Discover New York's Museums with Don WIldman 1st ed. - Page 5

capital / saratoga THE Adirondacks New York State Capitol Building is a bona fide historic site with museumquality exhibits on many aspects of New York State history. Every first-time traveler to the Capital Region owes it to him or herself to include a visit. Completed in 1899, it’s a spectacular sight, the architectural star of New York’s Gilded Age, the Camelot Castle of the Empire State. It’s now fully open for tours on which you can walk the majestic paneled hallways and carved staircases and view the many historic artifacts on display. 1.8 miles from Albany-Rensselaer Stn. photo: wadester16/creative commons Though it’s not, strictly speaking, a museum, the The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is a dynamo of a museum that seeks to photo: courtesy albany institute of history and art draw people closer to understanding their natural environment. Opened just ten years ago, The Wild Center has already made a huge impact. Through immersion in the rich environment of the Adirondacks—there are nature trails all over the 81-acre property—visitors young and old are afforded the chance to ponder their inevitable footprint. This summer bring the kids to the Wild Walk for an adventure in the treetops! photo: peter d./creative commons 62.8 miles from Westport Stn. The New York State Museum, Capitol, is one of America’s oldest museums. The Institute’s elegant and studied collection documents the rise of the Capital and Upper Hudson Valley regions, their political and cultural identities, and reveals how much of the epic story of modern America— from smudgy jewel in the colonial crown to dominant mercantile power­house—begins in upstate New York, right here on the Hudson River. There are even two mummies with a fascinating history of how they ended up in New York’s Capital District. just a 10-minute walk from the Capitol across the 98-acre, whitemarbled expanse of Empire State Plaza—thank you, Nelson Rockefeller—is an even more ambitious repository of NY artifacts and archives. Its exhibits trace the natural and cultural origins of the state. You could spend hours here in the towering exhibition halls. Make sure you don’t miss the 9-11 artifacts, the collection of antique fire trucks and subways, the dioramas of NY birds, an eons-old mastodon and a ride on the centuryold carousel. 2.3 miles from Albany-Rensselaer Stn. 2.3 miles from Albany-Rensselaer Stn. Right in Saratoga Springs, the New York State Military Museum commemorates the service of New York military units from the Revolution to the Civil War to modern day battlegrounds. Most visitors will want to head north to the Saratoga National Historic Site where, in 177