Like Saratoga Springs but hate horses? Shame on you. Just kidding. I feel you.
Call it sacrilege, but I honestly am not into horse racing. I mean, I think horses are cool and all, and I appreciate the history and the jockeys and the revenue it brings to Saratoga Country every summer, but...it's not like me to sit there and watch a horse race. Maybe I'm too Brooklyn.
Well, here are things that I like to do when I find myself in downtown Saratoga during track season:
This is an excellent place to people-watch and get into conversations with people. You'll meet all sorts of interesting folks from all walks of life with some cool stories to tell, because hey, everyone's got a story, and everyone loves coffee, or at least scones. Now which is better, Starbucks or Uncommon Grounds? Either. Both. Bring your laptop or smartphone and connect to their Wi-Fi for added fun.
Another great place to people-watch, especially for families. You might see plays in the park, you might see a bridal party take wedding photos, you might see kids trying to run after ducks or jump on the park carousel. Bring a blanket, pack a lunch, and strike up a conversation with someone - chances are they're from somewhere out of town and either came here for the first time or show up every year - it's a great place to find out why they're there.
One thing I love about Saratoga Springs is that once the track is closed, weekends come alive with all of the bars and nightclubs hopping. I'm not going to individually promote any (or any DJs) but chances are any one that you visit will be playing your favorites, whether it's rock, jazz, pop, country, or hip-hop. It goes without saying that the ladies (especially) really dress to impress - but fellas, always be respectful (and don't be creepy).
One time I was just walking around Saratoga with friends and I overheard a couple behind me ask where should they go to eat. I turned around where I was and I started suggesting places like Ravenous, Druthers, and Maestro's. Now, I happened to be standing in front of Boca's, so I said you could also try them as well. It's hard to go wrong with the vast majority of restaurants. Special shoutout to 15 Church - maybe you guys can give me a discount?
When you're looking for a quiet place away from the hustle of all the people in town, you'll want to search for Yaddo and take lots of pictures. Almost every time I go, there's couples there getting married, or perhaps a young poet writing something profound and inspiring. Either way, it's a place to see beautiful flowers and fountains which will have you saying "I didn't know this was here!"