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Four Perfect Days in Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Arms Porch

4 Perfect Days in Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs is full of wonderful things to do and see during the summer season. Being native Saratogians, we have designed a 3-night, 4 day adventure that showcases “The Saratoga Experience.” Take advantage of our midweek special for the perfect getaway!

Midweek Getaway Special
Book your favorite room for 3+ nights Sunday-Thursday and enjoy a complimentary welcome plate and bottle of wine. Enjoy on our porch or in the privacy of your room, the perfect way to start your getaway!

*Offer valid for stays May 18 – July 23, 2015. Choose from: bottle of Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir wine and Cheese and Fruit Plate or Assorted Vegetarian Tapas Plate. Please indicate your choice in the notes section when booking online. New reservations only, cannot be combined with other offers.

Day 1

  • Check in at Saratoga Arms
  • Take a mineral bath at the historic Roosevelt Baths
  • Enjoy a self-guided or docent tour of the mineral springs within the Saratoga State Park
  • Dinner at one of many fabulous restaurants within walking distance of Saratoga Arms

Day 2

Whitney Viewing Stand at the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Training Racetrack

  • Wake up early and watch the horses train from the Whitney Viewing Stand at the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Training racetrack
  • Return to Saratoga Arms for a delicious farm fresh breakfast
  • Tour the National Museum of Dance
  • Tour the National Racing Museum
  • Pack a picnic lunch at the Parkside Eatery
  • Enjoy your picnic lunch in Congress Park
    • Tour the Canfield Casino Museum within the park
    • End your afternoon in the park with a Carousel Ride
  • Enjoy drinks and a small plate on the grand Saratoga Porch of Saratoga Arms before your dinner

Day 3

Saratoga Arms Double Whirlpool King Room

  • Begin your day with another breakfast at Saratoga Arms
  • Travel North to the Adirondack Mountains for a variety of choices
    • Water-Take a boat tour of Lake George
    • Mountains-Hike one of the Adirondack Mountain 46 High Peaks (Be sure to bring a picnic lunch from Putnam Market before you head north)
    • History-Tour Fort Ticonderoga. Built during the French and Indian War and also used during the American Revolutionary War, the Fort operates has a museum, reenactment tours, beautiful garden and a research center
  • Return to Saratoga for a nap then dinner

Day 4/Check-out Day

  • Enjoy the final morning in the Saratoga Arms dining room for breakfast
  • Tour the many shops along Broadway, our main street, before heading home
  • Detour to the Saratoga Battlefield and Saratoga Historic Park-Turning Point of the Revolutionary War- as you head home

Top 10 Reasons for a Non-Gambler to Attend the Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Springs is the summer place to be. And many flock to this wonderful upstate New York town to see the thoroughbred racing at the Saratoga Race Course. But what can you do if you don’t bet? We have come up with our Top-10 list of great Things To Do at the track even if you’re not a gambler:

1-People watch – Saratoga is the place for fancy hats and people dressed to the nines. You could get lost all day in watching the festive crowds.
2-Dress up or not – Do you want to get all dressed up in your finest clothes and have a seat in the Clubhouse, or are you interested in wearing shorts and sitting at a picnic table with a cooler? The great thing about the Saratoga races is that you can do both, although preferably not on the same day.

Saratoga Springs Hotel

3-Play the name game, the color game, or the number game – While you may not be a gambler, it’s always fun to get caught up in the most exciting 2 minutes in sports. You don’t have to be a horse handicapper, as we’ve noticed that sometimes the biggest winners are those who know nothing about horse racing! Just play what you know – favorite number is 9, favorite color is yellow and diamonds are a favorite jewel. Put $10 across the board on the number 9 and who knows, you might come home a winner.

Saratoga Springs Bed and Breakfast

Courtesy of dougtone via Flickr

4-Spot a celebrity – Saratoga has been known to have the cast from The Sopranos in the winner’s circle. A certain cast member from Entourage owns a share in a Saratoga restaurant and a certain former NY Giants coach is seen at the track throughout the meet. Who can you spot?
5-Great Music – There’s a different musical act out in the general admission area each racing day. And who knows, you could kick up your feet as well.

6-Sample the Food and Drink – From the famous fried chicken from local favorite (and winner of the Bobby Flay Throwdown competition) Hattie’s, to famous NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, there’s something for everyone’s appetite. And don’t forget the Saratoga Race Track’s signature cocktail, The Saratoga Sunrise. It’s a perfect thirst quencher for a summer day.
7-View the Paddock Area – Want to see these horses a bit closer up? The paddock area is where the horses get saddled, the jockeys are given final instructions from their trainers and you can get a first glimpse of the horses prior to the race.

