advertisement

Saratoga Springs rose to prominence in the mid-19th century as a spa town, on the strengths of mineral springs and baths that drew wealthy patrons to exercise and "take the waters." Now a National Historic Landmark -- and certainly one of the prettiest urban parks in the country -- Saratoga Spa State Park is still a relaxing place to escape from daily pressures. The 2,200-acre park is a pine forest with natural geysers; it's home to a swimming pool complex, two golf courses, endless trails for walking and cross-country skiing in winter, picnic pavilions, a skating rink, tennis courts, and two restored bathhouses, designed in the classical European spa tradition. Also tucked into the park are a large historic hotel, three restaurants, the renowned Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and two small museums. You could easily spend all day in the park, depending on the diversions you choose. Special events, great for families, include the wildflower walk spring tour and trail races.