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campus tour of union college and RPI

Santa Monica...
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campus tour of union college and RPI

hello kind and knowledgeable tripadvisor folks

my 16 year old son and i will be taking campus tours of union college, albany medical center, and RPI on thursday 8/21. we are driving up from lehigh university in bethlehem PA the day before. neither of us have been to this area of NY before.

would you recommend we stay in schenectady, albany, or troy? i'm hoping one of these towns has a college vibe, or is artsy, historic, etc.

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Albany, NY
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1. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

Ah, we’ve toured about 45 colleges for our kid who’ll be a senior this year. I assume you’re interested in the combo/degree medical programs? Just a guess based on the schools you listed.

Unfortunately neither Union nor RPI are situated in a city with a good college ‘vibe’. Nor can Schenectady or Troy be considered ‘artsy’ or historic. Yes, they are old cities, but they are also well past their primes.

Historic to me would be UVA. Artsy would be UChicago. College vibe…can’t beat schools in Cambridge.

Union and RPI attract different students. Union is a strong liberal arts college and RPI is primarily for engineers or business. If your kid is more the nerdy type, he/she may prefer RPI. I think it’s a tossup as to whether Schenectady or Troy would have better ‘vibe’. Obviously we toured both schools and spent time on both campuses for sports and academic summer programs, and are quite familiar with both cities. I’d give a slight edge to Union for better ‘vibe’ and community. And the recent national NCAA Hockey championship gave them a lot of publicity.

Our out of town friends who have kids at Union usually stay at Glen Sanders Mansion. Stockade Inn can also be a good choice. As for Troy, I can’t recommend any hotel there for a first time visitor on a college visit. The Hilton Garden Inn in Troy is adequate, but in a location that you’ll soon want to forget. If you don’t stay in Schenectady, I suggest you stay in downtown Albany at the Hampton Inn [would be my first recommendation] or the Hilton.

Santa Monica...
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2. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

u nailed it it-expert. my son is interested in medicine. thank u for the hotel recommendations. we will avoid troy. which would u suggest: schenectady or albany?

Saratoga Springs...
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3. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

IT is spot on in his recommendations. My first choice of the 3 cities is also Albany for a hotel stay.

As an aside, Siena also has a combined medical program with Albany Med. Good luck in your search!

Slingerlands, New...
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4. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

I am going to differ with my fellow advisors!

When we have done college visits, one of the things you want is for your offspring to be able to spend some time on the campus...hang around the student center, go to some classes, etc. I also think RPI might come out above Union on the selection. My choice, the Hilton in Troy. Reasons:

-a mile from RPI...you can drop your progeny off, let them experience, and come back in a couple of hours.

-nice hotel, rooms, facilities, sports bar, etc.

-on the "main drag", route 7, so easy shot to Schenectady and Albany

-Yes, the neighborhood is forgettable, commercial strip, but the hampton is not located on Rodeo Drive either.

Close second would be the Hilton Garden Inn AT Albany Med. Staying there you are literally in the middle of the medical campus, and can clearly get the "vibe". Interact with tired looking first year med students buying venti 6 shot lattes.

Good luck!

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

thank u jkelly and rhapsody for ur input

after further research on tripadvisor, i've narrowed it down to hampton inn albany and hilton garden inn troy

one reviewer calls downtown troy "charming"

the hampton inn albany is within walking distance of downtown albany

we will only be in town for one night = one dinner and brief walk around. which would you choose to explore: albany or troy?

the next day we tour union college, albany med, and RPI, then drive that afternoon/evening towards boston.

Albany, New York
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6. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

My wife and I stay at the Hampton Inn in Albany when we want to be tourist in our home town.

Troy is having a resurgence, but the Hilton Inn is up the hill away from some of the newer restaurants. But closer to RPI.

If it was me, I would stay in Albany and for casual dinner, go to the Victory Cafe or the Merry Monk, both visible from the Hampton Inn. The Olde English Pub is right down the hill and the Pump House is a little farther down. If you want more upscale we can work on that as well. Albany has great places to eat and drink, but lacks retail shops. But it does have the State Museum, Albany Institute of Art and the Capital Building.

Edited: 06 August 2014, 20:36
Santa Monica...
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7. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

thx tpxb

hampton inn it is

Albany, NY
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8. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

For one night only in the Capital District, Hampton Inn is where I’d recommend for a family on a college tour like yours. The Hampton Inn has the best restaurant in the area in my opinion: Yono’s. But since you’re from the left coast where there’s no shortage of great restaurants, it might be more productive to walk around downtown and try a place more casual or on the Hudson River.

Did someone write that Troy downtown is ‘charming’? I suppose it’s all relative. I grew up in a large metropolitan city and consider Albany a small town with a really safe downtown. Others though, consider Albany a ‘real’ city with an iffy downtown.

I see that you also will tour Lehigh/Drexel? I would pick that combo for our kid anyday before Union/Albany or RPI/Albany. Good luck with the tours and college search! We’ve found it to be a nutty process.

Albany
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9. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

wow I'm shocked at these replies "Albany is safe" really? I work in downtown Albany and its anything but safe (day and night). There as many crimes committed in downtown Albany these days as there are in Troy. Troy is "charming" in my opinion - and has more action than Albany has seen in quite a while. Other than the Pump Station in Albany and maybe City Beer Hall - Albany has seen better days. Troy has many many new shops, pubs, events (including an awesome Saturday farmer's market) than Albany has seen in years. Try the Best Western in Troy. I personally, don't know how this hotel is, but I think it has a fairly good rating on TA and right across the street from Dinosaur BBQ.

Santa Monica...
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10. Re: campus tour of union college and RPI

thx cab for ur input

best western Troy gets good reviews and seems to be conveniently located within walking distance of several restaurants

now i just need to decide on Troy vs Albany :)