10 Best Things to Do in Saratoga Springs, New York for the best trip ever!

Saratoga Springs city

Looking for the best things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY? Here you have my Saratoga Travel Guide with the best travel tips to enjoy this fun and beautiful town.

Saratoga is truly a hidden gem in New York state. I grew up within 2 hours of Saratoga Springs and it was one of my favorite day trips to take as a kid. It is the best weekend getaway!

Saratoga Springs attractions

One of the nice things about Saratoga is that it is also a perfect day trip and an easy drive from other major cities to visit in New England, including Boston and New York City.

And if you’re visiting Boston, make sure to check out the best Day Trips from Boston including the top weekend getaways from Boston!

Trust me, you’re missing out on a lot if you don’t at least plan to travel to Saratoga for at least 1 day. There are so many things to see and do in Saratoga Springs!

Saratoga Springs Travel Guide

Before you plan your trip to Saratoga Springs, there are a couple of important things that you should know.

shopping in Saratoga Springs

Best Time to Visit Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs weather is pretty good! On average, there are 180 sunny days per year there.

Summer is the most popular time to visit Saratoga Springs because it’s the time of the town’s popular horse racing, which it is known for.

I suggest you visit during this time even though it’s at its busiest you can guarantee that everything will be open and you’ll be able to visit the Saratoga Race Course. 

Do you want to visit but don’t care if you make it to the races? Consider going in the fall instead! There’s amazing fall foliage in this area of the Northeast that absolutely can’t be missed.

How to get to Saratoga Springs NY

How to Get Around Saratoga

In my personal experience, you’re going to need at least a car to be able to properly explore Saratoga Springs and its surrounding areas. You’ll at least need a car to get you downtown, then you can walk to most of the places you’ll want to visit.

There are a lot of things to do in Saratoga Springs and not all of them are directly in the city center, so you will have to at least get a taxi or drive your own car to get there.

Saratoga is not a big city at all so you can’t just hop on a bus or hail a taxi. If you want a taxi, you have to call and order one.

Saratoga Travel Tips

My best tip is to try to visit during the week! Even if you visit during the summer, as long as it’s during the week it most likely won’t be as busy.

Weekends are when this area is at its busiest during the summer.

Where to Stay in Saratoga Springs

There is an abundance of great places to stay in Saratoga, so I don’t think there’s necessarily a bad place to book a stay!

Saratoga Springs NY hotels

The most affordable place to book a stay n Saratoga is at the Hampton Inn & Suites. Most rooms will cost only $130 a night if you book a stay here and the rooms are pretty nice. This is a great family-friendly hotel as well.

If you have a little more money to spend, consider staying at Saratoga Arms! This is a hotel from 1870 that’s filled with antiques. Trust me, this is one of those cool, local places that you’ll definitely want to consider staying at. The average price for a night here costs $300.

Other Saratoga Springs hotels you might consider are the Hilton Saratoga Springs with an excellent location and free Wi-Fi; or the Saratoga Casino Hotel with great location and free parking & Wi-Fi.

> Check Rates for other Hotels in Saratoga Springs on Booking.com.

10 Top Things to Do in Saratoga Springs

Best Things to Do in Saratoga Springs New York

There are so many cool things to do in Saratoga, and this is by no means a super-comprehensive list!

However, these are the things that I most recommend you do and experience the next time you visit this town.

1. Buy a book at the Northshire Bookstore

The Northshire Bookstore is my favorite bookstore in all of New England. The original bookstore is located in Manchester, VT, and was built in 1976.

They recently built another store in downtown Saratoga that is a smaller version of the VT store but is still just as worth visiting!

Northshire Bookstore Saratoga Springs

The entire upstairs is filled with just children’s books, so this is a very family-friendly bookstore. One of the unique kid-friendly activities in Saratoga Springs!

If you’re lucky, there may even be an author event being held. Be sure to check the Northshire Bookstore website to stay up to date on events offered.

Be sure to buy a book while you’re there and support local bookstores!

2. Go to the Saratoga Race Course

The Saratoga Race Course is what Saratoga Springs is most well-known for. It opened over 100 years ago in 1863.

Saratoga Springs race track

But get this – it isn’t even the oldest racecourse in the country!

This is the place to be in the summer in the Saratoga area. Be sure to go and visit the races and perhaps even place some bets on which horses are going to win.

3. Picnic in Congress Park

If you want to find a nice park to just relax at, consider going to Congress Park. This bright and green park is a great place for couples, solo travelers, and families alike.

Congress Park Saratoga Springs

In this park, there’s lots of green space, so it’s a perfect place to sit and enjoy a lovely picnic.

If you’re visiting here for a few days, keep an eye on the Congress Park schedule because there might be a fun event going on! I’ve been lucky enough to catch a few live music shows here myself.

Did I mention there’s also a fun carousel? Your kids will love it!

Did you know that downtown Saratoga Springs is dog-friendly? You can bring your furry friend and enjoy shopping, Congress Park, patio dining and more!

On this map, you can see all the pet-friendly spots to explore Saratoga with your dog.

