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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Besties 2014: All the People and Places Winners

CRL reveals all of the top places and people in the Capital Region voted on by you!


Best County Fair (Tie)

Saratoga County Fair,
162 Prospect Street, Ballston Spa
This grand annual event is held on 30 acres of fenced property, tucked in the back of the Village of Ballston Spa. Live entertainment and music draw some fair-goers back for multiple visits over the course of fair week. Animals, exhibit judging, rides, and games delight people of all ages. This year’s fair will span the week of July 22-27.

Columbia County Fair,

32 Church Street, Chatham
The smell of deep fried… everything, the sound of children laughing, and the colors of the midway.  There’s nothing quite like summertime when the fairs roll in.  Whether you go for the animals, the art, the food, the rides, the games, or one of the many exhibits, sometimes once just isn’t enough. 2014 marks the 174th year for the Columbia County Fair. This year, The Oak Ridge Boys will play two shows as part of their Boy’s Night Out Tour.  Mark your calendars; the fair runs August 27-September 1.
The Altamont Fair, 129 Grand, Altamont
The Great New York State Fair,
581 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse

Best Children’s Museum
miSci (the museum of
Innovation and Science),
15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady
Sure, you can read a text book, take a class, or educate yourself online about any topic, but there’s nothing like hands-on learning, especially for kids!  miSci focuses on making science fun. Starting May 15th, explore the (impolite) science of the human body in the new exhibit, “Grossology.” While you’re here, don’t forget to head to the Planetarium to check on the stars! These exhibits are designed for the children, but there’s no doubt parents will be just as entertained.
CMOST (The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology), 250 Jordan Road (Rensselaer Technology Park), Troy
New York State Museum,
222 Madison Avenue, Albany

Best Museum
Albany Institute of History & Art, 125 Washington Avenue, Albany
One of the oldest museums in the United States, The Albany Institute of History & Art was founded in 1791. Though its claim to fame is for the Hudson River school paintings, you’ll find many more treasures hidden inside, such as the rotating mummy exhibit, a glass display, paintings, and sculptures.  Perfect for a rainy day with the kids, a quiet stroll with a friend… or just a day by yourself.
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA
New York State Museum,
222 Madison Avenue, Albany

Best Concert Hall
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 30 2nd Street, Troy
Sit in any seat inside the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and you’ll feel the music vibrate with richness of sound and hear it resonate with fullness of body.  Those elements are not simply happenstance; they were created with painstaking care, by ensuring every angle and interior structure was perfectly placed. An Odell concert organ was purchased in 1890, adding the final touch that makes this Hall the acoustical wonder it is today.  Whichever venue you choose, you’re sure to be entertained with the best concerts in the Capital Region.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center(SPAC), 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga
Proctor’s Theatre,
432 State Street, Schenectady

Best Fundraising Event
Wine & Dine for the Arts, Albany
You’ve raised your glasses, and your forks, for five years in a row at Albany Chef’s Food & Wine Festival, a winter event that raises funds to support the not-for-profit arts community in Albany. The three-day festival brings together more than 70 chefs and restaurants and includes competitions such as “The Battle of the Bartenders” and “Slider Slam”. This year’s funds went to the Albany Barn, the Albany Institute of History & Art, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Capital Repertory Theatre, and the Park Playhouse.  Long live the arts!
STRIDE Adaptive Sports,
476 North Greenbush Road, Rensselaer
Tour de Cure, Various locations, benefits the American Diabetes Association

Best Live Music Venue
Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga
The structural design of The Saratoga Performing Arts Center makes it, “One of the world’s most acoustically acclaimed outdoor performing venues.”  Since its creation in the 1960s, SPAC has hosted yearly residencies of The Philadelphia Orchestra and The New York City Ballet. It attracts such musical greats as James Taylor, with a record breaking 19 appearances; Dave Matthews, who holds the record for “Most Sold Out Performances” at 10 shows; and The Grateful Dead, with a record-breaking 40,000+ fans in attendance. SPAC now limits tickets to just over 25,000, which is still quite a crowd! This summer, both Matthews and Taylor return, with other greats such as Jack Johnson, Journey, Lionel Richie and Rascal Flatts.
The Palace, 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany
Proctors, 432 State Street, Schenectady

