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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!

2014 Saratoga Beer Week

beer

Let’s cheer for Beer!

Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and is the third most popular drink consumed worldwide, right behind water and tea. Some would argue it is the oldest fermented beverage dating back to 9500 bc.  According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia “Beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat.”  I guess there are folks who care about the process, but I would wager more care about the result.  Saratoga Beer Week in Saratoga Springs, NY, February 18-22, 2014 will honor all things beer from the brewing process to the imbibing ritual.

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2014 Saratoga Springs Dance Flurry

2014 Dance Flurry

In the bleak mid winter month of February in  downtown Saratoga Springs, there is little to look forward to except cold, snow, ice, more cold and more snow…but there is one bright spot… One weekend every February The Dance Flurry comes to town and the town takes on a beat that makes your toes tap and your heart sing.  Our Saratoga Springs hotel becomes a temporary home to dance enthusiasts and music aficionados from far and wide.

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Things to do during Saratoga Winterfest

Winterfest Hockey

Winterfest is an esoteric term that appears to describe any activity or group of events that take place in the dead of winter.  Even Wikipedia, the free online, publicly edited encyclopedia, defines it as “Winterfest is the name of several winter festivals held in various locations in the United States” In short, it is a winter celebration or a celebration of winter.

Winterfest is clearly meant to chase away the Winter Blues…Blahs…or Cabin Fever.

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Victorian Streetwalk in Saratoga Springs on December 5th

Streetwalk Choir

While “frightful” weather may be on the way, there is a “delightful” reason to be out and about on the evening of December 5 while staying in our downtown Saratoga Springs Hotel.  That date marks the 27th annual Victorian Streetwalk in downtown Saratoga Springs– a truly unique event being put on by the Downtown Business Association and a fun way to celebrate the holiday season in Saratoga Springs.

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Saratoga Wine and Food Festival – September 6-9, 2013

Wine and Food fest 2013

Whether or not you joined–or are planning to join–us at our Saratoga Springs hotel this summer for what has been a fabulous season of racing, you can already begin planning your next visit. Cap off summer in style by attending the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival and Concours d’Elegance: a three-day event that is quickly becoming known as the most original and exciting Wine and Food Festival north of New York City.

With events taking place Friday, September 6th through Sunday, September 8th, nearly 6,000 attendees from Montreal to Northern New Jersey will visit Saratoga Spa State Park (a 2,400 acre park preserve) to experience over 200 premiere wine and food exhibitors, collectors’ Italian-luxury vehicles, and one-of-a-kind seminars.

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A Saratoga Springs Floral Fete

floral-fete-4-500

And they’re off!!  The 150th season of racing is officially under way and the celebration in Saratoga Springs is heating up. Coming up on August 2nd will be a Saratoga 150 event not to miss…the Floral Fete Promenade and Congress Park Ice Cream Social.

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Saratoga Springs’ All-American Celebration for July 4th!

Fireworks in Saratoga Springs

Courtesy of Matt Malette via Flickr

Independence Day, commonly referred to as July 4th, is a day we commemorate the signing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence from 1776. Saratoga Springs, NY goes all out for an old fashioned all-American 4th of July celebration. Imagine flags waving, marching parades, politicians, finger-licking good barbecue, and homemade desserts along with family picnics and fireworks… all become a reality in our beautiful city. Throw in a modern day 4-mile Firecracker Race and you have one of the best ways to celebrate Independence Day anywhere. And the best part of it all, our Saratoga Springs hotel is located right in the middle of the all the festivities.

The starting line for the 5K race is just across the street from the hotel. The parade route passes right by our fabulous Saratoga-style front porch. Sit in our old-fashioned white-wicker furniture, sip your lemonade, and salute the flag as it passes by.

Stroll down Broadway to historic Congress Park and meet General Burgoyne, noted American Revolutionary War luminary. Ride on a beautifully restored carousel, admire restored classic cars, or simply watch the ducks and ducklings wander freely throughout the park. Enjoy the bliss of the evening and hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by an exciting fireworks display.

