About a mile away from the Capital Building is Washington Park.
Washington Park is a lovely space that was designed Frederick Law Olmsted. This is the same person that designed central park in NYC.
The park offers wide winding paths throughout with open fields and a footbridge. The lake is a nice spot to sit for a moment and reflect on the day. You will also find an assortment of fountains and memorials like the Moses Statue pictures above.
If you go during the holidays, I hear there is a great holiday light display during Christmas. In the spring there are over 200,000 blossoming tulips on display. The park is also host to various activities throughout the year, including summertime performances at the Lake house, festivals and parades.
Washington Park does not have an off-leash dog area. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and cleaned up after.
6. Enjoy a self-guided tour of Downtown Albany
Location: Downtown Albany
Do you prefer a structured tour rather than just wondering around the city? Then follow the free self-guided walking tour of Albany. You can also pick up a brochure at the Discover Albany Visitor Center. The tour starts and ends at the Discover Albany Center.
The city has also created a I Spy Scavenger Hunt. Can you find all the riddles?
You can go to Albany County History for more self-guided walking tours in Albany County.
7. Take a walk in Hamilton’s foot steps
If you are a fan of the play Hamilton, than you might like to follow the Hamilton Walking Tour of Albany. As it turns out Hamilton spent a lot of time in Albany. This tour highlights some of the places he spent his time at.
There is also a Discover Eliza’s Albany Scavenger Hunt which that you can follow to see places she stayed and where she grew up. While there are no longer prizes for completing the hunt it’s still a fun way to explore Albany.
You can find both the Hamilton Walking Tour and the Eliza’s Scavenger Hunt at Albany.com
8. Explore Albany’s Capital Walls Murals
Location: Downtown Albany and Schenectady, NY
The Capital Walls Murals is a public art endeavor by the Albany Center Gallery and Albany Barn. The goal of the project is to inspire the community of Albany with uplifting, educational and thought-provoking works of public art and to brighten up sections of downtown.
The majority of the murals can be found in the down town area, with a couple of them in Schenectady. You can find a guide to all the murals at the Albany Center Gallery
9. Visit Nipper the RCA Logo Dog
Location: 991 Broadway, Albany NY
Just a short drive from the Discover Albany Visitor Center, you will find the world’s largest statue of Nipper. The statue is located in the Warehouse District. This is one of those areas that still need some more love.
Nipper is best known as the fox terrier that is staring into a phonograph player on the RCA logo. As it turns out, Nipper was a real dog and the scene really did happen. The dog was listening to his deceased owner’s voice that had be recorded on the Phonograph.
The statue of Nipper is a twenty-eight-foot-tall steel and fiberglass canine that sits atop of the North Broadway warehouse that once housed RTA, an appliance distributor that specialized in RCA products.
10. Grab a Drink
If you are looking for a dog friendly place to have a drink in Albany, you will have not any problems finding one. Here is a list of breweries and bars that allow dogs.
- Wolff’s Biergarten located at 895 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207 – Just down the road from Nipper
- Fort Orange Brewing – Located at 450 N Pearl St, Albany, NY – Also in the warehouse district.
- Pint Sized (Albany) located at 250 Lark St, Albany, NY
11. Take a Cruise on the River
Located: 141 Broadway, Albany, NY 12202
Explore the Hudson River and the Capital Region by water. Dutch Apple Cruises offers dog friendly specialty cruises, like their Barks & Brews Howl-A-Ween Cruise in October. Plus, they allow well-behaved dogs on board the Albany Sightseeing Cruise.
Before bringing your dog on board please make sure your dog is comfortable around a lot of people. Once the cruise starts you will not be able to get off. Sightseeing cruises can be crowded.
Dutch Apple Cruises recommends for their Sightseeing Cruise that you bring a pet carrier (if it’s a small to medium dog) and a water bowl. They also ask that you are respectful to other guests.
Remember, we might love our dogs but not everyone feels the same way and boats can have limited space to spread out.
12. Take a stroll along the River
The Albany Riverfront Park is close to downtown and as the name implies runs along the Hudson River and it’s easy to get to from downtown. Just walk across the Hudson Riverway Pedestrian Bridge to get to the park.
Once you get to the park, you will find the Mohawk Hudson Hike and Bike Trail that runs along the river, providing views of the water.
13. Shop at the Colonie Center
Location: 131 Colonie Center, Albany, NY 12205
If you are in the mood to shop or just looking for a place to walk and browse on a rainy day, the Colonie Center in Albany NY is dog friendly. The Colonie Center is an enclosed mall with over 100 stores.
While not all the stores at Colonie Center are dog friendly some are. You can identify the dog friendly stores by a paw-print shaped graphic in the storefront window. Retailers that are not dog-friendly can be identified with a bone graphic in their storefront window.
Dog are also not permitted in escalators, elevators, the food court or the play park. For more information on their pet policy please visit the Colonie Center’s Canine Code of Conduct.
