Forget reading, writing and 'rithmetic: Saratoga Springs, NY will convert you to the three H's. They'll have you know their city is about Health, History and Horses (with an emphasis on the latter). It's these basic qualities that form the foundation of the town.
Saratoga Springs, NY gained renown as a resort town in the late 19th century, earning the nickname "Queen of Spas." And to this day, the famed mineral spring spas continue to hold appeal. But it's during racing season that the city really heats up, and the summer population swells with the temperature. Thoroughbred racing never fails to pack them in.
Once a rollicking playground for the moneyed, the town's high-rolling reputation still rings true to some degree. Traditionally, Saratoga Springs has been a stomping ground for well-heeled part-time residents, but things are changing. You no longer need to be a socialite to have fun, and a summer visit isn't even required to appreciate the town fully.
Located 30 miles north of Albany NY at the base of the Adirondacks, Saratoga Springs is about three to four hours from New York City, depending on mode of transportation. It's entirely possible to rise early, catch a race, dine in style, then head back to the city. But a weekend excursion is recommended to savor Saratoga Springs in the leisurely manner that it deserves.