Broaden Your Saratoga Explorations With These Off-Broadway Destinations
Go Beyond Broadway to Saratoga Lake, the Parks & More
If you come to Saratoga Springs every year for the track you're not alone - this popular attraction is one of the gems of the Spa City. But if you only stick to the track and Saratoga's main strip, Broadway, you're missing out on a whole other part of Saratoga!
The parks are brimming with history and museums, hidden gems can be found around the corner on side streets, and did you know Saratoga has its own lake?
Below, we've rounded up off Broadway explorations so you can discover even more fun things to do in the Saratoga area. Make use of the Saratoga summer trolley for an easy way to get around!
Get Out of the City: Enjoy Fun on the Water, Hit the Beach & More
Experience a New Side of Saratoga - Kayaking on the Lake!
Kayaking is a popular pastime as it's a low impact activity that can improve your strength and flexibility in a fun, engaging way. Did you know you can kayak right on Saratoga Lake?
If you don't have your own, check out the Kayak Shak, located on Fish Creek which connects to the lake. They offer affordable single and tandem kayak rentals for a half day (three hours) or a full day (six hours). They also have paddleboards. And if you're into stand up paddleboarding, you'll have to check out their SUP yoga classes as well.
Feel the Sun on Your Face & the Sand in Your Toes at Brown's Beach
Want sun, fun, and sand? Head to Brown's Beach, one of the only public swimming spots on Saratoga Lake. You can also launch a kayak or paddleboard here from the shallow launch area.
A picnic and volleyball section provides additional fun, so you can easily spend several hours here soaking up rays on the beach, getting into a game of volleyball, and savoring munchable foods with your family or a group of friends.
Grab a Rental Bike & See Saratoga From a Different Perspective
Did you know? Bike sharing is available through the CDPHP Cycle program. It's easy, affordable, and there are 14 bike rental locations throughout Saratoga, including right in Saratoga Spa State Park.
You choose an affordable plan ($5 is the hourly rate), find a bike using the app or make a reservation in advance, and then when you're finished riding you just return the bike to the nearest bike station with an open slot.
Find a New Park to Enjoy - There's More Than Saratoga Spa State Park!
Editor's Note 4/28/20: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Yaddo will remain closed for the rest of 2020.
When you're getting off Broadway to explore nearby streets and Saratoga Lake, don't forget to add Saratoga parks to your list. The aforementioned Saratoga Spa State Park might be the first to come to mind, but when is the last time you visited the historic Yaddo Gardens?
The 400-acre estate off Union Avenue features a colorful rose garden, a unique rock garden, and is chock full of history. Yaddo was founded in 1900 and has been used as a creative space for artists to find inspiration ever since. Many famous artists have visited Yaddo, including Langston Hughes and Sylvia Plath.
Two other parks worth checking out that are just outside Saratoga are Moreau Lake State Park and the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, both in Gansevoort. Moreau Lake State Park has its own lake beach and hiking trails for family-friendly fun. The Wilton Wildlife Preserve also has miles of trails in addition to year-round educational programs. This park is best known for preservation efforts of the karner blue butterfly.
Experience Culture & Learn More About Saratoga at an Area Museum
You can find museums for nearly every interest and niche in Saratoga. Those interested in art and the arts can head to the Frances Young Tang Museum at Skidmore or the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Spa State Park. Car buffs can check out the Saratoga Automobile Museum, also located in Saratoga Spa State Park. There's also the New York State Miliary Museum on Lake Avenue, and the National Museum of Racing on Union Avenue.
Broadway may be filled with unique galleries and boutique shops, but don't discount the area museums, each of which offers something special. For instance, the Tang Museum concentrates on visual arts, but they also have a popular summer Upbeat on the Roof Concert series. And the National Museum of Dance is the only museum in the country devoted exclusively to the art of dance, and was established largely because of Saratoga socialite and philanthropist Marylou Whitney.
The National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa is another museum that speaks to a niche interest - bottles! Did you know bottle making was the country's first major industry? Learn more about bottle making as you view thousands of glass bottles. The museum also operates Glassworks Studio, a hot-glass teaching facility that offers flameworking and lampworking classes as well as special events.
Come and see what cultural treasures you can unearth at these Saratoga area museums!
Discover a Unique Place to Stay in One of Saratoga's Pristine Parks
Branch off of Broadway when considering a place to stay in Saratoga! The Gideon Putnam, pictured above, is inside Saratoga Spa State Park and is much more than just a hotel. Check in after your adventures of the day to rest up before heading back out for dinner and drinks.
You'll be a short walk away from the Roosevelt Baths & Spa, built over an ancient underground spring renowned for its healing mineral waters, that has over 40 treatment rooms and utilizes more than 60 natural therapies. If you're looking to combine a spa day with your stay, this is the place for you!
Although you'll be off Broadway, you won't be far away - the Gideon Putnam is just minutes from downtown. Make use of the trails and museums in the park during your stay, or find your way to the heart of the city for prime shopping and dining. Although, fabulous food can be found off Broadway as well!
Find Delicious Fresh Food & Cool Brews: From Hidden Gems to a Top Farmers Market
Savor a Taste of Cape Cod in Saratoga
After you've had fun outdoors and checking out museums you've likely worked up an appetite. Have you heard of Eddie F's Fish Fry? While Saratoga is chock full of classy fine dining restaurants, this diamond in the rough on Clinton Street offers a casual atmosphere with delicious comfort food, seafood-style.
Think overflowing lobster rolls, perfectly cooked fish sandwiches, and New England clam chowder loaded with fresh clams. They also serve up daily lunch specials.
Sample Craft Beers at Some of Saratoga's Finest Breweries
Did you know Saratoga is home to a slew of reputable breweries? Artisanal Brew Works on Geyser Road, pictured above, always has something new and exciting going on. Check their website for a weekly can release and current beers on draft. They also have some cans only available at the tap room, like Picture Day IPA #5 "Lorenz" and Blackberry in the Glasses Wheat.
Other breweries worth checking out are Racing City Brewing on Excelsior Avenue, which focuses on classic styles of beer with a modern twist, and the award-winning Shmaltz Brewing in nearby Clifton Park.
If you're looking to branch out from beer Yankee Distillers, also in Clifton Park, is worth checking out. They're a farm distillery that distills all their products in small batches on-site, in Italian-made copper stills. They specialize in cocktails made from bourbon, rye, and vodka.
Don't End Your Visit Without Stopping by the Saratoga Farmers' Market!
The Saratoga Farmers' Market on High Rock Avenue is widely known as one of the prime markets in the Capital Region. Make a point to stop by this market during your Saratoga visit! While most operate once a week during the summer, you can visit the Saratoga Farmers' Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer, and on Saturdays in the winter; the winter market is held at the Lincoln Baths building in Saratoga Spa State Park.
The Saturday market alone boasts over 70 vendors. Besides farm fresh produce from local growers, you can also pick up specialty food items like peanut butter from the Saratoga Peanut Butter Company, cheese curds from Argyle Cheese Farmer, and hard cider from the Slyboro Cider House.
You can also check out the Ballston Spa Farmers' Market, which runs from mid-June through late September on Thursdays and Saturdays at the corner of Front Street and Low Street in Ballston Spa. They feature their own unique vendors, like Perogi, Pierogi, Pyroogie, who create fudge, cookies, crispy rice treats, and other sweets.
While Broadway is an undeniable Saratoga hotspot, the next time you're looking for adventures in the Spa City and surrounding county remember all of the above gems for even more art, culture, outdoor fun, and more.
This article is sponsored by Saratoga County Tourism. Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or view of Saratoga County Tourism or its members.