New York is famously known as a concrete jungle because of its ultra- modern lifestyle and buildings as tall as the sky. But hidden in the concrete jungle of New York is a place of respite, known as Saratoga Springs. As the name suggests, the place has several natural spring baths which is induced with minerals. People from all around the globe frequent this place to enjoy the benefits of these mineral baths which successfully reduce stress and only leaves a soothing sensation behind.
The Congress Park provides much needed respite from the mundane existence by bringing the people close to the nature. Apart for this, several museums are scattered all around Saratoga Spring which gives a glimpse of the past and the special exhibits gives an educational insight. Saratoga Spring is just three hours’ drive from the main center of New York which makes the place easily locatable and accessible by the tourists.
A Trip to The Park
Congress Park, situated by the Broadway is internationally acclaimed for its mineral spring that can be easily accessed by the public. The park has several well- maintained paths meant for taking a leisurely stroll while admiring the greenery all around. The pavilion is another source of attraction as it provides a resting place for the visitors and is solely built following the Greek tradition.
The Canfield Casino which is part of the Congress Park holds historical significance, even if it is not used for the gambling purpose. The architectural significance of the casino makes it popular among the mass. The ancient wooden carousel is more than a decade old and is still functional which promises ultimate fun. The park is filled with numerous springs such as the Hathron Spring, Columbian Spring and the Deer Park Spring; each is decorated with unique pieces of art.
Racing with The Horses
Built in the year 1863, the Saratoga Race Course has been a point of attraction for the tourists as it hosts through bred horses. Every summer for nearly six weeks, the racing course remains active. The humongous stadium can accommodate fifty thousand people at a time and the place is the third oldest track in the United States.
The entire atmosphere of the place has an electrifying effect on people and helps them to socialize with fellow beings. Every part of the track is shrouded with immense historical significance, hence, apart from the races; regular tours are conducted of the grounds which demonstrate its unique architecture.
Escape Into the Wilderness
The Saratoga Spa State Park offers the visitors with much needed isolation from the humdrum of a mundane life. The park has several recreational activities that keep the people occupied. The well maintained garden and segregated paths exudes a romantic aura fit for the place. Within the boundary of the Park there are several sight- seeing attractions such as Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Victoria Pool, Roosevelt Baths, Two golf courses, The Peerless Pool complex and running trails.
An Outdoor Cinematic Experience
Add a pinch of nostalgia to the life by visiting the seventy year old drive through which is located in Malta. The Malta Drive in Theatre opens during April, and remains open till the month of October. Drive In theatre is a setup of the past which compelled and still compels people to make their own spot.
Some carry bean bags while the others utilize their cars for sitting arrangement. There are two screens and the place has the capacity of accommodating at least 800 vehicles. There are also food centers on- site, making the place fit for visiting and spending a day.
A Place for The Children
Saratoga Springs has more to offer than just springs induced with beneficial minerals. The Saratoga Children’s Museum promises to offer the best experience for the families with children. Even though it is said to be museum, some refer this place to be enormous playground for the kids as it has numerous interactive activities. The place is specially designed for kids under the age of seven, but there are some activities that can be enjoyed both the parents as well as the elder sibling. The place includes a humongous tree house, silly science center, fire station and little theatre.
Visit Another Museum
Saratoga is over flowing with museums from the beginning of time. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame was built in 1950 to honor the trainers, through bred horses and jockeys who have contributed to its history. It showcases trophies, photographs, paintings, video recording, sculptures and dress of famous dancing stars. The museum traces the evolution of the racing from the eighteenth century till the present time. At regular intervals, special exhibits are also held which has an educational benefit.
Magic of Art
The place welcomes and celebrates art in all forms. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center is a prominent place located within the bounds of Saratoga Spa State Park, which has earned internal significance within the artistic community. The famous New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra perform every summer and recruit various talented artists, giving the visitors a chance to delve into the world of magic and music.
The groups do not stick to a single form or theme each summer; they have a vast range of themes starting from Indiana Jones to classics. Famous musicians like Dave Matthews frequent the amphitheaters and helps to attract massive crowds along with them. The place has outdoor venue option as well which makes the atmosphere more enticing as music mingles with nature. To encourage younger minds, SPAC gives children under the age of twelve free passes to certain events. Apart from the musicals and cultural events, the place has natural springs, hiking trails and geysers.
A Building of The Past
The Saratoga Springs History Museum is located in Congress Park. The three story high Museum preserves the old memories related to Saratoga Springs. It has more than 15,000 artifacts and more than three lakh photographs. Saratoga Springs has a darker history linked to smuggling and gambling since the 1800s, the museum showcases this side of the place as well. The tourists can visit the Canfield High Stakes Gambling Room which is kept in its original state so that the present generation can admire and learn about past times.
