Things to do/see/eat in Schenectady?
March 10, 2016 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Holy crap that's hard to spell. Anywho, I will be in Schenectady next weekend (March 17-20) for a tournament with some teammates with whom I am friendly, but not close. What should we do/see/eat in between games or in the evenings that will help eliminate the awkwardness of traveling with acquaintances, and show us the best of Schnectady?

We're 4 women, ranging from early 30s to mid-40s. We're geeky/nerdy/awesome enough that we're traveling for a curling tournament, and lean towards the quirky in our tastes and interests. We are up for pretty much anything, though I don't know how much free time we'll really have. Our longest block/breaks could be several hours long, but might be as short as one or two hours. Suggestions for active things (hikes, strolls, etc) would be great (no major health or mobility limitations), as would tips for quaint shops and quirky spots and fun places to browse about. Most of our meals will be (unfortunately) at the curling club, but if there's anywhere we MUST eat in the Schnectady area, we'd be interested in trying (I'm vegan, but good at navigating omnivore menus). We'll have a rental car, so traveling outside of Schnectady proper is an option.

posted by Dorinda to Travel & Transportation around Schenectady, NY (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you get the time I'd suggest heading out an hour or so and hiking the Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville. Just down the street from the main entrance to the preserve is the fabulous Palmer House Cafe. No quaint shops, though. Rensselaerville is a beautiful village, with the look of a New England calendar photo amid terrain like West Virginia. Get on Route 85 and keep going literally to the end, at the intersection of the main road in the village.
posted by jgirl at 8:31 AM on March 10, 2016

Best answer: I can't recommend Tara Kitchen highly enough! Amazing Moroccan joint. I don't know how vegan friendly it is off the top of my head, but its seriously good food.
posted by voiceofreason at 11:00 AM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The bike trail along the Mohawk River. Is it's great for walking too, but it's always been called the bike trail. The part I am most familiar with is centered around Lock 7 (map zoomed way in so you can see the label on the Mohawk Hudson Bikeway). It's mostly flat, very easy, and utterly lovely.

If you are downtown, The Open Door bookstore. Not sure the state of Jay St. in general these days - it's been a while - but I bet the Open Door is still wonderful.

Proctors is a restored theater (built in the 1920s) and as far as I know it's still in good shape. You can wander in the lobby area and when I was last there a few years ago, there was a nice coffeeshop.

If you want to PM/MeMail me more specific info on where you'll be I'll see what else I can come up with nearby.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 2:24 PM on March 10, 2016

Best answer: If you're interested in theatre, Schenectady Light Opera Company is doing a (very excellent) production of Hair that weekend. Schenectady Civic Theatre is also doing Measure for Measure. I know several people in each show, and can vouch for Hair especially.

If you're beer drinkers, I highly recommend Wolff's Biergarten on Erie Boulevard.
Bomber's on State St is also a cool place; not sure what events might be going on there this weekend. Oh, and they deliver.
Pinhead Susan's on Broadway has pretty good food and drink; the folks from Schenectady Light Opera often go there after rehearsals.
Centre Street Pub on Union is similar to Pinhead Susan's.
The Stockade Inn on North Church Street is an excellent restaurant and bar that has live jazz and other music on certain nights.

My personal favorite easy-access hikes:
Peebles Island in Cohoes
Albany Pine Bush Preserve in Albany

As far as quaint/quirky shops, go: The Open Door Bookstore on Jay St has been open since the 1970s, and is a personal favorite of mine. If you're into comics/general nerdery, Electric City Comics on Van Vranken is very cool. Tuesday Morning, on Watt St, is a little further out, but has a lot of neat stuff for shopping.

I live in the Capital Region and am familiar with Albany, Troy, and Saratoga Springs as well as many of the smaller towns in the area. If you'd like a guide or some more info on events and other shops/etcetera in the rest of the Capital Region, feel free to let me know!
posted by Urban Winter at 3:39 PM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: While you're in the Jay St area, get Italian bread at Perreca's and cookies at
posted by halfsquaretriangle at 3:48 PM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding Tara Kitchen! Great food, and the family that runs it are wonderful people. It's all made to order, so you should have lots of vegan options. I recommend the tagines.
posted by fussbudget at 5:21 PM on March 10, 2016

Best answer: Also, the Schenectady Greenmarket is held inside Proctors Theater from 10-2 on Sundays.
posted by fussbudget at 5:34 PM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

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