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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We are entering the home stretch with opening day for the historic Saratoga Race Course just around on the bend. Named one of the “Top 10 Sports Venues of the 20th century” by Sports Illustrated, be sure to book your favorite room now before it’s gone!
Don’t miss the thrills, fashion, and friendly race day banter on our porch that makes this such a special experience. Below you will find more information on this year’s special events, race dates, and important changes to dining reservations.
Special Racing Dates
- Opening Day Celebration – July 24th ~ Live music, meet the horses & jockeys, and more!
- The Whitney – August 8th
- The Alabama – August 22th
- The Travers – August 29th
- The Sword Dancer – August 29th
- The Woodward – September 5th
- The Fasig Tipton Sale – August 10th & 11th
- The New York bred Yearling Sale – August 15th & 16th
- Final Stretch Music Festival Weekend – September 5th & 6th
- Closing Day – September 7th
See the official & complete 2015 Saratoga Stakes Race Schedule.
Art, Culture, and Horses
The Performing Arts continue to flourish in the Spa city, and there are several special performances during racing season you will not want to miss:
- The Freihofer Jazz Festival – June 27 & 28, 2015
- The New York City Ballet – July 7-18, 2015
- Brad Paisley Concert – July 26, 2015
- Opera Saratoga – July 2-26, 2015
- The Philadelphia Orchestra – August 5-22, 2015
See the full calendar of upcoming events in Saratoga Springs.
Saratoga Race Track Dining
Make your reservations early and enjoy a unique trackside dining experience!
The Turf Terrace ~ Our favorite!
Located on the 3rd and 4th floor of the Clubhouse, enjoy an excellent view of the track and finish line and formal open-air setting.
The Club Terrace
Overlooking the backyard & paddock, enjoy a casual open-air seating and menu and big screen TV’s to view the live racing action.
Perfect for being close to the action with casual open air seating just a few feet from the outside rail.
Call 888-516-6972 to make your reservation.
*New policies for 2015 mean tables are on a first serve basis, so we highly recommend making your reservation as soon as possible. Learn more at NYRA.com
We look forward to welcoming to you to our downtown Saratoga Springs, NY hotel for a fun and exciting 2015 season!
Join us for the 4th annual Saratoga Beer Week February 19th-22nd. Book your room at Saratoga Arms and enjoy being right across the street from the City Center and all the great beer festivities. We have put together a great weekend package, including an exclusive “meet the brewer” event and a stay 3, pay for 2 special with Thursday night free for those who want to get a jump on the weekend!
Our Saratoga Beer Week Package includes:
- 2-3 nights lodging at our downtown Saratoga Springs hotel
- 2 Saratoga Beer Week Passes, including the Friday Evening Cider Night & Saturday Grand Tasting
- Full breakfast for two at Saratoga Arms each morning
- Exclusive Brewer’s Breakfast Bash, where you get to meet Max Oswald from Olde Saratoga Brewing Company during breakfast on Saturday and sample brews.
$579 per couple for a Queen Room for the entire weekend
$629 per couple for a King Room for the entire weekend
Book Online and get Thursday Free with promo code: beer2015 or call us at 518-584-1775.
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. We get many calls from “first-timers” looking to take part in the racing experience and they have lots of questions…
Is there a place to sit? The answer is yes… but paying admission to Saratoga Race Course does not guarantee you a seat, but there are options. Check out our video and more tips below!
GENERAL ADMISSION SEATING
Guaranteed grandstand seating, done early in the year, in January, is secured by a lottery system. Fill in the request form, submit with a check and cross your fingers.
Picnic tables are locate in the backyard, close to the paddock area. It is an age honored tradition that a jacket, a newspaper or racing form will hold the seat for the patron. These go fast. Get there as early as 7am to claim your picnic table.
Open air bench seating areas between the track and the grandstand. You must arrive early and claim your seat in similar fashion of the picnic tables.
Unsold grandstand seat tickets for the current day’s races go on sale each race day at 9 a.m.at the Union Avenue Reserved Seat Booth. This is an option for the early rising first timer to obtain seats for the day. Please note grandstand seat tickets do not included admission. Check out the Grandstand Seating Chart.
Dining Room Options– The Saratoga Race Course clubhouse has several dining room choices that offer a truly genteel way of watching the races. Relax as you are served a delightful lunch overlooking the track. Our first choice would be the Turf Terrace on the 3rd and 4th floors of the clubhouse. It is possible to reserve a table for two, or more on a first come basis. You may use the table as a home base, as it is yours for the day, as you cheer on your favorite horse and jockey. Expect a minimum food charge but it is one of our favorite ways to spend a Saratoga Racing afternoon.
