Mike Groll/AP Photo
Saratoga Horse Racing Travel
Saratoga is a stimulating yet relaxing destination any time of year, but never more so than during racing season. Every summer, ravenous horse racing fans flood Saratoga Springs, but your visit doesn't have to be overwhelming. Use this guide to learn about Saratoga's racing venues and places to stay, and get insider tips for how to get the most from the city.
Ready for the races? Follow the links in this section to learn the ins and outs of navigating crowded racetracks in Saratoga, and for clues to how you can see the horses up close.
Saratoga has two different race tracks: the New York Racing Association (NYRA) Race Course and Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, linked to below.
Traffic is overwhelming during Saratoga racing season. Avoid Broadway and take Circular Avenue instead; according to Andrew Nelson of National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blog
, it's "a pretty street of old houses that skirts downtown."
FoundingDulcinea is written by an avid horseracing fan (and findingDulcinea founder) and offers essential advice for everything Saratoga, including where to park at the track and where to find the best cantaloupe.
New York Racing Association
New York Racing Association offers information on the Saratoga Race Course, which holds races for 36 days, from late July through early September. Visitor information, including daily races, tickets and horsemen bios are available.
Saratoga.com explains the Travers Festival, a nine-day celebration leading to the main event, Travers Stakes
, on Aug. 29.
Saratoga Gaming and Raceway
Saratoga Gaming and Raceway holds harness racing events from March through mid-December around a half-mile track. Find race information and gaming details on the official site.
Before you rush to book the first available room, have a look at our insider tips and picks for less crowded, off the beaten path hotels in Saratoga that are just close enough to the racing action.
Saratoga Springs hotels and roadways are understandably packed during racing season. By staying at a hotel a bit further away but still easily accessible via highway, you'll have a less stressful trip.
The Century House
The Century House is a good choice if you're flying into Albany International Airport, and is within 20 minutes of Saratoga by way of Routes 9 and 7. The hotel also has an intriguing history.
Hampton Inn of Clifton Park
Hampton Inn of Clifton Park is a reliable choice of hotel just far enough (about 15 minutes) from the race day excitement of Saratoga.
The Desmond Hotel
The Desmond Hotel in Albany is a moderately priced yet luxurious hotel about 24 miles from the racetrack via the New York State Thruway.
Local blogs are often full of knowledge and tips you'd never find in the mainstream media. For extra insight into Saratoga life and travel, peruse the sites in this section.
Teresa Genaro is the force behind "Brooklyn Backstretch," which is quickly becoming one of the best Web sites covering the New York racing scene. It offers outstanding coverage of the Saratoga meet.
Times Union's Saratoga Springs blog
Times Union's Saratoga Springs blog is written by several local residents and shopkeepers who discuss a range of events around town-poetry readings, restaurants and racetrack issues, for example-relevant to visitors.
Fun in Saratoga
Fun in Saratoga is a blog written by a newcomer to the city with a penchant for restaurants and local food who also provides construction and real estate updates.
Saratoga Farmers' Market
Saratoga Farmers' Market Web site describes vendors, and has an event calendar and information on special programs.
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