Itineraries-Land-Page

4-Day Itinerary

Visiting for a few days or a long weekend?
Make sure to hit these highlights!

 

Friday

7 p.m.

Settling In

No need to rush around your first evening in town. The Parting Glass (40-42 Lake Avenue; 518-583-1916), one of Saratoga's oldest continually operating pubs, is a one-stop outlet for eating, drinking, darts and music. Try the homemade lamb stew ($10) if you've got a hearty appetite, or red snapper Provençal ($14) as a lighter alternative. After dinner toss a few rounds (of darts and Guinness) in the game room and then finish off the night by enjoying one of many folk, blues, bluegrass or Celtic bands in the music room (admission: $5 to $15).

Saturday

8 a.m.

A Power Breakfast

Let the calendar be your guide to breakfast. If it's racing season (the end of July through the beginning of September), head for the track on Union Avenue. Get your fill of eggs and tips from millionaires on the clubhouse porch, while listening to expert commentary as the horses go through their morning workouts. À la carte breakfast is served every race day from 7 to 9:30 a.m. If it's not racing season, have breakfast with the locals at Compton's Restaurant (457 Broadway; 518-584-9632). With knotty pine walls and Formica tables and seats, Compton's is as down-home as it gets. You can't beat the quality of the three-cheese (American, Swiss, Cheddar) omelet, or the price: $4.75, which includes home fries and toast.

9:30 a.m.

How the Other Half Lived

With rows of elegant houses dating from the 1800's and early 1900's, Saratoga is a condensed course in American architectural history. Pick up the ''Walking Tour of Saratoga's East Side'' brochure from the Visitor Center (297 Broadway; 518-587-3241) and take the two-mile tour, beginning at Circular Street and heading in the direction of Union Avenue, to view the graceful porches, complicated roofs and elegant windows of Saratoga's many architectural styles.

10:45 a.m.

Exploring Downtown

End your walking tour at Broadway, the center of Saratoga's daily life. Although a Gap and a Borders recently moved in, the essence of downtown is its diverse collection of independent shops, restaurants and bars. Mabou (468 Broadway) is the place to go to fill your summer ''cottage'' after you strike it rich on the ponies, while across the street Saratoga Truck offers a broad selection of extravagant summer hats. Be sure to stop by the post office at 475 Broadway and see the Depression-era murals from 1937 of ''Saratoga in the Racing Season'' by the W.P.A. artist Guy Pène du Bois.

Noon

Elementary Pleasures

If you haven't found a cafe that catches your eye yet, sneak into the Sherlock Holmesian Professor Moriarty's at 430 Broadway (518-587-5981). Try for a table on the small front porch (via the bar area) for people watching, or the table for two in the front window for a romantic tête-à-tête. An institution for almost 20 years, Moriarty's has great salads, burgers and sandwiches for lunch (as well as a nice dinner menu). Its bloody mary -- served in a pint glass with lots of ice and a large celery stick -- is the perfect pick-me-up on a rainy afternoon.

1 p.m.

And They're Off!

If the horses are running, finish lunch early to make it to the Saratoga Race Course, the country's oldest thoroughbred racecourse, by the 1 p.m. start time (518-584-6200; admission, $3; grandstand, $3;clubhouse, $5; Wednesday through Monday). Otherwise, catch some racing history at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (191 Union Avenue, 518-584-0400; $7 for adults) opposite the track. The exhibits, which range from an explanation of how to understand the odds on the tote board to a look at the skeleton of a horse, are fascinating.

4 p.m.

The Waters at Congress Park

You can't come to Saratoga without ''taking the waters.'' Everyone from George Washington to Edgar Allan Poe has enjoyed Saratoga's naturally carbonated springs, where waters push through shale and limestone, absorbing minerals to become the bubbling, salty (and in some cases, pungent) water that made Saratoga famous. Start your ''cure'' by obtaining the ''tasting tour'' brochure for the springs from the Visitor Center (297 Broadway; 518-587-3241) and sampling the four springs in Congress Park, including Congress Spring, home of the bottled water, and Hathorn No. 1 spring, with its odoriferous, highly mineralized water.

7:30 p.m.

