The Ultimate Travel Guide To Saratoga Springs & Things To Do There

Saratoga Springs in Upstate New York is a playground for travelers of all kinds. Many flock here each summer to enjoy the exciting events at the Saratoga Race Course where thoroughbred horses battle it out for the win. But this charming city has so much more to offer with its manicured parks, historic sites, cultural museums, haunted past, and delicious fare at every turn. From summer concerts at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) to lakeside getaways with the family, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.


While Saratoga Springs is a small city, there are a variety of places to stay. Downtown and on the outskirts, brand-name accommodations and boutique hotels are in abundance, but there are also an array of cozy guesthouses and rental options that can make any travelers feel right at home. Whether you’re planning to stay the week or head into town for a night out with friends, this city that combines history and culture is sure to impress, offering everything needed for a memorable experience.

Best Time To Go

Fall snapshot of the Hudson River in Saratoga Springs
Via: Unsplash

The leaves changing colors around the Hudson River in Saratoga Springs

Located in New York state, Saratoga Springs offers visitors four seasons of magic, with snowy winters, colorful falls, rainy springs, and warm summers.

The majority of tourist traffic occurs in the summer months from June through August, but many also enjoy a trip to see the leaves change colors in September and October. These months feature the peak of the city’s activities and the best weather to enjoy nature and outdoor fun.

Related: Saratoga Springs Combines History & Culture In Upstate NY

The racetrack hosts the majority of its events in July and August, making summer the high season for travel.

Along with horses, music also brings an array of travelers to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, located within the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park. This outdoor venue hosts a variety of artists and is typically open from May through September.

For those who like traveling during the shoulder season, May and October offer warm weather, along with fewer tourists.

While major events may not be underway, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy the food options downtown and the many museums that feature the history of the area, the horses, and exotic cars.

Best Ways To Get Around

People walking in Saratoga Springs
Via Shutterstock

An adult and child walking along a shaded sidewalk in Saratoga Springs

Transportation depends on one’s travel agenda and lodging choice. Saratoga is a small city, which means you won’t find much in the way of public transportation, as subways are non-existent and taxis aren’t out in full force.

Staying downtown allows all visitors to walk to most of the attractions within the area, including food, shopping, and parks.

For those looking to check out the museums, racetrack, and state park, a car will be a necessary travel item, as these locations are not within walking distance from downtown.

However, companies such as Uber and Lyft, along with bus services, are all readily available in the city. For visitors choosing to fly into Upstate New York, renting a car is a must.

Where To Eat in Saratoga Springs

Downtown Saratoga Springs
Via Shutterstock

Restaurant patio on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs

While downtown Saratoga Springs is a smaller city than most, travelers will be spoiled for choice when they come to visit. From comfort food and elevated dishes to organic cafés and vegan options, the possibilities for a delectable meal are endless.

Breakfast and brunch

Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Bagels: Simple sammies, pastries & cozy atmosphere

  • Hours: Monday – Friday, 6 AM – 9 PM | Saturdays & Sundays, 6:30 AM – 9:30 PM
  • Cost: $
  • Address: 402 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866

Saratoga Coffee Traders: Crafted coffees & yummy breakfast sammies

  • Hours: Monday – Friday, 6:45 AM – 6 PM | Saturday, 7:45 AM – 6 PM | Sunday, 8 AM – 5 PM
  • Cost: $
  • Address: 447 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

The Merc: Epic brunch spot with cocktails

  • Hours: Brunch: Wednesday – Monday, 9 AM – 4 PM | Dinner: Wednesday – Saturday, 5 PM – 9:30 PM
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 430 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Compton’s Restaurant: No-fuss diner

  • Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 3 PM | Saturday, 7 AM – 10 PM | Sunday, 7 AM – 1 PM
  • Cost: $
  • Address: 457 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Max London’s Restaurant: Upscale Italian

  • Hours: Brunch: Friday – Sunday, 10 AM – 3 PM | Dinner: Sunday – Thursday, 5 PM – 9:30 PM, Friday & Saturday 5 PM – 10 PM
  • Cost: $$ – $$$
  • 466 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Related: A Day In Albany: The Ultimate Travel Guide To Things To Do In New York’s Capital


Scallions: Healthy and delicious with GF, vegetarian, and vegan options

  • Hours: Lunch: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 PM – 3 PM | Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday, 5 PM – 8 PM | Closed Sunday & Monday
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 44 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Druthers Brewing Company: Home-brewed beers and comfort food

  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 12 PM – 10 PM | Friday & Saturday, 12 PM – 11 PM
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 381 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Eddie F’s New England Seafood Restaurant: Fresh seafood fare

  • Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 AM – 8 PM | Closed Sunday
  • Cost: $$
  • 119 Clinton St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Comfort Kitchen: Locally sourced comfort food

  • Hours: Breakfast: Tuesday – Saturday, 9 AM – 12 PM | Lunch: 12 PM – 4 PM
  • Cost: $$
  • 119 Clinton St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


