Saratoga Springs, New York, is a longtime resort area 30 mi/50 km north of Albany in the north-south corridor between New York City and Montreal, best known for horse racing, its therapeutic baths and Yaddo, the famous artists and writers colony. The aura of its days as a high-society haven still linger in Saratoga Springs—it has a pleasant 1890s feel.
If you're there late July-early September, during racing season, definitely go to the racetrack to watch Thoroughbred horses run for the money, as they have since 1863, making this the oldest sports venue in the nation. (You can also have an elegant breakfast at the track and watch the horses go through their morning workouts.) The season peaks with the US$1 million Travers Stakes at the end of August. And if you really love the races, you can visit the nearby National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, part of Saratoga Spa State Park, is home to Opera Saratoga and the summer home-away-from-home of the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The park also has two championship golf courses, two public swimming pools, the Hall of Springs restaurant and the historic Gideon Putnam Hotel, a gorgeous Georgian revival-style hotel set in 2,500 acres/1,012 hectares (and usually booked well in advance of the August races at Saratoga Race Course).
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