Who rocks the house? Saratoga Springs rocks the house, that’s who! That’s why, I’ve created this wicked awesome list of 25 of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY,
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Kelly, isn’t that place really just for people who like horse racing?”
And the correct answer to that question is an emphatic, “no!” But, I totally get where you’re coming from since I used to think the same thing.
I mean, I used to come up here every single summer for twenty plus years, and basically all we would do is go to the racetrak and pray to God that whatever horse we bet on won their race. Also, spoiler alert, they NEVER did.
Thankfully though, I recently returned to Saratoga Springs after a brief hiatus, and, let me tell you, there is so much more to this place than the racetrack.
Because between charming downtown shops, gorgeous Greek Revival style homes, refreshing mineral springs, beautiful national parks, enormous farmer’s markets, luxurious spas, and fascinating museums, Saratoga Springs really does have it all.
Yup, it’s what I fondly refer to as a thin slice of awesome. And yes, that’s awesome with a CAPITAL “A”.
So, put on a pair of riding chaps, grab a riding crop, and commandeer a rogue mustang (the horse, not the car). Because we’re about to get all bucking bronco up in here and ride on into a list of the 25 best things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Actually, you know what? On second thought, let’s skip all the random riding gear. Yeah, I’m weird but I’m not that weird. That was just my lame attempt at humor and a slightly pathetic nod at Saratoga’s infamous racetrack.
Dear wonderful, beautiful, and oh-so-amazing reader (Yup, I lay it on thick for my dozens of fans). Since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high probability (like 99.999%) that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Things to do in Saratoga Springs – Inside Saratoga Spa State Park
1. Saratoga Spa State Park
When the weather is nice outside, there’s nothing quite like wandering around the 2,379-acre grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park.
Because as a guest here, you’ll have access to a spa (Funny that! Who would have guessed? LOL), hiking and biking trails, several mineral springs and pools, fishing spots, golf courses, on-site museums, food venues, and more.
Honestly though, even in the winters, there are still plenty of fun activities here for you to try, like snowshoeing and ice skating.
So yeah, if you’re looking for things to do in Saratoga Springs, then this is THE place to be.
Because if I’m being brutally honest here, and I always am, Saratoga Spa State Park kinda feels like the lifeblood of the city.
No, seriously. There’s a full-on hotel and restaurant in the park itself. That’s why, technically speaking, you don’t really need to leave the park to discover some of the most amazing things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY (although you definitely should since Saratoga has a lot to offer beyond this park).
However, to better plan your very own Saratoga Springs itinerary, here is some slightly more in-depth info about some of the best things to do inside Saratoga Spa State Park.
Price: It’s free to just wander around, however additional fees vary based on what you plan on doing and if you are entering by vehicle, check their website for a comprehensive list of fees.
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (different places inside the park might have different opening times).
Address: 19 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
2. Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Add a dash of sophistication to your Saratoga Springs vacay by visiting the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This cultural project has an amphitheater stage that can happily seat 25,000 people, and it’s home to both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet.
Make sure you catch an unforgettable live performance before winding down with a colorful cocktail at the Hall of Springs Jazz Bar, where there’s more live music and dancing!
Yup, who knew Saratoga Springs was such a hub of cultural awesomeness?
3. Mineral Springs
This is where Saratoga Springs gets its super snazzy name. And while all the mineral springs in the area aren’t actually in Saratoga Spa State Park, there are quite few located here, making it a good place to start.
Now, back in the day, these naturally occurring, mineral-rich, carbonated water sources were used as places of healing for various ailments that afflicted people.
That’s why, in total, you’ll find twenty-one different public mineral springs scattered throughout Saratoga, each with a unique flavor that stems from the wealth of distinct minerals that are found at each spring.
So, get out there and get a tasting hopefully thirsty friend! Because you can easily design your own private tasting tour at springs like Ferndell Spring, Big Red Spring, Charlie Spring, Deer Park Spring, High Rock Spring, Hathorn Spring 1, Old Red Spring, Coesa Spouter. Columbian Spring, Polaris Spring, Geyser Island Spouter. Empire Spring, Karista Spring, Hayes Well Spring, Geyser Spring, and more.
4. Geyser Creek Trail
Put on your fly AF walking boots kids because we’re about to head out into nature and enjoy an invigorating hike through Saratoga Spa State Park.
As you wander through the trees along Geyser Creek, take in the fresh air and admire two of Saratoga’s most famous springs – Orenda Spring and Island Spouter.
