Located just north of Albany and with the Hudson River lying along the western edge, Troy stands out as a historic New York community with a college town atmosphere. As the seat of Rensselaer County, Troy maintains a close-knit relationship with surrounding cities, including Albany and Schenectady.
This historic city carries lingering elements of its past as an industrial area. Troy has burgeoned and bloomed as a student-focused area that also plays home to a range of artists and professionals. With the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Russell Sage College in the area, the neighborhood maintains energy without losing a laid-back feel. Rural peace and city life meet in Troy.
Residents often choose Troy for its scenic Victorian architecture, its prime spot along the Hudson River and its strong connections to the surrounding Capital District. Affordable housing, a soft spot for fine arts and a number of local colleges also keep this city thriving.
Restaurants & Nightlife
The city's best eateries stand conveniently close to each other in the downtown area. While international cuisine appeals to your taste for a cosmopolitan experience, many restaurants serve American classics.
On 4th Street, The Flying Chicken dishes out soul food that has you coming back for more. Southern staples meet New York style. Fried chicken and waffles toes the line between salty, sweet, crunchy and soft. Real maple syrup kicks up the authentic flavor. Even visitors from the South appreciate the homemade macaroni and cheese, fried pickles and sweet potato salad.
Praised in The New York Times, The Illium Café draws its name from the fictional town created by Kurt Vonnegut, and the downtown coffee shop and eatery brims with character. Admire a mural of the Hudson River as you sample unique cuisine, including portabella and arugula sandwiches, orange sesame coleslaw, and crispy buffalo frog legs.
A line-up of bars and taverns keep the nightlife going strong on weekends. The Ruck combines the comfort of a dive bar with the energy of a club thanks to live music and DJs. Friendly staff serve a range of beer selections to satisfy any palate, and the curated assortment of craft beers changes according to season. If you don't know your beers, just ask the bartenders to help you choose.
History & Culture
During the 1800s, Troy served as a center of trade and commerce thanks to its advantageous location on the Hudson. This city housed industrial mills and factories that produced iron, steel, textiles and precision instruments. When the industrial heyday was in full swing, Troy was among the most prosperous cities in the country.
After various industries shifted to different areas, Troy's affluence and population declined. Always a tough and spirited city, the area soon regained its footing, gradually becoming home to new generations of innovators.
Troy is an all-American city, and Uncle Sam himself called the neighborhood his home. Samuel Wilson, one of Troy's earliest settlers, became a widely beloved entrepreneur. His nickname, Uncle Sam, may have been the inspiration for Uncle Sam, the icon of the United States. In addition, Herman Melville, the renowned author of "Moby Dick," lived in a suburb of Troy, and Alice Fulton, a successful writer, wrote a novel called "The Nightingales of Troy" based on her hometown.
Troy is home to The Children's Museum of Science and Technology, a great stop for future RPI students. Located on Jordan Road, this interactive museum may be on the small side, but young ones will find a variety of ways to while away a rainy day. For a small entrance fee, kids and parents can build a carbon nanotube replica, construct a magnetic maze or play touchscreen games.
The Arts Center of the Capital Region provides essential space for the fine arts to bloom. A rotating line-up of exhibits keeps both homegrown talent and nationally recognized artists in the spotlight. Serving the Capital District from its home on River Street, this contemporary art goldmine has a main gallery for visiting exhibits, plus a gallery to show off the work of students and faculty. Take a class yourself if you feel inspired.
Troy Night Out turns the last Friday of each month into an adventure. Hop aboard a special Troy Trolley after parking for free at one of the city's municipal lots or garages. The trolley takes you on the rounds of the downtown area. In addition, RPI students can take advantage of a special shuttle. Local bars and coffeehouses host live music events, art galleries stay open late to introduce you to the local talent and stores hold special sales.
An efficiently sized city, Troy is somewhat walkable, allowing residents to accomplish a fair amount of errands by foot. The downtown area stands out as the most pedestrian-friendly section of the city.
