Who rocks the house? Saratoga Springs rocks the house, that’s who! That’s why I’ve created this wicked awesome list of 29 of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY,
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Kelly, isn’t that place really just for people who like horse racing?”
And the correct answer to that question is an emphatic, “no!” But, I totally get where you’re coming from since I used to think the same thing when we used to travel here.
I mean, I used to come up here every single summer for twenty-plus years, and basically all we would do is go to the racetrack and pray to God that whatever horse we bet on won their race. Also, spoiler alert, they NEVER did.
Thankfully though, I recently returned to Saratoga Springs after a brief hiatus, and, let me tell you, there is so much more to this place than the racetrack – making it an ideal destination for romantic getaways in upstate New York.
Because between charming downtown shops, gorgeous Greek Revival-style homes, refreshing mineral springs, beautiful national parks, enormous farmer’s markets, luxurious spas, and fascinating museums, Saratoga Springs really does have it all.
Yup, it’s what I fondly refer to as a thin slice of awesome. And yes, that’s awesome with a CAPITAL “A”.
So, put on a pair of riding chaps, grab a riding crop, and commandeer a rogue mustang (the horse, not the car). Because we’re about to get all bucking bronco up in here and ride on into a list of the 27 best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
Actually, you know what? On second thought, let’s skip all the random riding gear. Yeah, I’m weird but I’m not that weird. That was just my lame attempt at humor and a slightly pathetic nod at Saratoga’s infamous racetrack which you should 100% visit when checking out New York in May.
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? In A Rush? Not sure where to stay in Saratoga Springs? Then book a room at the Brentwood Hotel since it’s my pick for the best resort in New York. ?
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Where to Stay While Enjoying the Best Things to do in Saratoga Springs NY
Broadalbin Hotel (mid-range)
⭐️ Rating: 9.2/10 (159 Reviews) Price: $117 per night ?Location: 59 W Main St, Broadalbin, NY, 12025 Details: Read more now!
This place is absolutely stunning and I actually had a freaking jacuzzi IN my room! Yup, a total dream come true.
Plus I had a private parlor, access to a second-floor balcony, and was treated to nothing less than pure, first-class service.
“The hotel is really well nice. It is older, but very well restored. Our stay was over Halloween night, and was very central to trick-or-treat. If you like Halloween and you are travelling, it is well worth the stay.”Jennifer (read more reviews now!)
There’s also ample parking, and every room is fully outfitted with free WiFi, a flatscreen TV, air conditioning, heating, and an in-room safe. You know, for all my non-valuable valuables.
The hotel is also a short 35-minute drive from Saratoga Springs. So, you can easily get into the city but are still able to enjoy some of the quiet comforts of small-town NY.
Plus, there’s a lovely restaurant and bar on-site that serves delicious food if you don’t feel like heading into the city for the evening. Rooms here start at $89 per night.
Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa (mid-range)
⭐️ Rating: 7.8/10 (458 Reviews) Price: $110 per night ?Location: 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs, NY Details: Read more on booking.com now!
Saratoga Springs is somewhat synonymous with relaxation, luxurious spas, and gorgeous mineral springs. But the best part? The Gideon Putnam feels like a luxury resort but actually comes with a MUCH lower price tag.
“A nice stay in a well appointed venue with beautiful grounds.”Patricia (read more reviews now!)
And in addition to comfy beds and free WiFi, you’ll enjoy access to the on-site spa, sauna, outdoor swimming pool, and fitness center. There is also an onsite restaurant and bar, plus room service if you fancy a quiet night in. And all for just $110 per night.
Brentwood Hotel (mid-range)
⭐️ Rating: 8.8/10 (75 Reviews) Price: $119 per night ?Location: 15 Gridley, Saratoga Springs, NY Details: Read more on booking.com now!
Located between downtown Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga Spa State Park, this is a great place to relax after a long day spent experiencing all the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
“Great place ,attention to details, great location, friendly staff….. great wine selection !!”Stephane (read more reviews now!)
All rooms also come with a private bathroom, a minibar, a balcony/terrace, WiFi, satellite TV, a shower, toiletries, air-conditioning, and heating. The rooms here are also tastefully decorated with great attention paid to detail.
They also provide guests with great complimentary toiletries, as well as access to an onsite bar and free parking. Rooms here start at $119 per night.
Adelphi Hotel (luxury)
⭐️ Rating: 9.2/10 (194 Reviews) Price: $200 per night ?Location: 365 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY Details: Read more on booking.com now!
The Adelphi is pure luxury since all of the rooms here are exquisitely decorated with beautiful period furniture, plus each one has a minibar and flatscreen TV.
“Bathroom was amazing. Nice small touches like free, local refreshments in the minibar. Exceptionally friendly and helpful reception staff.”Adam (Read more reviews now!)