Don’t forget to give them each a taste because the water here is delicious (yes, this is based on personal experience) and s 100% safe to drink!
You can even marvel at some of the strange rock formations that have been created by these natural water spouts.
5. Roosevelt Spa
Thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan to preserve the Saratoga Springs area, the Roosevelt Baths and Spa is now a well established local landmark – a place that is easily one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY.
First opened in 1935, this luxurious, private spa has now been pampering visitors for over 80 years. That’s why, if one of your main goals is to kick back and relax while in Saratoga Springs, then this is the place for you.
Because not gonna lie, they really do have it all. So, just imagine steam rooms, mineral baths, facials, massages, and body wraps aplenty.
So, spend one, glorious day here and prepare to feel like a whole new, infinitely more relaxed person by the time you leave.
Price: Varies based on the service you want but a 40-minute soak in the mineral baths here will cost you $40 during the week and $45 on the weekend.
Hours: Open Thursday through Monday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Address: 39 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
6. National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame
If you love the performing arts, then a visit here is easily one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY. Because the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame houses a wealth of permanent exhibitions on Karole Armitage dance costumes, ballet photography, and dancers in film, just to name a few.
There’s also an expansive, hands-on space that is designed specifically for children, with interactive games, balance toys, and an entire stage area where they can channel their inner thespian.
And during your time here, you can also visit the Mr and Mrs Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame, which showcases a specially selected pair of virtuoso performers that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame that year – a vibrant tradtion that has continued annually since the practice first began in 1987.
Price: Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior/military, and $5 for children.
Hours: Open Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sundays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Address: 99 S Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
7. Saratoga Automobile Museum
Calling all you motorheads! This educational establishment celebrates the important role that automobiles play in both New York State and the world as a whole. Some of the cars exhibited here are also well over a hundred years old – something that I for one think is super cool. I mean, really, who doesn’t love a vintage car?
Plus, every September, there’s an auction held here where people can bid on vintage and collector cars as part of the museum’s fundraising initiative.
So depending on when you visit and the kind of bankroll you’re carrying, you might end up driving home in an uber-vintage vehicle of your choice!
Price: Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for everyone else (that includes children), and free for children under 6.
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except Mondays.
Address: 110 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
8. Saratoga Spa Golf Course
To be honest, golf really isn’t for me, Yeah, I tried it once and thought it was boring AF. That’s why I definitely didn’t hit a few on the back nine while I was living it up in Saratoga.
But, if you’re jonesing for some golf while on vacay in Saratoga Springs, then you won’t regret popping into the picturesque Saratoga Spa Golf Course.
They have a few package options with regards to rates and tee times, including junior programs for younger visitors.
And if you want a break from all that golfing glory, you can always grab some grub at Catherine’s in the Park, or head to the historic Victoria Pool to cool off!
Price: Rates vary between $20 and $40 per session depending on if you’re a New York state resident and what type of session you sign up for.
Hours: Vary by day so check their website for daily tee time information.
Address: 60 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Things to do in Saratoga Springs – Outside of Saratoga Spa State Park
9. Congress Park
After Saratoga Spa State Park, Congress Park is probably one of the most popular places to visit in Saratoga Springs. And for good reason since it really is beautiful.
As a result, I spent much of my morning meandering through the grounds and admiring the stunning fall foliage all around me.
Plus, I mean, there are just a ton of interesting things jammed into this one little park. So, between the beautiful memorials, stunning ponds,, and enchanting pavilions, you could easily spend the better part of the day here.
Although, spoiler alert, the statutes at the Italian Gardens were some of my favie faves. #justsaying
If you want, you can even take a ride on a historic carousel! Yup, this 120 years old merry go round still has originally carved animals that you can take for a whirl as you metaphorically frolic back to yesteryear.
Or, if you’re not a fan of the whole up and down thing, you can always snag a seat on a bench. Because rides on this primo carousel cost a mere $1.00 per person. Yeah, I’d be hardcore by lying if I said I didn’t go around more than once.
Also, just be aware that the carousel is only open seasonally and typically closes for the winter season. However, from early May through the end of June, the carousel is open on weekends. Then, throughout July and August, the carousel opens daily from morning until dusk. And then, after Labor day and through Halloween, the carousel is again, only open on weekends.
However, putting all carousels aside for just a minute, the REAL show stopper of Congress Park is the old Canfield Casino.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. How interesting can a casino be? Well, trust me on this. This former casino has now been converted into a stunning event hall. And luckily for you, you don’t actually have to rent it out to take a peek inside.