Saratoga Springs Inn

Courtesy of dmcordell via Flickr

8-Get a Jockey’s Autograph – These athletes are quite accessible after their race. They dismount their horses at the finish line and walk through the crowd back towards the Jockey quarters. Do you have a little one at home that would love an autograph? The jockeys are usually quite accommodating. Hint: pick the winning jockey and ask them to sign the race page of your program.
Saratoga Springs NY Hotel
9-Sample the Big Red Spring – Our upstate city is known for having curative spring water. There are many free-flowing springs within the downtown area and the Saratoga Spa State Park. And there’s also one within the Race Course grounds. On the far side of the paddock is the Big Red Spring. Bring a cup, take a sip…maybe your aches and pains will subside.
Saratoga Springs NY Bed and Breakfast

10-Cross it off your Bucket List – Sports Illustrated named the Saratoga Race Course one of the Top 10 sporting venues of the 20th century. We couldn’t agree more!

Have you made your booking? Come see why Saratoga is called “The Summer Place To Be” while you enjoy your stay at Saratoga Arms!

Saratoga Springs Race Track :: Seating Options

Saratoga Springs NY Hotel

It is no secret that the Saratoga horse racing is the busiest time of year and this Saratoga Springs hotel prides itself on offering guests a true Saratoga experience.  Saratoga Springs is home to the oldest race course in North America, that celebrated 150 years in 2013.

With a rare exception, a racing season reservation at Saratoga Arms includes plans for at least one visit to the race track.  Track knowledge can range from “There’s a race track in Saratoga????” to the enthusiast who knows the inside way to get to the coveted box seats.  Most lie somewhere in between.

We get many calls from “first-timers” looking to take part in the racing experience and they have lots of questions

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Hikes around Saratoga Springs – Buck Mountain (Part 4 of 4)


Saratoga Arms’ evening front desk manager, Jeff Apple, is an avid hiker.  On his days off, he is usually on top of a mountain…far, far away from cell phone coverage.  Jeff has offered to share 4 blog posts of great hikes in and around our Saratoga Springs, NY hotel.  Written in a four part series, Jeff will discuss the hikes, beginning with the easiest and ending with the most challenging.  The first installment was Geyser Creek Trail, which is 2 miles from Saratoga Arms.  His 2nd post featured a beautiful hike in the Lake George Area at Sleeping Beauty.  His 3rd installment is a favorite of our guests, Hadley Mountain.  For the fourth and final installment, enter Jeff and Buck Mountain…

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Hikes around Saratoga Springs – Hadley Mountain (Part 3 of 4)


Saratoga Arms’ evening front desk manager, Jeff Apple, is an avid hiker.  On his days off, he is usually on top of a mountain…far, far away from cell phone coverage.  Jeff has offered to share 4 blog posts of great hikes in and around our Saratoga Springs, NY hotel.  Written in a four part series, Jeff will discuss the hikes, beginning with the easiest and ending with the most challenging.  The first installment was Geyser Creek Trail, which is 2 miles from Saratoga Arms.  His 2nd post featured a beautiful hike in the Lake George Area at Sleeping Beauty.  His 3rd installment is a favorite of our guests-Enter Jeff and Hadley Mountain…

Continue Reading »

Hikes around Saratoga Springs-Sleeping Beauty (Part 2 of 4)


Saratoga Arms’ evening front desk manager, Jeff Apple, is an avid hiker.  On his days off, he is usually on top of a mountain…far, far away from cell phone coverage.  Jeff has offered to share 4 blog posts of great hikes in and around Saratoga Springs, NY hotel.  Written in a four part series, Jeff will discuss the hikes, beginning with the easiest and ending with the most challenging.  The first installment was Geyser Creek Trail, which is 2 miles from Saratoga Arms.  Now Jeff has written post #2–Enter Jeff and the Sleeping Beauty…

Continue Reading »

Hikes around Saratoga Springs-Geyser Creek Trail (Part 1 of 4)

Saratoga Arms’ evening front desk manager, Jeff Apple, is an avid hiker.  On his days off, he is usually on top of a mountain…far, far away from cell phone coverage.  Jeff has offered to share 4 blog posts of great hikes in and around Saratoga Springs, NY.  Written in a four part series, Jeff  will discuss Saratoga hiking, beginning with the easiest and ending with the most challenging.  Enter Jeff and the Geyser Creek Trail…

Saratoga may now be nationally recognized for its historic thoroughbred racecourse, but its history dates back to the Mohawk Indians, who credited the area’s naturally carbonated mineral springs with healing powers.