4. Witness the natural springs

If you were wondering why Saratoga is more commonly called Saratoga Springs, its because there are a lot of natural mineral springs in the area.

This is why I recommend having a car! If you have a car, you’ll easily be able to go around the area and explore Saratoga hot Springs.

At the moment, there are 20 mineral springs in the area that are open to the public and supposedly every single one tastes different. A lot of them are located around the town.

Some of the ones worth checking out include:

  • Columbian Spring,
  • Polaris Spring, and
  • the Geyser Island Spouter.

5. Attend a performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center

This is more commonly referred to as SPAC by the locals! It’s essentially the place to go if you want to go see a live performance.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

So many awesome artists have been here, with headliners including everyone from Maroon 5 to Nickelback. You can keep up to date with all of their shows by checking out the SPAC website!

If there’s a show that you want to see, be sure to try to purchase your tickets ahead of time. This isn’t something you can just decide you want to go to the day of the event!

6. Explore Saratoga Spa State Park

Similar to Congress Park, this is another fun park in Saratoga Springs.

If you’re into outdoor activities, there are a lot of trains in this area that are worth exploring! This is a great way to spend an afternoon and one of the fun things to do in Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Spa State Park in the fall

This is also where SPAC is actually located, right within the park!

7. Grab a drink at The Saratoga Winery

The Saratoga Winery is totally underrated! It’s a fun and rustic place to grab local beer and wine. They oftentimes even have live music which really helps to set the ambiance!

The Saratoga Winery

Sometimes The Saratoga Winery also hosts fun events like trivia, so keep your eye on their website. One of the best things to Do in Saratoga Springs at night!

8. Spend time at a museum

Saratoga Springs is home to so many museums. There’s the Children’s Museum, Automobile Museum, and even the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.

Saratoga springs history museum

The real star here is the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Here, you can learn a lot more about Saratoga’s own history with horse racing and the jockeys that ride the horses.

9. Check in to the Roosevelt Baths & Spa

This spa was actually built because of President Franklin Roosevelt! He really wanted to preserve all of the natural springs and water in the area and figured that this would be a good way to do it.

Roosevelt Baths & Spa Saratoga Springs

At the spa, you can get treated with the local mineral water and it helps to rejuvenate your health and also heal you. I haven’t been here myself, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Besides, it is one of the most romantic things to do in Saratoga Springs!

If you’re traveling here as a couple or for a girl’s weekend, then definitely consider adding this to your list of things to do in Saratoga!

10. Go to one of the Saratoga Farmer’s Markets

One of the best local experiences to have in New England, in general, is to go to the farmer’s markets. This is a great way to learn more about what’s grown locally and also to meet some people from the area!

Keep in mind that the farmer’s markets in Saratoga Springs are open only from May to October because of how rough winters in this area can be!

If you want to check out other beautiful destinations, check out my article on the Best Places to visit in the US for the best trip ever.

Best places to visit in Saratoga Springs on a Map

FAQ Saratoga – Everything you need to know

Where is Saratoga Springs?

The city of Saratoga Springs is located in Saratoga County, north of Albany and east-central New York.

How far is Albany from Saratoga Springs?

Albany is only a 40-minute drive from Saratoga (32 miles).

How far is Saratoga from Lake George?

Lake George is only a 30-minute drive from Saratoga (24 miles). One of the best things to do near Saratoga Springs!

How to go from NYC to Saratoga Springs?

New York City and Boston are some of the best places to visit near Saratoga Springs.

Many of you asked me how far is Saratoga Springs from NYC, and I have good news! NYC is only a 3-hour drive from Saratoga driving through the I-87 N.

The best way to go from NYC to Saratoga Springs is by car, but you can also get there by train (Amtrak) or plane from Albany airport.

Amtrak to Saratoga Springs New York

How to go from Boston to Saratoga Springs?

Boston is only a 3-hour drive from Saratoga driving through the I-90 W.

The best way to go from Boston to Saratoga Springs is by car, but you can also get there by plane from Albany airport (it takes less than 4 hours) or train – Amtrak – (but it takes so long).

Is Saratoga Springs worth visiting?

Totally! It’s a beautiful small town full of fun things to do! After reading this post, I’m sure you’ll want to visit Saratoga.

What is Saratoga Springs known for?

Saratoga is famous for the Saratoga Race Course, its mineral springs, food scene and great shopping.

Best things to do in Saratoga Springs at night

What are the hidden gems in Saratoga Springs NY?

Here you have the official visitors guide of Saratoga from the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, to find more hidden gems, the best restaurants, shopping, museums and more!

Final thoughts – What to do in Saratoga Springs

I hope that this list of things to do in Saratoga has convinced you to visit this lovely gem in the New England region of the U.S.!

From parks to shopping, this town truly has something for every type of traveler.

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Authored by Krystianna from Volumes & Voyages

Krystianna is the blogger behind Volumes & Voyages, a book and travel blog. She studied abroad in Spring 2019 in Dublin, Ireland, and has been chasing her wanderlust ever since. Volumes & Voyages mainly covers travel in Europe and the US, but once Krystianna travels more around the world, she’s hoping to expand her content.

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