Saratoga Race Course, Union Avenue (tel. 518/584-6200; www.nyra.com), offers free walking tours of the stable area and a tram ride and starting gate demonstration daily from 8am to 9am in season. The Upper Hudson River Railroad, 3 Railroad Place, North Creek (tel. 518/251-5334; www.uhrr.com), is a scenic passenger-train ride (2 1/2 hours round-trip) that departs from the North Creek depot and runs along the Hudson up into the Adirondacks (May-Oct, Thurs-Sun; $18 adults, $12 children 3-12). For guided hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and snowshoeing adventures, as well as equipment rentals, contact All Outdoors, 35 Van Dam St. (tel. 518/587-0455).
Saratoga Springs is awash in splendid examples of Victorian and other diverse styles of architecture, from Queen Anne and Colonial Revival to early Federal, Greek Revival, and English Gothic. To get a feel for the array of styles, simply stroll down Union Avenue, Circular Street, and others in the historic district, or take a more systematic approach by following the self-guided walking tours laid out in brochures of Saratoga's Historic West and East Sides, available at the visitor center. Each highlights about two dozen buildings in a manageable walking area.
The small town of Ballston Spa, about 5 miles south of Saratoga Springs off Church Avenue (Rte. 50), is a Victorian village with about 20 or so notable houses and churches. Pamphlets for self-guided tours of Ballston Spa are also available at the visitor center.