Geyser Trail saratoga springs

There are currently 17 public mineral springs in various locations around Saratoga Springs, NY. Moreover, the Saratoga Springs area has the only active spouting geysers East of the Mississippi River. You can experience a sampling of these springs on a short, easy walk on the Geyser Creek Trail in Saratoga Spa State Park, a National Historic Landmark, only a mile from the front door of our boutique Saratoga Springs hotel.

The mineral waters of Saratoga have long been claimed to cure an array of health maladies, including diabetes, hangovers, cancer, malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, indigestion, and more. Each spring has a slightly different taste affected by its varied mineral composition, and each spring is rumored to be better at quelling a different illness. It has become a tradition of many of our hotel guests to take a glass to sample each spring throughout the city. Even if you couldn’t afford the opulence of 19th century Saratoga, anyone could stop by and literally take a taste of the waters. In 1838, John Honeywood Steele wrote in his study of Saratoga spring water that “it is daily sought after and drank by all classes of people.” This spring on the Geyser Creek Trail is rich in iron, as evidenced by the rust that lines its stone basin.

The hike along the Geyser Creek Trail in Saratoga Spa State Park is a short walk of less than an hour. Along the pathway you will see numerous features, including two of Saratoga’s signature springs, Island Spouter and Orenda Spring. There are also numerous mineral deposits, such as this travertine terrace reminiscent of Yellowstone National Park’s Mammoth Hot Springs.
Geyser trail in Saratoga Springs

The trail follows picturesque Geyser Creek, which converges with the Kayaderosseras Creek approximately a mile away. The Kayaderosseras empties into Saratoga Lake, whose outlet is called Fish Creek. Fish Creek is a tributary of the Hudson River, joining at the town of Schuylerville. The Hudson flows south for hundreds of miles before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the mighty river that most are familiar with at New York City.

If you are interested in stretching your legs, learning a little history and tasting the different waters that made Saratoga famous, the Geyser Creek Trail is a perfect spot to spend an hour or two.

‘Tis the Farmer’s Market Season

farmers market saratoga springsAs the saying goes: April showers, May brings flowers. And May sure has delivered. With the warmth from sunshine giving new life to trees, plants, and wildlife, there is no doubt that Saratoga’s Spring has sprung.

May also means the Saratoga Farmers Market returned to its outdoors home in High Rock Park. When it comes to capturing the true flavor of summer, this is the place to be. Featuring dozens of vendors, the twice-­‐weekly market includes local products ranging from vegetables, to cheese, to meat, to crafts.

Because everything is fresh and local, no two days’ offerings are necessarily going to be the same. If a specific piece of produce isn’t for sale, it isn’t in season. Unlike regular supermarkets, these crops aren’t genetically modified, imported from thousands of miles away, or forcefully ripened. Instead, you’re getting food directly from the source; if you have a question about anything (even if it’s as silly as “why are those carrots purple?”), you can ask knowing that the answer is a reliable one, since whoever answers is very likely to have played a first-­‐hand role in producing the food.

Also, if you live in the area and have a green thumb, you can pick up plants to grow in your own garden. Whether it is a pretty hanging basket of flowers or a tomato seedling, the only thing more local than produce from the Saratoga Farmer’s Market is produce growing at your own home. Incase you have no idea where to begin, there is usually a booth with ‘master’ gardeners from the Cornell Cooperative Extension who can provide soil tests, answer any questions, and let you know about the programs they offer.

And don’t worry about waiting until you’re home to feast, as some of the vendors are there to cook up delicious food on site: smoothies, burritos, ice cream, and more! Additionally, even though taste is the focused sense of the event, the organizers schedule a musical act to keep your ears occupied as you go around smelling and tasting the fresh fare.

The Saratoga Farmer’s Market runs Wednesdays 3pm-­‐6pm and Saturdays 9am-­‐1pm in High Rock Park. The market is within walking distance to Saratoga Arms.  We have plenty of room to store your goodies. If driving, parking is available on the street along High Rock Avenue in front of the market, or in the city lot adjacent (no charge for either).

Happy Marketing! And seriously…Purple Carrots do exist.

The Saratoga Race Course is 150 Years Old

Health. History. Horses. It is those three words that greet all who enter Saratoga Springs, and it is those three words (coincidentally and conveniently all starting with the letter “H”) that capture the spirit of this great town. Of course, special emphasis will be placed on the third “H” (Horses), since this summer marks the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of racing at the Saratoga Race Course.

