Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce
Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce
Programs
Classifieds
Contact
Economic Development
Forums
Join
Links
Members
News
newsletters
Send an E-PostCard
Community
Policy Making
Residential
Tourism
Emily,

The many faces of Schenectady will charm, delight and amaze you. Enjoy the meandering Mohawk River. Experience the history that lives on in our architecture and the community that thrives in our neighborhoods. Take in our version of off-Broadway at Proctor’s Theatre or groove to the jazz in Central Park. Whatever your pleasure, you’re sure to find it here.

 

Agnes Macdonald Music Haven

This gorgeous outdoor amphitheater adorns Central Park and features free music, theater, movies and family programs from June through August. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at (800) 962-8007 for a free calendar of events.

 

American Indian Cultural Center

Situated on a 29-acre site on the South bank of the Mohawk River in Rotterdam Junction. The center presently houses a museum, gift shop and classrooms to educate the public about American Indian culture, languages, arts and crafts. Future plans for the Center include a nature trail, boat dock, an American Indian restaurant and an open-air theater. (518) 887-2590 http://www.keepersofthecircle.com

 

Boating

Pleasure boats cruise up and down the wide and plentiful Mohawk River, anticipating the special thrill of going through a lock. And if you decide to dock, there are plenty of fishing and picnic spots everywhere along the river, including Gateway Landing Park. (518) 386-2225 http://www.govt.co.schenectady.ny.us/bikehike.htm

 

Center City Sportsplex

A professionally managed arena and trade show complex located conveniently in the heart of downtown Schenectady. Host to 200 indoor soccer teams, a semi-professional soccer team—the Electric City Shockers—a sports equipment store, and the Electric City Rock Gym, the Sportsplex boasts an annual attendance of more than 75,000 people. Recently benefiting from $800,000 in capital improvements, the Center City Sportsplex is actively promoting additional sports and entertainment opportunities, as well as seeking trade show partners and civic events. (518) 382-5104 http://www.centercitysportsplex.org

 

Central Park

Do all Central Parks have beautiful rose gardens? Ours does, with more than 200 varieties of 4,500 roses in flower from June until frost. While you’re in the Park, catch a concert at the Agnes Macdonald Music Haven Stage, go for a swim, try your luck at fishing, serve a game of tennis or just relax and enjoy the duck pond. Central Park is also home to many festivals, including Tuesday in the Park, a celebration of community life each August. (518) 382-5151 http://www.schenectady.net

 

Collins Park

Bordered by the Mohawk River, Collins Park in Scotia has everything for a family outing: Picnic pavilions, playground, tennis and basketball courts, ball fields and swimming in Collins Park lake. Watch for fireworks on the fourth of July or spend a Tuesday evening watching the Coors Light Water Ski Show Team practice on the Mohawk. And be sure to sample some original fast food at Jumpin’ Jack’s, a Schenectady County tradition. (518) 374-8611

 

The Costumer

Many of the costumes worn on Proctor’s stage – and on stages throughout the world – are made at The Costumer, the largest costume supplier in New York State with more than 40,000 garments in stock. To see the sometimes realistic, sometimes macabre, but always fascinating world of costume design, stop by the retail store on Barrett Street in Schenectady or arrange for a group tour. (518) 374-7442 http://www.thecostumer.com

 

Country Pleasures

While visiting, take time to explore our highways and byways. You’ll discover antique shops scattered all over, delight in country stores in the smallest of hamlets, fine riverside picnic areas, and enjoy beautiful hills and meadows in whichever direction you travel. Look for the Victorian homes in Delanson and the beautiful and austere Quaker Meeting House, c. 1800, in Duanesburg!

 

Electric City Rock Gym

A full-service rock climbing gym unlike any other! Fun and challenging routes for climbers of all levels, safe and instructive environment for beginning climbers, state-of-the-art climbing wall, lead routes, top-level bouldering and a traversing wall for hours of fun. Highly trained staff, locker room and shower area, full rental gear. Located within Center City Sportsplex. (518) 388-2704 http://www.centercitysportsplex.org/rockgym

 

Empire State Aerosciences Museum

New York State’s aviation history soars at the Empire State Aerosciences Museum. Airplanes, models, dioramas, photos and art are combined with “please touch” exhibits in which emerging pilots can get a feel for flying. Saturday Aeroscience Adventures introduce children to different topics in aviation. Take off for the museum’s Flight Airshow, a major two-day event in which jet teams, aerobatic demonstrations and prime exhibits of military and private aircraft are showcased. (518) 377-2191  http://www.esam.org

 

Erie Canal and Mohawk River

The Erie Canal was called the greatest engineering feat of its era and solidified our area’s place in post-colonial development. The opening of the Canal in 1823, as well as the rapid expansion of railroads, gave new stimulus to commerce and industry in Schenectady County. This prompted Thomas Edison to establish Edison Machine Works, soon to become General Electric Company and today known to millions as GE, in Schenectady.