Evening Victuals

There are plenty of choices for dinner in Saratoga. A favorite spot is 43 Phila (43 Phila Street; 518-584-2720), an upscale bistro with a wall of original caricatures done in the 1940's by the Greenwich Village artist Sy Wallick. Nibble on some sesame-crusted sushi-grade tuna ($23) or a veal porterhouse chop with foie gras ($25) while watching the swells at the bar and imagining it's the 1930's.

9:30 p.m.

Tipples in Town

A testament to the bootlegging and gambling days of the 1920's and 30's, Saratoga was once rumored to have more bars per capita than any other city in the nation. Today's Saratoga lives up to that reputation; the side streets just east of Broadway start hopping at 9 p.m. Bailey's Cafe (corner of Phila and Putnam) has a large outdoor patio bar with rocking live music on weekends, while 9 Maple Avenue (9 Maple Avenue; 518-583-2582; $2 cover) is a tiny, 30-seat jazz club with a huge selection of martinis and more than 150 single-malt Scotches. It's always crowded, and with swinging music and the tight quarters, you'll be best friends with the stranger next to you by the second drink.

Sunday

9:30 a.m.

Sweet Recovery

On Sunday, slide over to Mrs. London's Bakery and Cafe (464 Broadway; 518-581-1652), an outrageously good stop for desserts, scones and just about anything made from flour, chocolate or sugar. Enjoy their viennoiseries (morning pastries), and make sure to take a luxuriously soft Nebula dessert ($5.50) for an afternoon snack, with its chocolate mousse and chocolate spongecake draped in silky swirled glaze.

10:30 a.m.

Mineral Baths and Yaddo

Continue your ''cure'' by soaking your body in the waters at the Lincoln Mineral Baths on South Broadway (518-583-2880; advance reservations required). Opened in 1930 and feeling a little like a nice institution that could use just a bit more upkeep, Lincoln offers a standard 20-minute bath ($16) in fizzing mineral water that recalls Saratoga's heyday of restorative cures. Spring for the half-hour massage after ($30), and then visit the newly restored Rose Garden at the writer's colony Yaddo, past home to celebrated authors like Truman Capote and James Baldwin, on Union Avenue, to capture one last fragrance of idyllic Saratoga.

THURSDAY

3 p.m.  Settling In

No need to rush around your first day in town. After you've checked in, take a stroll down Broadway and check out all the coffee shops, bookstores, bakeries, bars, clothing stores, gourmet food shops and much, much more. This is the downtown of downtowns!

7 p.m. Drinks and Dinner

For dinner, you’ll find an amazing variety of restaurants, from brewpubs and cozy bistros to fine dining. The sky's the limit. Check out some of your many options here.

9 p.m. Hitting the Town

You can complete the night by enjoying one of the many places where music is played, from rock and jazz bands to quieter folk and piano players. Or check out the local pubs and bars. Then rest up, the fun’s just beginning.

FRIDAY

7 a.m.  A Galloping Breakfast

If it's racing season, head out for the track on Union Avenue and get your fill of eggs on the clubhouse porch, while watching the horses go through their morning workouts right there in front of you. À la carte breakfast is served every race day from 7 to 9:30 a.m. (If it's not racing season, or you just prefer to hang with the locals, give Compton's Restaurant a go at 457 Broadway.

 

9:30 a.m.  The Good Life—Back in the Day

With so many splendid homes dating from the 1800's and early 1900's, Saratoga offers a compressed course in American architectural history. Grab the ''Walking Tour of Saratoga's East Side'' brochure at the Visitor Center (297 Broadway; 518-587-3241) and just follow the map, beginning at Circular Street and going up Union Avenue, to view the graceful porches, sweeping roof lines and grand windows of Saratoga's many architectural styles. Or, you can take a walk up North Broadway to see how the other half lived.

If walking is your thing, but maybe not architecture, go out to the edge of town and check out the Saratoga Spa State Park. Walk the stately Avenue of the Pines, or head into the shady trails through the woods and alongside the streams.

 

2-a) Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

Visit Website
On the Skidmore College campus, Tang Museum offers approximately twelve exhibitions each year. Free admission. Open Tues-Sun 12-5pm.

 

3) Caffe Lena

Visit Website
The oldest continuously operating folk music venue in the United States. Dylan played here in 1961.

 

4) Saratoga Clay Arts

Visit Website
Features the work of local, regional, national and international clay artists. Classes and workshops are available for adults and kids.