Best Library
Bethlehem Public Library,
451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
When you pick up a book, your imagination soars. Libraries have been lending reading materials for centuries, first loaning out clay tablets to our ancestors!  Today’s modern libraries offer everything from digital books, books on tape, and DVDs.  At Bethlehem Public Library, you’ll also discover a calendar chock full of activities, like book discussions for adults, homework and reading help for the kids, and game night for the entire family. With a packed calendar like this, you’ll find plenty of reasons to visit day after day!
East Greenbush Community Library,
10 Community Way, East Greenbush
William K. Sanford Town Library,
629 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville

Best Library Story Time

William K. Stanford Town Library, 629 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville
Casually known as “Colonie Library,” the William K. Stanford Town Library has some of the best story hours and clubs around. “The Treehouse Club” fills 45-minutes after school with crafts and games. “The Chess Club,” “The Lego Club,” and “The Scrapbooking Club” are a few other favorites, turning the library into a fun zone.  Whether your young readers are barely looking at pictures or are delving into chapter books, they’re sure to find a reason to read and be read to here.
Bethlehem Public Library,
451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
Kinderhook Memorial Library,
18 Hudson Street, Kinderhook

Best Movie Theatre
Spectrum 8 Theatres,
290 Delaware Avenue, Albany
There’s nothing like a night at the movies to lift your spirits and take you into another world for a few hours.  We love Spectrum 8 because it offers movies we can’t find at most theatres – all the best Indies under one roof, as well as the popular blockbusters. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and baked goods while you view the best first-run independent, foreign and Hollywood films. And one of our favorite features – REAL butter on the popcorn! Lights, cameras, action!
The Crandell Theatre,
48 Main Street, Chatham
Scotia Cinema,
117 Mohawk Avenue, Route 5, Scotia
Chain – Regal Cinemas

Best Outdoor Summer Venue
Saratoga Performing Arts Cente (SPAC), 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga
It’s no surprise that SPAC, located in the heart of the beautiful Spa State Park, placed first for outdoor summer venue. Picnics on the lawn during performances, concerts, galas, Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival and the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival are reasons we love visiting SPAC during its summer season.
Tanglewood, 297 West Street Lenox, MA
Freedom Park,
Schonowee Avenue, Scotia

Best Seasonal Event
Saratoga Race Track,
267 Union Avenue, Saratoga
Known as one of the “premiere” race tracks in the country, this thoroughbred horse racing track is also the oldest.  In fact, it is considered to be the oldest sporting venue of any kind in the country, with the first race running in 1847. It certainly carries with it a wealth of tradition in Saratoga, with grand parties to signify its opening for the season every year in late July.  Women’s hats, getting dressed up and racing to claim a picnic table on popular race days are traditions many look forward to each year. Racing season in Saratoga is a season celebrated all on its’ own.
Capital Holiday Lights in the Park, Washington Park, Madison Avenue, Albany
Tulip Festival, Washington Park,  Madison Avenue, Albany

Best Symphony
Albany Symphony Orchestra,
The Palace Theatre,
19 Clinton Avenue, Albany
Italian-born conductor John Carabella founded the Albany Symphony Orchestra in 1930, making it the oldest professional symphony in the Capital Region. Today, David Alan Miller holds the reigns, and has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation with his recent Grammy award. The orchestra calls The Palace home, but they also perform at other venues.  With guest artists like Joshua Bell and Yo Yo Ma we know why it’s your favorite symphony.
Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC,
108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga
Boston Symphony
Orchestra at Tanglewood,
297 West Street, Lenox, MA

Best Theatre Plays/Musicals
Proctor’s Theatre,
432 State Street, Schenectady
If the walls inside Proctor’s Theatre could talk, they’d have great stories to tell. The theatre was built in 1926 by F. F. Proctor as a vaudeville theatre, and is now the place to see the most popular Broadway shows, comedians, film festivals and more. The red velvet and gold furnishings provide luxurious seating and transport you back to a different era…if only for a few hours. It’s why you give Proctor’s a standing ovation every time.
Capital Repertory Theatre,
111 North Pearl Street, Albany
Mac-Hayden Theatre,
1925 New York 203, Chatham


