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25 Things to Do in Saratoga This Summer

June 27, 2018 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share
  1. Get up early. We mean really early. Head to the backside to watch morning training and then watch some works from the front side after the break. Make sure you grab your coffee and copy of the Saratoga Special newspaper at the Morning Line. It’s even money you’ll see the West Point team and Partners.
  2. Attend a concert or show at SPAC. NYC Ballet, Philadelphia Orchestra, Janet Jackson, Chicago, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Godsmack, Penatonix, Chris Stapleton, and more!
  3. Watch a race with the West Point team at the “big screen” then have drinks at the famous paddock bar. Grab fries and a shake from Shake Shack while you’re at it.
  4. Tour the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
  5. Join track announcer Larry Collmus in the booth for the third race call and support backstretch workers.
  6. Take the scenic drive to Manchester, Vermont and enjoy outlet shopping, hiking, and fly fishing. Be sure to check out the Orvis Store.
  7. Play a round of golf and/or have dinner at Saratoga National.
  8. Have a delicious Italian dinner at Pennell’s, WPT’s favorite spot. On the topic of food, my favorite breakfast spot is Sweet Mimi’s.
  9. Catch a polo match on Friday or Sunday evenings throughout the meet.
  10. Attend the Fasig-Tipton select yearling sale held August 6 and 7. This is a must do if you’re in town then -- it’s a huge social event a ton of fun.
  11. Visit Lake George. Hike Buck Mountain and enjoy a beautiful view of the lake and Adirondacks. Or try ziplining!
  12. Get an after-dinner ice cream cone at Dairy Haus. It’s homemade and the best!
  13. Have an after-dinner drink at Sperry’s downtown.
  14. Explore downtown Saratoga with a stroll down Broadway. Walk through Saratoga State Park or Congress Park. Stroll down Beekman Street in Saratoga's Art District and pop into Taverna Novo -- say hi to Patty & Jeff and enjoy some amazing pizza. Check out the newly reopened Adelphi Hotel and their bar -- Morrissey’s.
  15. Rent a boat and spend a Tuesday afternoon on Saratoga Lake. There’s a good chance you’ll see Dallas Stewart in his bright yellow watercraft.
  16. Walk along the path from the winner’s circle to the jocks room after a race to hear the most insane excuses jockeys give to trainers and trainers give to owners. Have one of the jocks sign your program. Get a pair of dirty goggles for the kiddos.
  17. Arrive at the track early on Thursdays and watch the steeplechase races to get your heart pumping out of your chest.
  18. Enjoy a casual day at the track in the backyard picnic area. Wear shorts and a t-shirt and bring your cooler, lawn chair, and picnic basket.
  19. Join Larry Collmus in exclaiming “And they’re off at Saratoga” on Friday, July 20. This tradition was started by the one and only Tom Durkin.
  20. After morning training head to the Spring Street Deli. There’s a good chance you’ll see Dale Romans. Impress him by ordering the “Shackleford” sandwich.
  21. Watch a race from the backstretch. Seven-furlong races are really cool because you’ll see the horses break just feet from the rail.
  22. Book a trip to go white water rafting.
  23. Visit Saratoga’s famous mineral springs. Bathe in the mineral water at Roosevelt Baths. Get a massage while there too.
  24. Visit Old Friends Cabin Creek and spend time with some really cool retired Thoroughbreds, including our beloved King Congie. A fun event in support of Old Friends is held August 5 at the Saratoga National Golf Club.
  25. Attend the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Hay, Oats, and Spaghetti Fundraiser on July 23 and the Equine Advocates Annual Gala on August 2 at Canfield Casino. Terry Finley is being honored for his response to stranded Thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico and commitment to Thoroughbred retirement.

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Cider donuts!
A visit to Hattie's is a treat as well!
This never gets old.
Visit the Old Friends at Cabin Creek horse rescue farm about 10 minutes out of town. Have a lunch at Route 50 Diner in Ballston Spa. Have dinner at Augies in Ballston Spa, or do a takeout from Augies in Saratoga. Have lunch at the Log Jam restaurant in near the Lake George outlets. Go to Saratoga Lake, make a left and drive up to the top of the hill near McMahon's Farm.
Ride the carousel and feed the ducks in Congress Park. Browse in Lyrical Ballad Bookstore and check out the marvelous collection of books and magazines on racing and all things equine.
Thanks all for the great suggestions!
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