There is also a 24-hour front desk, a rooftop bar, and seating areas throughout. Some of the rooms are also outfitted with balconies, a spa bath, and/or hot tub. Rooms here start at $200 per night.
Best Things to do in Saratoga Springs NY – Inside Saratoga Spa State Park
1. Saratoga Springs State Park
When the weather is nice outside, there’s nothing quite like wandering around the 2,379-acre grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park.
Because as a guest here, you’ll have access to a spa (Funny that! Who would have guessed? LOL), hiking and biking trails, several mineral springs and pools, fishing spots, golf courses, on-site museums, food venues, and more.
Honestly though, even in the winters, there are still plenty of fun activities here for you to try, like snowshoeing and ice skating.
So yeah, if you’re looking for the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY, then this is THE place to be.
Because if I’m being brutally honest here, and I always am, Saratoga Spa State Park kinda feels like the lifeblood of the city.
No, seriously. There’s a full-on hotel and restaurant in the park itself.
That’s why, technically speaking, you don’t really need to leave the park to discover some of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY (although you definitely should since Saratoga has a lot to offer beyond this park).
However, to better plan your very own Saratoga Springs itinerary here is some slightly more in-depth info about some of the best things to do in Saratoga Spa State Park.
Address: 19 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (different places inside the park might have different opening times).
Price: It’s free to just wander around, however additional fees vary based on what you plan on doing and if you are entering by vehicle, check their website for a comprehensive list of fees for the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
2. Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Add a dash of sophistication to your Saratoga Springs itinerary by visiting the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
This cultural project has an amphitheater stage that can happily seat 25,000 people, and it’s home to both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet.
Make sure you catch an unforgettable live performance before winding down with a colorful cocktail at the Hall of Springs Jazz Bar, where there’s more live music and dancing!
Yup, who knew Saratoga Springs was such a hub of cultural awesomeness and one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY?
3. Mineral Springs
This is where Saratoga Springs gets its super snazzy name from. And while all the mineral springs in the area aren’t actually in Saratoga Spa State Park, there are quite few located here. making it a good place to start.
Now, back in the day, these naturally occurring, mineral-rich, carbonated water sources were used as places of healing for various ailments that afflicted people.
That’s why, in total, you’ll find twenty-one different public mineral springs scattered throughout Saratoga, each with a unique flavor that stems from the wealth of distinct minerals that are found at each spring.
Hence the reason why one of the best things to do in Saratoga NY to visit all the hot springs in the area. So, get out there and get a tasting hopefully thirsty friend!
Because you can easily design your own private tasting tour at springs like Ferndell Spring, Big Red Spring, Charlie Spring, Deer Park Spring, High Rock Spring, Hathorn Spring 1, Old Red Spring, Coesa Spouter. Columbian Spring, Polaris Spring, Geyser Island Spouter. Empire Spring, Karista Spring, Hayes Well Spring, Geyser Spring, and more.
4. Geyser Creek Trail
Put on your fly AF walking boots kids because we’re about to head out into nature and enjoy an invigorating hike through Saratoga Spa State Park.
As you wander through the trees along Geyser Creek, take in the fresh air and admire two of Saratoga’s most famous springs – Orenda Spring and Island Spouter.
Don’t forget to give them each a taste because the water here is delicious (yes, this is based on personal experience) and is 100% safe to drink!
You can even marvel at some of the strange rock formations that have been created by these natural water spouts.
5. Roosevelt Spa
Thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan to preserve the Saratoga Springs area, the Roosevelt Baths and Spa is now a well-established local landmark – a place that is easily one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
First opened in 1935, this luxurious, private spa has now been pampering visitors for over 80 years. That’s why, if one of your main goals is to kick back and relax while in Saratoga Springs, then this is the place for you.
Because not gonna lie, they really do have it all. So, imagine steam rooms, mineral baths, facials, massages, and body wraps aplenty and you have one of the top things to do in Saratoga Springs New York.
Therefore, spend one, glorious day here and prepare to feel like a whole new, infinitely more relaxed person by the time you leave.
Address: 39 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open Thursday through Monday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Price: Varies based on the service you want but a 40-minute soak in the mineral baths here will cost you $40 during the week and $45 on the weekend.
6. National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame
If you love the performing arts, then a visit here is easily one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
After all, the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame houses a wealth of permanent exhibitions that include Karole Armitage dance costumes, ballet photography, and dancers in film.
There’s also an expansive, hands-on space that is designed specifically for children, with interactive games, balance toys, and an entire stage area where they can channel their inner thespian.
And during your time here, you can also visit the Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame, which showcases a specially selected pair of virtuoso performers that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame that year – a vibrant tradition that has continued annually since the practice first began in 1987.
Address: 99 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sundays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Price: Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior/military, and $5 for children.
7. Saratoga Automobile Museum
Calling all you motorheads! This educational establishment celebrates the important role that automobiles play in both New York State and the world as a whole.
