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  • Saratoga

    I just booked my trip to Saratoga for Travers weekend. This is my first trip up there. What things are must sees?

  • #2
    Saratoga is just terrific! Great downtown. Definitely get out for the "night scene" - not sure the hot places these days, but you can ask around. Also, try to get up into the Adirondacks if you can. It is a beautiful park. Not sure if you are a hiker or not, but just the drive is really pretty. Lake Placid is a bit of a hike, but a great Adirondack location. Lake George tends to be touristy, but it has an amusement park. Not sure if you are headed up there with family, but Fort Ticonderoga is a fun tour - just outside Lake George. Have a great time!!


    • Original Poster

      I'm spending 10 days hiking in the Rockies starting this week so I might by hiked out by the time I make it to NY. Thanks for the suggestions. I will pass them along to the trip planner.


      • #4
        The museum!


        • #5
          Things to do....

          Hi Smilton,
          Saratoga is rather overwhelming in terms of things to do! There is so much that is so wonderful.

          Highlights on Hallie's list:

          * The Lyrical Ballad Bookstore on Phila Street - the best! They have a lot of hard to find older horse books, plus all the new ones. They also carry great old prints and you never know what you'll discover.

          * Walk downhill a few doors on Phila Street and have lunch at Ravenous - savory and/or sweet crepes. OMG! The place is small but heavenly!

          * Keep walking down on Phila Street. The NY Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association is just a short hike. Stop in, say hello, and introduce yourself and tell them where you are from. The people who work there are very nice and usually have some great informational guides and brochures about NY racing they can give you.

          * All through Saratoga Village are great little (and big) gift shops filled with horse artwork, stuffed animals, Travers glasses, vintage jewelry, and equine memorabilia.

          * The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a must-see. Most people prefer NOT to go with me. I'm that five year-old child running ahead of you, not paying attention, and climbing on exhibits. I gaily scream the whole time such pearls of wisdom as "Look! Look! It's Ta Wee's Hall of Fame plaque! Here's Cicada! Look, look, look it's a Go For Wand display!" This goes on Ad Naseum or until someone hits me over the head with a Triple Crown trophy.

          * Go early one morning and watch workouts at both the main track as well as the Oklahoma track. Picture Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons with his cane walking to the rail....

          * Of course there is the Thoroughbred track, but don't miss seeing the Saratoga Racino and Standardbred Track. The betting parlor is upstairs, the machines are on the main floor. The track itself is incredibly historic and just beautiful.

          * Check out what's going on at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) and see if you can manage to buy tickets. Out on the lawn, in the summer, listening to music or watching a musical - ahhh.

          * There are several old estates now open to the public. This is really fun. There are also many gardens accessible to the public.

          * Many of the big NY TB farms are in the Saratoga area. Pick at least one and arrange for a tour.

          * If you have a car, Fort Ticonderoga is not too far. This Fort was the site of a pivotal turning point in the Revolutionary War.

          * As other posters told you, so many parks and so little time! They have amazing hiking and superb views.

          * If you're visiting at the right time, there are also yearling sales at the Pavilion in the evening. Play spot the famous trainer and giggle a lot.

          * Should you have a car and have an extra day, try to detour (either on the way there or back) to the Trotting Museum in Goshen, NY. A fascinating experience and amazing old equipment on display (I love old tack and supplies - it really gets me in the heart).

          I could continue on and on. I LOVE Saratoga and the surrounding areas. For several years I've been contemplating moving to Saratoga just during the summer months. A sister lives in that area and it would be great to see her more often.

          Have a fabulous trip!

          Hallie I. McEvoy
          Racing Dreams, LLC


          • #6
            Originally posted by haligator View Post
            * The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a must-see. Most people prefer NOT to go with me. I'm that five year-old child running ahead of you, not paying attention, and climbing on exhibits. I gaily scream the whole time such pearls of wisdom as "Look! Look! It's Ta Wee's Hall of Fame plaque! Here's Cicada! Look, look, look it's a Go For Wand display!" This goes on Ad Naseum or until someone hits me over the head with a Triple Crown trophy.
            Oh, that was YOU! My husband spent 15 minutes following some other screeching giddy woman around a couple of years ago after he lost track of me. I'd gotten myself comfortable back at the videos and was merrily instructing bewildered casual fans as to which race they had to watch next.
            bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
            free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


            • #7

              Also, be sure to taste some spring water while you are there. You can fill up a few bottles if you'd like.
              "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


              • #8
                We are headed up to Saratoga this coming weekend for a charity event with The Sweet Running Filly at the track on July 31st. We were invited by NYRA so are really excited to be part of the first big weekend. We will be sure to check out the racing museum and also the book stores.

