The portion of our New York road trip from Albany to Herkimer was one of the most educational part of our trip- and my kids had so much fun.
Albany, New York
We first stopped in New York’s capital, Albany. Our favorite part was the Empire State Plaza where there are many fountains and sculptures. There were many food trucks where we grabbed lunch and listened to live musicians. The Egg is a unique pedestal theater which you can tour.
I always love old churches, so we took a peek inside St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The church has been around 300 years before the Episcopal Church was established.
Erie, New York
We then went on a cruise on Erie Canal Cruises, which was one of the most illuminating parts of our trip. The barge takes you down the Erie Canal on about a 1 hour tour. The boat ride is calm and we loved our captain who was very personable and knowledgeable. We learned about the importance of the canal in frontier America. I never realized you can get from inland USA to Mexico with only leaving our waterways for a short distance.
Herkimer, New York
Herkimer seemed like a depressed town, with many empty store fronts. The first restaurant we tried to visit was closed with no signage explaining why. We did some research and ended up at The Godfather’s Hideaway (315-866-5002). This old family home in a neighborhood has surprisingly good Italian food and we were glad it is where we ended up. It is still run by the Carbone family. We particularly enjoyed the Chicken Riggy and the Godfather’s Platter. The portions were large and the service good.
Digging for diamonds
We then went to the Ace of Diamond Mines. It has a nice store where you can rent all the equipment you need, but I can’t say they were particularly helpful with telling us what to do and we could have used chisels. There were many adults mining there for the Herkimer Diamonds. My kids had fun in our two hours there, but it was really hot and really hard work. You don’t actually go to a quarry, but there are huge piles of rocks that you have to try to break with hammers and chisels. Good dirty work for boys. We never accomplished getting decent sized crystals out of the rocks, but found a couple of nice ones in the dirt. If it hadn’t just rained it would have been easier to find them in the dirt pile and we would have gotten more. We have been to other mines where the kids were able to mine much easier, but the Herkimer Diamonds are something you can only find in this town. Check out the next stop on our road trip, Niagara Falls or explore all of my New York posts.