So, some of the cars exhibited here are well over a hundred years old – something that I for one think is super cool. I mean, really, who doesn’t love a vintage car?
Plus, every September, there’s an auction held here where people can bid on vintage cars as part of the museum’s fundraising initiative.
So depending on when you check out some of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY (and the kind of bankroll you’re carrying), you might end up driving home in an uber-vintage vehicle of your choice!
Address: 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except Mondays.
Price: Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for everyone else (that includes children), and free for children under 6.
8. Saratoga Spa Golf Course
To be honest, golf really isn’t for me, Yeah, I tried it once and thought it was boring AF. That’s why I definitely didn’t hit a few on the back nine while doing some of the top things to in Saratoga Springs New York listed here.
But, if you’re jonesing for some golf while on vacay in Saratoga Springs, then you won’t regret popping into the picturesque Saratoga Spa Golf Course.
They have a few package options with regards to rates and tee times, including junior programs for younger visitors.
And if you want a break from all that golfing glory, you can always grab some grub at Catherine’s in the Park, or head to the historic Victoria Pool to cool off!
Address: 60 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Vary by day so check their website for daily tee time information.
Price: Rates vary between $20 and $40 per session depending on if you’re a New York state resident and what type of session you sign up for.
Best Things to do in Saratoga Springs NY – Outside of Saratoga Spa State Park
9. Congress Park
After Saratoga Spa State Park, Congress Park is probably one of the top things to do in Saratoga Springs NY. And for good reason since it really is beautiful.
As a result, I spent much of my morning meandering through the grounds and admiring the stunning fall foliage all here.
Plus, I mean, there are just a ton of interesting things jammed into this one little park. So, between the beautiful memorials, stunning ponds, and enchanting pavilions, you could easily spend the better part of the day here.
Although, spoiler alert, the statutes at the Italian Gardens were some of my faves. And if you want, you can even take a ride on a historic carousel!
Yup, this 120 year old merry go round still has originally carved animals that you can take for a whirl as you metaphorically frolic back to yesteryear.
Or, if you’re not a fan of the whole up and down thing, you can always snag a seat on a bench. Because rides on this primo carousel cost a mere $1.00 per person. Yeah, I’d be hardcore by lying if I said I didn’t go around more than once.
Also, just be aware that the carousel is only open seasonally and typically closes for the winter season. However, from early May through the end of June, the carousel is open on weekends.
Then, throughout July and August, the carousel opens daily from morning until dusk. And then, after Labor day and through Halloween, the carousel is again, only open on weekends.
However, putting all carousels aside for just a minute, the REAL show stopper of Congress Park is the old Canfield Casino.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. How interesting can a casino be? Well, trust me on this. This former casino has now been converted into a stunning event hall that is easily one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
And luckily for you, you don’t actually have to rent it out to take a peek inside. Plus, the grounds around the former casino also house The Saratoga Springs History Museum, where you can brush up on your history of the city and see how residents have used to live way back when.
FYI, there’s also a weird AF wax statue of a man using an old-school toilet. So, uh, yeah, you have that to look forward to and chuckle at.
Oh, and did I mention? There are also several more mineral springs located within Congress Park itself. So, you can quickly have a gander at those while you’re here too.
Address: 268 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 12:00 am.
10. Admire the Beautiful Architecture
When I think of fun, colorful streets, I imagine the pastel-hued homes of East Bay Street in Charleston, SC, not Saratoga Springs, NY.
That’s why I was beyond surprised to learn that one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY is see the stunning architecture that surrounds you.
Of course, there’s a difference between appreciating historic architecture and finding fun, colorful houses to take pictures of. But, believe it or not, Saratoga Springs actually has both!
Therefore, If you love architecture and want to explore a variety of different styles, then you’ll be happy to know that Saratoga Springs is littered with designs from various eras.
So, you’ll easily uncover a little bit of everything here, including Victorian, Colonial Revival, Contemporary, Gothic, Greek revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Stick Victorian, and more!
Because personally, I have a HUGE fondness for beautiful buildings that ooze charm out of every awning – and Saratoga Springs definitely has those in spades.
And some of the best places to find all of this beautiful architecture include Broadway, North Broadway, Union Avenue, and Circular Street – with some of my favorite buildings being The Mill, The Arcade Building, and 1 Franklin Square.
Plus, if you love fun colors, then run, don’t walk, to the beginning of Clinton Street! Because t’s basically like a mini Rainbow Row, but with totally unique houses that come in a ton of unique architectural styles.
Hours: 24 hours (please don’t disrupt people in their everyday lives and be respectful of the fact that these homes are PRIVATE PROPERTY) as you enjoy all of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY).
11. Malta Drive-In Theater
Did anyone else grow up going to the drive-in theater or was that just me? Because my mom and I used to go to the one in Lake George every summer and LOVED it.
