This recent Spring weekend found us in Saratoga Springs, NY cheering on the Princess as she participated in the Saratoga Invitational Crew races at Fish Creek on Lake Saratoga. Our one night adventure included a quick tour of some of the city’s most famous landmarks, as well as an adults dinner and evening stroll around the thriving downtown. Saratoga Springs is a college town, home to Skidmore College and SUNY Empire State College. It is also a great base camp for exploring other nearby schools including Union College, RPI and Williams College.
Whether you visit for a college tour, rowing, or as part of a family vacation, make time to check out the many historic landmarks. This Victorian era town is dripping with history, as it has long been a destination for travelers seeking relaxing mineral water spas, golf, summer outings at the country’s oldest thoroughbred race track, and a range of performing arts. Since the mid 19th century, Saratoga Springs was known for the healthful effects of its many mineral springs and spas. During the 1930s, then NY Governor Franklin D Roosevelt championed the construction of public mineral baths, a swimming pool and other attractions in what is now known at the Saratoga Springs Spa State Park. Several of these vintage spas continue in operation to this day.
The 2,500 acre park is the centerpiece of the city housing a number of classical spa buildings including the Roosevelt Baths and Spa, as well as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Spa Little Theater, the National Museum of Dance, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, and the Gideon Putnam Resort. We visited early in the season when the park was still getting ready for summer. The original 1930s era pool complex, and the larger 1960s era Peerless Pool Complex were not open although the Spa and resort and golf course were in fine shape. The many picnic tables and walking trails made us wish we had more time to linger.
While the Princess stayed at the team hotel, mom and dad settled in downtown at the Hampton Inn and Suites which was clean and well run and offered a tasty hot breakfast with fresh fruit, pastries, make your own waffles and plenty of coffee. Dinner at the Mouzon House across the street offered a decently prepared eclectic farm fresh menu, but, the early season waitstaff definitely needed some more training. The downtown offered a lively mix of clubs and college students. We enjoyed simultaneously watching the Red Sox and Boston Bruins on several of the screens at Dango’s Fitzgerald’s Irish Pub. The Irish coffee was spot on!
With just a one night stay and most of our time devoted to the races we only got a quick sense of what Saratoga Springs has to offer. We are pretty sure that between rowing and college visits we’ll definitely be back, but we’ll be sure to leave more time to get to know Saratoga Springs better!