Beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY, a small city located at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, in Upstate New York, is a wonderful location to escape to. It is known for it’s history, health, and of course its’ horses.
Many people come to the “Spa City” during the month of August. This is the time of year when the well known, Saratoga Race Course is open for business. I would like to focus on other interesting aspects to this small city and depart from the thoroughbreds. I don’t have anything against the horses or the racetrack, but I feel as though this facet of Saratoga Springs is always covered while other very alluring attractions seem to go unnoticed.
If you happen to be a history buff, Saratoga is definitely an interesting place to visit. Saratoga Springs is home to the Saratoga battlefield, the grounds on which the American army fought the British in what is said to be the major turning point of the American Revolution. The battlefield is located about fifteen minutes east of the city of Saratoga Springs and is a short, fun and antique filled drive. Once you arrive at the battlefield, the grounds offer hiking trails, exhibits and breathtaking views. Visiting the battlefield makes for a relaxing and educational afternoon that can be fun for the entire family.
Saratoga Springs is also known for health. Travelers used to arrive in the city seeking the healing powers of the natural springs that occur within the area. I’m not going to claim that the water has any magical healing powers but it does taste pretty good.
Out of this belief, that healing powers were immersed in the waters, a reputation and expectation of Saratoga being a healthy place to visit did cultivate. Today it is a place filled with beautiful day spas, such as the Crystal Spa, located on South Broadway, Saratogas’ historic main street. Here and in other local spas you can spend an entire day treating your body to mineral baths, massages, body wraps and more.
Yoga, dance and other healthy activities have also blossomed to popularity within the city. You can find a place to take yoga or dance class pretty much any day of the week at all different times of the day. Dancing, especially ballet, is beloved amongst the locals. The small city is even the summer home for the New York City Ballet.
The New York City Ballet does a summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in the month of July while the Philadelphia Orchestra occupies the SPAC stage in the month of August. SPAC is a fabulous amphitheater that is located in the heart of the lush Saratoga Spa State Park. The amphitheater is made up of a large stage and 5,100 sheltered seats. SPAC is also known for it’s spacious lawn seating, which allows patrons to enjoy the warm summer breeze as they take in one of the many performances that are offered at this wonderfully, unique venue.
While visiting Saratoga Springs be sure to try as many restaurants as you can. The downtown streets of Saratoga are speckled with fabulous places to enjoy a delicious meal. The restaurants range from casual to gourmet dining and there is something for everyone. Gaffneys restaurant and bar, located on Caroline Street, is a great place to enjoy a relaxed lunch or dinner. In the summer months the large out door patio makes for a great atmosphere. Lancis’ on Maple Avenue, just across from Gaffneys’ patio, is a romantic little spot, serving only the finest in Italian cuisine.
After a wonderful dinner you can choose from a myriad of night time entertainment, ranging from a walk in Saratogas’ beautiful Congress Park, shopping in the many downtown boutiques, taking in a play at the Spa Little Theatre or indulging in a scrumptious dessert in a quaint coffee shop. Saratoga is certainly not lacking in late night entertainment either. You can find live music all over the city. If you would like to hear a great jazz band try Nine Maple Avenue, a superb jazz club located in the heart of Saratogas’ nightlife area. If Rock is more your cup of tea, try swinging by E O’Dwyers, a fabulous, spacious pub on Spring St., located across the street from Congress Park. Dancing to techno, hip-hop and disco music can be found at clubs like the Saratoga Tavern on Caroline Street and in the very chic club, Luna Lounge on Maple Avenue.
The possibilities for daytime activities are endless in Saratoga Springs. You can stroll the downtown streets while shopping, visit the Saratoga Arts Center and take in an exhibit. If you are and art lover, walking over to the West Side of the city and visiting the Beekman Street Artisans makes for a fabulous afternoon.
Since the city is located at the foot hills of the Adirondack Mountains it is a very short drive to find white water rafting, horse back riding, hiking and other fun out door activities. Most of these activities can be found by driving about twenty minutes north of Saratoga Springs towards Lake George. Here you can find all of these activities plus The Great Escape and Splash Water Kingdom amusement park, owned by Six Flags. This amusement park will take an entire day or two to enjoy and is a great family outing.
Saratoga is filled with a variety of activities that make it a perfect summer time destination. If you like to ski, I would also recommend Saratoga as a perfect weekend, winter get away. This charming city is located about three hours north of New York City, three hours west of Boston and about three hours south of Montreal. To find out more about Saratoga Springs, NY and all it has to offer you on your next vacation; you can visit http://www.saratoga.org or http://www.discoversaratoga.org