Best Adirondack Inn
Mirror Lake Inn,
77 Mirror Lake Drive,
Lake Placid
Offering rustic elegance in a cozy Adirondack atmosphere, a stay at the Mirror Lake Inn is a wonderful way to relax during any season. The Mirror Lake Inn has been a family-run hotel since the 1930s. Current owners. Ed and Lisa Weibrecht want the Inn to feel like your second home. Relax in the award-winning spa, enjoy a meal in one of three restaurants, sit by the fire in the common area or just enjoy your luxurious room. The only downside we can see is packing your bags to go back home.
Friends Lake Inn,
963 Friends Lake Road, Chestertown
The Sagamore,
110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing

Best B&B (3 hours)

Inn at Erlowest,
3178 Lake Shore Drive,
Lake George
A stay at the Inn at Erlowest is one filled with luxury and pampering.  Step into this Queen Anne style castle and forget about the rest of the world for a day or two.  Ten guest rooms are all uniquely furnished with turn-of-the century antiques, relaxing whirlpool tubs, stunning lake views, and fireplaces. Former home to Charles Wood, Storytown’s (now The Great Escape) founder, this grand Inn dates back to the 1800s.  Breakfast is included with your stay, but of course, your visit wouldn’t be complete without dinner downstairs in the Four Diamond gourmet restaurant.  Any season, for any reason, The Inn at Erlowest is your first choice for Bed and Breakfast in the Capital Region.

Best Bike Trail

The Mohawk-Hudson
Bike/Hike Trail
Runners, joggers, walkers, hikers, and bikers will all agree – the 86-mile trail in The Mohawk Valley is unbeatable.  It starts at The Corning Preserve in Albany along the Hudson River, joins the Mohawk River near Cohoes, and stretches out as far west as Little Falls. Much of the trail was once part of the Schenectady and Troy Railroad.  According to Wikipedia, a 2007 survey rated the trail as the most heavily used linear park in the Capital Region. It’s no wonder you voted it “Best!”

Best Day Trip (Tie)
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid is truly the gem of the Adirondacks, and a relatively easy trip from the Capital Region.  During winter months, ski or snowboard Whiteface Mountain. Tubing, snowshoeing, bobsledding, ice climbing, and sledding are all at your finger tips.  Spring and summer you can hike, bike, golf and enjoy fun on the lake.  Fall is unbeatable, with colorful foliage that will blow your mind.  There are a multitude of great restaurants to choose from, outlet shopping and dozens of locally-owned shops lining the quaint main street. We promise you won’t be bored!

Manchester, Vermont
Whether shopping, dining, or just sightseeing, there are plenty of reasons to visit Manchester.  Nestled in southwestern Vermont, this charming New England community is home to Hildene, the Lincoln family home, the beautiful Equinox Hotel and Spa, and the Manchester Designer outlets. Restaurants, antique shops, farm stands and other locally owned shops abound, making it a great day trip. The best part could even be the drive into town, as Manchester is surrounded by the magnificent Green Mountains, a delightful treat for your eyes.

Best Private Golf Course

Shaker Ridge Country Club, 802 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville
A few rounds of golf offers a relaxing day with friends, a place to bond with business associates, or just a place to enjoy a zen experience by yourself.  Shaker Ridge Country Club is a private, member-owned club, built in 1929.  The 18-hole golf course has played host to the PGA Empire State Open tournament, among other events. This year, members will be treated to a “bentgrass greens” makeover, becoming one of the few country clubs in the area to offer this state-of-the-art putting surface.  Bentgrass greens are easier to maintain, easier on the environment, and extremely durable, saving members money.

Best Public Golf Course

Saratoga National Golf Club,
458 Union Avenue, Saratoga
Gorgeous, rolling greens await you when you drive your cart onto the course at Saratoga National. Located in the picturesque city of Saratoga, a day of putting and driving at this championship course is sure to help you unwind.  Daily fees include 18 holes, a golf cart with a GPS yardage system, and all-day use of the practice facility.  Be sure to stop in the club house after you’re done playing, and make a reservation at Prime at Saratoga National for one of the best meals you’ll have all summer long.  If you’ve never golfed, Saratoga National offers many great reasons to start now!