The Porch, an open air dining area at Saratoga Race Course, is another suggested favorite. You are dining track level and just a few feet from the outside rail. Hear the pounding of the hoofs as you order from the a la carte menu.
Box Seating– And then there are the Boxes, the coveted, difficult to secure, Box Seating where the racing elite spend the afternoon. Most are held in private hands. The remaining are reserved for horsemen. Any remaining boxes will be offered to the public on the day of the race, but not on Friday or Saturday.
Please note reservations are a must and are done on a first come first served basis in the dining rooms. It is not too early to reserve your table! Call the NYRA Dining Line: 888-516-6972 NOW!
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. Here are few more tips to ensure a great visit!
How do I get into the Saratoga Race Course? It is easy to get into the track. First you find a parking space. There are a few official parking lots around the track, but we recommend paying for a spot at a entrepreneurial resident that parks cars on the grounds of their homes along Nelson Avenue. It is then an easy walk to the “Wright Street” entrance to the track.
Then what do I do? Decide if you are going to mingle with the General Admission population or enter the Club House side of the track and pay an additional fee to be closer to the finish line to cheer on the winning horse and jockey. Pay your entry fee, go through the turnstile and you are on the grounds of the historic Saratoga race track.
Finally, book your lodging early! Racing season is one of the most popular times to visit Saratoga Springs. Make sure to secure your room for the best availability and prices at our downtown Saratoga Springs hotel!
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.
As every American learns growing up: July 4, 1776 was the day that our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and marked the birth of this great nation. 237 years later, we continue to honor and celebrate “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” by proudly displaying our patriotism toward the red, white, and blue. Where better to do so, than Saratoga Springs, mere miles from where the Battles of Saratoga took place and marked the turning point of the Revolutionary War in favor of American Independence.
But enough about the past, let’s talk about the future…July 4th, 2013 is gearing up to be a very exciting day in Saratoga Springs!
- It starts off at 9:00am with a BANG (literally) as thousands of runners take part in a 4-mile Firecracker road race through the historic streets of Saratoga. Beginning and ending in front of the City Center on Broadway, live entertainment along the course, food, refreshments, and a large vendor courtyard. Even if you don’t plan to race, there is plenty to do, and plenty of runners to cheer for!
- Saratoga’s All-American Celebration officially opens with the All-American Parade marching down Broadway from Van Dam Street to Spring Street. Led by the Korean War Veterans Color Guard, the parade will feature participants from all over Saratoga County, including historical re-enactors, and dozens of adorable Patriotic Pooches that will be marching on all fours!
- Sixth-Annual All-American BBQ & Dessert Fest. You’ll be able to try some of the best BBQ and dessert from dozens of participating restaurants. Each tasting is only $1, and qualifies you to be a judge and vote for your favorites!
- Family Day in Congress Park with live re-enactors, historic kids games, face painting, carousel rides, live music, and (more) food.
- For car people, Congress Park Plaza will showcase up to 70 beautiful American and exotic cars. These perfectly restored pieces of American history will be on display to further take you back in time.
- Join Charlie Kuenzel, Dave Patterson, and Dr. Hollis Palmer on the 90-minute walking tour of the Congress Park area focusing on a day in Saratoga…as it was in 1863. You’ll hear stories of the great hotels, the world famous mineral springs, and the activities that entertained visitors to the city in the summer that marked the official opening of the Saratoga Race Course.
- 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Saratoga Downtowner parking lot will put more delicious aromas in the air as local residents team up with celebrities to make their best BBQ in the Mom & Pop amateur BBQ Competition.
- Congress Park starting at 6:30pm. Spread out your blankets and enjoy music by one of the area’s favorite bands–The Audiostars–all while enjoying even MORE food, family, and all the rest of your friends partaking in the celebration!
- Live reading of the Declaration of Independence. Experience patriotic pride along with thousands of others in Congress Park at 9:15pm.
- What better way to wrap up the festivities, than a July 4th FIREWORKS display! Set to patriotic music, the sky above Saratoga Springs will be lit up with an incredible display of colors and crackles.