Plus, the grounds around the former casino also house The Saratoga Springs History Museum, where you can brush up on your history of the city and see how residents have used to lack way back when.
Plus, you can always admire some of the amazing architecture and stained glass windows that can be found throughout the park – structures that are both stunning and historically significant!
FYI, there’s also a weird AF wax statue of a man using an old school toilet. So, uh, yeah, you have that to look forward to and chuckle at.
Oh, and did I mention? There are also several more mineral springs located within Congress Park itself. So, you can quickly have a gander at those while you’re here too. Because, per usual, there is just so much to do and so very little time. Yup, the eternal struggle.
Hours: Daily from 6:00 am to 12:00 am
Address: 268 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
10. Admire the Area’s Beautiful Architecture
When I think of fun, colorful streets, I imagine the pastel-hued homes of East Bay Street in Charleston, SC or the charming townhouses of Lancaster Road in Notting Hill, London.
But, Saratoga Springs? Yeah, not so much. Which is why I was beyond surprised to learn that one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs is to admire the stunning architecture that surrounds you.
Of course, there’s a difference between appreciating historic architecture and finding fun, colorful houses to take pictures of. But, believe it or not, Saratoga Springs actually has both!
Therefore, If you love architecture and want to explore a variety of different styles, then you’ll be happy to know that Saratoga Springs is littered with designs from various eras in time.
So yeah, you’ll easily uncover a little bit of everything here, including Victorian, Colonial Revival, Contemporary, Gothic, Greek revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Stick Victorian, and more!
Because personally, I have a HUGE fondness for beautiful buildings that ooze charm out of every awning – and Saratoga Springs definitely has those in spades.
And some of the best places to find all of this beautiful architecture include Broadway, North Broadway, Union Avenue, and Circular Street – with some of my favorite buildings being The Mill, The Arcade Building, and 1 Franklin Square.
Plus, if you love fun colors, then run, don’t walk, to the beginning of Clinton Street! Because t’s basically like a mini Rainbow Row, but with totally unique houses that come in a ton of unique architectural styles.
Yeah, you’re welcome.
Hours: 24 hours (please don’t disrupt people in their everyday lives and be respectful of the fact that these homes are PRIVATE PROPERTY)
Address: All over the city
11. Malta Drive-in Movie Theater
Did anyone else grow up going to the drive-in theater or was that just me? Because my mom and I used to go to the one in Lake George every summer and LOVED it.
But, alas, these days they’re closing left and right, which definitely hurts my heart more than a little!
Which is why when I finally went on a New York road trip to Saratoga Springs, I was beyond ecstatic to find out that they still have one!
I mean, rwally, how cool is that?
Not only that, but this drive-in theater actually has TWO different screens! This way, if you’re lucky, you can watch some of the best travel movies of all time!
Okay well, technically speaking this theater is actually a few miles outside of Saratoga, in Malta, NY. But, it’s still one of the absolute BEST things to do in Saratoga Springs if you’re looking for a fun, low-key evening out.
Plus, this place is more than a little historic since it first opened in 1949 and has now been in operation for well over seventy years. So yeah, these people clearly know what they’re doing.
There’s also space here for up to 800 vehicles on the premises, but you can always bring along some camping chairs or a blanket and sit outside your vehicle. Kind of like we did when I was a kid.
See, some family friends had a van, and we’d always roll up in that, with the back of the vehicle facing the screen. This way, we could just open up the back doors and watch the movie from there.
So yeah, this place definitely brings back some great memories from my childhood. Although, even if you didn’t grow up going to a drive-in theatre, this is still a super fun experience.
Price: Adults (Age 12 & Older): $10.00; Children (Under 12): $5.00
Hours: Check their site for more info on what’s currently showing and n exact show times. But, this drive-in is typically open on Friday and Saturday evenings between April and October. There are also two different screens, with three showings per night, that typically start at 7:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 11:00 pm respectively.
Address: 2785 U.S. 9, Malta, NY 12020
12. Have Breakfast at the Racetrack
Apart from Saratoga Spa State Park and Congress Park, Saratoga Springs is most well known for its iconic racetrack.
And that makes sense since The Saratoga Race Course was first opened in 1863 and is currently the third oldest race track in the United States.
Later, about a year after it openned, the track began a stakes race called the Travers (also known as the Midsummer Derby) for some of its wealthy patrons – a race that this immortal course STILL hosts today, making it THE single oldest major thoroughbred horse race in the country.
So, yeah, it’s no small wonder that The Saratoga Race Course is now one of the most famous in the country. In fact, you’ve probably seen it in a film or two!
