Holy, summer! The next time you feel like peeling yourself off your patio furniture or taking a break from taking poolside selfies, hit up some of the wonderful Capital Region towns we’ve been covering over the past year. That’s right—New York State has lifted all its COVID-era restrictions, so it’s get-off-the-couch time. In need of a kick-off point? Look no further than Cohoes, a.k.a. The Spindle City.
Cue BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business,” ’cause you just worked like a dog for the entire week, and you deserve some delicious grub in your belly and a little something-something (i.e. a drink) to forget all about that TPS report that got jammed in the printer.
Start your night out in Cohoes with a table at the hip, trendy taco tavern The Daisy (daisytacos.com), which serves up delicious left-field fillings like Pork Banh Mi and Coconut Shrimp and has a margarita list that’s seven strong (try the Smokeshow, because you are one; it’s made up of mezcal, triple sec, lime, agave and habanero bitters).
Looking for a place that’s a little more shorts and Crocs instead of slacks and socks? The nearly 30-year-old Pig Pit BBQ (pigpitbbqny.com) has you covered…with gobs of barbecue sauce, that is. Grab yourself a Sliced Beef Brisket or Chicken Fried Steak specialty dinner, or just go whole hog with a Big Ol’ Combo (any two specialty dinners with extra fixings and homemade corn muffins).
Finish your night off with one of two options: the kid-friendly ice cream route at Guptill’s (facebook.com/Guptillsicecream), which complements the business’ Guinness Record–breaking largest indoor roller-skating arena; or the out-with-your-homies/girls nightcap option at Bye-i Brewing (byeibrewing.com), which is open until 11pm on Fridays and has 10 craft beers on tap, including sensational sips like the Taylor Tot Chocolate Coffee stout and “1 in a Melon” wheat beer.
It never hurts to get a little fresh air to kick off your Saturday, so we’d suggest taking somebody you love and hiking it over to the four-acre Cohoes Falls View Park (ci.cohoes.ny.us), where you can catch a glimpse of the breathtaking Cohoes Falls, the second largest waterfall in New York State (it’s 1,000 feet wide and has a 60-foot vertical drop). Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed at the park—so if you can’t bear the thought of leaving your furry friend at home, we’d suggest Peebles Island State Park (parks.ny.gov/parks/peeblesisland), where breeds of all stripes are welcome. And depending on when you go, you might be able to catch a glimpse of a bald eagle, one of which has a massive nest in a tree within eyeshot of the park’s trail.
Now that you’ve worked up a considerable sweat and appetite, head on over to Hot Dog Charlie’s (hotdogcharlies.com) for, oh, 10 or so hot dogs. Wait, what? We’re actually not suggesting you go right from the great outdoors to a hot-dog-eating contest. Hot Dog Charlie’s has been a Capital Region favorite since 1922, and serves up its signature pointer-finger-sized mini hot dogs slathered in chili meat sauce, which can be had for about a buck apiece. Throw in some bacon cheese fries and a milkshake, too. Why not? Nothing on the menu exceeds $6!
Since you’ll probably be able to make it past the normal dinner hour after that cholesterol-packed lunch, grab some light fare at Cafe Monocle (cohoescafe.com)—maybe a charcuterie board or a Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken rice bowl? Then top the night off with some tickets to a show at Cohoes Music Hall (thecohoesmusichall.org), the fourth-oldest operational music hall in America (usual events include tribute bands, comedians and solo artists).
We started off this wonderful weekend with a song—so let’s end it that way. As soon as the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” disappears into the ether, you’ll magically find yourself whisked away to The Tiny Diney (facebook.com/thetinydiney) for Sunday breakfast or brunch. Besides the staples, like eggs, pancakes, French toast and omelettes, the jumbo shrimp of a hot spot also features a monthly list of tasty breakfast specials (you can find updates on its Facebook page).
Next up: shopping time. Browse bath bars and kitchenware at Haven Home Decor (shophavenhome.com), then head over the train tracks to relive your childhood at The Locker Room 78 (thelockerroom78.com), where all manner of graded sports cards, certified autographs, packs and boxes can be found. It’s actually housed in a dude’s man-cave garage, for bonus points.
Finish off your afternoon with a to-go coffee from Café con Mel (facebook.com/CafeconMel), then settle down at home with a slice of that Earl Grey Tea cheesecake you already pre-ordered and picked up by 3pm yesterday at Cake Street Sweets (cakestreetsweets.com). In front of you looms your flatscreen, on which you’ll be firing up the Jack Nicholson movie Ironweed, based on the same-named, Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by William Kennedy, to see if you can spot the filming locations in Cohoes. Yep, they’re there.