Have you taken a ride to Schenectady County lately? While we made a day trip this past winter, there’s something special about this area in the summer - the patios come alive downtown, the window boxes in the Stockade District overflow with flowers, and the summer breeze flows through the open doors and windows of shops and galleries. With a few months left before the snow flies (ah!), here are four reasons to visit this summer and fall (along with some of our favorites along the way!):
One - The History and Charm
Stockade Historic District: A gem of the city proper, the Stockade Historic District is a favorite of ours and reminds us just a bit of strolls through Charleston or Savannah. The beautiful architecture, the perfectly planted window boxes, the brick walkways, and the streets lined with American flags had me smitten. We loved taking a peek at the plaques on the homes as we walked through, with some homes dating back to the 1700’s. On our list for next time: one of the walking tours of the neighborhood offered through the Schenectady County Historical Society - Tom has his eye on the beer tour, and I’m all about the Stockade Walkabout where you can tour inside the homes!
Mabee Farm: You know we can’t resist a good ol’ barn, and Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction was first on our list. From the 1760’s barn to the riverside historic home, and of course, the flower garden, this is a must for a tour, a picnic, or just a stroll on the grounds! We’re pretty tempted to head back down for their Fall Festival and their Farm to Fork Dinner in October - can only imagine how pretty it is here in the fall!
Two - The Breweries
We’ve heard so much about the awesome breweries popping up in Schenectady County and we couldn’t wait to check them out. We stopped by two of the six on their list, and we can’t wait to get back down to check off a couple more (and if you go, it might be worth it to get a Passport for a flight at each!).
Wolf Hollow Brewing Company | West Glenville: First up, Wolf Hollow. Outdoor patio - check. Adirondack chairs around a fire pit - check. Green space with lawn games - check. A fun atmosphere and great beer to boot (we tried their lemon lime sour - perfection!). Bonus points for their proximity to Riverside Maple Farms for some post-drink sweets!
Great Flats Brewing | Schenectady: Next up, Great Flats. Again, awesome atmosphere with garage doors that open to the street, super friendly people (thanks for the dinner recommendation, Harry!), and fantastic beer. Two thumbs up from Tom on their Skip Day IPA, and the Pink Guava Sour was like a little bit of summer in a glass. Can’t wait to head back soon to beat Tom in ping pong :)
Three - Sweets + Eats
Storied Coffee | Scotia: Our first stop of the day, Storied Coffee in Scotia was the perfect intro to a day in Schenectady County. We grabbed a table by the window in their beautiful, sunny space, enjoyed a cup of coffee and devoured a banana muffin and blueberry scone. We loved that they support other small business owners with their curated shop corner, and that they partner with local favorites Kru Coffee and Rock Hill Bakehouse, too!
Jumpin’ Jacks | Scotia: A staple in Schenectady County, we couldn’t pass through without a pit stop for lunch at the classic roadside drive in, Jumpin’ Jacks. We got a kick out of listening to the regulars joking around with the staff while in line, and if you’re looking for something classic, quick, and fried, this will definitely hit the spot.
Riverside Maple Farms | Glenville: Turns out Maple Season is all year in Schenectady County! We were thrilled to stumble upon Riverside Maple after leaving Wolf Hollow Brewing (and turns out there will be a wooded trail connecting the two very soon!). After a quick tasting, we made a bee line for the soft serve machine and left with one dish of maple ice cream and two spoons. I’m not entirely sure how we made it out of the gift shop without the maple kettle corn and maple cotton candy, but there’s always next time!
Malcolm’s | Schenectady: Run, do not walk, to Malcolm’s. We initially planned on just popping in for a drink after seeing their charming exterior, but once we saw the menu (and experienced the gorgeous and oh so friendly atmosphere inside!), we couldn’t resist staying for just a few bites. We started with the honey roasted carrots, which were fabulous, and we had to try the Elote after seeing it at another table - grilled corn with roasted garlic aioli and pecorino cheese - so, so good. Chef Justin Feliciano outdid himself, and scored bonus points for his celery ice cream. That’s right - CELERY ice cream. Not necessarily something I thought I’d like, but we loved it. Can’t wait to try more of their menu very soon!
Four - The Shopping
Shopping was not necessarily on my radar this trip, but after stumbling upon both of these stores, let’s just say it shot up to the top of my list for next time!
Bluebird Home + Gift | Schenectady: Perfectly styled and curated, I knew we were going to be here a while the second we walked in. Bluebird is stocked with the most gorgeous home goods as well as an amazing selection of vintage - including vintage Persian rugs! Yes, please! I’m following along with them on Instagram now and am already tempted to head back down - we’re new regulars, for sure.
B.Inspired | Scotia: Just across the street from Storied Coffee, we were so happy to see the open sign pop up just as we finished our muffin. I wanted one of each as soon as we stepped in the door, from the woven seagrass drinkware, to the gorgeous pillows and textiles, to the perfectly distressed clay planters. Another perfect spot to shop for gifts, or to send your husband to shop for your gifts ;)
Until next time, Schenectady! And with all of the gems we discovered, next time will be sooner than later!
*This post is in partnership with our friends at Discover Schenectady. We were so thrilled for the opportunity to share this charming area with you!