Saratoga Staycation: Become A Tourist In Your Own Hometown For A Weekend

Take a weekend off to check out the stones in the Spa City you've left unturned.

Saratoga Staycation
One ultra-relaxing option for a Saratoga staycation is a trip to the Roosevelt Baths and Spa. (Gideon Putnam Resort)

As a Saratogian, you know you live in a special place. But do you ever take the time to enjoy your city the way tourists do? If the winter blues are leaving you shivering, bored and restless, try this fun, budget-friendly staycation below. The options are endless, but we’ve come up with a three-day weekend itinerary for you. How’d we do? Let us know in the comments section.


Start your staycation with whiskey and a wood-fired pizza at Morrissey’s, the Adelphi’s bar and lounge named for John Morrissey, the prizefighting gangster, politician and entrepreneur responsible for organizing Saratoga’s first thoroughbred race in 1863 (come armed with that history, and you’ll wow the other patrons). Afterwards, check out the Adelphi’s recently renovated interior, and try not to think about the fact that Morrissey breathed his last breath perched at the old Adelphi Hotel’s bar.

Next stop: Caffè Lena, where Friday nights tend to get pretty eclectic. Depending on what weekend you show up, you might hear Celtic folk songs, Nola street music or old school rock and roll.

Finish out the day with a nightcap at One Caroline, where there’s sure to be more live music—and, if you’re so inclined, you can get your dance on down the street at the Saratoga City Tavern. If you have the disposable income, book a room at the Adelphi. If you don’t, your own pillow isn’t a terrible substitute.


Sleep in and then revive yourself with a slow-burn brunch at Max London’s. Start out with an espresso—and maybe a mimosa, if you’re game after the previous night’s affairs. You’ll need fuel for the rest of the day ahead, so we recommend the smoked chicken hash with extra bacon. (There’s also a wide array of breakfast pizzas, omelettes and choices for vegan/vegetarian staycationers, too.)

Now, since its winter, your next step should be strapping on some snowshoes or cross-country skis and taking an invigorating tromp (or glide) across the Saratoga Spa State Park. Despite it being where you golfed the previous summer, the trails and wooded areas make for a perfect athletic jaunt. If you want to extend the definition of staycation and jump in your car, the Saratoga National Historic Park—where the famed Battle of Saratoga, the turning point in the American Revolution, took place—is about 30 minutes away in Stillwater. It’s also another great place to cross-country ski, snowshoe or simply take a long, leisurely hike with your family (or furry friend).

After that, you’ll have had it up to here with education and exercise, so it’ll be time to hail a cab (or drop your car off and Uber over) to the Saratoga Winery. Try out local wines, nosh on some crispy queso blanco cheese sticks and enjoy live music from 3pm to 6pm. Depending on which Saturday you decide to staycate, you may have the option of staying for a 9pm comedy show as well.

Once you’ve had your fill of wine and cheese, tag along with the crowd enjoying whatever Winterfest event is in store that weekend; whether you’re dancing to live music or buckling down for beer week’s Saratoga Beer Summit, you’ll be sure to have a good time.


After all that dining, imbibing and outdoorsmanship, Sunday will make for the perfect Saratoga spa day. Try the Roosevelt Baths and Spa. Sign up for their Bed, Breakfast & Bath package beforehand, so you can get accommodations, a breakfast for two at Putnam’s Restaurant and a 40-minute detox soak in the hydrotherapy Mineral Baths.

Once you’re refreshed and back on your feet, it’s time to meander through Skidmore College’s Tang Museum. And don’t just enjoy their exhibits; keep in mind that the building’s architecture—designed by Antoine Predock, the architect behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC; the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg; and the New National Stadium in Tokyo—is a feat of mastery unto itself.

And finally, what better way to end a busy winter weekend than with a casual dinner and a movie? Even “tourists” get tired. Stop in to Ravenous Creperie for some comfort food (try not to eat too many of their addicting pommes frites), and save room for candy and popcorn at Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas.

Sophia Perez
Sophia Perez

Sophia Perez is a California-raised freelance writer currently based in Brooklyn. She visited Saratoga Springs for the first time in the summer of 2016, at the tail-end of a four-month road trip across the United States. She doesn’t like the mineral water, which tastes like egg salad, but she drives up to Saratoga at least once a month to visit friends and eat doughboys.

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