Best Hiking
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center,
56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
Step into the heart of nature when you visit Five Rivers Environmental Education Center.  With more than 450 acres of broad fields, towering forests, and tranquil wetlands, your hike will work muscles in your legs and heart while giving your mind a much needed break.  Hike alone, with friends, or with a guide.  When your adventure is over, stop by the Visitor Center for hands-on activities suitable for all ages.

Best Local Hotel
The Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa,
24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga
This 75-year old hotel is nestled in the heart of the peaceful, beautiful Saratoga State Park, just minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Saratoga. It offers spacious guest rooms with luxury bedding, full-service Roosevelt Baths and Spa and stellar service. The hotel’s restaurant, Putman’s, offers casual upscale dining with a full brunch served Sunday mornings. During winter months, take advantage of cross-country skiing in the park and enjoy performances at SPAC during the summer.
The Desmond Hotel,
660 Albany Shaker Road, Albany
Glen Sanders Mansion,
1 Glen Avenue, Scotia

Best Hudson Valley Inn

Mohonk Mountain House, 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz
This nearly 150-year old hotel sits on the shore of Lake Mohonk, just beyond the southern border of the Catskills. It’s a virtual playground for guests, offering horseback riding, boating, fishing, tennis, golf, croquet or shuffleboard, carriage rides, swimming, spa treatments, yoga and meditation, hiking, biking, and rock climbing… most of which are included in the room rate, along with three daily meals and afternoon tea.
Bavarian Manor
Country Inn & Restaurant,
866 Mountain Avenue, Purling
Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn, Inc, 6387 Mill Street, Rhinebeck

Best Ice Skating
Empire State Plaza Ice Rink, Albany
A festive way to celebrate winter is by gliding across the ice under the starry night sky.  This is the third year the rink has been open to the public, with ice skating starting in mid-December and wrapping up mid-March.  Rentals are only $3 for children under 12 and $4 for adults. This year’s special events included a meet and greet with Olympic Gold Medalist Sarah Hughes and a learn-to-skate clinic!

Best Kids Camp
YMCA Camp Chingachgook, 1872 Pilot Knob Road,
Kattskill Bay
Summer camp brings endless memories: songs by the campfire, learning new skills, days and nights of fun and lasting friendships.  For YMCA’s Camp Chingachgook, the memories started in 1912, when a group of boys made an exploratory trip off Lake George using a motor-powered war canoe named “Chingachgook.”  From there, a small camp was established on Basin Bay, across the lake from Pilot Knob. By 1914 enrollment skyrocketed and the present camp site was purchased.  The traditions, values, and countless days on the lake continue today, earning Camp Chingachgook title of Best Kids’ Camp in the Capital Region!  Now that’s a sure testament to more than a few happy campers!

Best Local Winery
Hudson-Chatham Winery,
1900 New York 66, Ghent
There’s nothing quite like tasting a grape’s nectar on the soil on which it was grown.  The Hudson-Chatham Winery offers such tastings, specializing in small, hand-made batches of wine.  Located between Hudson and Chatham, the winery is the first of its’ kind in Columbia County. Open every weekend, the winery offers “Vertical Tastings” of some of their finest reds, meaning, you try the same wines made in subsequent years; now that’s one heck of a weekend afternoon!
Altamont Vineyard Winery,
3001 Furbeck Road, Altamont
Amorici Vineyard,
637 Colonel Burch Road, Valley Falls

Best Place to Entertain Kids on a Summer Day
The Crossings of Colonie,
580 Shaker Road, Loudonville
Children spend hours dreaming up the endless fun they’ll have once summer vacation hits.  Parents spend endless hours planning activities to keep those children entertained. The Crossings is a no-brainer for picnics, informational hikes, time on the playground, and outdoor games.  In case you want to get the whole gang together, there are pavilions available to rent for parties, too!

