A Budget-Friendly Day in Saratoga Springs
Spending the day in Saratoga Springs doesn't have to break the bank. If you're low on cash at the moment - or maybe you're just being more mindful about money in general - we've got fun budget-friendly activities for you right here.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Saratoga Spa State Park is a beautiful spot with open fields and a variety of activities available – you’ll have access to everything with just an $8 parking fee. Check out picnic sites, tennis courts, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and more.
Many may not realize it, but the park is actually home to a variety of nature trails. Take the Peerless Loop from the Peerless Pool to the Karista Trail, or check out the State Park’s Wetland Trail in the southwest area of the park. Or, venture out of the park and head to the Bog Meadow Trail or the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve.
Discover Saratoga History
Stop by the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center on Broadway and pick up a variety of information, maps of the area, and activity brochures. They have a self-guided walking tour of the mineral water fountains, which is a great way to get a taste of Saratoga’s rich history – literally!
Saratoga has 18 public mineral springs in various locations throughout the city. Each one is naturally carbonated and none taste alike. These springs are easily accessible and free to sample – just bring your own cup or water bottle. The mineral springs are said to contain amazing healing and curative powers.
While you’re sampling local history, consider getting a Saratoga Museum Pass that offers buy-one-get-one-free admission to participating museums. The National Museum of Dance and the Saratoga Automobile Museum are both right in Saratoga Spa State Park. Not included in this pass is the New York State Military Museum on Lake Avenue. Why? Because admission is free!
Saratoga Race Track
Think the track always has to be an expensive experience? Not necessarily! The Saratoga Race Track offers walking tours at $3 a person, or $10 for a group of 4 – and tram tours are completely free.
Tours are held each racing day of the summer meet, except Travers Day. Get an overview of the facility, check out the unique landscapes and architecture, and get an inside peek at the track’s backstretch area.
Also during the summer, you can have breakfast on The Porch of the Clubhouse – the Track allows you to bring in outside food, so more savings for you! This is a unique opportunity to see the horses work out in the morning. Admission is free; there is a fee for trackside parking but it is refundable if you leave before 10am.
Seeing great entertainment live doesn’t need to be expensive with the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Admission is completely free and they offer live music on the rooftop patio at 7pm on Thursdays through the end of August.
The Tang Teaching Museum also hosts a number of additional shows, events, and demonstrations, most of which are free or inexpensive.
Economical Dining Options
Of course, you have to eat during the day! Once again, you don't need to go broke in order to enjoy all that Saratoga has to offer. Check out one of the below options, or share a larger meal with a friend or loved one.
- Blue Agave - tacos around $12 to $16 for three, or order a-la-cart; other Mexican food options for under $20
- Compton's Restaurant - sandwiches, burgers, and salads between $5 and $7
- Country Corner Cafe - half sandwiches for $3.25 or whole for $6.25
- Dock Brown's Lakeside Tavern - burgers for $12, entrees between $13.50 and $19
- Hattie's Chicken Shack - chicken sandwiches for about $8
- Peabody's Sports Bar - burgers, sandwiches, and more for about $10 to $12; also a variety of inexpensive wing and pizza options
- Phila Fusion - entrees between $14 and $19
Grab a drink while you're in Saratoga by taking advantage of happy hour drink specials!
And, check out Saratoga's 20 Things To Do Under $20 for more great things to do.
Let us know how you enjoy Saratoga Springs! Send us your favorite inexpensive past-time pursuits in Saratoga and get a spot on our readers' tips & top picks page!