But, alas, these days they’re closing left and right, which definitely hurts my heart! That’s why when I finally went on a New York road trip to Saratoga Springs, I was beyond ecstatic to learn that they still have one!
Not only that, but this drive-in theater actually has TWO different screens! This way, if you’re lucky, you can watch some of the best travel movies of all time!
Okay well, technically speaking this theater is actually a few miles outside of Saratoga, in Malta, NY. But, it’s still one of the absolute BEST things to do in Saratoga Springs NY if you’re looking for a fun, low-key evening out.
Plus, this place is more than a little historic since it first opened in 1949 and has been in operation for well over seventy years. There’s also space here for up to 800 vehicles on the premises.
But, you can always bring along some camping chairs or a blanket and sit outside your vehicle. Kind of like we did when I was a kid.
Address: 2785 U.S. 9, Malta, NY 12020
Hours: Check their site for more info on what’s currently showing and for exact showtimes. But, they’re typically open on Friday and Saturday evenings between April and October. There are also two different screens, with three showings per night, that typically start at 7:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 11:00 pm respectively.
Price: Adults (Age 12 & Older): $10.00; Children (Under 12): $5.00
12. Breakfast at the Racetrack
Apart from Saratoga Spa State Park and Congress Park, Saratoga Springs is most well known for this iconic racetrack.
And that makes sense since The Saratoga Race Course was first opened in 1863 and is currently the third oldest race track in the United States.
Later, about a year after it opened, the track began a stakes race called the Travers (also known as the Midsummer Derby) for some of its wealthy patrons – a race that this immortal course STILL hosts today, making it THE single oldest major thoroughbred horse race in the country.
So, it’s no small wonder that The Saratoga Race Course is now one of the most famous in the country. In fact, you’ve probably seen it in a film or two!
And the best part? You can have breakfast here (because we all know how ya girl here feels about food of the breakfast variety) and watch the horses warm up amidst all this beautiful history.
Because having breakfast here before the start of a race is definitely one of the fun things to do in Saratoga Springs NY!
So, any day that the track holds a race, you are welcome to head in early and gobble up their delicious breakfast buffet. A decadent assortment of foods that are served to you on The Porch of the Clubhouse.
However, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. So, try to show up as early as possible to snag a primo seat. Because although they do have seats available for up to 825 people, you’d be surprised at how quickly tables fill up.
Also, please note that breakfast does NOT include seating for the races themselves. Therefore, you’ll need to reserve tickets for a race separately if that’s something you’re interested in.
However, breakfast DOES include a free, tram tour of the stable area. It departs every 15 minutes – or when full – and lasts for about 45 minutes.
Pro Tip: Breakfast is not served on Travers Day, but it’s still worth going if you like horse racing.
Address: 67 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: The meets run for about 6-8 weeks a year during the summer.
Price: $15 will get you in the door (cheaper if you book in advance), however, this does not guarantee you seating. Prices for breakfast go up each year, but as far as I know it’s $9.25 for children and $18.50 for adults.
13. National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
If you enjoy horse racing, then you’re probably going to love visiting the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
And honestly, even if you aren’t all that into pro racing, it’s still one of the top things to do in Saratoga Springs NY if you’re even remotely interested in history. Or just like horses. Because yeah, there are A LOT of paintings of horses here.
Also, not surprisingly, the museum is just an almost literal hop, skip, and jump away from the immortal race track.
However, what DID surprise me was the sheer size of this place. Because it’s kind of bananas how big this museum really is! And it genuinely has pretty much EVERYTHING you’d ever need to know about horse racing.
There are also a ton of permanent and special exhibits on display here at any given time, including sculptures, paintings, memorabilia, trophies, etc. There are also entire galleries inside devoted to horse racing in the post and pre-civil war era America.
There are also a ton of special exhibits here whose topics vary but that have previously covered things like the Travers, women in racing, and the famous thoroughbred “Man o’ War”.
Address: 191 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Currently open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. But, summer and winter hours vary by year so check their website for opening times.
Price: Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (65+), $10 for students (6-17/College with ID), children under 5, museum members, and veterans all visit for free.
14. Ghost Tour
If you love ghost stories and haunted sites almost as much as I do, then you’ll absolutely love this Haunted Saratoga ghost tour!
It was one of the highlights of my trip and easily one of my favorite things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY. Because yeah, you know your girl over here LOVES some dark tourism.
During my ghost tour, Joe was my epic tour guide and I really appreciated the fact that he knows his stuff and that he is really adept at atmospheric storytelling.
And while I don’t want to give too much away, let’s just say that this interactive experience will take you around the downtown area and through Congress Park.
Sure, it’s not a particularly long walk – maybe about a mile over the course of an hour and a half – but you’ll hear all about malignant spirits and discover pseudo-friendly ghosts along the way!
Plus it’s a great way to see more of the city. And If you want to learn even more about the ghosts of Saratoga Springs, they even have a book for sale that will allow you to delve into the macabre history of this area.