 

Fishing

Fishing is especially great at Collins Park in Scotia and at the lock parks along the Mohawk River. Anglers will also find excellent fishing at Central Park in Schenectady and at Mariaville Lake. If you need bait, stop by Nick’s Bait Shop on Broadway Hill, a fisherman’s paradise. Nick’s has a pictorial display of the great fishing you’ll find in Schenectady County and will show you all the big ones that didn’t get away.

 

Frontier Snow Riders Snowmobile Trails

An organization dedicated to safe, responsible snowmobiling in Schenectady County. A map of trails is available for a $3 suggested donation. http://www.frontiersnow.tripod.com

 

GE Realty Plot

First developed at the turn of the century by a group of GE executives, the GE Realty Plot evolved into an imposing collection of upper-class homes along broad, tree-lined streets. Essentially intact today, the Plot has numerous examples of elegant early 20th century homes, including the first fully “electric house” in the country, designed as a showcase for General Electric products. Pick up a free walking tour map at the Schenectady Heritage Area Visitors Center in the Schenectady Museum.

 

Glen Sanders Mansion

The Glen Sanders Mansion, an architectural gem on the banks of the Mohawk River in Scotia, reflects the area’s colonial Dutch heritage. The building still retains its massive beams, raised panel doors, pegged banisters, and hand-wrought hardware. The Mansion survived the raids of the French and Indian wars. During the 1690 raid across the river in Schenectady, Glen’s family and possessions were not harmed by order of the Governor General of Quebec in return for Glen’s kindness to Jesuit missionaries. Now a public restaurant and inn, the Glen Sanders is known for its wonderful food and hospitable surroundings. (518) 374-7262 http://www.glensandersmansion.com

 

Golf

Get in the swing of things with a little golf at one of our beautiful courses. After all, whether you’re here for a weekend or a week, you want to work on your game.

Briar Creek Golf Course (518) 355-6145
Hill Crest Golf Course (518) 355-9817
Schenectady Municipal Golf Course (518) 382-5155
Whispering Pine Executive Golf Course (518) 355-2724
Stadium Golf Club (518) 374-9104 or http://www.stadiumgolfclub.com

 

Hamilton Hill Arts Center

This Cultural Arts Center is the only one of its kind in the region with changing exhibits of works by talented African-American and minority artists. (518) 346-1262

 

Heritage Area Visitor Center

Housed at the Schenectady Museum, the visitor center features exhibits that emphasize the history of Schenectady and its importance to the electrical and railway industries. The Center also makes available a recorded tour of the Stockade, a dramatic guide to which you can listen to as you walk the quaint streets and examine the architecture of this early settlement. Transportation is a major theme of Schenectady’s Heritage Area, for the world’s first steam passenger train and America’s first intercity rail route linked Schenectady and nearby Albany in 1831. A more modern train, the RS-3 diesel locomotive, built in 1953 at ALCO (American Locomotive Company), is also on display at the Visitor Center. The ALCO RS-3 was one of the first highly successful general purpose locomotives. (518) 382-7890 http://www.schenectadymuseum.org

 

Jackson’s Garden

Jackson’s Garden may be Union College’s best-kept secret. Designed by Captain Issac Jackson in the 1830s, it has eight acres of woodland and gardens tucked behind a beautiful iron gate. In contrast to architect Ramee’s classical design for the Union College campus, Jackson’s Garden is natural and informal in character. http://www.union.edu/Tour

 

