Leisure

Explore the History of Saratoga Springs

While its namesake mineral baths and thoroughbred racing may be the first things to come to mind, Saratoga Springs has a rich history, ranging from a crucial Revolutionary War battle to bootlegging during Prohibition. Our newly remodeled Saratoga Springs boutique hotel The Downtowner is a great place from which to explore the history of Saratoga Springs. Here are some suggested sights to get you started.

Saratoga National Historical Park | 648 NY-32, Stillwater | (518) 664-9821

This historic site marks the American forces' first defeat of the British during the American Revolution. British soldiers, marching south down the Hudson River to New York City, fought with American troops on October 7th, 1777 and surrendered 10 days later. This important defeat bolstered the American cause with international allies and boosted morale. Learn about the battle through exhibits, videos, historic reenactments, and self-guided tours throughout the 22-acre park.

National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame | 191 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs | (518) 584-0400

Whether you're a hardcore fan of the sport or just like to wear a big hat on Derby Day, you'll enjoy the Museum of Racing. Exhibits cover the history of thoroughbred racing in Saratoga Springs and around the country and explain the intricacies of the sport to newbies. Learn how to read the odds, then try your hand at the "Ready to Ride" simulator that gives museum-goers a chance to get into the jockey's seat and feel what it's like to race. You'll leave ready for a day at the track.

Self-guided architecture tour via Visitor Center | 297 Broadway, Saratoga Springs | (518) 587-3241


Fans of architecture will want to stop by the Visitor Center for a map of the city's historic East Side. The neighborhood was the home to the wealthy business people that developed the area as a spa and resort destination. The architectural styles of each of the 27 noteworthy homes are detailed on the brochure, with defining the characteristic of the style. Step back into time and enjoy a walking tour of the history of Saratoga Springs.