And the best part? You can actually have breakfast here (because we all know how ya girl here feels about food of the breakfast variety) and watch the horses warm up amidst all this beautiful history. Because having breakfast here before the start of a race is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Saratoga Springs!
So, any day that the track holds a race, you (and fifty of your closest friends) are welcome to head in early and gobble up their delicious breakfast buffet. A decadent assortment of foods that are served to you on The Porch of the Clubhouse.
However, seating is on a first come, first-served basis. So, try to show up as early as possible so that you can snag a primo seat. Because although they do have seats available for up to 825 people, you’d be surprised at how quickly everything fills up.
Also, please note that breakfast does NOT include seating for the races themselves. Therefore, you’ll need to reserve tickets for a race separately if that’s something you’re interested in.
However, breakfast DOES include a free, wicked awesome tram tour of the stable area. A tour that departs every 15 minutes – or when full – and lasts about 45 minutes in total. Also, there is NO breakfast on Travers Day, but it’s still worth going if you like horse racing since it’s a pretty epic event.
Price: $15 will get you in the door (cheaper if you book in advance), however, this does not guarantee you seating. Prices for breakfast go up each year, biut in 2019 they were $9.25 for children and $18.50 for adults.
Hours: The meets run for about 6-8 weeks a year during the summer so check their website for a full schedule and reservation options.
Address: 267 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
13. National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
I think it’s safe to say that if you enjoy horse racing, then you’re probably going to be interested in a visit to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
And honestly, even if you aren’t all that into pro racing, it’s still one of the top things to do in Saratoga Springs if you’re even remotely nterested in the history. Or just like horses. Because yeah, there are A LOT of paintings of horses here.
Also, not surprisingly, the museum is just an almost literal hop, skip, and jump away from the immortal race track.
However, what DID surprise me was the sheer size of this place. Because it’s kind of bananas how big this museum really is! And it genuinely has pretty much EVERYTHING you’d ever need to know about horse racing.
There are also a ton of permanent and special exhibits on display here at any given time, including sculptures, paintings, memorabilia, trophies, etc. There are also entire galleries inside that are dedicated to horse racing in post and pre-civil war era America.
There are also a ton of special exhibits here whose topics vary but that have previously covered things like the Travers, women in racing, and the famous thoroughbred “Man o’ War”.
Price: Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (65+), $10 for students (6-17/College with ID), children under 5, museum members, and veterans all visit for free.
Hours: Currently open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. But, summer and winter hours vary by year so check their website for opening times.
Address: 191 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
14. Ghost Tour
If you love ghost stories and haunted sites as much as I do, then you’ll absolutely love this Haunted Saratoga ghost tour! It was one of the highlights of my trip and easily one of my favorite things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY. Because yeah, you know how much your girl over here LOVES a bit of dark tourism.
During my ghost tour, Joe was my epic tour guide and I really appreciated the fact that he knows his stuff and that he is really adept at atmospheric storytelling.
And while I don’t want to give too much away since that’s half the fun, let’s just say that this interactive experience will take you around the downtown area and through Congress Park.
Sure, it’s not a particularly long walk – maybe about a mile over the course of an hour and a half – hut you’ll hear all about malignant spirits and discover pseudo-friendly ghosts along the way!
Plus it’s just a great way to see more of the city. And If you want to learn even more about the ghosts of Saratoga Springs, they even have a book for sale that will allow you to further delve into the macabre history of this upstate metropolis.
Price: Adults: $20.00; Children (Under 12): $10.00
Hours: Check their site for availability but currently tours start at 7:00 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.
Address: Specific meeting instructions will be sent by email when the tours are booked
15. Saratoga National Historical Park
There are two main reasons why Saratoga National Historical Park should be on your list of things to do in Saratoga Springs.
The first is that is B-E-A-utiful, with over 5 square miles of picturesque open green space for you to roam around in. This picturesque natural landscape is also the perfect place to go hiking, rambling, and birdwatching.
The second and very important reason is that its rich history. See, the Battles of Saratoga were actually fought here in 1777, during which an army of British soldiers was met and defeated by American Patriot forces. Yeah, they somehow managed to get them to surrender and, in so doing, changed the entire course of the Revolutionary War.
But, don’t take my word for it. Because the park’s visitor’s center is actually full of information about the battle, including artifacts, light-up maps, and a timeline of the events that demonstrates exactly how this battle changed the course of the war.
While you’re in the area, also make sure to head over to the Saratoga Monument, which commemorates this great American victory.
Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal since it’s a 154 foot tall stone tower that sits on the exact spot where the British were camped during the final days of fighting. You can also mosey on up to the top of the monument and enjoy sweeping, 360-degree views from the top.
Yup, let all the Instagram mavens in the audience rejoice and be tickled pink. #PhotoOpsForDays
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Address: 648 NY-32, Stillwater, NY 12170
16. Saratoga Lake Cruise
Believe it or not, Saratoga Lake is only a 10-minute drive from Saratoga Springs. So, if the weather is nice and it’s actually warm outside, one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs is to pretend commander a ship and enjoy a scenic cruise across the lake.
Do make reservations though since it tends to get busy during high season, AKA the summer! Because locals and tourists alike love the lake and enjoy sun bathing, swimming, fishing, and rowing across this gorgeous body of water.
You can also rent your own boat if you’re supremely confident in your boating skills – I’ve heard great things about Salvi Aquatic Boat Rentals – or take a cruise with Adirondack Cruise instead.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t personally go on a lake cruise during my winter visit. But, between spring and autumn, Adirondack Cruise company has plenty of options to choose from, depending on what kind of traveler you are.
So, you can take a private dinner cruise, enjoy a romantic sunset cruise, or embark on a delightful morning coffee cruise if you’re way more of a morning person than me. All of their cruises are also at least an hour-long, which is definitely enough time to marvel at the enchanting beauty of Lake Saratoga.
And if you want to make a day of it, you can always pack a lunch and have a picnic at Waterfront Park. Yeah, there are actually several different picnic benches along the lake for you to sit at. Or, you can bring your own blanket and sit down wherever you like while admiring the stunning views around you.
Price: Prices start at $15 per person depending on whether the cruise is private or not. For more information, book a cruise here.
Hours: Cruises are offered daily, throughout the day, in season. So, check their website for more information.
Address: Saratoga Lake Marina, 549 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
17. Brown’s Beach
Okay, okay, I know. Brown’s Beach is TECHNICALLY part of Saratoga Lake. But, it’s all the way on the opposite end of the lake from Waterfront Park and most of the boat rental/cruise companie in the area.
So yeah, it’s kind of its own entity. Plus, I’m singling it out because it’s one of the only public swimming areas in Saratoga Lake (although you still have to pay to use it). Also, for some weird reason, a lot of residents don’t even know that Brown Beach actually exists.
Additionally, the previous point in this post was actually about lake cruises and this is about swimming. And those are two totally different things. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself to justify adding Brown’s Beach to this list of things to do in Saratoga Springs.
Now, despite being a popular summer spot since the 1800s, Brown’s Beach was actually closed down in 2006. However, luckily for you, it was quickly reopened again in 2015 by nearby Stillwater.
So, what are you waiting for? Frolic along the sandy shores of Lake Saratoga and get your tan until you sizzle like bacon. And yes, I mean that in the best possible way, FYI.
Just make sure to get there as early as possible because it can get pretty busy during peak season (summer).
And in addition to swimming, guests can also enjoy a wealth of other fun activities like kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Most visitors to the area will also head to Dock Brown’s for a refreshing beverage and some tasty chicken wings. or a delicious black bean burger if you’re a vegetarian like me
Price: $3 for people 13 and older and free for children 12 and under.
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Address: 511 NY-9P, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
18. Yaddo Gardens
Less than three miles away from Saratoga Springs is the Corporation of Yaddo, a picturesque haven for artists. It’s a sprawling, 400-acre green space that offers live-in residencies to artists from across the globe. This way, they can come here, get a little peace and quiet, and focus on their work.
And although this complex was first built in 1899 by Spencer and Katrina Trask, Yaddo has actually had its doors opened to artists since ye olde 1926.
As a result, members of the public can currently explore some parts of this amazing space and see where artists in choreography, film, literature, musical composition, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video live in residence.
And just so you know, the Yaddo Gardens are a pretty big deal and have hosted some seriously big names in the past, including Langston Hughes, Patricia Highsmith, James Baldwin, David Foster Wallace,, and more!
So, why is it included in my list of top things to do in Saratoga Springs? Well, because while most of the grounds are private and only accessible to residents, some of the gardens here are actually open to the public! And trust me, they are well worth a visit.
That’s why I’d definitely take a private tour of the grounds. This way, you won’t miss out on any of the area’s wicked cool details- or get lost. Especially since the grounds here are next level stunning and inspired by both Italian and French Renaissance style gardens and architecture – with a unique rock and rose garden for an extra added bit of awesomeness.
