Saratoga Springs Travel Guide

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Saratoga Springs Travel Guide

Saratoga Springs Local History

The Pomo Indians (Native Americans) were the earliest inhabitants of the area now known as Saratoga Springs. They used the valley as a place of peacemaking and healing and even today the valley still has this same energy which visitors will feel when visiting.

The area of Saratoga region in 1777 was a turning point for the war between the Americans and British. It was on the 7 October that the British surrendered to the American forces.

Saratoga Springs was first started as a resort in 1851 the attraction being its several mineral springs, which are said to have healing powers. It slowly grew and during the Victorian era brought many famous people to its town. Jim Morrissey built the first casino in the 1920's and the town's fortunes rose with the opening of the casino and the race course. However, it went into decline when prohibition was put on gambling and the First and Second World Wars.

It has bounced back from the depression of post war and is becoming a great resort once again.

Saratoga Springs is rich in the traditions of the past and today is a friendly, thriving town and has welcomed scores of visitors to its lovely town.

Saratoga Springs Attractions

Top Attractions

Historical Society of Saratoga Springs and Canfield Casino - Congress Park. This stately red brick Victorian building was built in 1870 and was once the Canfield casino. It was the venue for the high-society big spenders of the late 19th century. John Morrissey, a heavyweight champion boxer, built the original casino which was later made over to Richard Canfield in the early part of the 20th century. The exhibitions feature photographs depicting Saratoga Springs in its hey-days. On the second floor you will find a recreation of the high-stakes room and parlours with furniture of John Henry Belter. The eight rooms on the top floor show how Pine Grove looked before it was demolished in the 1950's. The home belonged to the Walworth family who were prominent in the area.

Saratoga Automobile Museum This once bottling plant is now the home of the Saratoga Automobile Museum. This museum will delight car lovers especially the interesting classics such as the 1928 Franklin which belonged to Charles A. Lindbergh. There is also an unexpected 1931 Pierce Arrow which was manufactured in Buffalo. The top floor is for the race cars and here you can see the very curious 1957 BMW Isetta 30, also known as the 'Rolling Egg'. There is plenty more to see and children will also enjoy this museum, there is paper and crayons for them to design their dream car.

National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame - 191 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs. This museum pays tribute to three centuries of racing and can be found across the road from the race course. You will see artefacts and uniforms and there are also interactive screens which gives you the opportunity enjoy the great moments of yesteryear. However, this museum is really for those interested in horse racing.

Speck Boutique I am in love with this little boutique in Saratoga Springs. We stop every year and this year we found they had moved farther north on broadway, and have expanded. They carry Ed Levin - a local designer, who's jewelry is absolutely beautiful. And now clothes, so my daughters are in heaven. Friendly owners, great items. LOVE IT!
submitted by World Traveler, 09/07/06

Saratoga Springs Shopping

It wasn't until recently that Saratoga Springs had any chain stores, but today you will be able to wander through a number of national chains plus the smaller shops, and the Regent Street Antique Centre, where you can browse at your leisure.

In the heart of downtown there are chain stores such as Gap, Eddie Bauer and Banana Republic and local independent shops.

Along Broadway you will find jewellery, clothing, accessories and gift shops. A shop which is very interesting is Symmetry Gallery, they specialise in American glass items and for jewellery deJonghe Original Jewellery is worth a look-in.

Saratoga Apple this is a year round farmers market and you can pick your own apples while taking a wagon ride.

Dahlia Garden & Greenhouses they have seasonal produce and homemade jams and fruit and flowers.

Saratoga Springs Activities

The Children's Museum - 69 Caroline Str., Saratoga. This museum is more like a wonderful playground for children. There are areas which look like a 1920's main street, but for little people. You will find a bank, grocery store, a diner and a schoolhouse. Children will have a ball for at least an hour or two especially in the fire station which comes complete with a sliding pole.

Saratoga Springs Parks & Gardens

Saratoga National Historical Park This Park, now a Historic area, was where the American troops defeated the British army in 1777 and forced the British to surrender. There is 4 square miles of battlefield, the house of General Philip Schuyler and the Saratoga Monument. There is a 4 mile hiking trail which is also used for cross-country skiing in the winter months. The Schuyler House was built by the British troops but was reconstructed after the American victory. If you wish to visit all the sites in the Park plan to be there for several hours.

Saratoga Spa State Park This is one of the prettiest urban parks in Saratoga. It is situated on 2,200 acres of land and has a pine forest and natural geysers. There is a swimming pool complex, two golf courses plenty of trails for hiking and so much more. There are also two restored bathhouses which were designed in the classical European spa style. This is definitely a place were you can spend the entire day.

Saratoga Springs Restaurants and Bars

Saratoga Springs Restaurants

Chianti Il Ristorante - 208 /South Broadway, Saratoga Springs. This is a favourite restaurant with the locals and has charming Mediterranean decor and was once the former Long John Silver fast-food restaurant. The menu offers items such as porcini risotto in light cream sauce, beef filet prepared in Gorgonzola cheese and grilled homemade sausages to name but a few. They also offer a wide and remarkable wine list.

Beverly's - 47 Phila Str., Saratoga Springs. For breakfast this is definitely the first stop to make in the morning. In this small cafe you can enjoy traditional and creative dishes all fresh-baked, such as baguette French toast, eggs Benedict and pancakes or get a little more daring and try poached eggs on roasted eggplant with dill hollandaise. They are also open for lunch and the menu has such dishes as quiche of the day, chicken teriyaki salad and so much more.

Sperry's Restaurant - 30 ½ Caroline Str., Saratoga Springs. This restaurant has been here since the 1930's and is a local favourite. It is dependable and seldom disappoints with their servive or cuisine. It is an attractive bistro with a welcoming bar and a few high-backed booths. Their menu consists of daily specials such as chicken Dijon, Maryland crab cakes and 14oz steak au poivre. Jambalaya and a Cuban sandwich is their speciality for lunch times.

The Olde Bryan - Inn 123 Maple Str., Saratoga Springs. This restaurant once an Inn is a hospitable and local favourite. It is always busy at lunch time and a good spot for serviceable meals. The atmosphere is cozy and friendly and the menu consists of dishes such as citrus-encrusted haddock and a good old-fashioned turkey dinner. They have a number of lunch time specials which are good value for money.

Saratoga Springs Bars & Clubs

Caffe Lena 47 Phila Str., Saratoga Springs. This cafe which is a little worse for wear is the legendary upstairs folk-music coffeehouse. It still has a very strong sixties atmosphere and on Wednesday and Saturday nights there is live acoustic music. The cafe is quite popular so reservations are recommended. The cover charges is $10 - $15

The Tin & Lint 2 Carolins Str., Saratoga Springs. This pub is popular with students and it is where Don McLean wrote his popular 70's pop song 'American Pie'.

Luna Lounge 17 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs. This is a late night lounge which has a New York City industrial decor.

The Wine Bar 417 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Here you will find a cigar lounge and an upstairs bar. They serve plenty of wine by the glass full and on Friday nights they have in-house DJ's.

Saratoga Springs children's activities

The Children's Museum - 69 Caroline Str., Saratoga. This museum is more like a wonderful playground for children. There are areas which look like a 1920's main street, but for little people. You will find a bank, grocery store, a diner and a schoolhouse. Children will have a ball for at least an hour or two especially in the fire station which comes complete with a sliding pole.

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