Thatʼs a lot to remember, so make it easy on yourself and simply mark July 4th on your calendar as a Saratoga Springs day. As long as youʼre on Broadway (which is incidentally walking distance from Saratoga Arms, youʼll never be far from one of the many awesome activities planned for the Saratoga 4th of July during what ABC News ranked as one of the Top Ten small-town celebrations in America.
For more details about any of the events listed, please visit Saratoga All-American Celebration Website.
Wreaths are being hung from lampposts, beautiful displays of lights are appearing on houses, and snowflakes are falling from the sky. With the holiday season upon us, a feeling of magic is beginning to fill the air in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Not to be outdone, our Saratoga Springs Hotel is bringing in some holiday magic of our own: On Friday, December 7th, Saratoga Arms will play home to some unique magic of our own. International award-winning magician Aaron Rabkin comes to us all the way from Los Angeles to present his inventive brand of prestidigitation in the show Parlour Magic.
Saratoga Arms is thrilled to invite a select number of guests to enter our historic hotel—through the 140-year-old doors of the property—and transport back in time to play part in this exclusive event of enchantment.
Billed as An Intimate Evening of Conjuring, Aaron’s performance hearkens back to the 19th century when hosts of the social elite entertained their guests with the finest sorcerers of the time. As an attendee to Parlour Magic you will witness amazing feats utilizing anything from a deck of cards, to a borrowed $100 bill, to the thoughts in your very own mind; and when not feeling a sense of astonishment, you will be laughing along with Aaron’s deft sense of humor.
But do not simply take our word for it… Here is what a couple audience members had to share about their experiences:
“Aaron was fantastic and his tricks or ‘miracles’ were in fact pretty miraculous. It was a wonderful evening full of laughs in a great setting.”
“Aaron’s performance was charming, comical and captivating. His mind for memory and his talent for trickery demonstrate how good old-fashioned entertainment can deliver a fresh evening of fun!”
This magical event is available for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 8:00pm. Running time is approximately 90 minutes, which includes a 15-minute intermission with desserts and refreshments. VIP Tickets are $25 per person and general admission tickets are $15. Please call us at 518-584-1775 to reserve your spot.
Here is a sneak peak from Aaron Rabkin’s YouTube Channel to engage and entice you to join us for a night of enchantment and parlour magic at our Saratoga Inn:
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.
Beat the end of the winter blahs and welcome to Italy…in Saratoga Springs. Mark your calendar for our Saratoga Arms Italian Cooking School Weekend taking place on just one special weekend March 23-25, 2012.
Who doesn’t love Italian food? Spaghetti, lasagna and pizza, but oh…there is much much more to know and enjoy. And what do you really know about Italian sauces…Bolognese, Carbonara, Marinara, Ragu, Vodka to name just a few. And then there are the pastas… we all know Spaghetti, Lasagna, Ziti, but there is Vermicelli, Capellini, Fusilli, Fettucelle, Linguine, Cannelloni, Ditalini, Manicotti, Fiori…well you get the picture it can be overwhelming.
Are you intrigued? Sei incuriosito? Do you like to cook? Ti piace cucinare?
Are you ready for some fun? Sei pronto per un certo divertimento?
Our luxury hotel in downtown Saratoga Springs has partnered with DZ Restaurants, Saratoga’s finest Italian restaurant group to offer a taste of Italy right here in Saratoga Springs. It will be a weekend extravaganza of wine, food and learning to cook the authentic Italian way.
Join Mama from Forno Bistro for a half day cooking class. You will learn the art of creating an authentic Italian sauce paired with specialty pasta and then, best of all, you get to eat it.
It is a weekend package that begins on Friday night with an evening reception at our Saratoga Springs inn with light Italian style appetizers and specially selected wines presented by the staff at DZ Restaurant group.
Of course a stay at our Saratoga hotel would not be complete without sitting down each morning to one of our sumptuous breakfasts prepared to order by our own top chef, Noel Smith.
The cooking school begins at 11:00 on Saturday and finishes with a completed meal for you to sit down and enjoy.
Included in this fabulous package will be a $40.00 gift card that can be used at any of one of the extraordinary DZ group restaurants and upon your return, you will find an assortment of Italian goodies in your room to enjoy or to take home.
Call your friends, make it a party you’ll talk and laugh about it for a long time to come. Call us at 518-584-1775 to make a booking or BOOK ONLINE.
Close your eyes think of Italy…wine, food and amore.
Amore…Saratoga Arms, DZ Restaurants and, of course, YOU.