FYI, bookings for photoshoots are also available upon request.
Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk
Address: The Corporation of Yaddo, 312 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
19. The Children’s Museum at Saratoga
The Children’s Museum at Saratoga’s mission statement is to create a place where “learning and play go hand-in-hand”, And trust me, this place more than delivers on this goal since there are over a dozen colorful playrooms (or “exhibits”) where kids can go crazy, engage with the world around them, and enjoy a wealth of hands-on activities that are centered around learning.
Now, each one of these playrooms has a theme that is designed around a specific activity. So, you’ll find a grocery store, a schoolhouse, a Spa Little Theater (for all those performers out there), a mailroom, a firehouse (where you can sit behind the wheel of a fire truck!), a Bubble Spring (for messier fun!) and even a veterinary clinic.
And while I personally don’t have children, I can see how visiting a place like this could easily one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs for families. Just not families with older children since the museum was specifically designed to be developmentally appropriate for children between the ages of 0-8.
So yeah, think of it as a place where you can entertain AND educate young minds on a fun-filled, family vacation … or for anyone who’s a kid at heart, like me!
Price: Tickets are $8 per person of free for members
Hours: Open June 26 through Labor Day Monday and Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Sundays from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The rest of the year, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Address: 69 Caroline St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
20. Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery
On their website, it says that the purpose of this museum is to “awaken the community to the richness and diversity of the human experience through the medium of art.”
And in the achievement of that goal, the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is a roaring success! At least, I think so since I felt uber-inspired by the diversity of the art on display here.
That being said, I was a bit unsure prior to my visit because it’s a contemporary art gallery and, well, those can always be a bit hit or miss for me.
But, there was no need for me to worry because it was amazing, especially since the pieces on display here felt like they were from every style and in every medium imaginable.
That’s why, no matter who you are and what you’re into, you’ll for sure find something that you’re into at Tang.
And, just in case you’re not in the know, this museum is actually part of Skidmore College, and was named after a former student, Frances Young Tang, whose family made a very sizeable donation to the museum a few years after she passed away.
The building itself was also designed by architect Antoine Predock, and really is a work of art in and of itself.
So, step inside and explore the four galleries within (two larger, two smaller), which are bedazzled with stunning contemporary art as far as the eye can see. I mean, even the elevator was outfitted with a unique art installation that is known as “Elevator Music” (at least at the time of my visit).
You’ll also find a few different exhibitions on display here at any given time. So, if you stop by and aren’t smitten, but do love art, you can always go back in a few months and see what new art installations have come to the museum.
Price: Free, but donations recommended
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, open until 9:00 pm on Thursdays
Address: 815 N Broadway #1632, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
21. New York State Military Museum
The collection of artifacts, books, and exhibits on display in the New York State Military Museum are well over 150 years old. Which makes sense since everything from uniforms to weapons to artillery pieces to medical supplies to military art can be found here. Artifacts here also date back to any time between the Revolutionary War and Desert Storm.
So yeah, holy Hannah Batman, that’s a lot of stuff.
Plus, this museum is actually known for housing the second largest collection of state battle flags in the country AND the largest collection of Civil War flags in the world. Yup, true story, and talk about a lot of flags!
Not to mention the fact that there are over 6,000 photographs, letters, maps, and scrapbooks on display here. That’s why, if you can think of something military-related, then chances are that this museum has something about it.
And as of 2001, this extensive collection was also housed inside the Saratoga Springs historic armory (very appropriate) – a striking terracotta brick building with huge turrets that make this place pretty dang easy to find.
However, just in case you’re directionally challenged like me, be on the look out for a giant, green Sherman Tank that is parked just outside the building. Plus, entry to this enormous collection is absolutely free – a price that I think we can all get behind.
Hours: Varies by season but typically Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the museum also open on Mondays during the summer. But, .check their website for specific opening times and for reservations, which are required for the research center.
Address: 61 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
22. Saratoga Farmers’ Market
This seasonal celebration of fresh produce has been up and running for well over 40 years.
And it’s become so popular, that it now has well over 70 vendors. Therefore, you’ll definitely find a veritable buffet of tasty snacks and delicious treats that you can bring home with you and store in your pantry for this winter and beyond!
It’s also a great place to refuel after a productive morning working through your fun-filled itinerary of things to do in Saratoga Springs.
Funnily enough, though, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market didn’t get off to a great start. Because when it was first started in 1978, it rained on most of the market days. And the only protection that customers had against the inclement weather was a few small patio umbrellas.
