5 Awesome Day Trips from Saratoga Springs: Explore Upstate NY!

The world-famous Saratoga Springs is ideally located right in the middle of some great towns and hot spots. If you're staying in Saratoga, or even if you're a local, explore all Upstate New York has to offer by considering a day trip to one of these great locations.

Part of going on a day trip is enjoying the drive there - it's not all about the destination, it's about the journey as well. If you're up for a little bit of a longer drive, there are some great scenic routes to take up to the Adirondacks or Vermont. If you want to stay closer to Saratoga, there's still plenty to do in the more immediate vicinity.

Check out these five awesome day trip suggestions:

1. Adirondacks

adirondacksLove hiking, boating, fishing, and just being outside in general? Get the ultimate outdoor recreation experience in the Adirondacks. Over six million acres include thousands of hiking trails, thousands of ponds and lakes, and dozens of high peaks.

Try Panther Peak, which is great for serious hikers. It's a two hour drive from Saratoga that goes right through Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. For a shorter drive, Shaker Mountain Wild Forest is only an hour away, and it offers popular destinations like the Northville-Lake Placid Trail, a fire tower on Kane Mountain, and 10 different lakes.

The Adirondacks are massive, so there's lots of options! If you happen to be in the area in the fall, there's some spectacular fall foliage to enjoy - check out these prime leaf peeping spots.

2. Vermont

vermontIf you want a really picturesque drive, consider taking a day trip to Vermont. Bennington and Manchester are each only slightly over an hour away from Saratoga. For Bennington, you could take Route 29 to Route 372, passing through Schuylerville and Cambridge. Or, go down Route 9P to Route 67 and drive right by Saratoga Lake. Either way, you'll be travelling along beautiful country roads.

When you get there, Bennington is full of historic sites like the Bennington Battle Monument and the Bennington Museum. Grab dinner at the Madison Brewing Company. If opting for Manchester, shop at the designer outlets. As with the Adirondacks, if you happen to take this drive in the fall, get ready for the some of the most beautiful foliage you've ever seen.

3. Lake George and Bolton Landing

lake georgeOnly half an hour away from Saratoga, Lake George is a premiere hot spot and tourist destination in the summer. Try a new activity like parasailing over the "Queen of American Lakes," or spend the day boating or swimming. Take advantage of the shopping opportunities in the Village, and while you're there check out the unique House of Frankenstein Wax Museum.

Bolton Landing is just a quick 15 minutes north of the Village, located right on Lake George. This beautiful town offers an array of outdoor activities - hiking, biking, golfing, and more. Or, spend a day at the water's edge at Rogers Memorial Park Beach or Veteran's Memorial Park Beach.

4. Schenectady

schenectadyHistoric Schenectady is only 40 minutes away from Saratoga. You won't want to miss out on the fine dining opportunities, shopping, and nightlife the city has to offer - and the entertainment. Proctors is a classic theater with globally celebrated entertainment, and one of the prime hot spots in the entire Capital Region. With an always impressive lineup of shows, there's sure to be something to suit everyone's tastes.

More of an outdoorsy person, or just looking for a less expensive way to pass the day? Head on over to Central Park. There are public pools, tennis courts, a dog park, softball courts, and gorgeous open fields. The Central Park Rose Garden holds the title of third best municipal rose garden in the entire country.

5. Troy

troyA mere 35 minutes away from Saratoga, Troy is another great city to consider visiting. There's plenty of amazing restaurants and bars, and even breweries. Dine outside with some craft beer at Brown's Brewing Company and get a view of the Hudson River. Or, check out Rare Form Brewing Company, not only known for their amazing beer selection, but for showcasing the work of many talented artists.

Troy has an abundant arts and culture scene - check out the Arts Center of the Capital Region, or come on down for Troy Night Out, a monthly arts and culture event on the last Friday of every month. Take part in food and drink specials, savor the live music and entertainment, and of course enjoy the art!

Want more ideas for fun in Saratoga? Find a Saratoga itinerary with lots of suggestions and tips for Saratoga Springs day trips. Also, be sure to check our Saratoga Events Calendar for all types of special events happening in and around the area!