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  On any given day in Schenectady County, you can see a show at one of the finest restored vaudeville theaters in the country, stroll through the other Central Park, visit a Dutch village settled some 300 years ago, while away the day on the shores of the Mohawk River, catch a free outdoor concert, eat the best Italian bread you’ve ever tasted, explore numerous architectural marvels or meander on winding country roads. 

Schenectady is one of the oldest cities in the United States. In 1661, a band of Dutch settlers purchased the site from the Mohawk Indians. Farming in the fertile Mohawk River valley and fur trading sustained the peaceful western outpost. Schenectady’s Historic Stockade District, originally named for the wooden stockades that enclosed it, was part of that first settlement. It was burned to the ground in 1690 by a band of French and Indian marauders, but the Dutch rebuilt it with the help of their Mohawk Indian neighbors.  In 1825, the opening of the Erie Canal and the rapid expansion of the railroads made Schenectady a transportation hub. Schenectady Locomotive Works (later, American Locomotive Company) began building steam engines in 1851, and in one of its extra warehouses Thomas Edison established Edison Machine Works, soon to become the General Electric Company. Thus Schenectady’s nickname, “The City That Lights and Hauls the World.” 

Schenectady County’s rich history is documented at our museums and in our numerous architectural gems. Indulge in our natural beauty with a picnic, bike ride or cruise along the Mohawk River, a round of golf or a trek – on skis or afoot – through one of our nature preserves. And there’s always something happening in Schenectady County…from free summer concerts to world-class sporting events to the largest nighttime Christmas parade in the Northeast. Our annual airshow attracts headliners such as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and Proctor’s Theatre sells out for legendary performers and shows straight from Broadway.

Take advantage of the proximity to our Capital-Saratoga Region neighbors. We’re less than 30 minutes from Albany and Saratoga Springs, and less than an hour from the 44 lakes of Fulton County and the Adirondack and Berkshire Mountains. Heading farther afield? We’re a convenient stop on your way to Cooperstown, New York City, Boston, Montreal or Lake Placid. We know you can’t see all this in one day. So come to Schenectady County for a weekend. Or a week. But be sure you come.   You can’t miss any of this!

Download the new Schenectady County Travel Guide here .


The Chamber of Schenectady County
306 State St. Schenectady, NY 12305
Ph: 518.372.5656 800.962.8007 Fx: 518.370.3217
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