14. Go Hiking
Location: 830 Thacher Park Rd, Voorheesville, NY 12186
If you are looking for a place to hike that’s not too far from downtown Albany, John Boyd Thacher State Park is only thirty minutes away. This New York State Park is known for its panoramic views of the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, and Hudson-Mohawk Valleys.
The park is located along the Helderberg Escarpment and features limestone cliffs, rock-strewn slopes, woodland, open fields and waterfalls.
There is a very popular Indian Ladder Trail at the park that takes you down a series of steep stairs. While the views are awesome the stairs may be a little hard for some dogs.
Our little Bella was able to do most of the steps but refused to climb down a set of open stairs with grates as the steps.
If you dog is not comfortable with stairs there are more than twenty-five miles of trails that vary in length and difficulty. You should be able to find something for almost everyone.
To decide which trail fits you best you can check out the trails at AllTrails.com
Thacher State Park Pet Policy
A maximum of two pets are allowed in campsites and day use areas unless prohibited by sign or directive. Pets are to be supervised at all times and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation will need to be produced if requested by staff. Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, pools and spray-grounds or guarded beaches (this does not apply to service animals).
15. Erie Canal System – Waterford Flight of Locks
Location: Waterford Village, NY
Take a trip to Waterford Village to see the Waterford Flight of Locks. Erie Canal Locks E-2 through E-6 make up the combined Flight at Waterford which lifts vessels 169 ft from the Hudson River to the Mohawk River, bypassing Cohoes Falls. This is believed to be the world’s greatest lift in the shortest distance on any canal system in the world.
You can start your walk from the Waterford Visitor Center and walk along the riverfront path towards the bridge. The steps up to view the first lock in the Flight of Locks, known as Lock E2 is across the bridge. If you prefer to drive to the lock, there is a small parking area next to the stairs up to the top of the lock.
If you are interested in seeing the rest of the locks in the flight you can find directions on the Waterford Historical Museum’s Visitor’s Guide to the Locks.
The Village of Waterford is located at the union of the Hudson River and the Mohawk River in Saratoga County. It is about 11 miles north of Albany.
After checking out the locks, you can stroll around the quaint village or head over to Peebles Island State Park.
16. Visit the Cohoes Falls
While you are out exploring the locks you can swing by the Cohoes Falls. They are the second largest waterfall in NY state.
There are two viewing areas to see the falls. The first one is the Brookfields Cohoes Falls Over look park. It is a small park with great views of the falls. It is adjacent to the hydroelectric facility on School Street in Cohoes, NY.
There is another park called Cohoes Falls View Park. This one is closer to the falls but it does not allow dogs. For more information visit the City of Cohoes website
16. Visit a Pick Your Own Farm
Location: 147 Sugarhill Rd. Rexford NY 12148
Bowman Orchards is located about 20 miles from downtown Albany. They offer dog friendly apple and pumpkin picking in the fall. In the summer they have strawberry picking in the early summer.
Pet Policy – “We love your four-legged family & they are always allowed at Bowman Orchards but… please keep all pets on a leash at all times, out of the wagons & berry fields, keep pets out of play area as some small children are afraid of animals, and please pickup after them (there are pet waste stations throughout the property). Any guests with a pet left in a hot vehicle will be asked to leave.”
If you are looking for places to go in the fall with your dog, check out; Dog Friendly Fall Getaways in the Northeast
5 Dog Parks near Downtown Albany, NY
1. Olde English Downtown Dog Park
Location: 119 N Pearl Street, Albany, NY
Distance from downtown Albany: .03 miles
Small park on a hill, with only one open area for all dogs. While the area is fenced in on three sides and a cement wall on the other it’s surrounded by busy streets.
There are some trees for shade and benches to rest. There is also a dog themed mural to brighten up the space. Close to dog friendly restaurants.
Make sure to bring your own water for you and your dog. While they do have a poop bag dispenser and garbage cans, the dispenser is sometimes empty.
2. Department of General Services Dog Park
Location: 44 Richard J Conners Blvd, Albany, NY 12204
Distance from downtown Albany: 2.1 miles
This is a large dog park located on the corner of Erie Blvd and Richard J. Conners Blvd.
The park is a large fenced-in area with only one tree and a gazebo. There are some benches, picnic table and kiddy pools. You will find a hose that is uses to fill the pools, but the area can get muddy because of all the water.
3. Normanskill Farm Dog Park
Location: Mill Rd, Albany, NY 12209
Distance from downtown Albany: 3.6 miles
Located just ten minutes from downtown Albany, Normanskill Farm Dog Park is hard to find. The park is located down an unnamed road off of Mill Rd in Albany.
The official parking area is just past Normanskill Drive. From there you are supposed to walk down the road to the dog park. The road follows along Norman’s Kill. Just past the dog park is a community garden.
The dog park is a large fenced in area. There is a small shade structure with a picnic table but the rest of the park is open grass. You will need to bring your own water.
While they do have a poop bag dispenser and garbage cans, the dispenser is sometimes empty.
