Saratoga Springs has long been a small Upstate New York city that attracts crowds from all over the country. Despite its small size relative to other cities, a mix of urban and suburban lifestyles with plenty of restaurants, nightlife, and various activities ensure your stay will be eventful. One of the main reasons for Saratoga becoming a hot spot is the track. While thousands of visitors travel to the region each summer specifically for this reason, there’s much more to this Upstate New York summer destination and why it became so popular.
So where did Health, History, and Horses come from?
Saratoga Springs is home to 17 mineral springs, all of which are public. This means you can head to the park and grab a drink yourself! We will warn you that the water definitely has a taste you’ll remember. Travel back about a century and you’ll find that many people originally flocked to Saratoga hoping that the famed springs truly did have healing powers. Today you’ll find that the city is dedicated to creating an active, healthy environment. Not only that but you’ll quickly realize that Saratoga is positioned close to numerous outdoor attractions such as hiking and biking trails and many bodies of water. In just a short drive you can travel up to the Adirondacks for a more intense excursion! Sounds like the perfect place to stay for a mix of outdoor adventures and downtown living.
The Queen of the Spa’s history dates back multiple centuries. The Mohawks actually believed the naturally carbonated water was an act of God, and gave the water special healing powers. This eventually led numerous settlers to come to the region after hearing famed tales of the water. Fast forward to the mid 1800’s and the first ever thoroughbred race was held. This marked the beginning of the oldest race track in America, and led to the development of many elegant hotels aimed at drawing the New York City crowds upstate. So head over to the Canfield Casino, the library, or simply walk around town and view the historic landmarks to get an idea for the rich history and culture of this Upstate New York summer destination.
Now for the obvious reason. The track. For over 150 years Saratoga has held thoroughbred races, including the Travers Stakes. There’s a surreal level of excitement standing on the rail as the horses race down the home stretch. Retreat back under the grand stands to place your bets, grab a drink and some food, then cheer on your pick from only a few feet away. A trip to Saratoga Springs isn’t complete with heading to the track. Check out our episode, A Saratoga Summer too for more info!