Mary Travers

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Saratoga Springs, NY: A European-style city in a typical American attitude

George Washington not only slept here, he brought together his friends and celebrated. "Here" is Saratoga Springs, New York, known for its mineral waters, horse racing and modern culture. Since shortly after the Revolutionary War, the rich and powerful in American society have been flocking to the Saratoga region. Today, the wealthier classes in the city is still collecting many social spots, but more often they rub elbows with the "average Joe." Why the sudden appealthe average tourist?

Before the 1950s, Saratoga has been a popular gambling mecca. Casinos and horse racing has gone hand in hand with the capture of the famous mineral springs and eating in fine restaurants. It was a place to see and be seen. Unfortunately, after World War II Saratoga began to run rife with scandal and corruption. The casinos closed their doors forever. The mineral baths began to fall, along with much of the city. Today, thanks to excellent planning, that has allchanged – dramatically. The city is now one of the jewels of the Capital District of New York / Adirondack region. The mineral baths are still popular, and the race – both whole blood and utensils – to draw crowds in every season. However, the new and trendy attractions are continuously adding more each year. And with this additional incentive Saratoga has again a hot spot for tourists. It now offers a variety of stimuli, with the bonus of all the taste of aEuropean vacation – but not necessarily associated with the expenses.

Downtown Saratoga is a prime example of urban revitalization. Strollers can walk the combination of modern and old-fashioned window shopping streets and two merchants, and unique local upscale boutiques. Thereafter, the tourists can enjoy casual dining at a sidewalk café, while the sounds of a street entertainer, or visit a comedy club or dinner / cinema. Visitors can take a carriage ride through the city. You canYou can also use the beautiful Victorian-style Congress Park, with its restored antique carousel, formal gardens and fully restored to Canfield Casino Museum. Even the local library is popular with tourists and offers a gourmet coffee bar and special lecture programs throughout the year.

Art is rich in Saratoga: the sidewalk art galleries and museums, art exhibitions. Antique lovers will find a number of dealers in and around the city as well as flea markets and city-wide garage sales. Music is aspecial attraction for the region. In addition to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) – which offer everything from famous rock bands to classical music host – a city with many bars, clubs and cafes every conceivable kind of music, almost seven days a week, 365 days a year. Excellent live performances can see in the small theater, located in the old bath complex in the Spa State Park and local musical theater will be periodically available in nearby Corinth Theater Guild inThis picturesque northern Saratoga County village. Dance has a permanent residence in the city, thanks to the National Museum of Dance and local dance groups.

There are other museums in Saratoga: the National Museum (Thoroughbred) Racing, the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, the Children's Museum, Auto Museum, petrified wood and a military museum. Outside the city, in the city of Saratoga (near Schuylerville), the Saratoga Battlefield National Park. After all the activities that visitors canWind down at a local spa or in the mineral baths, or stop for a drink from a public mineral springs in the city. If there are foods that crave to see you, a huge selection of flavors for your taste buds will like it. From haute cuisine, vegetarian, seafood and international flavors, American barbecue, Southern and Southwestern cooking, you can find something for everyone – including buffets, restaurant chains, local guests and junk food. But also cultural activities and restaurants are not the only thingsDrawing tourists in Saratoga Springs. Saratoga has become a paradise for horse lovers.

In 2004, the local night trotting, Saratoga Raceway, has been restored to an overhaul of the "Racino" – a combination of video lottery casino (slots), race track and off-track betting shop. Re-named Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, the beautiful new facility has thousands of slot machines and betting an upwardly open living room video 5 days a week and nightly live Trotting four days a week. SaratogaGaming and Raceway also offers an affordable and high quality buffet and a slightly expensive food court. Besides the slots, there SGR regular players a chance to win fantastic prizes – thousands in cash, a trip to an Irish castle with money, a Jeep Commander, a Cadillac and other wonderful incentives. The nightly Trotting – held from Wednesday to Saturday nights – is exciting and racy, with vivid calls from the new young and trendy career spokesman, Mike Sardella,and wire-to-wire action from top riders and horses. A grand hotel on the site is planned for sometime in the future.

The thoroughbred track, known locally as "the August place to be," Saratoga Race Course is open from late July to late August. Hosting of the best racehorses are for over 150 years, it has been the number one attraction for the area in all the time. Although soon to be under new ownership, the public was assured that the track will hold itsbeautiful old class and character. Saratoga Race Course is still the highlight of the season set for the company – especially the Travers Stakes (the show is live on national television) and the Whitney Handicap – two of America's leading summer racing events. In addition to racing, there are other equine events, horse lovers Saratoga pull.

Other equine attractions that include the move to Saratoga horse lovers world-class polo in the summer months show a great dressage and carriage(a local charity benefit) every Memorial Day weekend, a car during the parade season in August, barrel racing events and the St. Clement's Horse Show displays in the spring – which brings in many top jumpers in the region, and the other local throughout the year. Indeed, there are rodeos at the nearby Ballston Spa and Lake Luzerne.

The Saratoga County Fair in Ballston Spa, every year in July, has seen many types of horses. But that's not all the fun for the horse aficionado. ArtGalleries, shops and western tack shops, and souvenir shops, you receive a large selection of clothing, art and gifts for you to buy. You can even go for a ride at a local stables outside the city, in the Middle Grove, Ballston Spa and Lake Luzerne. If horses are not your thing, do not worry: other activities will take the form of golf, bowling, tennis, biking available, hiking, swimming, boating, canoeing, rowing, fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating. NoNo matter what your pleasure, chances are you will always find something going on, either in town or nearby.

If you can not in Europe this season, why not try the Saratoga area? Accommodations in Saratoga is narrow and very expensive in the August season, so be warned and reserve early. However, due to its location (midway between the capital city of Albany and the Adirondack tourist area of Lake George), there are literally thousands of places toStay in a fifty mile radius. Accommodations range from upscale hotels and resorts, the most popular hotel chains, small local motels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, campsites and cabin rentals and even a few dude ranches in the Adirondacks. If you're really flush, you can even rent an entire house. The area is easily accessible from New York City or Montreal – via Interstate 87 and the Albany International Airport, and also by bus, train and taxi services easily accessible andas a rental car.

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December 22, 2009 - Posted by | Mary Travers Articles | , , , , ,

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