Address: Specific meeting instructions will be sent by email when the tours are booked
Hours: Check their site for availability but currently tours start at 7:00 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.
Price: Adults: $20.00; Children (Under 12): $10.00
15. Saratoga National Historical Park
There are two main reasons why Saratoga National Historical Park should be on your list of best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
The first is that is B-E-A-utiful, with over 5 square miles of picturesque open green space for you to roam around in. This picturesque natural landscape is also the perfect place to go hiking, rambling, and birdwatching.
The second and very important reason is its rich history. See, the Battles of Saratoga were actually fought here in 1777, during which an army of British soldiers was met and defeated by American Patriot forces.
Yeah, they somehow managed to get them to surrender and, in so doing, changed the entire course of the Revolutionary War.
But, don’t take my word for it. The park’s visitor’s center is full of information about the battle, including artifacts, light-up maps, and a timeline of the events that demonstrates exactly how this battle changed the course of the war.
And while you’re here, make sure to head over to the Saratoga Monument, which commemorates this great American victory.
Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal since it’s a 154 foot tall stone tower that sits on the exact spot where the British were camped during the final days of fighting. You can also climb to the top of the monument and enjoy sweeping, 360-degree views of the area.
Address: 648 NY-32, Stillwater, NY 12170
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
16. Saratoga Lake Cruise
Believe it or not, Saratoga Lake is only a 10-minute drive from Saratoga Springs. So, if the weather is nice and it’s \ warm outside, one of the top things to do in Saratoga Springs NY is to pretend commander a ship and enjoy a scenic cruise around the lake.
Do make reservations though since it tends to get busy during high season, AKA the summer! Because locals and tourists alike love the one of the best lakes in New York and enjoy sun bathing, swimming, fishing, and rowing across this gorgeous body of water.
You can also rent your own boat if you’re supremely confident in your boating skills – I’ve heard great things about Salvi Aquatic Boat Rentals – or take a cruise with Adirondack Cruise instead.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t personally go on a lake cruise during my winter visit. But, between spring and autumn, Adirondack Cruise company has plenty of options to choose from,
So, you can take a private dinner cruise, enjoy a romantic sunset cruise, or embark on a delightful morning coffee cruise if you’re way more of a morning person than me.
All of their cruises are also at least an hour-long, which is definitely enough time to marvel at the enchanting beauty of Lake Saratoga.
And if you want to make a day of it, pack a lunch and have a picnic at Waterfront Park. Yeah, there are actually several different picnic benches along the lake for you to sit at.
Address: Saratoga Lake Marina, 549 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Cruises are offered daily, throughout the day, in season. So, check their website for more information.
Price: Prices start at $15 per person depending on whether the cruise is private or not.
17. Brown’s Beach
Okay, okay, I know. Brown’s Beach is TECHNICALLY part of Saratoga Lake. But, it’s all the way on the opposite end of the lake from Waterfront Park and most of the boat rental/cruise companies in the area – making it another one of the top things to do in Saratoga Springs New York.
So yeah, it’s kind of its own entity. Plus, I’m singling it out because it’s one of the only public swimming areas in Saratoga Lake (although you still have to pay to use it). Also, for some weird reason, a lot of residents don’t even know that Brown Beach actually exists.
Additionally, the previous point in this post was actually about lake cruises and this is about swimming. And those are two totally different things. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself to justify adding Brown’s Beach to this list of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
Now, despite being a popular summer spot since the 1800s, Brown’s Beach was actually closed down in 2006. However, luckily for you, it was quickly reopened again in 2015 by nearby Stillwater.
So, what are you waiting for? Frolic along the sandy shores of Lake Saratoga and get your tan until you sizzle like bacon. And yes, I mean that in the best possible way.
Just make sure to get there as early as possible because it can get pretty busy during peak season (summer).
And in addition to swimming, guests can also enjoy a wealth of other fun activities like kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding.
Most visitors to the area will also head to Dock Brown’s for a refreshing beverage and some tasty chicken wings. or a delicious black bean burger if you’re a vegetarian like me.
Address: 511 NY-9P, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Price: $3 for people 13 and older and free for children 12 and under.
18. Yaddo Gardens
Less than three miles away from Saratoga Springs is the Corporation of Yaddo, a picturesque haven for artists.
It’s a sprawling, 400-acre green space that offers live-in residencies to artists from across the globe. This way, they can come here, get a little peace and quiet, and focus on their work.
And although this complex was first built in 1899 by Spencer and Katrina Trask, Yaddo has actually had its doors opened to artists since ye olde 1926.
As a result, members of the public can currently explore some parts of this amazing space and see where artists in choreography, film, literature, musical composition, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video live in residence.
And just so you know, the Yaddo Gardens are a pretty big deal and have hosted some seriously big names in the past, including Langston Hughes, Patricia Highsmith, James Baldwin, David Foster Wallace,, etc.
