Written by travel  |  23. June 2001

The competitiveness of this year's Triple Crown horse races has sparked renewed interest in thoroughbred racing, so why not continue the excitement and visit upstate Saratoga Springs for the August racing meet? Once upon a time, Saratoga seemed to be reserved for the wealthy elite, when folks like "Diamond Jim" Brady and the Vanderbilts made it the summer place to be for the rich and famous. These days, Saratoga is more egalitarian, but it still has an elegant atmosphere that'll make you feel like you've "made it" just being there. In addition to "The Sport of Kings," Saratoga offers the kind of cultural activities that followed the "super rich" to their vacation retreat. It is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, but these days you'll also find jazz, rock and country stars at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. And then there are the spas, which is how the area got its reputation as a resort in the first place. Several of these lavish emporiums have been restored to their former glory on the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park. Another attraction is historic, the Saratoga National Battlefield Park, site of the battle which turned the tide to the Americans during the Revolutionary War. Accommodations can be hard to get during the August racing meet, but you can try the massive Gideon Putnam Hotel, also on the grounds of the State Park, or you can go the B&B route at the Union Gables Bed & Breakfast near the track, or King's Ransom Farm in the nearby countryside. For further information on planning a vacation in Saratoga, contact the Saratoga County Chmber of Commerce at 1-800-526-8970, or get them on the web at www.saratoga.org. Enjoy!

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