Best Park
Saratoga Spa State Park,
19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga
A precious gem right here in the Capital Region, the Saratoga Spa State Park is home to the only active sprouting geysers east of the Mississippi River.  The carbonated water is rich with minerals and throughout history has been used for medicinal purposes. Today, families line up at the still water mineral springs, filling containers to cart back home.  The park is also home to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, two public pools, The Spa Little Theatre, two golf courses, several museums, the Gideon Putnam resort, and miles of trails used for running, biking, walking and dog walking. If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday, a trip here is a great way to fill your day.

Best Picnic Spot
Saratoga Spa State Park,
19 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga
You like picnicking at Saratoga Spa State Park for oh, so many reasons! Throw your blanket near one of the springs, a waterfall, or across one of the many picnic tables located around the park.  If there’s a concert playing on stage at SPAC, you may just catch a few notes of the tunes wafting over to your picnic spot. Bring the bikes and burn off those lunch calories with a ride around the park, then strip down to your bathing suit and take advantage of the Peerless or Victorian Pool.  Who can’t wait for the season’s first picnic?  We can’t!

Best Place to go for a Nature Walk
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center,
56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
Walking through nature is not only good for your body, it nourishes your soul and plays on your senses.  When it comes to hiking and walking, this is your favorite spot. Voted “Best of” in two categories, Five Rivers offers more than 10 miles of trails to connect with nature.

Best Place to Spend a Rainy Day

Spectrum 8 Theatres,
290 Delaware Avenue, Albany
A box of popcorn, a comfy seat, and a thought-provoking movie on the big screen – what better way to pass the hours on a rainy day?  The Spectrum is a locally-owned, independent movie theatre that sets itself apart by showcasing first run independent, foreign and Hollywood films. Before or after the movie, browse the local artists’ gallery, or enjoy something sweet from the selection of delicious baked goods. Now we can’t help but look forward to the next rainy movie day!

Best Place to Meet Singles
Vapor Night Club, Saratoga Casino and Raceway,
Crescent Avenue, Saratoga
If you’re single and looking for a match, you may strike it lucky at Vapor Night Club. With hot, live bands every Friday night and DJs on Saturdays, there’s always a reason to dance at Vapor.  Located in the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, you might try your hand at the slot machines before hitting it big on the dating scene.  With chic décor, a plush VIP lounge, and great cocktails, Vapor Night Club is a win-win!

Best Sledding/Tubing
Frear Park,
2701 Lavin Court, Troy
There are at least two thoughts that run through a child’s head at the sight of fresh falling snow: “I hope school is cancelled tomorrow!” and “I can’t wait to go sledding!”  Swooshing down the hill on a toboggan or snow tube is a must for every child… or child at heart and Frear Park is the place to go. Enjoy this beautiful park year-round for golf, tennis, football, Frisbee, picnics, playgrounds, hiking, ice skating and cross-country skiing.

Best Reception Hall (Tie)
The Crooked Lake House,
2339 New York 43, Averill Park
On the shores of beautiful Crooked Lake, the historic Crooked Lake House in Averill Park is the perfect place to celebrate your wedding day. During the warmer months, exchange your vows lakeside followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the Veranda or in front of a roaring fire in The Great Room during the winter. Owned and catered by Old Daley Catering & Events, you know your day will be flawless, with memories to last a lifetime.

The Century House,
997 New Loudon Road, Latham
When you open that wedding invitation, it shouldn’t surprise you that the reception is at the Century House in Latham.  With experienced wedding planners on staff, “Your day is as unique as your vision.” Whether you choose to hold your reception outdoors, on the edge of the nature trail or inside one of the beautifully furnished ballrooms, your day will be unforgettable.
Hall of Springs,
108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga
Franklin Plaza Ballroom,
Fourth & Grand Streets, Troy

Best Romantic Getaway
Mirror Lake Inn,
77 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid
The second win for The Mirror Lake Inn for good reason, this Adirondack hotel’s elegance is rustic rather than flashy, cozy rather than stuffy, and just plain inviting!  Drinks by the fire, a stroll by the lake, a candlelight dinner for two, a  massage in the spa – no matter what interests the romantic side of you, The Mirror Lake Inn is sure to have it covered!

