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The Saratoga Springs Guide: Things to Do, Places to See

If you’re not from the area, you might not know much about Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. Tucked away between the Adirondacks and the state capital, Albany, this small city packs plenty to do, see, and discover. 


Health, History, and Horses

There’s something for everyone in Saratoga Springs, it’s recognized as one of the most charming small cities in the country. The city is named after the mineral springs in the area, they’re famous for their distinct taste and varied health benefits and can be found in different spots around town. Visitors are encouraged to taste the different springs and even bottle the spring water for later use.

The Saratoga Race Course is the oldest sports venue in the country and well-known as the “Graveyard of Champions”. Some of the most popular Triple Crown winners have lost here, including Secretariat. The track is open from July to Labor Day weekend and attracts over 1 million people with big events like the Travers Stakes, dating back to 1864, and the Whitney Stakes, a race honoring Marylou Whitney who was known as the Queen of Saratoga.


The Off-Season in Saratoga

The best part about Saratoga is that there are events taking place year-round. While the summer is the busy season thanks to the Saratoga Race Course, the fall, spring, and winter are still packed with plenty to do! 

In the winter, locals look forward to events like the Victorian Streetwalk and Chowderfest. Spring and fall are great for trying a new hike like Indian Head Mountain, or exploring one of the local parks, the Saratoga State Park, Congress Park, and even Moreau State Park.


Saratoga Springs Downtown

This beautiful, bustling town is filled with restaurants, local shops, and art. Not sure where to start? Head to Broadway, the main street that runs through the downtown area. There, you’ll find great local restaurants and a variety of boutiques that have a bit of everything. If you’re looking for the next spot to grab a drink or meal, Broadway, Phila Street, and Henry Street have some great options.

  • Local Tasting Rooms & Wine Bars: Interested in tasting something local? Fan favorite spots, Druthers Brewing Company (with locations also in Schenectady and Albany) and Walt Whitman Brewery offer adult beverages and unique pub-styled food. If wine is more of your go to, there are 2 wine bars downtown, The Wine Bar and the Thirsty Owl, and a winery only a few minutes from downtown, The Saratoga Winery.

  • Wake Up, Coffee, Repeat: There’s no shortage of coffee shops in downtown Saratoga Springs! Uncommon Grounds is a community café specializing in house-roasted coffee and fresh bagels. You can also shop for local artists’ work while waiting for your order. Discover specialty lattes and tea or coffee flights at Saratoga Coffee Traders.

Whether you’re looking for your next track outfit, Saratoga tourist gear, or a one-of-a-kind gift, the shops on Broadway are bound to have it! Boutiques like Caroline & Main, Lucia, and the Yellow Boutique are great stops for a new look. They also sell accessories and a few décor pieces.

For more unique home décor, there are shops like Homessence and Silverwood Home & Gallery right on Broadway. If you’re looking for the perfect tourist gift, shops like Saratoga Tea & Honey and Saratoga Olive Oil Co. will bring a piece of Saratoga back with you!

We can’t forget the nightlife downtown. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and taverns with activities like karaoke and trivia! Specifically, Caroline Street is where locals and tourists alike head for a night out on the town.


Spending a Day at Saratoga Lake 

What better way to spend a summer day than at Saratoga Lake! Just a few miles south of downtown Saratoga, the lake is about 4.5 miles long with multiple entry points. There are several private marinas and a public state boat launch at the northern end of the lake.

At the southern end of the lake, you’ll find Brown’s Beach, a public beach perfect for swimming and relaxing! You can also head to the Kayak Shak to rent kayaks and paddleboards to explore the lake, or take part in their Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga classes!

After a day on the lake, you can head to one of the restaurants on the lake for dinner. Dock Brown’s is nestled at the southern end of the lake, next to Brown’s Beach. At the northern end of the lake, you can stop off at the new restaurant, 550 Waterfront, and enjoy the modern ambience or if you’re just looking for a quick bite, you can grab a wood fire artisan pizza pie from Harvest & Hearth.


Arts, Music, and Entertainment

The Saratoga Spa State Park has a sunken theater that is over 50 years old and used for performing arts called the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). It hosts popular summer concerts, like Dave Matthews Band, as well as New York City Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra shows. Nearby schools like Skidmore College and Saratoga Springs High School use SPAC as their graduation site.

Saratoga is also home to a number of art galleries. A few blocks on the west side, you’ll find the Beekman Street Art District. This creative community offers a place for locals and visitors to view and purchase artwork, clothing, visit studios, and more. 


Saratoga Springs Storage

Moving to the area and need space? Prime Storage has you covered with a few facilities in the area. Take a look at our varied storage options in our size guide, reach out to one of our storage professionals, or take a look at our frequently asked questions to answer any inquiries you may have. 


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