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Saratoga Springs, New York Travel Guide

Saratoga Springs, New York is famous for its horse racing track, legendary spring water, and for being the site of a turning-point battle in the Revolutionary War, and the citizens’ pride in the culture and history of the Spa City is immediately apparent. Saratoga Springs, often abbreviated to Saratoga, is located north of Albany from exits 13 to 15 on the Adirondack Northway. The high peak of tourist season falls in August, coinciding with the race track’s most active period, but travelers from far and wide begin to trickle in around June. And, if you keep your eyes open, you just might even catch a glimpse of a passing celebrity!

BEAUTIFUL CITY SIGHTS

The city’s natural springs are preserved and displayed so that passers-by can have a taste of the famous water (beware: some of the springs yield decent-tasting water, but others are spoiled by sulfur and other natural impurities). Horse statues stand on sidewalks and street corners throughout the city. The trees are adorned with white lights, and buskers play their instruments on the sidewalks. For a bit of old time charm, take a horse and buggy ride through the city, or go for a stroll in Congress Park to admire the statues, enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, and ride the park carousel. Saratoga’s main thoroughfare, Broadway, offers a variety of unique shops. For more mainstream shopping, there is a mall just outside the city in nearby Wilton.

At the Saratoga Spa State Park, visitors can enjoy nature trails, picnicking, a dip in the Peerless Pool, a trip to the Spa Little Theater, and more. The Saratoga National Historical Park honors and preserves history (http://www.nps.gov/sara/index.htm). The Park is comprised of three sites: Schuyler House, the Battlefield, and the Saratoga Monument.

RACING/GAMBLING

The Saratoga Race Track, known as The Jewel of Racing, is the oldest sporting venue in the United States. For six weeks every summer, the eyes of the racing world turn to Saratoga. The race course is rich with tradition and class. If you like to gamble but are wary of the track, the Racino may be the answer. The venue offers thousands of slot machines, Vapor Night Club, live entertainment and dining. Off of Crescent Avenue.

MUSEUMS/YADDO

  • Yaddo – Located just off exit 13, this famous writer’s retreat boasts gardens for the public’s enjoyment. The gardens are home to an enchanting collection of statues, and are a beautiful place for a stroll or picnic. Yaddo has hosted such writers as Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath and Flannery O’Connor.
  • Tang Teaching Museum –located on the Skidmore college campus, this museum hosts a variety of events and exhibitions ( http://tang.skidmore.edu/(approve sites))
  • National Museum of Dance –located on Route 9 in the southern outskirts of the city, this museum celebrates the history and diversity of dance (http://www.dancemuseum.org/(approve sites)).
  • Children’s Museum – located on Caroline Street. Appropriate for ages seven and under. (www.childrensmuseumatsaratoga.org).

THE SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (SPAC)

Saratoga is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and visitors to SPAC get to enjoy the magic of the bigger cities without leaving Saratoga. In addition, SPAC is a venue for many of the area’s biggest concerts and music festivals.

RESTAURANTS

  • Four Seasons – Phila Street. Natural food market and café.
  • Hattie’s Chicken – Phila Street. Landmark Southern-style fried chicken and other traditional Southern fare.
  • Caffe Lena – Phila Street. Legendary Coffee House. Former hangout of Bob Dylan and popular small venue for music and open mic.
  • Esperanto – Caroline Street. Busy pizza joint located among the row of bars on Caroline.
  • The Parting Glass – 40 Lake Ave. Irish themed restaurant and pub.
  • El Mexicano – Location One- 208 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Location Two: 3011 State Route 4, Hudson Falls. Traditional Mexican.
  • Thai Sushi Garden – Phila Street. Japanese and Thai fare.

 
 
 
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