Best Ski Area
Gore Mountain, 793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek
When a snow day hits, skiers head straight for the mountains.  Gore Mountain is your favorite, with 103 trails, 2,537 vertical feet, 15 lifts, energy-efficient snow making, and “home to the most skiable acreage in New York.”  On top of all that fun stuff, Gore is committed to helping beginners and experts continue to grow their skill level, to make every snow day better than the last one!   You may just pray for winter to last, just a few more weeks!  Well, maybe…
Jiminy Peak,
37 Corey Road, Hancock, MA
Whiteface Mountain,
2634 Main Street, Lake Placid

Best Saratoga Inn/Hotel

Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa, 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga
Chances are, if you are staying in Saratoga, you are bound to have a great time.  Known as “The summer place to be,” Saratoga offers attractions and amenities like few other cities in the country.  If you are staying overnight in Saratoga, you like to stay at The Gideon Putnam, winner of two categories this year. This luxurious hotel doesn’t skimp on the finer things, like quality linens and furnishings; the on-site restaurant is a must for brunch; and the spa utilizes the famous Saratoga mineral baths.  Relax and enjoy your stay!

Best Vermont Inn
The Inn at Manchester,
3967 Main Street, Manchester, VT
All of the charm of Southern Vermont is reflected in this historic hotel. Located in the middle of Manchester, just step onto the grounds and enjoy the view, or a walk to shops, restaurants and galleries.  Decorated with New England charm, you are sure to feel relaxed and refreshed after a stay on this beautiful property!


Best Animal Hospital
Capital Vets: Drumm Veterinary Hospital, Various locations
When man’s best friends are sick, you know just where you like to take them.  Capital Vets touts their compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated staff of professionals as the reason they are so popular with pet owners.  Three hospitals span the Northway, ensuring no matter where you live, there’s a Capital Vets to care for your furry friend.
Guilderland Animal Hospital,
4963 Western Turnpike, Altamont
Harmony Veterinary Clinic,
1823 Amsterdam Road, Ballston Spa

Best Appliance Store
John D. Marcella & Son Appliances & Home Entertainment,
560 Broadway, Schenectady
Whether you’re furnishing a new house, adding an outdoor eating space, remodeling your kitchen, or investing in a home theatre system, Marcella’s knows just how to get the job done.  Family-owned and operated, their 18,000 square foot, interactive showroom and knowledgeable staff help you transform your space just the way you want it, with brand name appliances like GE Profile, JennAir, Miele & Wolfe/Sub-Zero. In addition, Marcella’s offers specialty products such as Marvel, Vent-A-Hood, and Asko. You’d never expect appliance shopping to be so fun!
Earl B. Feiden Appliance,
various locations
Adirondack Appliance,
67 West Avenue, Saratoga
Green’s Appliance Direct,
1207 Central Avenue, Albany

Best Auto Service
Gil’s Garage, Inc,
219 Guideboard Road, Clifton Park; 817 Saratoga Road,
Burnt Hills
Nobody likes taking their car into the garage.  But of all the garages out there, you prefer Gil’s.  Established in 1966, Gil’s Garage is a family-owned second generation team of service professionals providing you with the best service experience possible, meeting founder Gil Brewster’s standards of honesty and trust. They offer shuttle service to and from your office or home, which makes our busy lives so much more convenient
T.A.C.S. – The Auto Collision Specialists, 525 Route 9W, Glenmont
Hackel’s Foreign Car Services,
1372 Central Avenue, Albany

Best Bank
Pioneer Savings, various locations
Formed by a group of printers from the Troy Daily Press in 1889, the Pioneer Building Loan & Savings Association of Troy opened in Pilsner Hall on River Street on Tuesday evenings. Today, 125 years later, Pioneer Savings Bank has made its historic mark in the Capital Region as one of the only banks still operating independently.  They have 17 branches throughout the region, ensuring you’ll have access no matter where you are. Whether you’re saving money, borrowing, or just cashing a check, you’ll enjoy great service at every branch.
First Niagara, various locations
Citizens Bank, various locations