4. Westland Hills Dog Park
Location: Anthony Street off of Colvin Ave.
Distance from downtown Albany: 5.6 miles
Google shows the address for this park as Zoar Ave, but it’s actually on Anthony Street. Which is a side street off of Colvin Ave. There is a sign for Westland Hills Park at the intersection. You can find parking just past the dog park at the end of the road.
It’s a smaller dog park with some shade, a picnic table and a bench. There is a nice sized double gated entry and waste cans.
5. Hartman Road Dog Park
Location: Hartman Road, Albany NY
Distance from downtown Albany: 5.7 miles
This is a medium sized dog park that backs up in the Capital Hills at Albany golf course. The park is actually not on Hartman Road but up a side street. On the corner there is a large garden.
There is a small area for parking and a double gate system to get into the park. The park features a gazebo with several benches and some picnic tables for owners to rest.
In addition, there are bowls of water placed throughout the area and small pools of water for dogs to play in.
Dog Friendly Restaurants in Albany, NY
Dog friendly patios are open seasonally. New York State does not allow pet dogs to eat inside restaurants. Please check with restaurant to ensure the patios are open.
Wolff’s Biergarten – in addition to serving German beers they also serve bar food on their patio.
Located at 895 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207
Lost and Found Bar & Kitchen – offers up a dog friendly patio in season. Serves dinner Wednesday to Saturday and brunch on Sundays.
Located at 942 Broadway Albany, NY 12207.
The Olde English Pub and Pantry – Serves up English pub grub like Fish & Chips and Bangers & Hash. Offers an outdoor dog friendly garden but it is depended on the weather.
Located at Quackenbush Square – 683 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207
Iron Gate Cafe – This is a very popular place for brunch so they suggest that you enter your name on the waiting list online before coming to the place. They offer a dog friendly patio in the warmer months.
Located at 182 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210
The City Beer Hall – Beer Garden and gastropub in a historic building. Offers a dog friendly patio and pub food.
Located at 42 Howard St, Albany, NY 12207
For even more dog friendly places to eat and drink check out our list of resources at the bottom of this post.
Albany, NY Dog Friendly Places to Stay
Before booking a dog friendly place to stay, please confirm with the venue that pets are still allowed. Information in this post is subject to change without notice. While we strive to insure accuracy on Happyoodles.com, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Also, the mentioning of a business in this post should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Before booking a pet friendly hotel, check out our post on Hotel Stays with a Dog: 23 Tips, Tricks and Hacks.
Located in downtown Albany this hotel makes it easy to see the sights around the State Capital.
Pet Policy: There is a non-refundable pet fee. Maximum of 2 pets. They allow dogs or cats
Location at 25 Chapel St, Albany, NY 12210 Phone: 518- 432-7000
Visit Booking.com for hotel pictures and reviews.
Offers a simple hotel with fully equipped kitchens and free breakfast buffet.
Pets Policy: 1 dog or cat allowed with non-refundable fee per stay. Maximum weight of pet allowed is 45 pounds
Location at 22 Holland Ave, Albany, NY Phone: 518-860-1500
Visit Booking.com for hotel pictures and reviews.
If you are looking for something a bit more upscale that the average hotel stay, the Argus might be what you are looking for. They are located on Washington Park making it easy to get that early morning walk in.
Location: 8 Thurlow Terrace, Albany, NY. Phone: 518-930-4700.
Pet Policy: The Argus has two (2) pet friendly rooms. Only dogs under 50 pounds are allowed. Dogs must be leashed at all times when not in your room. There is a pet surcharge per stay plus tax. For more information on their pet policy please visit their website.
Visit Booking.com for hotel pictures and reviews.
This hotel is connected to the Albany Medical Center and close to a few colleges and downtown Albany.
Location: 62 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208. Phone: 518-396-3500
Pet Policy: 2 dogs or cats allowed with non-refundable fee for the first five days. Additional fees for five plus days stay.
Visit Booking.com for hotel pictures and reviews.
Relaxed all-suite hotel with kitchens and free breakfast. This hotel is just outside of Albany.
Location: 3 Tech Valley Dr. East Greenbush, NY 12061. Phone: 518-720-3600
Pet Policy: Pets allowed with non-refundable fee per stay per room.
Visit Booking.com for hotel pictures and reviews.
If you would prefer a bit more space than you can get in a hotel room, a vacation rental might be in order. You can find a few pet dog friendly rentals in downtown Albany, NY
If you are looking to travel to Albany, NY with a dog, check out our post on Traveling With A Dog: Tips For An Easy Trip.
Not what you are looking for? Check out our other pet dog friendly vacation ideas:
- Dog Friendly Family Vacations in the U.S.A.
- 11 Dog Friendly Spring Vacation Destinations
- Dog Friendly Island Vacations
- Newport, RI: Dog Friendly Things to Do
- Block Island – Dog Friendly Things To Do
- Dog Friendly Cape Cod, MA
- Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts (MA)
- Dog Friendly Beaches on Cape Cod.
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