To celebrate, there are numerous events planned from May through September. One in particular that is worth noting is the equestrian film festival slated for June 11-­‐13. Presented by Skidmore College and The Saratoga Film Forum, this special presentation will be held at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center. Typically used for musical performances, this beautifully designed and acoustically-­‐tuned venue will be no less fitting for these screenings.

saratoga springs horse racing

First, Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30 pm will have a screening of Seabiscuit. Set during the Great Depression, this film tells the true story of the horse that reached unexpected greatness in the racing world, and became a symbol of hope to many Americans. Nominated in 2003 for seven Academy awards (including Best Picture), Seabiscuit stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, and Elizabeth Banks.

Secretariat the movie

Following on Wednesday, June 12 at 7:30 pm will be a screening of Secretariat. Chronicling the life of the first thoroughbred race horse to win The Triple Crown in 25 years (as of 1973), this film depicts the struggle that Secretariat’s owner (Penny Chenery) faced from the foreign and male-­‐dominated world of horse racing in order to foster a champion. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Secretariat stars Diane Lane and John Malkovich.

Saratoga 1937

Last but not least will be a screening of Saratoga on Thursday, June 13 at 7:30 pm. Originally released in 1937 when Seabiscuit was actually racing, this romantic comedy film stars Clark Gable (who went on to star in Gone with the Wind) as bookie Duke Bradley, who acquires the deed to a stud farm in lieu of the gambling debts of Frank Clayton. He soon meets Frank’s daughter Carol Clayton (Jean Harlow), and develops an eye for her despite her recent engagement to another man. Despite Harlow’s sudden death of kidney failure during the making of Saratoga, it went on to be MGM’s biggest moneymaker of 1937.

Both Seabiscuit and Saratoga had portions filmed in Saratoga Springs. Following the June 13 screening, there will be a talk by Saratoga Film Forum local historians and history teachers, Dave Patterson and Charlie Kuenzel, about the role of Saratoga and the track in classic American films.

Admission is FREE with a Saratoga 150 Lapel Medallion or a Saratoga ARTSFEST pass, otherwise general admission can be purchased for $5. For more information about this event and many others taking place throughout the summer please visit Saratoga 150.

Saratoga Casino and Raceway :: Gambling Fever in Saratoga Springs All Year

Saratoga Springs track bettingDuring six weeks of every summer, Saratoga Springs plays host to thousands of visitors hoping to win big on their wagers at the Saratoga Race Course.  But should you find yourself in Saratoga Springs and feeling lucky during any of the other 46 weeks of the year, look no further than the Saratoga Casino and Raceway—informally known as the Racino.

Upon entering, one is quickly greeted with the dinging of slot machines (apparently over 1,700 of them!).  Scattered throughout, there are many choices—with themes like Wheel of Fortune, Sex in the City, and The Hangover—that will offer you a fun time and possibly make you some quick bucks in the process. In addition to slots, they offer video poker, progressives, and Keno; and for the Vegas savvy, they offer electronic table games like Roulette, Craps, and Baccarat.

If it is your first time, do not forget to stop by the Player Extras Club before beginning your winning streak.  By signing up for a FREE card, you can earn rewards depending on how much you play.

Not to worry if machine gambling is not your thing:  it is called the RACE-ino for a reason.  Live harness racing takes place March through mid-December on their very own half-mile track.  Race fans can also watch and wager on simulcast races from across the country.

By now you have probably worked up quite an appetite from all of your victory laps around the gaming floor.  If you are looking for something quick to get you right back to the slots, Lucky Joe’s offers pizza, grilled sandwiches, salads, and other choices to satisfy your hunger.  For true variety and VALUE, the Garden Buffet offers all kinds of tastes:  Italian, Asian, American, and Southwestern cuisines, as well as a carving station, salad bar, and an array of delicious desserts.  Last but not least, Fortunes is a nice sit down restaurant that not only offers mouth-watering meals, but also features trackside dining to allow amazing views of the live harness racing and includes the ability to place tableside wagers.  Nothing like having the meal paid for by your winning horse.

Just when you think there is nothing left to do at the Racino, night falls and Vapor Nightclub starts pulsing.  Every Friday night features a great party band that is guaranteed to get your feet moving on the floor.   Then on Saturdays, Vapor maintains true nightclub status with DJ’s who know how to spin the vinyl and give you a good beat.

So if you find yourself feeling lucky or looking for somewhere to have fun while staying at our Saratoga Springs hotel, head on over to Saratoga Casino and Raceway.  Open 7 days a week from 9am to 4am, they are very likely to be open when you want to go!

Good luck!