 

5) Saratoga Shakespeare Company

Visit Website
Enjoy the bard summer evenings out in Congress Park. This year it’s “A Midsummer’s Night’s dream and “The Winter’s Tale.”

 

Saturday

8 a.m.

A Power Breakfast

Let the calendar be your guide to breakfast. If it's racing season (the end of July through the beginning of September), head for the track on Union Avenue. Get your fill of eggs and tips from millionaires on the clubhouse porch, while listening to expert commentary as the horses go through their morning workouts. À la carte breakfast is served every race day from 7 to 9:30 a.m. If it's not racing season, have breakfast with the locals at Compton's Restaurant (457 Broadway; 518-584-9632). With knotty pine walls and Formica tables and seats, Compton's is as down-home as it gets. You can't beat the quality of the three-cheese (American, Swiss, Cheddar) omelet, or the price: $4.75, which includes home fries and toast.

9:30 a.m.

How the Other Half Lived

With rows of elegant houses dating from the 1800's and early 1900's, Saratoga is a condensed course in American architectural history. Pick up the ''Walking Tour of Saratoga's East Side'' brochure from the Visitor Center (297 Broadway; 518-587-3241) and take the two-mile tour, beginning at Circular Street and heading in the direction of Union Avenue, to view the graceful porches, complicated roofs and elegant windows of Saratoga's many architectural styles.

10:45 a.m.

Exploring Downtown

End your walking tour at Broadway, the center of Saratoga's daily life. Although a Gap and a Borders recently moved in, the essence of downtown is its diverse collection of independent shops, restaurants and bars. Mabou (468 Broadway) is the place to go to fill your summer ''cottage'' after you strike it rich on the ponies, while across the street Saratoga Truck offers a broad selection of extravagant summer hats. Be sure to stop by the post office at 475 Broadway and see the Depression-era murals from 1937 of ''Saratoga in the Racing Season'' by the W.P.A. artist Guy Pène du Bois.

Noon

Elementary Pleasures

If you haven't found a cafe that catches your eye yet, sneak into the Sherlock Holmesian Professor Moriarty's at 430 Broadway (518-587-5981). Try for a table on the small front porch (via the bar area) for people watching, or the table for two in the front window for a romantic tête-à-tête. An institution for almost 20 years, Moriarty's has great salads, burgers and sandwiches for lunch (as well as a nice dinner menu). Its bloody mary -- served in a pint glass with lots of ice and a large celery stick -- is the perfect pick-me-up on a rainy afternoon.

1 p.m.

And They're Off!

If the horses are running, finish lunch early to make it to the Saratoga Race Course, the country's oldest thoroughbred racecourse, by the 1 p.m. start time (518-584-6200; admission, $3; grandstand, $3;clubhouse, $5; Wednesday through Monday). Otherwise, catch some racing history at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (191 Union Avenue, 518-584-0400; $7 for adults) opposite the track. The exhibits, which range from an explanation of how to understand the odds on the tote board to a look at the skeleton of a horse, are fascinating.

4 p.m.

The Waters at Congress Park

You can't come to Saratoga without ''taking the waters.'' Everyone from George Washington to Edgar Allan Poe has enjoyed Saratoga's naturally carbonated springs, where waters push through shale and limestone, absorbing minerals to become the bubbling, salty (and in some cases, pungent) water that made Saratoga famous. Start your ''cure'' by obtaining the ''tasting tour'' brochure for the springs from the Visitor Center (297 Broadway; 518-587-3241) and sampling the four springs in Congress Park, including Congress Spring, home of the bottled water, and Hathorn No. 1 spring, with its odoriferous, highly mineralized water.

7:30 p.m.

Evening Victuals

There are plenty of choices for dinner in Saratoga. A favorite spot is 43 Phila (43 Phila Street; 518-584-2720), an upscale bistro with a wall of original caricatures done in the 1940's by the Greenwich Village artist Sy Wallick. Nibble on some sesame-crusted sushi-grade tuna ($23) or a veal porterhouse chop with foie gras ($25) while watching the swells at the bar and imagining it's the 1930's.

9:30 p.m.

