WE LOVE NY! Enjoy A Saratoga Springs Holiday Getaway—Eat. See. Stay!By The DivaGals | November 30, 2023 | Travel
This holiday season, whisk away to a charming New York town only mere hours from New York City! Saratoga Springs is a city rich in history and brimming with restorative activities, tasty restaurants, healing mineral fountains and quaint lodgings like Batcheller Mansion Inn, pictured up top. And this little enclave has a host of holiday festivities on its roster all season long! Dive into our handy guide and watch our video to plan your perfect Saratoga Springs holiday getaway!
What to Do
The town’s Victorian Streetwalk and Tree Lighting starts today, Nov. 30! Check out for the Festival of Trees through Dec. 3 and plan for a night of revelry at Santa Con on Dec. 16! Looking for live entertainment? Visit Caffe Lena, Universal Preservation Hall and Saratoga Performing Arts Center for a list of holiday-inspired performances.
Relax at the Roosevelt Baths & Spa and soak in a 4-ft-deep tub filled with mineral water from the grounds.
Let your mind—and body—float in the city’s healing spring water.
Immerse yourself in the city’s charm with a winter stroll through Congress Park. If you’re all about the Gilded Age, you’ll want to visit Canfield Casino, now home of the Saratoga Springs History Museum.
Established in the late 1800s by professional boxer John Morrissey, many residents weren’t happy with the dubious shenanigans in the extravagant establishment, which may be why it’s haunted to this day.
Enjoy the free mineral springs throughout the park, and at night, join the Haunted Saratoga Ghost Tours to get even more intel on the city’s haunted spaces up and down Broadway, like the historic Adelphi Hotel.
A Moment of African American History
Across the street from the park is the Solomon Northup Marker on Broadway, which recognizes the kidnapping of Mr. Northup, a free Black man, in 1841. He was sold into slavery in Louisiana for 12 years, as depicted in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, before regaining his freedom with the help of the city’s citizens.
Melissa Howell, project manager of snccw.com and a direct descendant of Mr. Northup, shares, “Solomon Northup is all but forgotten 170 years after he regained his freedom. He stands tall amongst his peers like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, and together, their voices are kept alive today because of the significant roles they each played in the lives of other kindred free and enslaved African Americans. Their remarkable efforts to unleash the chains of slavery are worthy of such landmarks as the Solomon Northup Historical Marker Park or the forthcoming first-ever Solomon Northup Monument to be unveiled in Louisiana in 2024. There is space for all history to be told as it should be—it is the roots on which our Nation was built.”
Where to Eat
Cantina (408 Broadway)
Yummy Mexican fair and margaritas. Bonus: the fun-loving and friendly staff makes you feel at home.
Hattie’s (45 Phila St.)
Founded by Hattie Moseley Austin, this is one of the first Black female-owned businesses in Saratoga Springs. It offers Southern cooking at its best, with a full bar and craft cocktails. The house favorite is the fried chicken. We can attest to its crunchy goodness! Hattie’s and Saratoga Springs have been synonymous since its opening in 1938. For almost 80 years, Hattie’s has been serving Southern and Louisiana cuisine in a charming rustic setting. It also boasts a long history of serving the community.
Boca Bistro (384 Broadway)
If you are in the mood for nibbles and wine, visit Boca Bistro. This Spanish Bistro and Tapas Bar blends old-world Spanish with a contemporary twist. We enjoyed the shishito peppers, grilled meats and mussels. The staff is sweet and congenial. Make sure to stay for dessert; their brownies are delicious.
Hamlet & Ghost (24 Caroline St.)
Co-owner Dennis Kiingati has made this cocktail and craft bar a must-visit! We love this spot for its sophisticated city vibe, upscale craft cocktail game and delicious menu. Go for the gin-fizz, the decadent french fries prepared in duck fat and the black lentil dal that made us want to lick the bowl.
Uncommon Grounds (402 Broadway)
This uncommonly delicious artsy coffee shop offers freshly baked bagels with all the fixings and a selection of sandwiches, salads, and desserts. After one sip or bite, you will understand why there is usually a line to get in.
Where to Stay
The DivaGals lodged at Bluebird Spa City Motor Lodge, a transformed motel with a laid-back vibe within easy walking distance of the city’s numerous restaurants and shops on Broadway.
Whether you’re captivated by history, seeking leisurely activities or want to add a little extra horsepower next summer at the Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs offers an unforgettable experience. You can even visit to ring in New Year 2024!
Have a wonderful holiday season in Saratoga Springs!
photo credit: Amanne Media