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From its Springs to its Horses: Top 11 Things to Do in Saratoga Springs NY

Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs
The Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York offers a historic property with renovated luxury interiors. credit: Catherine Parker

Just north of Albany, New York, Saratoga Springs is a hub of thoroughbred horse racing. It is the site of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and the Saratoga Race Course. However, it’s not all about the horses. Visitors can enjoy the Roosevelt Baths and Spa at the Saratoga Spa State Park and even sample the famous spring water. Diners will find a deep foodie scene in Saratoga Springs with the best Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, breweries and even a speakeasy. Here are the top things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY. 

Top 11 Things to Do in Saratoga Springs NY

  • Walk Through Congress Park
  • Tour the Saratoga Springs History Museum
  • Sample its Spring Water
  • Ride the Saratoga Springs Carousel
  • Visit Saratoga Spa State Park
  • Relax at Roosevelt Baths and Spa
  • Explore the Saratoga Automotive Museum
  • Tour the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
  • Visit the Saratoga Race Course
  • Walk Down Broadway for Shopping and Dining
  • Sample the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes at Sweet Mimi’s
  • Stay at the Adelphi
Saratoga Springs History Museum
The Saratoga Springs History Museum is in the former home of the Canfield Casino. credit: Catherine Parker

Visit Congress Park

Located in downtown Saratoga Springs, Congress Park offers the famed mineral springs, landscaped gardens, and statuary. For families, the Saratoga Springs Carousel is also available.

Located at 268 Broadway. Open from 6 a.m. to midnight. Free to enter.

Tour the Saratoga Springs History Museum

The Canfield Casino, a historic 1870s gambling casino, is located in the park. It is now the Saratoga Springs History Museum and event area.

Located at 1 E. Congress St. It is open seasonally from Memorial Day weekend until mid-October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $15, students (12 and older) are $8 and kids (11 and younger) are free.

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Congress Park Deer Park Fountains
Deer Park Fountain is one of the fonts in Congress Park in Saratoga Springs. credit: Catherine Parker

Sample the Saratoga Springs Water at Congress Park

There are several outlets of the Spring Water at Congress Park. For the most beautiful setting, the Congress Spring features a spigot in the neo-classical pavilion. Each spring tastes different.

  • Congress Spring
  • Columbian Spring
  • Deer Park SpringHathorn #1

Ride the Saratoga Springs Carousel

Built in 1910, the Saratoga Springs Carousel features 28 hand-carved horses. Over the years, it has been located in several spots. The City of Saratoga Springs bought the carousel, restored it, and built a pavilion to protect it. It opened to the public in 2002.

Located at 32 Spring St. Each ride costs $1. Open weekends only from mid-May to Memorial Day and Labor Day to the end of October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is open daily during the summer.

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One of the springs in Saratoga Springs State Park
One of the springs in Saratoga Spa State Park. credit: Catherine Parker

Visit the Saratoga Spa State Park

As a National Historic Landmark, this park blends outdoor space and classical architecture at the Roosevelt Baths and Spa and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Other buildings include the Saratoga Automobile Museum, the National Museum of Dance, the Spa Little Theater and the seasonal Gideon Putnam Resort.

Outdoor recreation includes two golf courses: one 18-hole and one 9-hole, hiking, biking, disc golf, and a swimming pool complex. There are also equestrian trails.

During the winter, Saratoga Spa State Park offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating.

Located at 19 Roosevelt Dr. For the summer, there is a $10 vehicle fee. The museums require separate admissions.

Roosevelt Bath and Spa
The Roosevelt Bath and Spa is located in the Saratoga Springs State Park. credit: Catherine Parker

Relax at the Roosevelt Baths and Spa

Established in 1935, people came to Saratoga Springs to take the waters. The Roosevelt Baths and Spa offers a spa-like experience in a restored building today.

Bathers get an individual room with a restroom and a vintage bathtub for hydrotherapy. During my visit, I enjoyed a mineral water soak. The spa attendant draws hot water (97 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) for a therapeutic soak. The water is slightly effervescent and high in potassium iodide and other minerals.

With water to my chin, I could almost float in the tub. With the light turned dim, it was a relaxing experience. Afterward, I went to the Roosevelt Baths Relaxation Room for some cool water, and light snacks were also offered.

The Roosevelt Baths and Spa offers a sauna, massage services and facials. It also offers packages. A 40-minute mineral bath starts at $59.

Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This facility is open to adults only (18+). Reservations are required.

Explore the Saratoga Automotive Museum

This historic building was the bottling plant for the spring water, owned by the State of New York. It was completely renovated and opened as an automotive museum with exhibits dedicated to auto manufacturing and racing in New York. The Saratoga Automotive Museum also features traveling automotive exhibits.

Located at 110 Avenue of the Pines inside of the Saratoga Spa State Park. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $20, students (11+/ or with ID) are $15 and kids 10 and younger are free.

