Albany is the capital of the state of New York. It is located in the upper Hudson River Valley. If you come here for a vacation or even just to spend a weekend, Albany is a good base from which to explore this part of New York State. Albanyâ€™s most distinctive feature is the Empire State Plaza, a building project undertaken by Governor Nelson Rockefeller to modernize the capital. In its middle is the Performing Arts Center, known as The Egg. The Albany Institute of History and Art is the second oldest museum in the United States. Among several interesting historic buildings is the New York State Executive Mansion, once the home of Teddy Roosevelt and then Franklin Roosevelt. Kids will love the Henry Hudson Planetarium. The nearby village of Colonie has Cook Park, which in 2007 won an award for being one of the best parks in the country.