Photo Courtesy of Saratoga Race Course
Saratoga Springs, New York Day Trip Itinerary
If you ask someone who’s spent a lifetime in the northeast, they’ll tell you one of the Top Ten Places to visit in the summertime is Saratoga Springs, or simply – Saratoga. And, less than one hour from Pond Mountain Inn!
Saratoga Springs received the Great American Main Street Award (1996)—one of only 55 cities honored since 1998. American Heritage magazine conferred the Great American Place Award in 1998 for its ability to embrace the past in order to cultivate the present and future. Then, in 2011 and 2012, Money Magazine called Saratoga Springs one the “Best Places to Live” and Travel and Leisure placed it on its “Greatest Main Street” list. And today, it’s still an extraordinary day trip!
We have a complete Saratoga Springs Visitor’s Guide should you want to delve deeper into all of Saratoga’s offerings.
Historic Saratoga Springs Race Track: was the first organized Thoroughbred horse racing track to open in the United States in 1863 making it the oldest horse racing track, and perhaps the oldest sporting venue in the nation. Breakfast on the Porch of the Clubhouse each racing day you can enjoy the popular buffet breakfast “on the porch” from 7 to 9:30 am. Dine al fresco trackside while watching the horses work out! This must be experienced!
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame: 518.584.0400. An absolute must visit even if you have no interest in the sport. The state-of-the-art facility offers something for everyone—trophies, sculptures, antique paintings, photographs, works on paper, racing memorabilia, juried photo exhibition and so much more! The sixteen-minute movie is incredible—make sure to ask for Matt on arrival!
Mineral Springs in Saratoga Springs: In the 1790s, there was only one reason to visit Saratoga; the use of the mineral waters—either drinking for internal illness or bathing for skin maladies. Visit the 21 public mineral springs throughout Saratoga, most are naturally carbonated, and each spring has its own unique mineral flavor profile. Learn about President Franklin Roosevelt's visionary act to preserve the Saratoga Springs.
Saratoga Spa State Park: 518.584.2535. A National Historic Landmark distinguished by its classical architecture. See the Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths and Spa – first, hike along Geyser Creek Trail featuring two signature springs, then treat yourself to a mineral bath—the tranquility provides a contemplative place for creative-thought and relaxation… and, it makes for a great story!
The Saratoga Automobile Museum: 518.587.1935. Located in the Saratoga Spa State Park; offers a wide range of public programs, events, exhibition talks and gallery tours throughout the year.
Saratoga National Historical Park: Stillwater, New York, 518.670.2985. Visit the Battlefield, Schuyler House, Victory Woods and Saratoga Monument all set on 3,394 acres! And the park is within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor – see their website for more information.
Ulysses S. Grant Cottage National Historic Landmark: 518.584.4453. Just 9 miles from downtown Saratoga Springs, see where President Grant, our eighteenth president, spent his final days in 1865 finishing his memoirs. Visit the other eight museums in the area.
Skidmore College: A beautiful walking campus with more than 1,000 tree-lined acres and 2,500 students from 40 states and 70 countries. The art galleries are particularly interesting: the Tang Museum, the Schick Art Gallery, the Case Center Gallery and the walls of the Saisselin Art Building, the Studio Art program provides ample opportunity for the exhibition of student artwork. Call first to see what’s on exhibition.
The New York State Military Museum: 518.581.5100. Tells the story of New York State’s rich military history. The museum houses over 25,000 artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War—artifacts include uniforms and accoutrements, weapons, battlefield souvenirs and fine art. The museum also owns the largest collection of state battle flags in the country and the largest collection of Civil War flags in the world, with over 1,800 flags in the collection—60% from the Civil War.
Putnam Market: 518.583.9463 – This market is so good that it made The Financial Times List of The 50 Greatest Food Stores in the World—make sure to check out that list, but first, stop in for lunch then meander through the grocery’s cheese and wine sections—they even had a King Charles III Coronation Menu (May 6th)! Don’t worry, you cannot miss the market, it’s directly on Broadway!
First Fill Spirits: 518.886.1425. Owners, Holly and Charles have a curated whiskey shop that’s loving referred to around town as “the whiskey shop,” but it’s so much more. Together, they have crafted the finest whiskey shop in New York State—specializing in single casks of Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Rye, Japanese, Canadian, and New World Whisky. We love it there, and so do many of our guests!
Dining in Saratoga
Osteria Danny: 518.423.7022 – You’ll have to travel to Italy to get better Italian food! In fact, each year, The University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG) invites 25 guest chefs from around the world who practice the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean, and fair food to visit the campus and prepare lunch for students and university staff. Danny was the only chef from the United States to be featured at the University in 2018!
15 Church: 518.587.1515 – 15 Church is a beautifully restored historic building located in the heart of Saratoga Springs. Seafood flown in fresh daily, and the very best USDA prime aged beef are highlighted in an imaginative menu artfully mixing the classic and exotic, served with style in a comfortable yet elegant dining room. Certainly, one of the best restaurants in Saratoga!
The Adelphi Hotel: 518.678.6000 – Located on Broadway, has the best oysters in Saratoga, the most innovative and delicious sushi in the Capital Region, and their lobster dumplings are extraordinary… all of which we enjoyed with Friday night cocktails. The Adelphi should be on your short list!
Taverna Novo: 518-886-1680 – Just off the beaten path on Beekman Street, yet still walkable from Broadway, is definitely worth the stroll. We just love this adorable place. Authentic Italian cuisine with a true wood fired pizza oven. Everything we’ve had here was exceptional—and, they have an award-winning wine list.
Solevo Kitchen: 518.450.7094 – Off-Broadway on Phila Street in the heart of Saratoga, Solevo was voted Upstate New York’s Best New Restaurant in 2019. Solevo, is old school Italian cuisine with a chic upscale vibe. But the best thing is having Sunday dinner at 3:00PM, then afterward, walking Broadway and the Saratoga side streets—it’s the perfect digestif.
Brasserie Benelux: 518.682.6950 – Conveniently located on Broadway in the heart of historic downtown Saratoga. Chef Armand, blends traditional European-influenced cuisine with a contemporary flair that brings perfection to each dish. This future Michelin-star restaurant could easily be found in Paris, London or Barcelona—thankfully, Brasserie Benelux is here in Saratoga. See Our Review.
Hattie’s Restaurant: 518.584.4790 – Hattie’s makes the best fried chicken but get there early or you’ll stand in line waiting for a table—it’s that good! Since it opened in 1938, “Hattie’s” and “Saratoga Springs” are often mentioned in the same breath. Hattie’s has served fine Southern and Louisiana cuisine in a friendly, down-home atmosphere for close to 80 years.
Seneca Restaurant: 518.430.2045 – Classic techniques, local twists… the chef, is a CIA graduate with a fine dining background and a deep love for fresh, local ingredients. The open kitchen allows diners to see Seneca’s talented staff expertly manning the wood-fired grill on which many of his original recipes are centered. Each season, Chief Mike relishes the opportunity to revisit the Seneca menu, creating unique twists using traditional techniques and local ingredients for inspired dishes that make both regulars and first-timers feel at home.
Max London’s Restaurant: 518.587.0505 – In the heart of Saratoga, and right on Broadway, is the quintessential meeting place for lunch, with an exceptional bar and restaurant menus. Although, having never dined here for dinner the menu looks fabulous. We love it here!