By Tony Gonzalez
Saratoga is just over a three hour drive via major highways from New York City and makes for a great mid -week or weekend getaway.There are over 30 hotels to choose from in the area with such notables as The Gideon Putnam, The Pavillion Grand Hotel, The Batcheller Mansion Inn, The Inn at Saratoga as well as a number of chain hotels. Activities abound in August and September with the key draw being World-class thoroughbred horse racing. Other activites include the arts, festivals, shopping, dining and family attractions.
The thoroughbred horse racing meet began July 24th, 2015 and runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 7th, 2015 at the historic Saratoga Race Course. The best horses and the top jockeys in the country come to race at Saratoga. This year will be even more special as racing fans get to see triple crown winner American Pharoah in action. Racing is so popular at Saratoga that it draws 400 % more spectators than the meets at Belmont and Aqueduct. The highlight of the summer will be the 146th running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday August 29th with attendance expected to reach between 40,000 and 50,000 spectators. A day at the track is fun for everyone from serious horseplayers to families who just want to spend a day together picnicking outdoors. Come out, enjoy the festive atmosphere,bet a few races and no matter what you will leave feeling like a winner.
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is an entertainment mecca and is home to one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, the Philadelphia Orchestra who will make Saratoga its home from August 5th – 22nd, highlighted by Yo Yo Ma, Bernadette Peters, Joshua Bell and more. SPAC will also host several major music pop and rock concerts.
Saratoga is also home to live harness racing on a beautiful half-mile track at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, alongside more than 1,700 gaming machines, a popular nightclub and numerous dining options. You can learn about famous race horses of the past and racing history at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, which has interactive exhibits, a horse racing simulator and Oklahoma Training Track Tours with the beautiful Whitney Viewing Stand.
Visitors to Saratoga can relive one of the most important battles in world history at Saratoga National Historical Park, site of the “Turning Point” of the American Revolution. The park is host to numerous events , including guided walks and bike rides, reenactments, citizenship ceremony and a weekend-long celebration for the 236th Anniversary of the Battles of Saratoga.
Saratoga County has a number of museums, art galleries and historic landmarks, including the New York State Military Museum, Tang Teaching Museum & Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Grant’s Cottage, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Brookside Museum and the Children’s Museum at Saratoga.
Saratoga County is also rich in affordable, unique and high quality golf courses, including the award-winning Saratoga National Golf Club. Named one of the Top 100 public courses in America by Golf Digest, it is one of fourteen courses to tee off at in the area.
Visitors interested in spending time outdoors will find over 10,000 acres of parks, trails, lakes, rivers and scenic beauty nestled between the banks of the Hudson River and the southern foothills of the Adirondacks.
A day in Saratoga isn’t complete till one strolls through the downtown streets along Broadway checking out all of the wonderful shopping establishments. Culminate the day by dining indoors or outdoors at one of the many fine restaurants along Broadway.
You will definitely want to come back.