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 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a must. credit: Catherine Parker

Tour the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

This is the destination to learn about the history of horseracing in the U.S. Founded in 1950, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame features exhibits on American Thoroughbred race horses, jockeys, and trainers.

Exhibits at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame include historical information from how horses came to the U.S. and the early days of horseracing. There are trophies to see and a horserace memorabilia.

Before visiting Saratoga Springs, I knew the basics, like Seabiscuit and Secretariat. I recommend a visit to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame for anyone visiting Saratoga Springs. There is also a film.

Located at 191 Union Ave. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the summer, it is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $20, students (6 and older and with ID) are $10 and those 5 and younger are free.

Visit the Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Race Course is a legendary horse track that has been a summertime destination for 150 years. For 2024 and 2025, it will be home to the Belmont Stakes each June.

The track is quiet most days, however there is lots to do and see on race days. From breakfast to live entertainment to a spa, Saratoga Race Course is an event. If you want, you can grab a fascinator and dress up for race day.

Guided 45-minute tours are available on race days from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each racing day.

Located at 267 Union Ave.. General admission starts at $10. Adult tours are $10 and dids 12 and under are free. Limited parking is available in several lots, including free parking and valet parking.

Walk Down Broadway for Shopping and Dining

Downtown Saratoga Springs offers boutique shopping next to dining to top hotels. The area is walkable with lots of cross walks.

Broadway is the main street, and Congress Park is located on it. Another street to explore is Phila Street, where I found Lyrical Ballad Bookstore at 7 Philia St.

Sweet Mimi
Sweet Mimi’s is a popular breakfast and lunch spot. credit: Catherine Parker

Where to Eat in Saratoga Springs

Uncommon Grounds Coffee and Bagels

This is your stop for a quick breakfast and an afternoon pick-me-up. It’s a popular place and conveniently located on Broadway.

Located at 402 Broadway. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (6:30 a.m.Saturday and Sunday).

Sweet Mimi’s Cafe and Bakery

This is a must for breakfast. With a queue on most weekends, this bakery serves some of the best-baked goods around.

The lemon-ricotta pancakes are swoon-worthy. The homemade buttermilk biscuits are divine. The scones are perfect.

Located at 47 Phila St. Open Thursday to Monday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sweet Mimi’s offers a bakery so grab some yummies for later.

Whitman Brewing Company

Located in the old The Saratogian newspaper building, the Whitman Brewing Company offers a full range of beers and eats at in the Beer Hall. Diners will find Detroit-style pizzas, nachos, tacos, burgers wings and even salads.

In the building, the Walt Cafe offers breakfast and lunch options, from barista coffee drinks to house-made English muffin sandwiches to smoothies. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Located 20 Lake Ave. Open Wednesday and Thurday from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


For a fresh take on Mexican food with all your favorites, from burritos to tacos to enchiladas. Diners can get a guacamole and queso fix at Cantina, then move on to the fajitas or chimichagas.

The Cantina offers an expansive drink menu with over a dozen different margaritas, plus signature cocktails and more. During the summer, there’s a rooftop bar for adults.

Located at 408 Broadway. Open daily from noon to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)

The Coat Room

Behind an unassuming door with an industrial Coat Room sign, the Coat Room is a Speakeasy that uses the art of culinary alchemy. Inside, diners will find clothing hanging from the ceiling as they pass to the darkened space that offers moody corners

It offers an extensive cocktail and wine list to set the stage. At the Coat Room, it offers several cheese and meat options for a DIY charcuterie board. Its artisanal pizzas make a great appetizer to share.

Entrees run the range from pasta, like a classic Bolognese. Other options include Sea Bass and Rack of Lamb. If small plates appeal, Coat Rack offers options like Spicy Grilled Octopus, Lamb Meatballs and Smoked Salmon Rillettes.

Located inside 385 Broadway, the Coat Room is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (last call most days).

Where to Stay in Saratoga Springs

A Victorian-era hotel set on Broadway in Downtown Saratoga Springs, New York, The Adelphi Hotel exemplifies the timeless elegance of another century. Completely renovated, this property stays true to its architectural roots while adding modern amenities today’s travelers need with the luxury appointments that make a luxury hotel stay decadent.

From the lobby, a gathering space for guests and passers-by looking for an evening cocktail or dinner, to the well-appointed guest rooms, The Adelphi Hotel is a respite for those looking for a refined experience. On the ground floor, diners can choose from the Sushi bar to Morrissey’s Lounge & Bistro to Salt and Char, a farm-to-table steakhouse.

In the rooms, guests will enjoy a stunning space that combines the best of old-world details and service with modern amenities and luxury appointments. From the shoe shine box to the signature stationery to the stunning bathroom covered in Carrera marble, it might be hard to leave the room.

The Adelphi Hotel is located at 365 Broadway in the center of downtown Saratoga Springs. It is close to shopping, dining and Congress Park.

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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