But, the organizers never gave up, and after some great seasons with large turnouts and even more vendors, the market has become the veritable foodie mecca that we all know and love today.
Because from its humble beginnings, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market has grown to include stalls selling apple cheesecakes, whiskey, homemade jerky, local apple cider, and even jewelry. And of course, plenty of fresh-from-the-farm produce for you to devour at your earliest convenience.
Price: Free (but of course if you buy anything that will cost money!)
Hours: Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. FYI, There’s also one in Saratoga Spa State Park on Sundays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Address: Wilton Mall, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
23. Hyde Collection
Do you enjoy the artistic works of Rembrandt? Picasso? Whistler? Maybe you’re more of a Renoir or a Botticelli fan? Well, luckily for you, you can find all this and more at the Hyde Collection.
Because this beautiful museum sits just north of the Hudson River and houses fine works of art that will satisfy even the most eclectic of artistic tastes. That’s why the Hyde Collection Art Museum and Gallery is definitely one of the best things to do in Saratoga Springs for any and all of my fellow art lovers out there. I mean, the epic amount of pieces here that are done by world-famous artists is just too big to miss!
In addition to their fantastic selection of paintings, which are all housed inside a 1912 American Renaissance mansion for added allure, there are also live music and theatrical events on offer here, as well as art and exercise classes (where you can marvel at artwork while doing yoga), interactive writing workshops, and plenty of tours – including an occasional Murder Mystery Tour that looks beyond awesome.
You know, just as long as you can gather your wits about you and follow a trail of hidden clues and delughtfully colorful characters to solve a heinous crime – all while discovering more about the history of the various pieces of art that surround you
Price: Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (60+), free entry for members, students (with ID), children, veterans, and activity duty military members
Hours: Open Friday through Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Address: 161 Warren Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801
24. The Saratoga Winery
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Saratoga Springs or for a romantic getaway in upstate New York, then the Saratoga Winery is the place to be!
So, book a tour and learn all about the winemaking process. Or, simply savor a nice meander through the vineyard’s gorgeous grounds.
Personally, I’m not really a wine drinker, but I do love wandering around vineyards since they’re always so gosh darn beautiful!
And The Saratoga Winery is no exception. They also produce more than 15 specially, handcrafted wines that are made using grapes from right here in upstate New York.
Plus, if you’re visiting with a wine lover but are not really one yourself, then there are always 8-9 local craft brew beers on tap in the tasting room that you can totally try out.
And as if all that weren’t enough, this winery also hosts regular live events like trivia nights and bonfire nights that you can totally join in on.
Price: Contact for pricing
Hours: Open Thursday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm. FYI, reservations MUST be made ahead of time.
Address: 462 NY-29, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
25. High Rock Park
You might not know it was there if you weren’t looking for it. But, High Rock Park is a beautiful little park in the north of Saratoga Springs that is well worth a visit – assuming you’re not parked out by your explorations of Congress Park.
So what makes it so special? Well, High Rock is a popular picnic site. So if you’re hot after a picnic then this is the place to be.
However, this little park is way more than just another epic picnic location. Because one of the main things to do here is to visit the 9/11 Memorial, which is also known as “Tempered by Memory” and sits at the heart of the park.
As a native New Yorker, I found my visit here extremely difficult. But, I also think it’s an important monument to visit and recommend paying your respects if you can manage it
It’s basically a large, steel sculpture that is pretty hard to miss in this rather small park. This sculpture is also surrounded by colorful flowers and some benches if you need to sit and gather your thoughts for a moment.
Additionally, there are two more mineral springs within High Rock (including the aptly named High Rock spring), so if you’re trying to catch them all, you have to visit.
The Farmer’s Market was also previously held here but has since been moved to Wilton Mall.
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
Address: 112 High Rock Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Things to do in Saratoga Springs – Where to Stay
Broadalbin Hotel (mid-range) – I just need to take a minute to sing the praises of the Broadalbin Hotel here. I mean, this place is absolutely stunning and I actually had a freaking jacuzzi IN my room! Yup, it was like a total dream come true. Plus I had a private parlor, access to a second-floor balcony, and was treated to nothing less than pure, first-class service. There’s also ample parking, and every room is fully outfitted with free WiFi, a flatscreen TV, air conditioning, heating, and an in-room safe. You know, for all my non-valuable valuables. The hotel is also a short 35-minute drive from Saratoga Springs So, you can easily get into the city but are still able to enjoy some of the quiet comforts of small-town NY. Plus, there’s a lovely restaurant and bar on-site that serves delicious food if you don’t feel like heading into the city for the evening. Rooms here start at $110 per night.
Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa (mid-range) – Saratoga Springs is somewhat synonymous with relaxation, luxurious spas, and gorgeous mineral springs. Granted, that last one won’t be present at the Gideon Putnam, but you’ll definitely find all the relaxation and spa treatments you need here. But the best part? The Gideon Putnam feels like a luxury resort but actually comes with a MUCH lower price tag. And in addition to comfy beds and free WiFi, you’ll enjoy access to the on-site spa, sauna, outdoor swimming pool, and fitness center. There is also an onsite restaurant and bar, plus room service if you fancy a quiet night in with your boo! Rooms here start at $110 per night.
Brentwood Hotel (mid-range) – Located between downtown Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga Spa State Park, this is a great place to relax after a long day spent experiencing all the best things to do in Saratoga Springs. All rooms come with a private bathroom, a minibar, a balcony/terrace, WiFi, satellite TV, a shower, toiletries, air-conditioning, and heating. The rooms here are also tastefully decorated with great attention paid to detail. They also provide guests with great complimentary toiletries, as well as access to an onsite bar and free parking. Rooms here start at $119 per night.
Adelphi Hotel (luxury) – It might be one of the most haunted hotels in New York, but the Adelphi is pure luxury. That’s why you won’t mind a bit of friendly haunting. All rooms at the Adelphi are also exquisitely decorated with beautiful period furniture, plus each one has a minibar and flatscreen TV. There is also a 24-hour front desk, a rooftop bar and seating areas throughout. Some of the rooms are also outfitted with balconies, a spa bath, and/or hot tub. Rooms here start at $200 per night.
Things to do in Saratoga Springs – Where to Eat
Urban Roots – Urban Roots make their own fresh, organic juices and smoothies and, not gonna lie, they are everything pure and beautiful in this crazy world of ours. My personal faves are the 24 Carrot juice and Go Away Doc Smoothie. And yes, I HAVE tried most of them. But!, they also do food and serve delicious, vegan, avocado toast. They also have an entire section of their menu dedicated to all things avocado. And being the uber-millennial that I am, I absolutely love this. They also do amazing power smoothie bowls, which is why I legit could eat their Moroccan Maple Power Bowl every single day.
The Falafel Den – If you love falafel as much as I do, then you might find yourself unable to leave this delightful little spot. The falafels are fluffy and tasty AF, and basically melt in your mouth. Add in creamy hummus and crispy pita chips and your mouth will tingle with delight. And for any meat-eaters in the house, you can also order a beef, chicken, or lamb gyro wrap.
Sushi Thai Garden – I could probably eat Japanese or Thai food every day and never get sick of either one (especially Thai, if we’re being honest). That’s why, I was delighted to find that the Sushi Thai Garden has a lot of delicious options to satisfy even mildly picky vegans like me. Personally, I’m all about their tofu triangles and vegetarian pad Thai. They’re also really amenable to switching out meat for tofu, which is something that I always appreciate.
Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Bagels – Fresh bagels and hot apple cider are the name of the game here. Well, okay, the cider is actually seasonal, but man is it tasty (if it’s not available, I definitely recommend their masala chai latte). The bagels, however, are the main attraction here no matter what time of year your visit. And they have all your classics, like everything and poppy seed, as well as some more unique – but equally delicious – options like jalapeño, rosemary olive and oat bran. Get it with simple toppings like cream cheese or hummus, or build your own breakfast bagel sandwich.Sadly no vegan cream cheese but the bagels are so good here that I’ll let that slide.
Sweet Mimi’s Cafe and Bakery – If bagels aren’t your thing, perhaps I can interest you in a short stack of cinnamon roll pancakes, or fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes? Yeah, I just drooled a little on myself because the breakfasts here are phenomenal. Just be sure to wear extra stretchy pants and try out some of their baked goods too. Because, FYI, the muffins and cakes here are to die for. I’ve tried, and loved, the almond raspberry muffins, the apple spice cake, the pumpkin apple loaf, and carrot cake. And yes, I tried all these before I went full on vegan.
Guess what, guess what, guess what? This post on 25 of the most amazing things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY is officially over!
HOORAY! You made it to the end of this insanely comprehensive post with both of your eyeballs (hopefully) still intact!
So, what are you waiting for? Go forth, enjoy all of these fantastic things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY, and be the beyond happy human that I know you are!
And if you found this post even a little bit helpful, then pin this now so that you can read it again later! Pretty please with sugar on top? Come on, you know you want to!