So, why is it included in my list of best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY? Well, because while most of the grounds are private and only accessible to residents, some of the gardens here are actually open to the public! And trust me, they are well worth a visit.
That’s why I’d definitely take a private tour of the grounds. This way, you won’t miss out on any of the area’s wicked cool details- or get lost. Especially since the grounds here are next level stunning and inspired by both Italian and French Renaissance style gardens and architecture – with a unique rock and rose garden for an extra added bit of awesomeness.
FYI, bookings for photoshoots are also available upon request.
Address: The Corporation of Yaddo, 312 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open daily from dusk to dawn.
19. The Children’s Museums of Saratoga
The Children’s Museum at Saratoga’s mission statement is to create a place where “learning and play go hand-in-hand”,
And trust me, this place more than delivers on this goal since there are over a dozen colorful playrooms (or “exhibits”) where kids can go crazy, engage with the world around them, and enjoy hands-on activities centered around learning.
Now, each one of these playrooms has a theme that is designed around a specific activity. So, you’ll find a grocery store, a schoolhouse, a Spa Little Theater (for all those performers out there), a mailroom, a firehouse (where you can sit behind the wheel of a fire truck!), a Bubble Spring (for messier fun!) and a veterinary clinic.
And while I personally don’t have children, I can see how visiting a place like this could easily one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY for families.
Just not families with older children since the museum was specifically designed to be developmentally appropriate for children between the ages of 0-8.
So yeah, think of it as a place where you can entertain AND educate young minds on a fun-filled, family vacation … or for anyone who’s a kid at heart, like me!
Address: 69 Caroline St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open June 26 through Labor Day Monday and Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Sundays from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The rest of the year, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Price: Tickets are $8 per person of free for members
20. Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery
On their website, it says that the purpose of this museum is to “awaken the community to the richness and diversity of the human experience through the medium of art.”
And in the achievement of that goal, the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is a roaring success! At least, I think so since I felt uber-inspired by the diversity of the art on display here.
That being said, I was a bit unsure prior to my visit because it’s a contemporary art gallery and, well, those can always be a bit hit or miss for me.
But, there was no need for me to worry because it was amazing, especially since the pieces on display here felt like they were from every style and in every medium imaginable.
That’s why, no matter who you are and what you’re into, you’ll for sure find something that you’re into at Tang.
And, just in case you’re not in the know, this museum is actually part of Skidmore College, and was named after a former student, Frances Young Tang, whose family made a very sizeable donation to the museum a few years after she passed away.
The building itself was also designed by architect Antoine Predock, and really is a work of art in and of itself.
So, step inside and explore the four galleries within (two larger, two smaller), which are bedazzled with stunning contemporary art as far as the eye can see. I mean, even the elevator is outfitted with a unique art installation that is known as “Elevator Music” (at least at the time of my visit).
You’ll also find a few different exhibitions on display here at any given time. So, if you stop by and aren’t smitten, but do love art, you can always go back in a few months and see what new art installations are there.
Address: 815 N Broadway #1632, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, open until 9:00 pm on Thursdays.
Price: Free, but donations recommended for one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
21. New York State Military Museum
The collection of artifacts, books, and exhibits on display in the New York State Military Museum are well over 150 years old. Which makes sense since everything from uniforms to weapons to artillery pieces to medical supplies to military art can be found here.
Artifacts here also date back to any time between the Revolutionary War and Desert Storm. So yeah, holy Hannah Batman, that’s a lot of stuff inside one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
Plus, this museum is actually known for housing the second largest collection of state battle flags in the country AND has the largest collection of Civil War flags in the world. Yup, true story, and talk about a lot of flags!
Not to mention the fact that there are over 6,000 photographs, letters, maps, and scrapbooks on display here. That’s why, if you can think of something military-related, then chances are that this museum has something about it.
And as of 2001, this extensive collection was also housed inside the Saratoga Springs historic armory (very appropriate) – a striking terracotta brick building with huge turrets that make this place pretty dang easy to find.
However, just in case you’re directionally challenged like me, be on the look out for a giant, green Sherman Tank that is parked just outside the building.
Address: 61 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours:: Varies by season but typically Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the museum also open on Mondays during the summer. But, check their website for specific opening times and for reservations, which are required for the research center.
22. Saratoga Farmers’ Market
Fresh fruit for sale at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market, one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY. After all, this seasonal celebration of fresh produce has been up and running for well over 40 years.
And it’s become so popular, that it now has well over 70 vendors. Therefore, you’ll definitely find a veritable buffet of tasty snacks and delicious treats that you can bring home with you and store in your pantry for this winter and beyond!
It’s also a great place to refuel after a productive morning working through your fun-filled Saratoga Springs itinerary.
Funnily enough, though, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market didn’t get off to a great start. Because when it was first started in 1978, it rained on most of the market days. And the only protection that customers had against the inclement weather was a few small patio umbrellas.
