Troy, New York
Troy, New York, located on the Hudson River just eight miles north of Albany, was once the steel capital of the United States (even before Pittsburgh), and the town's well-preserved historic districts could be straight out of a movie. Today, small ships tie up adjacent to the city center and former industrial warehouses; passengers can easily walk ashore to explore the town or join a guided tour.
What We Love
St. Paul's Episcopal Church: Tiffany and Company was behind the breathtaking interior of this Gothic Revival church. The fretwork is stunning, as are the chandeliers and stained glass windows, some designed by Lewis Comfort Tiffany himself.
Walking Trails: Troy has a series of measured walking trails that wind along the river or past many historic buildings. The four loops are each around a mile long, and historical markers along the way contain stories from the city's past.
Best Known For
Architecture: In Troy's manufacturing heyday, the city's wealth was displayed in its buildings, and many of the structures still stand (so many that "The Age of Innocence" was filmed here). Some of the can't-miss landmarks include the Corinthian courthouse, the Italianate Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, and the Renaissance-style public library.
Mini Hot Dogs: Troy is famous for its miniature, three-inch hot dogs, served from old-fashioned walk-up windows or luncheonette counters. Head to Famous Lunch or Gus's Hot Dogs and order as many as you want — they are less than a dollar each.
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Who It's Best For
Industrial History Buffs: Fans of old American towns will have a field day ferreting through all the parts of this huge industrial complex that was once a booming manufacturing hub.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
You'll Need Some Imagination: Even with the beautiful historic residential districts and commercial and civic architecture, you will need to look beyond some of the empty lots and shuttered factory buildings to appreciate how powerful this city once was.
Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.