The city's walking and biking trails let you take in the fresh air. Four measured walking trails lie within Troy's bounds, including two River Walks (a long and short version), the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Walk and the Sage Walk. The Uncle Sam Bikeway extends for three miles, stretching between Route 142 and Middleburgh Street. Cyclists enjoy both forest scenery and urban landscapes as they bike.
By car, Troy stands along the New York State Thruway accessible by Interstate 87 and Interstate 90.
The Capital District Transit Authority, or the CDTA, provides service to Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Troy enjoys service from about 11 different CDTA bus routes. By train, the closest station stands at Rensselaer. The Albany-Rensselaer station services Troy residents cab rides.
While Uber does not provide service in Troy, you can order a cab from companies such as Northway Taxi and Capital City Taxi. Most of these taxi services serve the larger Albany-Schenectady-Troy region.
Public parking in Troy can be limited. You can take advantage of on-street parking for up to two hours in the Central Business District, or use parking meter pay stations by paying for up to four hours of use. For a monthly fee of about $60, use one of the seven municipal lots and garages around the city.
Troy residents enjoy a low cost of living, especially compared to New York costs. At nearly 20 percent more affordable than the state average, this city makes sense as a budget-friendly option. The cost of living in Troy hovers at about 2 percent cheaper than the overall national average.
Housing and utilities stand out as the most affordable areas, while goods, services, healthcare and transportation can be more expensive.
You can enjoy comfortable housing options at affordable costs in Troy, with one-bedroom apartments renting for just under $800 a month on average.
Troy's shopping scene centers around the downtown area, with boutiques and family-owned businesses clustered along River Street. Grab a rare record at River Street Beat Shop, or browse graphic novels at Aquilonia Comics on Fulton. Catering to Troy's youthful, bohemian clientele, the neighborhood's focus veers more toward mid-priced shops than high-end outlets.
Anchor No. 5 Boutique on River Street embodies the spirit of Troy, with a blend of unique, handcrafted items and a personal touch. The owner of this boutique often chats with customers, and every handcrafted item in the eclectic store has an artistic presentation. Snag a pair of upcycled earrings, an artisan bracelet or cable-knit mittens. Expect to pay a little more for these one-of-a-kind treasures.
While in the area, drop by Market Block Books. Though it may not have used books, this well-stocked haven always offers popular novels, non-fiction books and kids' books. A welcoming layout invites bookworms to take their time browsing, and knowledgeable staff members can personally recommend gifts or help you discover a new author. Since the bookstore closes at 6 p.m., be sure to arrive a little earlier.
Head to the Midtown Grocery Store, a small neighborhood store jam-packed with just about anything you need to prepare a quick meal. Other noteworthy convenience shops include 4th Street Food Center and Nana's Market.
For fresh produce and locally sourced goodies, try the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market, a community market that brings neighbors together. During the warmer months, this open-air event takes place at various spots in Troy, from the downtown area to the waterfront. When the air turns chilly, head to the Uncle Sam Atrium to continue buying seasonal local veggies from nearby farmers. Stock up on everything from wine and baked goods to artisan soaps. If you don't have time to make the usual hours, drop by the Twilight Market from June to September. Open until 9 p.m., this Friday-only event has live music.
Great for athletic pursuits, Frear Park lies across 247 acres of land. Residents pay a one-time or yearly fee to use a historic golf course. With tournaments taking place throughout the year, the 18-hole Frear Park Municipal Golf Course caters to golfers of all experience levels.
Hike along one of the multiple nature trails situated throughout Frear Park. Ranging from one-half mile to two miles in length, these trails take you through the natural landscape. Areas with steep inclines challenge you to a tougher workout. Also at Frear Park, a year-round indoor ice rink hosts skating and ice hockey.
Prospect Park has playground equipment, making it a fun spot for kids. With 80 acres of greenery and 14 courts, this urban oasis serves local tennis aficionados. When it comes to events and festivals, Riverfront Park stands out. From the annual Troy Pig Out BBQ Festival to the Food Truck Festival, this scenic waterfront park provides space for communal gatherings.
For dogs that need a special space to run and play, check out the Kinloch Park Dog Park on Parameter Ave. Though small, this fenced-in area allows dogs to enjoy the fresh air.