Albany, NY waterfront

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 49
Demographics 56
Economy 70
Education 64
Health 69
Housing 36
Infrastructure 54

#50. Albany, NY

Though Albany, NY is an easy three-hour drive to both New York City and Boston, the capital of New York State boasts plenty of amenities without leaving the area. For nature lovers, it’s got mountains nearby for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter months as well as lovely lakes scattered about. And urbanites are smitten with the city’s growing dining scene that somehow managed to expand during the pandemic. That culture, easy access to nature and the city’s high standard of living — especially for the northeast — have led to a slew of homebuyers relocating from other areas, increasing the population.

Top Colleges/Universities: University at Albany – SUNY

Top Industries & Employers: Manufacturing and technology, advanced electronics and semiconductors, off-shore wind and clean energy, digital gaming, biotechnology and life sciences, advanced materials, software and information technology, logistics and distribution, creative economy, tourism

Weekend Plans: Get educated. Albany has dozens of important historical sites scattered throughout town. Still, one of the most eye-opening is the three-story Greek Revival home of abolitionists Stephen and Harriet Myers, which has been transformed into the Underground Railroad Education Center

Favorite Place to Feast: Fill up on a corned beef and pastrami sandwich at Gershon’s Deli, a Union Street staple for more than six decades. 

Beloved Beverage: Try an off-dry cider from Nine Pin Cider Works, the Empire State’s first farm cidery that sources fruit from the Capital and Hudson Valley regions.

Outdoorsy Activity: Cycle across all of Albany County on the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: The patio at Wolff’s Biergarten is a great place to sip German beer and snack on sausages while hanging out with your pooch. Plus, its fall Oktoberfest Block Party boasts dachshund “wiener dog” races — which your sausage dog might want to get into.

Remote Work Perk: Not only does the Albany Public Library – Pine Hills Branch offer gorgeous and sunny common areas and tucked away reading nooks, the recently remodeled building boasts professionally curated art exhibits and plenty of parking for cars and bicycles.

One More Thing … Just over an hour’s drive from downtown, Adirondack Park is the largest protected area in the continental United States. At 6 million acres, it’s bigger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Everglades combined.

– Brittany Anas

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