Mabee Farm

In a storybook setting of productive fields along the Mohawk River sits the Jan Mabee farm – the oldest continuously lived-in farm in the Mohawk Valley. The stone house is the centerpiece of this historic site where, for more than 300 years, the Mabee family adapted to the changes that the growth of the nation brought. Representing a typical early family of the area, the Mabee farm tells a story that is unique; the story of an ordinary family who came out to the edge of the wilderness and how its eight generations were instrumental in the development of the Mohawk Valley. You’ll see ongoing archaeological digs, Dutch and English barns, an 1888 Westinghouse thresher, early buildings, the family cemetery and typical 19th century farm crops. (518) 887-5073 http://www.timesunion.com/communities/mabeefarm

 

Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway

Hikers, bicyclists, and roller bladers love this hike/bike path. It’s perfect for two or more, side by side, for catching glimpses of the river. And you don’t have to look over your shoulder for oncoming traffic. There isn’t any. http://www.govt.co.schenectady.ny.us/bikehike.htm

 

Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway

The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway seeks to increase awareness, enjoyment and linkage of the wide variety of scenic, recreational and historic resources along the Mohawk River and Erie Barge Canal corridor from Waterford to Schenectady. The Byway is a regional partnership of communities that will balance the promotion of local interests with the protection of heritage resources. http://www.homestead.com/mohawktowpath/index.html

 

Mohawk Valley Skydiving

A United States Parachute Association (USPA)-affiliated skydiving center! USPA is the national certifying organization for all skydiving activities in the United States. All instructors hold valid and current certifications with an average of more than 3,000 dives and 18 years’ experience. Mohawk Valley Skydiving uses state-of-the-art equipment and the most current instructional methods available. Experience Tandem Skydiving or Accelerated Freefall! http://www.mohawkvalleyskydiving.com

 

Nature Preserves

Schenectady County offers many beautiful nature preserves for hiking and picnicking where you can learn to identify the wildflowers of early spring, rustle through the fall leaves, and just appreciate the quiet of nature. Enjoy the Indian Kill Preserve, Plotter Kill Preserve, Schenectady County Forest, or Gateway Landing Park. http://www.govt.co.schenectady.ny.us/bikehike.htm

 

New York Folklore Society Gallery of New York Traditions

A consignment gallery specializing in affordable folk art from throughout New York State. Folk or traditional artists are those who pursue arts rooted in a community’s history and culture – arts intimately linked to a community’s sense of identity, pride and self-determination. (518) 346-7008 http://www.nyfolklore.org

 

Niskayuna Train Station

This restored 19th century brick station served the Troy-Schenectady railroad route. The Niskayuna Historical Society, which maintains the facility, presents various exhibits at the station, which can be viewed on Sundays from April through October. Picnic area, fishing, boat launch, and bike path are also located at the station.

 

Proctor’s Theatre

They don’t make them like this anymore! Built by famed impresario F.F. Proctor to be the crown jewel in his chain, Proctor’s is one of the most impressive vaudeville theaters in the country, built in 1926 at a cost of a $1.5 million. Restored and gleaming today, Proctor’s is a vision of early 20th century neo-classic theatre architecture with a Louis XV marble fireplace, a delicate pastoral mural by Lundberg and large gilt and crystal chandeliers. In use more than 300 days a year, Proctor’s features a year-round season of Broadway touring shows, dance and music. If you want to see shows like Angels in America, West Side Story, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, there’s no better setting. According to Hal Holbrook, “You couldn’t replace this at any price.” Proctor’s beautiful setting is complemented by fine acoustics, perfect for listening to Goldie, its Mighty Wurlizter organ. Proctor’s also features films all year long the way they were meant to be seen – on the big screen. (518) 346-6204 http://www.proctors.org

 

Rexford Aqueduct

A remnant of the aqueduct of the old Erie Canal, which supported a water-tight wooden trough and canal towpath, is still present in the Niskayuna region of Schenectady County.

 

Schenectady City Hall

In the heart of downtown Schenectady and on the National Register of Historic Places, this Federal-style structure was built between 1931 and 1933 by world-renowned architects McKim, Mead & White, whose credits also include Boston Public Library, New York City’s Penn Station, and the Rhode Island State Capitol. Robert F. Kennedy is rumored to have called this structure “the prettiest city hall in the United States.” Of special interest is its landmark gold leaf dome. (518) 382-5199 http://www.schenectady.net

 

Schenectady Civic Players

Five plays per season, but, oh what performances! The Foreigner. Mister Roberts. Crimes of the Heart. The Schenectady Civic Players, the oldest continually performing theater group in the Capital Region, will capture hearts and minds as they perform from their home, a redesigned former Masonic Temple located in the historic Stockade. (518) 382-2081

