About 25 miles southwest of Albany  is the charming one-street village of Rensselaerville, originally settled in the late 1700s by Connecticut families who arrived via Long Island . On the National Register of Historic Places, the village is filled with restored post-Colonial and Greek Empire homes, many built by Ephraim Russ (1784–1853), a talented carpenter-architect who once lived in the village.
On Main Street, you’ll find lots of shops selling the handiwork of Valley craftspeople, including jewelers, fiber artists, glass-blowers, and ceramists. Rensselaerville is also home to the Rensselaerville Institute (Rte. 85, 518/797-3783), which houses a small gallery (9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) and presents concerts during the summer.