When it comes to travel, Hudson Valleyites have it made. Sure, we can trek down to New York City to escape out of JFK or, nearby, from Newark’s EWR. If convenience is key, however, Albany International Airport (ALB) is the way to go. Located an easy seven miles outside of Albany proper, ALB is technically located just north in Colonie, where it covers 1,200 acres of land in the Capital Region.
Like New York Stewart International Airport to the south, Albany’s airport is a dream for domestic travel. Although it doesn’t offer any direct international trips, the jet-setting hub connects locals with nearly every major metropolis in the United States. So the next time you need a getaway that’s slightly more substantial than a Hudson Valley day trip, take a peek at Albany’s departures list. Time to get booking!
The row houses in Baltimore are worth a visit.
Adobe Stock / jonbilous
Sure, you could make the close to six-hour drive to Baltimore from the Hudson Valley. You could also hop on a quick flight from ALB and arrive in Charm City just over an hour later. Southwest Airlines will get you to the Maryland city, which offers a medley of surf and turf to dos on the East Coast.
The National Aquarium is a must for visitors of all ages, while The Walters Art Museum and the American Visionary Art Museum are a treat for former art history students. On the historic end of things, the old-timey ships at the docks and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum offer a glimpse into the critical role the oceanside city played in America’s development throughout the centuries.
Adobe Stock / Iuliia Sokolovska
The Windy City is one of those places that everyone needs to visit at least once. Instead of suffering through a 12-hour road trip, save yourself time — and stress — and book a 2.5-hour flight to the iconic Illinois city instead. Both American Airlines and United Airlines offer flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), while Southwest Airlines arrives at the slightly smaller Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW).
From there, make like Ferris Bueller and hit the Magnificent Mile, take a breather in Millennium Park, or root for the home team at Wrigley Field. Whatever you do, don’t make the return trip without ordering a slice of deep-dish pizza. It might not compare to New York ‘za, but it’s pretty darn delicious all the same.
Adobe Stock / aharond
Dreaming of a winter vacation to Denver? Make it happen with a direct flight from Albany on Frontier Airlines, which connect straight to Denver International Airport (DEN).
A picture-perfect escape for Rocky Mountains skiing and snowboarding, it’s also a delight for city lovers who want to catch a game at Coors Field, wander through the Denver Art Museum, or sip their way through the metropolis’s rich craft beer scene.
Spirit of Detroit
Adobe Stock / Waldteufel
As is the case at SWF, Delta is Albany’s airline of choice for flights to Motor City. Just under a two-hour trip, the plane touches down at the Detroit Metro Airport, which is located just outside the heart of the city. In town, Detroit tempts visitors with everything from arts (hello Detroit Institute of Arts!) to shopping (looking at you, Eastern Market) and history (Motown Museum, anyone?).
As for food, Americana eats like hot dogs and chili fries hit the spot like nothing else.
Adobe Stock / Simon Dannhauer
For Valleyites who want to travel to Florida, the question isn’t so much where to go as where not to go. Albany Airport has the Sunshine State covered with direct flights to popular destinations like Fort Lauderdale (Jetblue and Southwest), Orlando (Allegiant, Jetblue, and Southwest), and Tampa (Allegiant and Southwest). Allegiant also makes flights to Myrtle Beach and Punta Gorda, while Frontier Airlines is the only carrier at Albany that goes to Fort Myers.
As for what to do in Florida, do we really need to tell you? The pristine beaches are calling our name all the way from the Hudson Valley.
Adobe Stock / SeanPavonePhoto
When the sweet serenade of the South beckons, hop aboard a direct flight out of ALB to Georgia. Allegiant makes a stop in Savannah, home of history, landmarks, and maybe even a ghost or two. After making pitstops at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the American Prohibition Museum, embark on a haunted walking tour or — better yet — a haunted pub crawl that makes pitstops at the city’s top-tier brewpubs.
If you’re Atlanta-bound, on the other hand, Delta is the carrier to get you there. The flight takes about two and a half hours and touches down at ATL, otherwise known as the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, located an easy seven miles south of the city proper. In town, attractions abound in the form of aquariums, community parks, and historic centers. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is particularly awe-inspiring, as is a tour through the World of Coca-Cola.
Adobe Stock / Rudi1976
Minneapolis is one of those cities that has it all. From Albany, Delta cruises to the Mill City in an easy three hours, making the trip doable for families or solo travelers. After arriving at MSP airport, get ready for a fun-filled trip with to-dos like shopping at the Mall of America, art explorations at the Minneapolis Art Institute, or breezy afternoons at Lake Calhoun. With a strong restaurant culture, Minneapolis is a delight for self-proclaimed foodies who want to experience the marvel of Juicy Lucys and tater-filled hotdishes for themselves.
Adobe Stock / Vitovt
If you really, really don’t feel like driving to EWR, United makes the trek to the New Jersey easier with a direct flight into the nearby hub. This is a great option for anyone who wants to book a connecting international flight but doesn’t want to deal with the stress of driving and parking at the popular airport.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Adobe Stock / Mark
No matter where in North Carolina you want to go, Albany International Airport has your back. For fans of Charlotte, American Airlines offers a direct flight that takes all of two-ish hours. In town, the Queen City (the other one, Poughkeepsie) packs attractions like the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Hendrick Motorsports Complex, and Carowinds amusement park. For the slightly less adventurous, the Carolinas Aviation Museum and the BB&T Ballpark are worthy excursions in town as well.
Also out of Albany, Frontier Airlines flies into Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). From there, it’s an easy drive to Durham, home of Duke University and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, or Raleigh, where the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and mouthwatering barbecue await.
Adobe Stock / SeanPavonePhoto
Don’t want to make the three-plus hour drive to Philadelphia? Book a direct flight out of ALB with American Airlines instead. After the hour-long flight, it’s onto all things American history. Relive National Treasure with stops at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, then refuel with a cheesesteak before hitting the museum loop. When in Philly, right?
Adobe Stock / f11photo
Never been to the United States capital? Albany International Airport is here to make the trip happen with multiple airlines that fly directly into the standalone city. American goes straight to Washington Reagan National (DCA), while United touches base at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). No matter which carrier you choose, you’re a quick taxi ride into the heart of D.C., home of all the Americana history you can handle — and then some.