Tipples in Town

A testament to the bootlegging and gambling days of the 1920's and 30's, Saratoga was once rumored to have more bars per capita than any other city in the nation. Today's Saratoga lives up to that reputation; the side streets just east of Broadway start hopping at 9 p.m. Bailey's Cafe (corner of Phila and Putnam) has a large outdoor patio bar with rocking live music on weekends, while 9 Maple Avenue (9 Maple Avenue; 518-583-2582; $2 cover) is a tiny, 30-seat jazz club with a huge selection of martinis and more than 150 single-malt Scotches. It's always crowded, and with swinging music and the tight quarters, you'll be best friends with the stranger next to you by the second drink.

Sunday

9:30 a.m.

Sweet Recovery

On Sunday, slide over to Mrs. London's Bakery and Cafe (464 Broadway; 518-581-1652), an outrageously good stop for desserts, scones and just about anything made from flour, chocolate or sugar. Enjoy their viennoiseries (morning pastries), and make sure to take a luxuriously soft Nebula dessert ($5.50) for an afternoon snack, with its chocolate mousse and chocolate spongecake draped in silky swirled glaze.

10:30 a.m.

Mineral Baths and Yaddo

Continue your ''cure'' by soaking your body in the waters at the Lincoln Mineral Baths on South Broadway (518-583-2880; advance reservations required). Opened in 1930 and feeling a little like a nice institution that could use just a bit more upkeep, Lincoln offers a standard 20-minute bath ($16) in fizzing mineral water that recalls Saratoga's heyday of restorative cures. Spring for the half-hour massage after ($30), and then visit the newly restored Rose Garden at the writer's colony Yaddo, past home to celebrated authors like Truman Capote and James Baldwin, on Union Avenue, to capture one last fragrance of idyllic Saratoga.

 

 

SATURDAY

6) Beekman Street Arts District

Visit Website
A thriving arts and business community tucked away on the edge of the city. It offers an interesting mix of small specialty shops, artist studios, restaurants and pubs.

 

Friday

7 p.m.

Settling In

No need to rush around your first evening in town. The Parting Glass (40-42 Lake Avenue; 518-583-1916), one of Saratoga's oldest continually operating pubs, is a one-stop outlet for eating, drinking, darts and music. Try the homemade lamb stew ($10) if you've got a hearty appetite, or red snapper Provençal ($14) as a lighter alternative. After dinner toss a few rounds (of darts and Guinness) in the game room and then finish off the night by enjoying one of many folk, blues, bluegrass or Celtic bands in the music room (admission: $5 to $15).

Saturday

8 a.m.

A Power Breakfast

Let the calendar be your guide to breakfast. If it's racing season (the end of July through the beginning of September), head for the track on Union Avenue. Get your fill of eggs and tips from millionaires on the clubhouse porch, while listening to expert commentary as the horses go through their morning workouts. À la carte breakfast is served every race day from 7 to 9:30 a.m. If it's not racing season, have breakfast with the locals at Compton's Restaurant (457 Broadway; 518-584-9632). With knotty pine walls and Formica tables and seats, Compton's is as down-home as it gets. You can't beat the quality of the three-cheese (American, Swiss, Cheddar) omelet, or the price: $4.75, which includes home fries and toast.

9:30 a.m.

How the Other Half Lived

With rows of elegant houses dating from the 1800's and early 1900's, Saratoga is a condensed course in American architectural history. Pick up the ''Walking Tour of Saratoga's East Side'' brochure from the Visitor Center (297 Broadway; 518-587-3241) and take the two-mile tour, beginning at Circular Street and heading in the direction of Union Avenue, to view the graceful porches, complicated roofs and elegant windows of Saratoga's many architectural styles.

10:45 a.m.

Exploring Downtown

End your walking tour at Broadway, the center of Saratoga's daily life. Although a Gap and a Borders recently moved in, the essence of downtown is its diverse collection of independent shops, restaurants and bars. Mabou (468 Broadway) is the place to go to fill your summer ''cottage'' after you strike it rich on the ponies, while across the street Saratoga Truck offers a broad selection of extravagant summer hats. Be sure to stop by the post office at 475 Broadway and see the Depression-era murals from 1937 of ''Saratoga in the Racing Season'' by the W.P.A. artist Guy Pène du Bois.