Best Caterer
Mallozzi’s Ballrooms & Catering, 1930 Curry Road, Schenectady
The food can make or break a party.  So can the service.  And you know what they say, “The devil is in the details.”  Mallozzi’s seems to have those details down to a science. From weddings, to banquets to proms to fundraisers – they know how to turn out an event you won’t soon forget.
The Old Daley Inn Catering Company,
2 Northern Drive, Troy
2Shea Catering,
27 Hannay Lane, Glenmont

Best Credit Union
CAP COM Federal Credit Union, Various locations
CAP COM is a full-service financial institution that offers traditional banking products, as well as some unique programs you won’t find anywhere else in the Capital Region. And, by remaining on the cutting edge of technology, they make banking easy, so you can focus on the things you love. “We’re honored that you have recognized us again this year for the things we do to make a difference – in your life, in your family, and in your community,” said CAP COM’s PR Administrator Theresa Petrone.
SEFCU, various locations
First New York Federal Credit Union,
424 Maple Avenue, Saratoga

Best Customer Service
CAP COM Federal Credit Union, Various locations
CAP COM’s commitment to provide superior member service has remained unwavering throughout its 60-year history. You voted them “Best” twice this year, so what they’re doing seems to be working.  Whether banking online, on their phones, or in any branch, CAP COM members are treated like VIPs because, well, they are. In the words of President/CEO Paula Stopera, “We do it all – just differently.”
Shop Rite,
2333 Nott Street E, Niskayuna;
41 Vista Blvd, Slingerlands
T.A.C.S.- The Auto  Collision Specialists, 525 Route 9W, Glenmont

Best Day Spa
Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Albany
Step into Complexions and you’ll realize the full meaning of “relax.”  With a vast menu of services for both men and women, you can easily spend the day here. As a Gold-Level LEED Certified spa, Complexions touts a greenhouse gas savings estimated at 56 tons annually, equivalent to the level of CO2 emissions generated from the electricity use of nearly seven homes in one year.  “I thank my team for their commitment to providing the highest quality services and products in a soothing, eco-friendly environment,” said Denise Dubois, owner.
Kimberly’s, A Day Spa,
982 New Loudon Road, Latham
Pure Elements Salon,
1726 Western Avenue, Albany
Sanctuary Spa of Saratoga,
72 Railroad Place, Saratoga

Best Dry Cleaners
Best Cleaners, Various locations
When you want your shirt starched and crisp, you go to Best Cleaners, where they offer the “Perfect Shirt” guarantee.  A few other details that set Best Cleaners apart are their use of a 100% eco-friendly cleaning technology, and the fact that they decide which detergents to use based on the water quality at each individual store, giving you the best results.  With 10 locations across the Capital Region, you’re sure to pass a Best Cleaners on your drive to work.
Crown Cleaners,
627 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush
Sta-Brite Cleaners,
1683 Route 9, Clifton Park

Best Fitness Center
Bethlehem Area YMCA,
900 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
The Delmar YMCA offers the classes, programs and machines of a traditional gym, but at an affordable price traditionally associated with the YMCA, not to mention it’s family-oriented.  It also sports an NHL regulation-sized indoor ice rink.  What a healthy way to spend a few hours. What are you waiting for?  Grab those skates and check it out!
Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center, 30 Aviation Road, Albany
The Kettlebell Fitness Center,
333 Delaware Avenue, Delmar

Best Florist
Holland Nursery,
Greenhouse & Flower Shop,
586 Sand Creek Road, Albany
It just MUST be the most rewarding job around… because who doesn’t smile when a bouquet of flowers shows up at their front door?  And let’s face it, flowers work for just about any of life’s occasions…or for no reason at all! At Holland’s you have your choice of fresh, silk or dried flowers.  Heck, just a peek at their gardens is enough to put a smile on your face!
Bud’s Florist & Greenhouses,
1614 Route 9, Castleton on Hudson
Renaissance Floral Design,
1561 Western Avenue, Albany

Best Furniture Store
The Old Brick Furniture Co,
various locations
When you’re looking for a great deal and reliable products, many of you head on over to The Old Brick, which offers stylish furniture for every room of the house.  Look closely and visit often – you never know what gems you might haul home.  If you choose to have your new finds delivered, they’ll wrap it in blankets and set it up in your room.  That’s what they call their “White Glove Delivery Service.”
Mooradians Furniture, 800 Central Avenue, Albany; 1758A Route 9, Parkwood Plaza, Clifton Park
Taft Furniture, various locations