As you reflect on the importance of celebrating Independence Day and living in or at least visiting this wonderful country, maybe the words of Lee Greenwoods, “Proud to Be an American” will play over and over in your head. Come share the joy of patriotism with others for a true blue all-American Independence Day celebration! To add to the events of the day, we are just a short drive from The Saratoga National Battlefield and Historic Park, turning point of the American Revolution, a must see memorial to a battle hard fought and ultimately won.

For a complete list of events visit Saratoga’s All American Celebration. Happy 4th of July from the Smith Family and staff at Saratoga Arms Hotel.

February Dance Flurry Weekend in Saratoga Springs

One weekend every February The Dance Flurry comes to town and the town takes on a beat that makes your toes tap and your heart sing. Our Saratoga Springs hotel becomes a temporary home to dance enthusiasts and music aficionados.

Saratoga Arms is located just across the street from the main venue of the Saratoga Dance Flurry. We have hosted some Flurry regulars almost from the day we opened our doors. Those that attend are a hearty good-natured bunch with colorful costumes, assorted dancing shoes and well loved musical instruments. According to their website the mission of the Dance Flurry is defined as “connecting and inspiring (people) through traditional music and dance”. Their core values are dedicated to supporting music and dance from diverse cultures and creating a community that encourages social interaction.

In 2006 on Dance Flurry weekend we had a devastating ice storm. The whole town was without power, many of the guests had already checked in for their weekend of dancing fun. In upstate New York when you lose power you lose heat and lights and hot water. Our staff scrambled to find flashlights and lanterns to assure the safety of the guests in our three story Saratoga Springs hotel. It was a hoteliers’ worst nightmare, but the Flurry folk turned it into an adventure full of laughs and camaraderie. Unfortunately the event planners had to cancel the Dance Flurry weekend and when the weather had improved, we sent our good-natured guests home still smiling to return again the following year. When they return we all reminisce with a smile, remembering the year of the ice storm…

This year the Dance Flurry takes place on the weekend of February 17, 18 & 19. Our regulars are already booked in at Saratoga Arms and we look forward to seeing them again. It is a fun weekend to let your hair down, put on your dancing shoes or tune up that old guitar and meet a great group of people who love to sing, love to dance and live to keep the music alive. You can join in or watch from the sidelines but I invite you to come for that one bright spot in our dreary wintery month of February, you might just become one of our Dance Flurry regulars!

Chowder and Beer…Meant to be together in Saratoga Springs

Who needs thoroughbred racing when you can have Chowder and Beer right here in downtown Saratoga Springs, NY.

Our city has a big Winter Weekend coming up and Saratoga Arms, Saratoga’s luxury hotel is right in the middle of it all! The weekend of February 3-5, 2012 is designed to fend off those winter blahs.

Something’s Brewing at Saratoga Arms, the city’s finest boutique hotel. We are hosting the first of four Ultimate Bed and Brew Weekends beginning Friday, February 3. With the craft beer enthusiast in mind and a nod to beer and food connoisseurs, Saratoga Arms together with the Olde Saratoga Brewing Company and Sperry’s Restaurant, has designed a package that from start to finish will give you a beer experience that you will talk about for a long time to come. Participate in a behind the scenes tour of our local brewery with beer samplings and end with a gourmet beer pairing meal under the direction of Master Chef Dale Miller at renowned Sperry’s Restaurant. This Saratoga Bed and Breakfast has it all planned out just for you. Meet other beer enthusiasts and sample homebrewed or regional craft beers. Take home specially selected souvenirs of the weekend and maybe a six-pack of locally brewed beer.

We have Beer Weekend guests from last year who had such a great time that they are returning this year with friends and neighbors. They plan to make it an annual event.

As an added bonus this same weekend is the 14th Annual Saratoga Springs Chowderfest and Winter Festival. On February 4th more than 35 fabulous local restaurants throughout the city will participate in putting forth their very best chowder recipes for you to sample and judge. There will be wine tastings, live music and plenty of photo ops. Post your pics on our facebook page. See what’s in store in the video below:

Come for the chowder and stay for the beer or the other way around…just come. It’s two events wrapped up in a great winter weekend in Saratoga Springs. Saratoga Arms has a room ready for you and of course there is the breakfast…. ah the breakfast, homemade muffins, hot-from-the-kitchen omelets… but that is for another blog for another day.