Brasserie Benelux: French favorites and European delights

  • Hours: Wednesday & Thursday, 5 PM – 8:30 PM | Friday, 5 PM – 9:30 PM | Saturday, 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM | Sunday, 4 PM – 8:30 PM | Closed Monday & Tuesday
  • Cost: $$ – $$$
  • Address: 390 Broadway A, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Salt & Char: Farm-to-table, sumptuous steaks

  • Hours: Tuesday – Thursday, 5 PM – 9 PM | Friday & Saturday, 5 PM – 10 PM | Closed Sunday & Monday
  • Cost: $$$
  • Address: 353 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Rhea Ramen: Relaxed vibes and delicious Asian classics

  • Hours: Wednesday – Friday, 5 PM – 10 PM | Saturday & Sunday, 5 PM – 9 PM | Closed Monday & Tuesday
  • Cost: $ – $$
  • Address: 389 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Boca Bistro: Spanish tapas and wine

  • Hours: Monday & Tuesday, 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM | Friday & Saturday, 11:30 AM – 10 PM | Sunday, 10 AM – 9 PM | Closed Wednesday & Thursday
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 384 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Cantina: Delicious Mexican and margaritas

  • Hours: Monday – Thursday & Sunday, 12 PM – 9 PM, Friday & Saturday, 12 PM – 10 PM
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 408 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Drinks and Nightlife

Hamlet & Ghost cocktail bar
Via: Unsplash

Shelves of alcohol behind the bar at Hamlet & Ghost

While many come to Saratoga for daytime fun, there is another world of experiences that are available when the sun goes down.

From swanky bars to college party vibes, there is a wild part of Saratoga that is waiting to be explored. Head to Caroline Street for some late-night fun!

Hamlet & Ghost: Craft cocktails & seasonal fare

  • Hours: Monday – Thursday, 5 PM – 11 PM | Friday – Saturday, 5 PM – 12 PM | Closed Sunday
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 24 Caroline St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Henry Street Taproom: Hipster vibes, craft beer & cocktails, small plates

  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 4 PM – 10 PM | Saturday, 12 PM – 10 PM | Sunday, 12 PM – 9 PM | Monday Closed
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 86 Henry St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

The Saratoga City Tavern: Five floors with rooftop patio, sports bar, grill & dance parties

  • Hours: Sunday – Wednesday, 4 PM – 12 AM | Thursday – Saturday, 4 PM – 2 AM
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 19-21 Caroline St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

9 Maple Ave: Old school jazz bar

  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 4 PM – 2 AM | Friday & Saturday, 4 PM – 4 AM
  • Cost: $$
  • Address: 9 Maple Ave # 1, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Top Things To Do in Saratoga Springs

Many come to Saratoga with their own agenda in mind, but here are a few options that everyone should see and experience!

Bet on the Horses at the Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Race Course horse racing
Via: Unsplash

Horse race at the Saratoga Race Course

The horses are the main draw for Saratoga Springs, so why not see a race while visiting town? The racetrack features an array of events that take place (mainly) in July and August.

The track’s racing and events calendar can help visitors find the perfect activity, offering experiences, such as food tastings, live music, and more.

Spend the Day in Saratoga Spa State Park

Brook in Saratoga Spa State Park
Via Shutterstock

Picnic area next to a brook in Saratoga Spa State Park

For nature lovers, Saratoga Spa State Park is a must-see, with its manicured grounds and chill vibes.

The park features the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Spa Little Theater, the National Museum of Dance, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, the Gideon Putnam Resort, Roosevelt Baths and Spa, The Peerless Pool Complex, and a 9-hole golf course, along with outdoor spaces to picnic, rest and relax.

See a Concert at SPAC

Seats at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Via Shutterstock

Green stadium seats at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center

You won’t find another concert venue like the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, known as SPAC by the locals. Here, visitors can enjoy popular musical artists of all kinds, the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and so much more.

The spaceship-like dome offers a high-quality listening experience, and lawn seating lets guests enjoy the sights and sounds under the sun and stars.

With modern restroom facilities and an array of food and drink options, music fans can enjoy a day of comfort, music, and nature all in one place.

Visit One of the Many Museums

New York State Military Museum war exhibit
Via Shutterstock

War exhibit at the New York State Military Museum

Saratoga has a lot of history to offer its guests and a variety of museums to explore its past and present. Top choices are the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Saratoga Springs History Museum, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, New York State Military Museum, and the National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame.

See one or see them all!

Related: Is Saratoga Springs Truly Haunted? These Historic Places Say Yes

Enjoy Wine Tasting at a Local Winery

Wine tasting at a local winery
Via Unsplash

Man pouring white wine into a glass at a bar during a wine tasting

For wine lovers, Saratoga has a few treats in store. Check out one or all of the fabulous wineries in the area that offer local wine, outdoor seating, seasonal events, and delicious gastronomic treats.

The Saratoga Winery, Thirsty Owl Saratoga, and Galway Rock – Saratoga Sparkling Winery are just a few in the area that are must-sees.

