Walking Tour of Saratoga Springs, NY
The city of Saratoga Springs is the epicenter of the thoroughbred horse racing world in the month of August. The best jockeys and the best horses find their way to this lovely little town, along with hordes of fans and gamblers. Those who make the journey, at any time of the year, should also learn to appreciate the city itself, which is easy to do with my walking tour.
The walk begins at the entrance to the Saratoga Race Track, the oldest venue of this type in the country. Walk west, down Union Avenue toward town. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is on your right at #191. Check it out to learn about the rich history of the "sport of kings." As you continue westward, admire the many, elegant Victorian homes on both sides of the street.
Union Avenue ends at Circular Street. Take a right and left on Spring Street. On your left, at the bottom of the hill, is an entrance to Congress Park. Stroll through the park admiring the colorful flowers and meticulous landscaping. Several of the mineral water springs which initially drew people to this area can be accessed in the park. A carousel is available for the kids. Work your way south and westward in the park to exit on Broadway.
Take a right and enter the adorable town center, lined on both sides with shops and restaurants. Stay on the eastern side of the street as you make your way north.
When the number of shops begins to peter out, cross the street and head south, down the opposite side of the street. Be sure to take special note of the Adelphi Hotel, a Victorian gem. Walk through the lobby to check some of the exquisite period furniture and decor.
Continue south on Broadway. To extend the walk (perhaps an additional mile or more), continue south on what is now State Route 9 as far as the National Museum of Dance, on your right. Otherwise, turn left on Lincoln Street, then left on Nelson Street which returns you to Union Avenue. Take a right to return to the walk’s starting point.
After a visit to the museum, continue south to the traffic light and turn left on Crescent Avenue, then left again on Jefferson Street, past the Casino and Harness Racing Track. When you reach Lincoln Street, turn left, then right on Whitney Place to Circular Street. At the corner is one of the most fanciful and interesting mansions in town, the Batcheller Mansion, now an inn.
Turn right on Circular Street, then right on Union Avenue to return to the starting point of the walk, and enjoy the races!