Written by travel  |  06. November 2004

Saratoga Springs, New York's legendary playground of the rich and famous, is really jumping during its thoroughbred racing meet in August. However this charming village, a half-hour north of Albany, is worth a visit at any time of the year. With eye-opening museums, historic sites, upscale shopping, fine dining, elegant hotels and of course its famous spa, Saratoga is perfect for a weekend getaway in any season. Following are some of the attractions worth seeing in Saratoga Springs: The National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame tells the story of thoroughbred racing with interactive exhibits and exciting films. It also honors such heroes of racing as Eddie Arcaro, Willie Shoemaker, and the incomparable Secretariat. It's open daily throughout the year. The National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame is the only museum in the country dedicated to American professional dance. It honors such luminaries as Isadora Duncan and George Balanchine. It's open weekends October through May. Saratoga National Battlefield Park preserves the site and tells the story of America's first major victory in the Revolutionary War. Saratoga Spa State Park is a lovely expanse of woodland trails and meadows just outside the village center. It also houses the famous Lincoln mineral baths where America's wealthiest families enjoyed "taking the waters" in The Gilded Age. The park also offers cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter season. The Gideon Putnam Hotel, one of America's "grand dame" hotels, is located on the grounds of the State Park. It brings the elegance of a bygone era to life. The Old Bryan Inn, an historic restaurant, is still one of Saratoga's most popular. It serves huge portions of hearty American fare. For more information on visiting Saratoga Springs, contact the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce at (800)526-8970, or online at www.saratoga.org. Enjoy!

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