A few days ago I heard a guy about my age say how he hated living here. “There’s nothing to do,” he explained, as he tried to rationalize his distaste for the 518. I kept my mouth shut, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But the fact of the matter is, the Capital Region will never have the same hustle and bustle as Manhattan, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do.
For anyone in their twenties or older, there are plenty of activities, it’s just a matter of finding and knowing what’s going on. And now with the introduction of ride sharing (FINALLY) the options just continue to grow.
This blog is a little bit different because I realize that everyone is different. To say there are a ton of great things to do and then continue to recommend only the things that I like wouldn’t likely be that effective. I know, for me, I fill my days trying new restaurants, going to local events, and well, drinking. But other people might prefer outdoor activities like hiking or boating, or maybe they’re shoppers looking for the next best thing. I’m not an expert on anything and everything across Upstate, but I can offer some tips on how to keep busy in the 518.
- Utilize Social Media
My number one tip is to use social media. Odds are you have at least a Facebook or Instagram page and these are my go-to sources when I’m looking for something to do. Pay attention to the events your friends are “interested” in on Facebook and take note if it’s something you’d like to do. Say you’re interested and save it to your Facebook feed, then weeks later when you’ve totally forgot, Facebook will send you a nice reminder and suddenly you’ve got something to do.
Sometimes when I’m mindlessly scrolling through my feed I’ll go to the events page and search events near me. This is a great way to find anything and everything from a happy hour special to a concert.
The same thing goes for Instagram. Pay attention to where people are posting and click on the tagged locations that interest you. Or you can utilize Instagram in a different way, researching different location tags and see where other people have posted around those places. I’ve used Instagram to not only find places to go out to eat, but also things like new stores opening up and even a quarry for cliff jumping! Sometimes it takes a bit of work, but social media is always a source for information.
2. Read The Local Paper
Full disclaimer, I don’t read the Times Union. I don’t read the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post. But I do follow the Times Union on Facebook and I do check out the Albany Business Review. Local papers are always a great source of information. I make an effort to always pick up free newspapers and magazines whenever I see them to help stay in the know. Some of the ones I like to grab include The Alt and Edible Capital District.
3. Try New Things
Sometimes the reason it feels like there is nothing to do is because you’re looking to do the same few things and you’ve exhausted all the excitement! Try driving home a different way and take in your surroundings, you never know what you might find. Love mexican food and margaritas, check out Yelp and see what other places you could try. Usually one to stay out until 3 AM drinking? Switch up the routine and get up nice and early for a hike in the Adirondack mountains.
There is always something to do around the Albany area, it’s just a matter of putting in the effort to find out. Try out these tips and you’ll find yourself with more things to do than days you have time for. As always, follow me on Instagram to keep up with the new restaurants I’m visiting!
What’s your favorite thing to do in Upstate New York?