The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, 25 Quackenbush Sq. (tel. 800/258-3582 or 518/434-1217; www.albany.org), is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm and weekends from 10am to 4pm. In addition to the tourist information center, there are a small history gallery, a planetarium, and a gift shop. Trolley tours leave from here in summer. For pretrip information, consult the website www.albany.org.
Downtown Albany is relatively small and easy enough to get around, by foot, by bus, or by trolley. However, much of the city's hotel accommodations and dining establishments lie beyond the major highways that ring the city, I-787 and I-90, in suburbs like Colonie (north of Albany). Central Avenue is the main thoroughfare that leads all the way from downtown to Colonie, and is often referred to as "Restaurant Row." The major highways around Albany are notoriously difficult for newcomers to navigate; one frequently circles and circles, unable to determine which way one actually wants to go. Map out destinations in advance if you're staying on the outskirts of town, and ask locals for directions.
By Public Transport -- The Downtown Albany Circulator (bus nos. 16 and 20; $1.50) runs between Empire State Plaza and Broadway on weekdays from 6:30am to 6pm; there is also an Albany City Trolley (tel. 518/462-DUCK) downtown, which also offers all-day/on-off historic tours on the "Albany Aqua Ducks" ($13 adults, $11 seniors, and $7 children ages 4-12). For schedules and additional route information, contact the Capital District Authority (tel. 518/482-3371; www.cdta.org).
By Car -- Car-rental agencies in Albany include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St. (tel. 518/383-3444), and Hertz Rent-A-Car in the Crowne Plaza Hotel (tel. 518/434-6911). You'll find representatives of Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty at Albany International Airport.
By Taxi -- Taxi services include Yellow Cab, 137 Lark St. (tel. 518/426-4609); Advantage Limousine & Car Service (tel. 518/433-0100); and Premiere Transportation, 456 N. Pearl St. (tel. 800/515-6123 or 518/459-6123).
By Bus -- Adirondack Trailways, 34 Hamilton St. (tel. 800/776-7548 or 518/527-7060; www.trailways.com), and Greyhound Bus, 34 Hamilton St. (tel. 518/434-8095), travel to Albany and other destinations in upstate New York.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.