 

Schenectady County Community College

Schenectady County Community College is one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education. SCCC’s Elston Hall is the site of the former Van Curler Hotel which is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. A true treasure in the Capital Region, SCCC offers more than 35 transfer degree, career degree and certificate programs, as well as a myriad of special business training, community service and specialty programs. http://www.sunysccc.edu

 

Schenectady County Historical Society

In the heart of the old Stockade area, the Schenectady County Historical Society and its museum houses three floors of furniture, paintings, costumes, toys, and household and military items. Its display of original 18th century furniture is especially notable. Organized in 1905, the Society also has an extensive historical library with a genealogical section and thousands of original documents. The Historical Society is also home to the Grems Doolittle Library, which houses a large selection of books on history and genealogy, 19th and early 20th century newspapers and documents belonging to the late John Glen and Charles Proteus Steinmetz. (518) 374-0263 http://www.schist.org

 

Schenectady County Public Library

Nine branch locations provide informational, educational and recreational resources to residents of Schenectady, Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties. (518) 388-4500 http://www.scpl.org

 

Schenectady Light Opera Company

Hear the drama of opera in an intimate 270-seat theater. The Schenectady Light Opera produces four shows a year, all volunteer, all passion. Over its more than 70-year history, Schenectady Light Opera Company has performance popular shows such as A Chorus Line, Godspell, The Secret Garden, and Into the Woods. (518) 393-5732 http://www.sloctheater.com

 

Schenectady Museum

Visit the all-new Schenectady Museum, featuring state-of-the-art interactive exhibits that tell the story of a community with the power to change the world…and itself. See the “Think Tank,” which explains innovations in which Schenectady has played a major role, including refrigeration, radio and television. “Collections” presents artifacts and images from the Hall of Electrical History, costumes, and the electric car. And don’t miss the MVP Kids’ Place, where learning is child’s play. (518) 382-7890 http://www.schenectadymuseum.org

 

Schenectady Symphony Orchestra

Great music deserves great acoustics and an elegant setting. Proctor’s is home to the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, which has a program of four major concerts each year. This critically acclaimed community-based orchestra with 100 musicians continues a 60-year tradition of bringing fine music to the Capital Region. (518) 372-2500

 

Skiing

Downhill. Cross-country. You decide. Schenectady County usually has a real winter, complete with snow, so be sure to bring your skis. We also have plenty of snow for sledding and snowshoeing, whether you’re in town or out in the country. For downhill swooshing try Maple Ski Ridge (518) 381-4700 or http://www.mapleskiridge.com, or go cross-country at one of the county nature preserves. http://www.govt.co.schenectady.ny.us/bikehike.htm

 

Stockade Historic District

Schenectady’s Stockade is one of the few places in this country where a thriving residential community has occupied the same site for 300 years. The original settlement was founded in 1661. After it was razed by the flames of the 1690 Indian-French massacre, the Dutch rebuilt the town. Today, the handsomely preserved and restored Stockade historic features homes from the very early 1700s, dozens more built before the Revolution, and scores from the early 1800s. Historic markers indicate construction dates and early owners. Pick up a copy of the Stockade Self-Guided Tour from the Chamber’s Visitor Center and stroll through the intimate streets of the Stockade. You’ll see stone stoops and high Dutch gables, Colonial doorways, half-hidden gardens, and an outstanding collection of Dutch, Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, and Victorian residential architecture. Watch for the annual Walkabout, a Stockade house and garden tour held each September.

http://www.historicstockade.com

 

Union College

Union College, one of only 21 institutions of higher education in America founded before 1800, has always reflected its founders’ forward-thinking passion for a truly liberal education, free of narrow thinking. The beautiful 100-acre Union College is renowned as the first architecturally designed campus in America, and a tour absolutely delights the eye. Its emphasis on the arch as an architectural element is readily apparent. Be sure to see the 16-sided Nott Memorial, a National Historic Landmark and a prime example of High Victorian Gothic. http://www.union.edu

 

Union Street Historic District

Walk along the Union Street Historic District and you’ll see Victorian towers and turrets stand out against the sky, the landmark St. John the Evangelist Church, the beautiful gates to Union College, and a wealth of 19th and early 20th century architecture.

 

For more information on visiting Schenectady County, e-mail visitus@schenectadychamber.org or call (800) 962-8007.