But, the organizers never gave up, and after some great seasons with large turnouts and even more vendors, the market has become the veritable foodie mecca it is today.
Because from its humble beginnings, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market has grown to include stalls selling apple cheesecakes, whiskey, homemade jerky, local apple cider, jewelry, and fresh-from-the-farm produce.
Address: Wilton Mall, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. FYI, There’s also one in Saratoga Spa State Park on Sundays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Price: Free (but of course if you buy anything that will cost money!)
23. Hyde Collection
Do you enjoy the artistic works of Rembrandt? Picasso? Whistler? Maybe you’re more of a Renoir or a Botticelli fan? Well, luckily for you, you can find all this and more at the Hyde Collection.
Because this beautiful museum sits just north of the Hudson River and houses fine works of art that will satisfy even the most eclectic of artistic tastes.
That’s why the Hyde Collection Art Museum and Gallery is definitely one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY for any and all of my fellow art lovers out there.
I mean, the epic amount of pieces here that are done by world-famous artists is just too big to miss!
In addition to their fantastic selection of paintings, which are all housed inside a 1912 American Renaissance mansion for added allure, there are also live music and theatrical events on offer here, as well as art and exercise classes (where you can marvel at artwork while doing yoga), interactive writing workshops, and plenty of tours – including an occasional Murder Mystery Tour that looks beyond awesome.
Address: 161 Warren Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801
Hours: Open Friday through Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Price: Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (60+), free entry for members, students (with ID), children, veterans, and activity duty military members
24. Saratoga Winery
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Saratoga Springs NY or for a romantic getaway in upstate New York, then the Saratoga Winery is the place to be!
So, book a tour and learn all about the winemaking process. Or, simply savor a nice meander through the vineyard’s gorgeous grounds.
Personally, I’m not really a wine drinker, but I do love wandering around vineyards since they’re always so gosh darn beautiful!
And The Saratoga Winery is no exception. They also produce more than 15 specially, handcrafted wines that are made using grapes from right here in upstate New York.
Plus, if you’re visiting with a wine lover but are not really one yourself, then there are always 8-9 local craft brew beers on tap in the tasting room for you to try out.
And as if all that weren’t enough, this winery also hosts regular live events like trivia nights and bonfire nights that you can totally join in on.
Address: 462 NY-29, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open Thursday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm. FYI, reservations MUST be made ahead of time.
Price: Contact for pricing
25. High Rock Park
You might not know it was there if you weren’t looking for it. But, High Rock Park is a beautiful little park in the north of Saratoga Springs that is well worth a visit – assuming you’re not “parked” out by your explorations of Congress Park.
So what makes it so special? Well, High Rock is a popular picnic site. So if you’re hot after a picnic then this is one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY for you!
However, this little park is way more than just another epic picnic location. Because one of the main things to do here is to visit the 9/11 Memorial, which is also known as “Tempered by Memory”.
As a native New Yorker, I found my visit here extremely difficult. But, I also think it’s an important monument to visit and recommend paying your respects if you can.
It’s basically a large, steel sculpture that is hard to miss in this rather small park. This sculpture is also surrounded by colorful flowers and some benches if you need to sit and gather your thoughts for a moment.
Additionally, there are two more mineral springs within High Rock (including the aptly named High Rock spring), so if you’re trying to catch them all, you have to visit.
Address: 112 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
26. Check Out the Casino
Wanna win it big while enjoying one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY? If so then mosey on over to Saratoga Casino Hotel and take advantage of all the plush amenities that this amazing place has to offer.
Because in addition to featuring a host of polished rooms where you can spend the night (for under $140 per night I might add), this resort and casino has a harness racing complex, indoor pool, and decadent steakhouse for guests to enjoy.
Plus, live entertainment is routinely on offer here with different bands live DJs performing here weekly.
So, after sitting at one of over 1200 slot machines and playing table games like keno, poker, craps, and blackjack, stay for a show and enjoy a nice meal to round out your time here.
Address: 342 Jefferson St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: The casino is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Rooms start at just under $140 per night.
27. Visit the Saratoga Springs History Museum
Basically, smack dab in the middle of Congress Park is the one and only, Saratoga Springs History Museum.
It’s one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs that can be found inside the old Canfield Casino and that features an incredible collection of artifacts that detail the amazing cultural history of this exciting town.
In fact, this amazing place is home to upwards of 15,000 artifacts and has an archive that is filled with more than 325,000 photographs that were taken any time between 1855 and 1980.
They also have some pretty intriguing exhibits like the “Vice: The Darker Side of Saratoga Springs” exhibition which looks at how gambling and bootleggers impacted the area throughout Prohibition.
Pro Tip: Don’t leave without seeing the Canfield High Stakes Gambling Room which is outfitted with original furniture and decor.
Address: 1 E Congress St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: This museum is seasonal and closed from December through March. Otherwise, it is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm with last admissions at 3:00 pm.
