New York State Museum, Albany

4.6
Get a state-oriented perspective on everything from the natural world to human history and habitation at New York State Museum. Established in 1836 as the State Geological and Natural History Survey, it opened to the public in 1845. The vast first floor houses permanent and temporary exhibits. Metropolis Hall is devoted to New York City and allows you to visit Harlem in the 1920s, see a subway car, visit the 9/11 exhibit and examine a recreated Chinatown herbalist store. Stop by the Birds of New York display and the Native Peoples of New York exhibit, which focuses on the prehistoric and historic culture of the region. From here, you can head to the fourth floor and ride an antique carousel. To find out how to plan a trip to Albany, use our trip itinerary maker.
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New York State Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
886 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I recently visited with a friend. While the outside looks rather dreary and bland the inside is beautiful. All of the exhibit halls are spacious, and large. Their permanent exhibits span the entire hi...  more »
  • This a really nice museum in Albany. A lot of diferent expositions. If you are visiting with children, don’t miss the carrousel in 4th floor  more »
  • The 1st good thing is that there is no charge for the New York State museum. They have a donation kiosk which I contribute to every time period right now they have the women's suffragette history exhi...  more »
Google
  • Visited the museum for the first time since I was in elementary school. It was cool then but now - Wow! There are so many exhibits and some are so big. Wandering through is an adventure in itself. Great for adults and kids (there were lots there today and they were loving it).
  • A very well presented museum with a wide range of exhibits relevant to the State of NY. It covers the history of the state, including Native American times, and the natural features of the state, such as the Adirondack State Park. There are extensive exhibits about the development of New York City, and also a special section covering the events of 9/11.
  • There are a million cool things to see here. A little bit of art, a little bit of Natural History. A little bit of local history, a section on the Holocaust, a section on 911, and amazing display of Native American longhouses and arts. One of my favorite parts is the collection of mineral specimens. You can easily spend 5 or 6 hours here if you want to look at everything. If you're only going to come for a day make sure you don't miss seeing the Mastodon skeleton. My main complaint though is that they close the museum shop well before 5. We saw them kick out a kid who came in at 4:50 wanting to look around at some of the souvenirs. He cried. This broke my heart and I don't understand why they couldn't just stay open for a few minutes for the family that wanted to look around. Overall I highly recommend.
  • I found a number of exhibits that attracted my attention. Birds of New York added to my bird knowledge. Sadly, keeping a bird dusted and colorful must be difficult, a taxidermy challenge that the museum has yet to master. A few species had been removed from displays without notice given. So one searches the display case fruitlessly. And why does the museum source bird photographs from the Wikipedia when there's plenty of highly skilled photographers in New York State? I found myself missing the all bird art museum, the Yawkey Woodson in Wausau, Wisconsin because dead birds cannot stir the spirit the way living birds or birds in art can. Adding wildlife art will enliven this space many fold. I was excited to learn about two hundred portraits of New York commercial leader given to the museum. However, these hang to add interest to historical exhibits. I wanted to see all as paintings by painters, one after another. In general, I found the museum trying to be a geology textbook, showing insights I can look up at a library.
  • A great place to learn about the many different things that make NYS a great place to livè work and retire. Plan on several hours and return trip, especially if you have children or grandchildren. We've spent many wonderful hour there with our children and are not taking their children.
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