Saratoga Springs was one of my first-ever trips as a young child. I went camping with my best friend, got a “date” to a roller derby, and won money at the horse track when an adult was kind enough to place a small bet for a scrawny nine-year-old kid.
It was the most memorable weekend of the year. I saw La Bamba at the local movie theatre, bought my first Paul Simon album and even got my little hands on an awesome remote-controlled car called a Turbo Hopper.
Now, some 27 years later, I have my eyes set on Saratoga Springs once again. And if you’ve ever considered it, but never pulled the trigger, I suggest you do the same.
Saratoga Springs — besides its awesome alliteration — is a charmingly small city in upstate New York. It’s quite undeniably known best for its exciting horse tracks. There are two main ones — the Saratoga Race Course, and the Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The former has the distinction of operating as the oldest continuous sporting event of any kind in the U.S. Remarkably, the track opened in 1863.
On occasion, fiberglass horse sculptures are placed around Saratoga’s downtown area to demonstrate a sense of pride for the sport.
I’m not really a betting man, but as a special occasion it can be fun. Horse betting is cool because it’s so old school. You can acquire a little horse book from the track and do a little research on the ponies. Pick yourself a winner, and you’re off to the races.
If you’re in Saratoga for a bit of romance too, why not pop over to some of the mineral springs for some R&R. After all, that’s where this city of 27,000 got its name. There are about 21 different springs to check out. Think of it as a pub crawl for water. Each spring has its own distinct taste and smell. You can bottle some up and go for a romantic stroll. If you were thinking these springs were bath houses, well Saratoga has those too. Check out Spa State Park and its Roosevelt baths, which are based on the Lincoln Baths. Some people claim these baths have restorative powers. But you’ll have to find out for yourself.
If you’re in need of some fine accommodations, Weekendtrips recommends The Hampton Inn and Suites Saratoga Springs. For more information on this sweet stay, just click here