                Join us if you are in the area! The event benefits CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services and The racetrack CHaplaincy


                • #9
                  For the history buff, there's the Saratoga battlefield.
                  Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                  "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."


                  • #10
                    haligator had many great suggestions.

                    I love watching the TBs working out in the morning. The kids and I always go a few times with bagels and coffee to watch. Don't forget to take the backstretch tour - it's fun and informative. Never know who you might see (human or equine).

                    McMahon TB farms is not to far from Saratoga - they were the breeders of Funny Cide.

                    Old Friends, Cabin Creek - Bobby Frankel Division is also not too far from Saratoga. They are the forever home to some well known TB warriors. The Peppers, who run the facility, love visitors and so do the horses. Certainly a must do while here.

                    If you like wine, there is a new winery on route 29 west 'The Saratoga Winery'. They make their own wines and have wine tastings. They sell other local items. Great place with friendly people.

                    Yes the Racing Museum is a must do as well.

                    Many fine restaurants in town.

                    If you want to pick up sandwiches to take to the track for lunch (although you can buy food there), Five points Grocery and Deli and amazing sandwiches and is located about 8 blocks or so from the track on Park Ave.

                    The Saratoga Battlefield is a lovely, peaceful place if you're interested in history.

                    Have fun and enjoy your staff in Saratoga.


                    • #11
                      When you"re watching the early workouts at "Breakfast at Saratoga", consider that if you eat in the restaurant you pay a lot of $$$'s and can't hear the woman who is identifying the horses as they go by and talking to trainers and exercise riders. If you stop and get a McBreakfast on the way to the track, you can sit in the posh boxes, and see and hear everything.

                      If you've done the backstretch tour (and you should), run away after you've watched gate training and before they take you back to the front. Wander across the street and go to Aloy's tack store ( that's not like any tack store you're likely to see). Then up the hill and watch the horses swim, then the STB training track, and the polo ponies exercising...

                      Then you walk down Nelson Ave and go to the Racing Museum.

                      If you have energy left, you can then go to the races...

                      Have fun!
                      * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                      • Original Poster

                        I'm going for Travers weekend. Rachel is running too.


                        • #13
                          Oh Rubyfree....

                          Hay Rubyfree,
                          Oh! That was your husband? How wonderful that we met. During my wild running about, I took time out bring him to the gift shop. There, I told him to buy one of everything for his beloved wife.

                          I tried to get him to climb into the starting gate but that was a no-go. He said if he climbed up and you found him there you would razz him for years.



                          • #14
                            Crossgate Gallery should have some great art inside the Fasig Tipton pavilion.
                            We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                            • #15
                              I'm envious! Saratoga is on my MUST VISIT list! Have fun!
                              View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


                              • #16
                                How come no one mentioned Yaddo? C'mon guys, quit slacking! Also, the fort just outside the village of Lake George is Fort William Henry, Fort Ticonderoga is about a 45 minute drive north of saratoga. Hattie's is a great place to eat, and Mime is now doing free salsa dancing lessons Monday nights. Just in time to go out for racetrack night at the clubs! In the casino in Congress Park there's a museum that's pretty neat, in addition to the Racing Museum. Isn't there a Harness museum over by the harness track too? As for farms, Old Friends is a must, and there are plenty of others that could probably have a visit arranged at, even if you have to drive a little bit. Its really a great place to visit. Which is why I moved here!
                                Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


                                • #17
                                  Saratoga dreaming

                                  Frankly, when I go to Saratoga, it is during the racing meet and I'd have to be dragged kicking and screaming off the grounds during the day and downtown at night! That's why I'm there! The area is gorgeous and has much to offer, but I'll do all "that other stuff" another time, thank you!

                                  When you are at the races, make sure that you cover every square inch of the idyllic grandstand and grounds. You may be cheek-to-jowl with a whole lot of bodies, but they are overwhelmingly having a wonderful time and in a party mode. Sure there are some hard-core, crusty gamblers that may be taking a hit at the windows, but there is no way that they can put a damper on the conviviality of the place.

                                  Also, if you're going for the Travers, expect a mob scene. If it rains, you will be barely able to move. But... you will have a great time anyway! If possible, plan on doing the night scene after and delay your exit until, at the very least, the next afternoon!

                                  Now I'm Jonesing!! Every time I hear a bell with two dongs, I think of the horses leaving the paddock: it's the music of angels!

                                  All who have plans, enjoy! and be certain to visit Sergios just outside of town for fabulous dining and jockey/trainer sightings!