Visit a Military Museum
Visitors who are have an active interest in weapons and its technicalities must surely visit New York State Military Museum. The Museum acts like a window to the military world, as it displays more than ten thousands forms of weapons and artifacts. The museum also gives a detailed account of the war fought by the United States and preserves the uniforms, maps, and other devices used at the time of the war. The state of art library which is located within the military museum preserves photographs, videos, letters and maps. The museum preserves the honor of the military.
A Shopping Site
Downtown Saratoga has a charm of its own as it is packed with beautiful restaurants, small but pretty boutiques, cafes, bookstores, antique shops, bars and a lot more. This is the place where the term “night life” gets its meaning as there are several spots where gigs are performed. There are art galleries for the art lovers as well and spa centers which promises the best treatment. This place with its eccentric taste caters to different needs of different people.
A Day at The Spa
Due to its abundance of natural springs induced with minerals which has several beneficial qualities, Saratoga Springs has several spa centers; one such is Roosevelt Baths & Spa. It is located in the Park, the Roosevelt Bath & Spa has forty two sunken tubs, and all of them are sunken four inches below the level of the floor. There are a plethora of treatments offered. The visitors are provided with a menu listing different treatments, facials, massages, body scrub etc.
The mineral water comes from the natural spring which is then mixed with warm tap water and other minerals to provide the best treatment to the public. Apart from this, the two oldest Spa centers, that is, The Roosevelt Bath and Spa and The Lincoln Bathhouse have historical significance. These two spa centers were built to protect the springs from getting depleted due to excessive use of the minerals by the local gas company. These bath centers were established in the year 1935 to preserve nature’s gift.
Let’s Grab a Drink
Saratoga Winery is located four miles from downtown. Several wineries are scattered around the place, but what makes Saratoga Winery special is its rustic atmosphere. The place employs the best wine makers who do not shy away from talking about their love of wine and passion. This is the best place to be if one wants to gather knowledge about wines in general. The sitting area is tastefully decorated and they serve splendid wines.
The grapes used to make the wine are all collected form the Finger Lakes region and they make popular wines likes Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Semi-Dry Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. There is a wine called Melomel, which is their signature. This is a century old recipe is made by fermenting honey and no extra minerals are added to it, thus, making it healthy.
A Place for The Ice Cream Lovers
The name Stewart’s Shops is not unfamiliar with the people who live in the area of New York and Vermont. The famous ice cream shop was first established in Saratoga Spring almost seventy years ago and since then it has only spread its roots. This family run business offers the best ice cream and has a plethora of flavors in their menu.
A Museum for Transformers Fans
It is not in every city that people come across an automobile museum. Saratoga Automobile Museum is situated within the boundary of Saratoga Spa State Park and it houses several vintage cars which are no longer manufactured. The collection of cars ranges from basic household cars to high end racing cars. One of the main attractions of the place is the paintings made by George Frayne and Stu Eichel. At regular intervals special exhibits are held in the museum where other unique and antique cars are showcased.
A Search for Artistic Expression
Yaddo Gardens of Saratoga Spring covers an area of four hundred acres. This place acts like a safe haven for people or artists who are looking for artistic inspiration. In earlier time, the garden was visited by famous people such as Sylvia Plath and Truman Capote. From mid- June the garden goes through a natural transformation as the rose gardens are in full bloom.
Attend an Outdoor Festival
Saratoga Spring is active throughout the entire year. On every other weekend and even on week days, some or the other outdoor events are held which keeps the mass engaged. One such event is Saratoga Wine & Food Festival. Since, the event is not held in closed space, it gives the visitors an opportunity to interact with the nature while spending time with their loved ones.
More than eighty vendors come to this event to exhibit their special items and more than thirty thousand people take part in this event. After the tasting period, the visitors get an opportunity to vote in favor of their favorite items. The visitors also get to directly interact with the chefs and wine experts. Saratoga Spring also has an outdoor jazz festival where top- notch artists perform.
More than a shopping center, Saratoga Springs’ Farmer’s Market is a place where people come to socialize than buy the goods. The products sold in the market are hundred percent fresh and is grown by the people who reside in nearby areas such as Washington counties, Saratoga, Rensselaer and Schenectady. The market street is always overflowing with music and laughter which appeals the visitors. The market remains active from May to October, but after that period it shifts to indoor quarters of the Lincoln Baths Building.