Shop Until You Drop

Woman clothes shopping
Via Unsplash

Woman in a store looking through a selection of vibrant-colored shirts

Downtown Saratoga Springs has an abundance of local shops brimming with crafts, clothing, and art. A quick stroll along the sidewalks showcases galleries large and small, along with boutique stores featuring handmade items and clothing to set anyone apart from the crowd.

Most of the shops are on Broadway, but the side streets and outer areas have a lot to offer, as well. Start walking and see where the day leads.

Go Back in Time at Saratoga National Historic Park

The Saratoga Battlefield in the Saratoga National Historic Park
Via Shutterstock

A red cannon at Saratoga National Battlefield with a red farmhouse in the background

In 1777, the now-preserved battlefield at Saratoga National Historic Park witnessed an epic fight where American forces beat the British, causing them to surrender for the first time in history.

Visiting this site is a must, as the property combines the preservation of history with a stunning country landscape for picture-perfect shots. While the park is technically located in the town of Stillwater, it’s worth the drive for a day of history and outdoor fun.

Take a tour of the park with a local guide and visit the restored Schuyler House, along with the Saratoga Monument​​​​.

Where to Stay

Hotel room bed
Via Unsplash

Hotel room bed set against a dark blue wall next to an end table with grey and gold lamp

Saratoga Springs has a variety of options when it comes to overnight trips. Sites like AirBnB and VRBO offer every type of lodging — from apartments and townhomes to full houses for large group getaways.

However, it’s nice to avoid chores like cooking and cleaning on vacation, which is why selecting a hotel in downtown can make for a more pleasurable experience. Here are a few top choices that are within walking distance of food and fun, while remaining close to the track and parks.

The Saratoga Hilton

  • Cost: Starting at $74/night
  • Why You Should Book: Located on Broadway, the Hilton rests on the edge of downtown, yet it’s far enough away from the noise. The racetrack and state park are within two miles of the property, which features an on-site restaurant, pool, and patio.

The Adelphi Hotel

  • Cost: Starting at $274/night
  • Why You Should Book: Located on Broadway in the middle of the fun, visitors are a quick walk to everything downtown has to offer, not to mention, the property itself boasts luxury decor and an elevated restaurant.

Aerial view of downtown Saratoga Springs
Via: Unsplash

Aerial view of downtown Saratoga Springs in Autumn

The Inn at Saratoga

  • Cost: Starting at $106/night
  • Why You Should Book: This is the place to connect with local history. Built in 1843 as a boarding house, this is Saratoga’s oldest lodge. It captures the old-world charm through its traditional decor and offers guests gourmet menus right on Broadway for a quick walk to food, shops, and history.

Bluebird Spa City Motor Lodge

  • Cost: Starting at $104/night
  • Why You Should Book: You can’t get closer to the action than from the Bluebird Spa City Motor Lodge. Located in the center of Broadway, visitors are a hop, skip, and jump away from everything downtown can offer. The hip yet minimal decor showcases Brooklyn vibes juxtaposed with Saratoga’s small-town atmosphere.

How To Spend The Perfect Day In Saratoga Springs

Congress Park pond in Saratoga Springs
Via Shutterstock

Pond with fountain and ducks in Congress Park in Saratoga Springs

Start the day with a stellar breakfast, take a walk down Broadway for some shopping with a craft coffee in hand, and stroll through Congress Park to connect with nature.

Plan time around a horse race or concert and check out the local history at one of the many museums. When the sun goes down, enjoy a high-end meal or party until the sun comes up on Caroline Street.

Related: The Ultimate Travel Guide To Ithaca, Upstate New York’s Most Beautiful City

No matter the reason for traveling to Saratoga Springs, everyone who visits is sure to have an unforgettable time in this charming city that’s ready to welcome you with open arms.


Q: How many days in Saratoga Springs is enough?

Saratoga Springs is the perfect city for a day trip or week-long getaway. Depending on your schedule and bucket list, you can conquer most of the activities within a few days. Two nights is a great start, but staying for a few more will cause you to fall in love with this city on a deeper level.

Q: When is the best time to visit Saratoga Springs?

The best weather occurs in the summer months from June through September, but the horse races and events tied to the track run from July through August. The concert series at SPAC typically runs from May through September, as they capture the weather and summer availability for families and friend groups.

Q: What is there to do in Saratoga Springs?

The most popular attractions in Saratoga Springs are the Saratoga Race Course, the Saratoga Spa State Park, and the many museums in the area that feature the history of the city, automobiles, and racing. However, Saratoga also loves breweries and wineries, along with some late-night fun on vibrant Caroline Street.

For something a little different, check out some haunted spots in Saratoga Springs!

Q: What’s the best way to get around Saratoga Springs?

The best option is staying on or around Broadway in the downtown area, so travelers can easily walk to food, museums, and other activities. However, a car or taxi service, such as Uber or Lyft, is necessary to get to the racetrack or concert venue if visitors choose to leave the car behind for the day/night. From downtown, these activities are less than two miles away!