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Saratoga Springs, NY

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Dec 17th, 2017, 02:12 PM
  #1
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Saratoga Springs, NY

My interest in this place has been piqued by some historical programs recently on TV and we are thinking of a visit. We once lived in the area (Chatham, New Lebanon) so feel that May would be an ideal time to go. We never did go when we were so close.

Has anyone been there lately? Is it still as nice as it seems. A plus for me would be visiting US Grant's last residence since I recently completed his memoirs. We are thinking of combining it with a drive further north to Quebec. Saratoga Springs would be an easy day drive from my home, so it is doable by car which is what I would prefer. When we lived in the area, we drove to Quebec several times for weekend visits, so I am familiar with the drive and quite like it.

Ideas and suggestions are appreciated as always.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 04:13 PM
  #2
 
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Friends retired to Saratoga about 10 years ago and have been very happy there. (Lots of other refugees from NYC.) Saratoga used to be the summer home of the NYCBallet. Now, they perform for about 10 days in July. The Performing Arts Center probably has other things to offer that would fit your schedule. I think the horse races begin in July too.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 04:21 PM
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PS. If you're a Frasier fan Saratoga is the home of David Hyde Pierce (our finicky Niles....)
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Dec 17th, 2017, 06:16 PM
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I love it there. My family lives in the Adirondacks. The downtown area is very nice. Some good places to eat.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 06:24 PM
  #5
kja
 
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It's been about 3, maybe 4, years since I last visited Sarasota Springs; I thought it charming.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 03:41 AM
  #6
J62
 
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Yes, Saratoga is a lovely little city. What are your interests? I know the city well & can give you specific recommendations & details for just about any interest.

When are you considering traveling? For the non racing fan I recommend May/June/early July, when the weather is warmer, the horses are back in town training, but before track season starts. Or September on the other side.

Food - countless restaurants, pubs/bars spanning the range from simple & cheap to high end & expensive.

Wellness - of course there are the springs themselves - either for a hot mineral bath at Roosevelt Spa in the state park, or for drinking/tasting at numerous spots all over town. The wellness tradition continues today with a large number of varied fitness activities in town - name your preference.

Activities - If you like the outdoors, then you'll enjoy the Saratoga area. In town is the state park with miles of walking trails. Nearby are the foothills of the Adirondacks (including where Grant's cottage is located), Lake George, & beyond. Saratoga Battlefield (Revolutionary War site) is 15min outside town. Countless miles of road biking routes, nearby kayaking/SUP on Saratoga Lake, to name a few.

History - The town/area is steeped in history & the documentaries do a good job of bundling it all together in about an hour episode or less. But I can't say there is any really good way to learn about or experience the history while there - it's more about it being around you and part of the DNA of the town vs having an immersive, thorough experience.

Lodging - no shortage of choices. Hilton brands has several (3) big properties well located right in town, plus numerous other smaller properties ranging in price, location, and quality.

Happy to provide more info on any topic.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 05:07 AM
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There is a Navy base off Washington St. I was surprised about that. Hameletandghost.com
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Dec 18th, 2017, 05:41 AM
  #8
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Macross--Yes, it is a support facility. There is a NPTU in nearby Ballston Spa, so a lot of service members are stationed there.

basingstoke2--It has been years since we were stationed there, so will obviously leave most of the info to people who have been there more recently than we have. As mentioned though, track season is in August and the town gets crazy busy and crazy expensive. Unless you want that, I would go in June or July. We enjoyed performances at SPAC, and I enjoyed the spas, FWIW.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 05:44 AM
  #9
J62
 
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Yes, there is a Navy nuclear reactor training facility just west of town. A lot of Navy personnel stationed in town for ~1yr training stints.

Hamlet & Ghost is a relatively new cocktail bar, emphasis hand made on "signature" cocktails. Fun little adult watering hole with some small plates. (as opposed to a bar with loud music & cheap beer in plastic cups)
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Dec 18th, 2017, 06:30 AM
  #10
 
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J62, fun place there and Hatties for chicken and waffles. We go to Cantina often. I love the downtown area and have been watching a building there that they are going to make into condos. I made the mistake of booking a flight in August and rentals were 100.00 a day. I worked a deal but still paid 60.00.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 06:37 AM
  #11
 
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Had a great time there a few years ago. Trip report:

https://www.fodors.com/community/uni...-springs.cfm?4

But Mio Posto is gone.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 09:20 AM
  #12
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Thanks for all of the helpful replies and and extra thank you to J62. As I mentioned, we once lived not too far away so think May would be an ideal month. We are interested in the living history of the place, general ambiance and local scenery. Will probably drive some and visit our old haunts in the Berkshires as well.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 09:37 AM
  #13
J62
 
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Before I forget, there are various walking tours that come and go - we've done several of these on staycations or with out of visitors.

a) springs tour - private, in Spa park. The park service offers a self guided tour w/ brochure so you don't really need a guide, but the guides can add some color. Probably a couple of bucks donation.

b) ghost tour - private guide, shows up on groupon from time to time. $10 to $20 asking price. Everything is negotiable.

c) general city history tour - run by visitors bureau.

Be sure to post back here when your travel dates get closer and I can fill you in on what's going on.
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Dec 18th, 2017, 11:44 AM
  #14
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Thanks - those walking tours are what we like. It sounds like you live there.
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Dec 19th, 2017, 05:27 PM
  #15
J62
 
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C-span did a show on Saratoga recently

See www.c-span.org/citiestour
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Dec 19th, 2017, 05:45 PM
  #16
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Yes, I saw that and it is what sparked my interest.
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