Best Mani/Pedi
Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Albany
Winner of several categories, Complexions is also a sure bet for great nail care.  On the spa menu is a variety of what they call “mani-kur” and “pedi-kur” treatments, named such because of the use of curative herbs. Not only do techs buff, exfoliate and paint your nails, but they offer medical services like callus removal and help for nail fungi. This is the place to go now that sandal weather has arrived.
City Nail & Spa,
98 Wolf Road #2, Albany
579 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
VIP Nails Inc,
365 Feura Bush Road, Glenmont

Best Men’s Barber
329 Glenmont Road, Glenmont
They certainly know how to make a man feel his best at Tiffany’s. With every haircut, enjoy a hot towel neck shave; now there’s a slice of heaven! And when you just need “the edges” groomed, you won’t pay full price.  Want your beard professionally trimmed, just like celebrities are wearing now?  Tiffany’s can do that, too!  These are just a few of the many reasons men love stopping by… and bringing their sons to carry on the tradition!
Gregory’s Barbershop,
318 Delaware Avenue, Delmar;
5 Southside Drive, Clifton Park
Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Albany

Best Women’s Hair Salon

Christopher Brian Salon,
192 Remsen Street, Cohoes
Every woman dreams of a gorgeous set of locks… and our readers agree, The Christopher Brian Salon will treat your tresses like locks of gold. Owner Christopher Feml specializes in advanced color techniques and styling long hair.  He’s been known to step outside the salon and share his talent at New York Fashion week. Also offering make-up services, Christopher proves that you don’t have to be huge to be successful.
Ania Hair Studio & Spa,
1704 Western Avenue, Albany
Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Albany

Best Massage
Laberge Massage Therapy,
204 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
Just the word “massage” is enough to instill a feeling of relaxation.  Lie on Lauren Laberge’s table and you’ll soon find out there are many more benefits than simply stress relief.  Laberge has been kneading muscles for eight years, assisting patients with a range of medical issues from reducing inflammation to preventing injury by easing muscle tension to restoring normal posture. Unlike other healing therapies, the best part of massage is the treatment itself!
Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness, 221 Wolf Road, Albany
Kimberly’s, A Day Spa,
982 New Loudon Road, Latham

Best Pilates Studio

The Pilates Principal,
578 New Loudon Road, Latham
Nuhar Jaleel, a licensed physical therapist, opened this practice more than 10 years ago, specializing in Pilates and Gyrotonic exercise. At The Pilates Principal, you can be assured instructors are well-trained to properly progress clients through exercises at a safe pace, and are educated to modify the classical Pilates exercises for many conditions.
Reform, a True Pilates Studio;
18 Division Street. #203, Saratoga
Sergey’s Pilates Studio,
1510 Central Avenue, Albany

Best Real Estate Company

Realty USA, various locations
“Home, sweet home…” three simple words that impact your daily life in so many ways.  Agents at Realty USA assist in your search, whether for new construction or existing.  You like their service, and their accessibility, with locations all over the Capital Region.
Prudential Manor Homes,
8 Airline Drive #104, Albany;
376 Broadway, Saratoga;
1745 Route 9, Clifton Park
Coldwell Banker, variouslocations

Best Yoga Studio
Heartspace Yoga and Healing Arts, 747 Madison Avenue, Albany; 10 2nd Street, Troy
Beef up your Chaturangas, perfect your Down Dogs, and spring up into Headstands – all while working on breathing and alignment.  Heartspace Yoga & Healing Arts is a community-oriented studio with two locations offering yoga and healing arts from a range of traditions. Their goal is to provide a tranquil setting with professional instructors who can help you improve your overall health, reduce stress and calm your mind. They offer  daily drop-in classes, workshops, special events, yoga teacher training, and several community classes per week, which are offered by donation. All levels welcome.
The Hot Yoga Spot,
1475 Western Avenue, Albany;
7 Southside Drive, Clifton Park
The Breathing Room,
399 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar

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