Price: $10.00 for adults, $9.00 for seniors, and $5.00 for students.
28. Shop In The Downtown Area
If you love browsing through interesting shops and collecting super cool New York souvenirs then visiting the Downtown area of Saratoga Springs is something that you should consider. There are so many shops here that you could literally spend the whole day just wandering around the Downtown area alone.
Lifestyles of Saratoga has some really cute women’s accessories and clothing. Lyrical Ballad Bookstore is a dream for book lovers everywhere. Let’s not forget about the famed Saratoga Olive Oil company that is one of the top 5 best stores in the world because of their olive oil collection. Impressions of Saratoga is the best place to get sportswear.
These stores are just the tip of the iceberg. You will find a store for almost everything and all you have to do is search. I mean Google maps is your best friend when it comes to locating these shops.
29. Explore Saratoga Springs By Cycle
Okay so I know that Saratoga is pretty walkable and you don’t need any transport when it comes to exploring the downtown area of the city. The difference however comes up when you try to head to places that are not very central. Most people choose to drive from location to location but if you want to do something a little different (and the weather is good), consider renting a cycle and exploring the area.
It is a great way to see everything. There are also some great cycle paths that you can use. Moreau Lake State Park, Saratoga Spa State park and Hudson Crossing path all have great bike paths that you can try out. Just be forewarned that these paths are also used as jogging paths so keep an eye out for joggers.
Best Things to do in Saratoga Springs NY – Where to Eat
Urban Roots – Urban Roots make their own fresh, organic juices and smoothies and, not gonna lie, they are everything pure and beautiful in this crazy My personal faves are the 24 Carrot juice and Go Away Doc Smoothie. And yes, I HAVE tried most of them.
But!, they also do food and serve delicious, vegan, avocado toast. They also do amazing power smoothie bowls, which is why I legit could eat their Moroccan Maple Power Bowl every single day.
The Falafel Den – If you love falafel as much as I do, then you might find yourself unable to leave this delightful little spot as you experience all the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
The falafels are fluffy and tasty AF, and basically, melt in your mouth. Add in creamy hummus and crispy pita chips and your mouth will tingle with delight.
Sushi Thai Garden – I could probably eat Japanese or Thai food every day and never get sick of either one (especially Thai, if we’re being honest). That’s why I was delighted to find that the Sushi Thai Garden has a lot of delicious options to satisfy even mildly picky vegans like me.
Personally, I’m all about their tofu triangles and vegetarian pad Thai. They’re also really amenable to switching out meat for tofu, which is something that I always appreciate.
Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Bagels – Fresh bagels and hot apple cider are the name of the game here. Well, okay, the cider is actually seasonal, but man is it tasty (if it’s not available, try the masala chai latte).
The bagels, however, are the main attraction here no matter what time of year your visit. And they have all your classics, like everything and poppy seed, as well as some more unique – but equally delicious – options like jalapeño, rosemary olive, and oat bran – making this one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs NY.
Sweet Mimi’s Cafe and Bakery – If bagels aren’t your thing, perhaps I can interest you in a short stack of cinnamon roll pancakes, or fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes?
Yeah, I just drooled a little on myself because the breakfasts here are phenomenal. Just be sure to wear extra stretchy pants and try out some of their baked goods too.
And because, FYI, the muffins and cakes here are to die for. I’ve tried, and loved, the almond raspberry muffins, the apple spice cake, the pumpkin apple loaf, and carrot cake. And yes, I tried all these before I went full-on vegan.
Map of the Best Things to do in Saratoga Springs NY
Things to do in Saratoga Springs NY FAQ
Is Saratoga Springs Worth Visiting?
Saratoga Springs is definitely worth visiting. The quaint little town has a surprising number of activities that you can indulge in and there is always something for everyone.
In fact, back in the heydays, this uber cute town was a popular vacation spot for the rich and famous. Today, you can also indulge in some of that luxury that they enjoyed since there are so many great places to stay at that will not break the bank!
What Are Some Fun Facts About Saratoga Springs?
Did you know that Saratoga Springs got its name because there are 22 springs in the area? In fact, there is a fault line that allows the spring water to come up. These springs also give Saratoga Springs another popular name aka ‘Spa City’!
Other fun facts about Saratoga Springs are:
- The famous Saratoga Racetrack is one of the oldest in the country!
- The Saratoga meet is a 40 day event!
- Trout season is a big thing in Saratoga Springs and it occurs in April every year.
What Is Saratoga Springs Famous For?
Most people know Saratoga Springs because of the Saratoga Racetrack. It is also, however, famous for its spas. These spas are what have given Saratoga Springs the nicknames ‘Spa city’ and ‘The Queen Of The Spas’.
? In A Rush? Not sure where to stay in Saratoga Springs? Then book a room at the Brentwood Hotel since it’s my pick for the best resort in New York. ?
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