Noon

Elementary Pleasures

If you haven't found a cafe that catches your eye yet, sneak into the Sherlock Holmesian Professor Moriarty's at 430 Broadway (518-587-5981). Try for a table on the small front porch (via the bar area) for people watching, or the table for two in the front window for a romantic tête-à-tête. An institution for almost 20 years, Moriarty's has great salads, burgers and sandwiches for lunch (as well as a nice dinner menu). Its bloody mary -- served in a pint glass with lots of ice and a large celery stick -- is the perfect pick-me-up on a rainy afternoon.

1 p.m.

And They're Off!

If the horses are running, finish lunch early to make it to the Saratoga Race Course, the country's oldest thoroughbred racecourse, by the 1 p.m. start time (518-584-6200; admission, $3; grandstand, $3;clubhouse, $5; Wednesday through Monday). Otherwise, catch some racing history at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (191 Union Avenue, 518-584-0400; $7 for adults) opposite the track. The exhibits, which range from an explanation of how to understand the odds on the tote board to a look at the skeleton of a horse, are fascinating.

4 p.m.

The Waters at Congress Park

You can't come to Saratoga without ''taking the waters.'' Everyone from George Washington to Edgar Allan Poe has enjoyed Saratoga's naturally carbonated springs, where waters push through shale and limestone, absorbing minerals to become the bubbling, salty (and in some cases, pungent) water that made Saratoga famous. Start your ''cure'' by obtaining the ''tasting tour'' brochure for the springs from the Visitor Center (297 Broadway; 518-587-3241) and sampling the four springs in Congress Park, including Congress Spring, home of the bottled water, and Hathorn No. 1 spring, with its odoriferous, highly mineralized water.

7:30 p.m.

Evening Victuals

There are plenty of choices for dinner in Saratoga. A favorite spot is 43 Phila (43 Phila Street; 518-584-2720), an upscale bistro with a wall of original caricatures done in the 1940's by the Greenwich Village artist Sy Wallick. Nibble on some sesame-crusted sushi-grade tuna ($23) or a veal porterhouse chop with foie gras ($25) while watching the swells at the bar and imagining it's the 1930's.

9:30 p.m.

Tipples in Town

A testament to the bootlegging and gambling days of the 1920's and 30's, Saratoga was once rumored to have more bars per capita than any other city in the nation. Today's Saratoga lives up to that reputation; the side streets just east of Broadway start hopping at 9 p.m. Bailey's Cafe (corner of Phila and Putnam) has a large outdoor patio bar with rocking live music on weekends, while 9 Maple Avenue (9 Maple Avenue; 518-583-2582; $2 cover) is a tiny, 30-seat jazz club with a huge selection of martinis and more than 150 single-malt Scotches. It's always crowded, and with swinging music and the tight quarters, you'll be best friends with the stranger next to you by the second drink.

Sunday

9:30 a.m.

Sweet Recovery

On Sunday, slide over to Mrs. London's Bakery and Cafe (464 Broadway; 518-581-1652), an outrageously good stop for desserts, scones and just about anything made from flour, chocolate or sugar. Enjoy their viennoiseries (morning pastries), and make sure to take a luxuriously soft Nebula dessert ($5.50) for an afternoon snack, with its chocolate mousse and chocolate spongecake draped in silky swirled glaze.

10:30 a.m.

Mineral Baths and Yaddo

Continue your ''cure'' by soaking your body in the waters at the Lincoln Mineral Baths on South Broadway (518-583-2880; advance reservations required). Opened in 1930 and feeling a little like a nice institution that could use just a bit more upkeep, Lincoln offers a standard 20-minute bath ($16) in fizzing mineral water that recalls Saratoga's heyday of restorative cures. Spring for the half-hour massage after ($30), and then visit the newly restored Rose Garden at the writer's colony Yaddo, past home to celebrated authors like Truman Capote and James Baldwin, on Union Avenue, to capture one last fragrance of idyllic Saratoga.

 

7) Spring Street Gallery.

Visit Website 
Spring Street Gallery is an award-winning not-for-profit art and performance space . Artists and exhibits raise funds and awareness for local and worldwide causes.

 

8) Home Made Theater, Inc.

Visit Website
Saratoga's Resident Theater Company--HMT produces a four show season, between October and May. HMT also offers acting classes for children, teens, and adults.

Want even more options? View our full list of Arts venues.

SaratogaMap_Arts1