All
Drinking with parents cover explore saratoga

A Downtown Saratoga Guide to Drinking with Your Parents

Sometime near the end of college, around the beginning of that painful transition to the real world, you start to recognize that your parents are people too, and they’re probably cooler th...
Cantina saratoga mexican restaurant

5 Mexican Restaurants in Saratoga Springs

When we’re craving a little spice from South of the Border, we don’t have to look too far for authentic food and drink. From classic guacamole to Mexican dishes with modern flair, and, of course, all the margaritas, there’s a range of delicious options right here in Saratoga. Cantina A post shared by Explore Saratoga (@exploresaratoga) on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:33pm PDT Front and center on Broadway, this is a festive spot for those feeling a fresh California-take on Mexican cuisine. We love popping in and ordering from the Bocaditos list (YES to the Mexican Street Corn, $6.95, and Cantina Nachos, $10.95), but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, especially when paired with a pitcher of fresh lime margaritas (Serves 5, $38). Get there early to snag a seat outside, order a sampling from their 150+ types of tequila and let the people-watching commence. Blue Agave A post shared by Blue Agave Saratoga Springs (@blueagavecantina) on Apr 28, 2017 at 1:35pm PDT Newer to the scene, Crescent Street’s Blue Agave blends traditional Mexican fare with modern creativity. There’s something for everyone with beautifully plated stand-bys like classic ground beef tacos ($12), or for a slight twist, pork carnitas with mango and pickled red onions ($14). But you’ll also find unique dishes like the seasonal guacamole with apple honey goat cheese, apples, dried cranberries and pecans ($10). El Mexicano A post shared by Matt Hunter (@mattylou19) on Mar 25, 2017 at 4:39pm PDT The walls of this South Broadway eatery are as colorful as the menu is authentic and the service is exceptional. Both food and drink are reasonably priced and the friendly staff have been known to pass out a free shot or two. $6.50 for a frozen margarita, with an extra side of free tequila? We’ll take it. Mexican Connection A post shared by Mexican Connection (@mexconnection) on Jan 22, 2017 at 10:30am PST There’s no shortage of tequila at this vibrant Mexican mainstay on Nelson Avenue, with the bar boasting 150+ varieties. The casual atmosphere is the perfect match for the menu, which houses all your comfort-food favorites. Insider tip: Order the guacamole ($9). Put it on everything. Order more guacamole. Esperanto We’re 100% guilty of stuffing our faces with a late-night doughboy or two (definitely not Mexican - hang with us), but believe it or not, this Caroline Street hideaway is open pre-12am and has a full menu of delicious street-inspired options from around the globe, with a notable focus on Mexican cuisine. There are a few tables, but we usually take out. Try the burrito and choose the black beans prepared with chipotle peppers and olive oil ($6.50 regular, $8.00 large).
Mint julep explore saratoga cover

Winning Cocktail Recipe: The Mint Julep

The southern-inspired bourbon concoction has been promoted by Churchill Downs as the Derby drink of choice since the late 30s, and the root of the recipe goes back a couple centuries before that. The sweet libation was sipped on the expansive porches of the South to help combat the summer heat. Once considered a drink of the elite, it’s served over ice (an expensive commodity when you don’t have a freezer) in a frosted silver cup. The average julep is much more accessible these days, but the Derby still famously offers a premium glass for a cool $1,000. While we likely won’t be indulging in juleps iced with spring water from the Alps, Saratoga certainly has the perfect scene for partaking. We have the horses, the history, the hot summers and the penchant for a good cocktail, which is why The Savory Pantry and Hamlet & Ghost have jumped in to make sure we’re doing the rest right. And of course in true race-day fashion, you’ll catch us sampling some juleps at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s annual Kentucky Derby Party on May 6, after which, the plan is to pop down to Hamlet & Ghost for their $8 Derby Day Julep special.  HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT MINT JULEP With the tools and ingredients from The Savory Pantry’s Classic Mint Julep Kit, Hamlet & Ghost mixed us up a tasty version of this time-honored cocktail and they’re sharing the how-to below. INGREDIENTS (makes one Julep): 6-7 fresh mint leaves 1 tablespoon simple syrup 2 ounces bourbonCrushed ice INSTRUCTIONS: Combine 1 tablespoon of simple syrup and a few mint leaves into Julep Cup and gently muddle (We used the Bourbon Barrel Foods Mint Julep Sugar for our simple syrup). Add a little crushed ice (filling Julep cup about half way) Add one-and-a-half ounces of bourbon and mix well Add some more crushed ice (don’t quite fill the cup yet) Then add another half ounce of bourbon and mix again Top with crushed ice, garnish with mint leaves and enjoy! GIVEAWAY Explore Saratoga and the Savory Pantry are giving away a Classic Mint Julep Kit (valued at $142) to one lucky bourbon lover. To enter, head over to our Instagram and/or Facebook pages and simply follow the instructions in the post. You can enter multiple times at both. Winner will be announced on Thursday, May 4th, around noon. Good luck! 
Saratoga jazz fest 1

Make the Most of Jazz Fest Weekend + 3 Can’t Miss Shows

With Jazz Appreciation Month in full swing, we’ve started looking forward to our own local nod to the genre, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival. And this time around, there’s extra cause to celebrate. The 40th Anniversary of Saratoga Jazz Fest will take place at SPAC on June 24th and 25th, with a full list of world-class headliners jamming the amphitheater and a line-up of fantastic bands lighting up the gazebo. As one of the best ways to kick off a Saratoga summer, you can bet we’ll be gracing the lawn with our favorite picnic blanket and basket full of seasonally appropriate food and libations (think a crisp bottle of rosé, berries, fresh cheese and warm baguettes…). We feel like we’ve got a pretty good handle on the best way to enjoy Jazz Fest weekend, so here’s an overview of our plans: MAKING THE MOST OF JAZZ FEST DAY 1 (Saturday):Start with brunch in Saratoga, followed by a morning stroll through the farmer’s market, hitting the regular booths and gathering bits for lunch. With blankets, baskets and chairs in tow, head to SPAC and spend an afternoon lounging with friends engulfed in a live playlist of smooth saxes and upbeat baselines. (Note: If primo lawn seats are your priority, you’ll want to get there first thing, lines have been known to start forming as early as 6am!). End the day downtown with dinner and cocktails at one of Saratoga's many incredible restaurants or, of course, at one of the Best Jazz Joints in Saratoga. DAY 2 (Sunday):Still hitting up brunch (obviously), but planning to order a SPAC PACK picnic (um, YES to gourmet sandwiches, salads and wine) from Putnam Market (call 587-3663 in advance). Today, we’ll spend time inside the amphitheater for a closer look at some favorite bands. And as the night cools off, it’s back into town for a cocktail before we bid the weekend adieu. We’re considering Jazz Fest the official start to summer, and even though it’s still a few weeks off, we’re clearly ready for it. Feel free to steal our jazzy weekend plans (see what we did there) and rearrange however you’d like. 3 CAN’T MISS SHOWS The SuffersReminiscent of St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Alabama Shakes and the like, The Suffers deliver some old school soul. Regardless of your preferences, there’s something here for everyone. Cory Henry & The Funk ApostlesIf you’ve cruised the internet for music any time in the past 5 years, you’ve come across a couple of tracks with Cory Henry on the keys. Catch this Grammy award-winner perform with his Funk Apostles in the gazebo, because we have a feeling it won’t be long before we’re listening from the nosebleeds. Jacob CollierTalk about being in the company of giants! This shockingly young prodigy busted onto the scene with his manager, the legendary Quincy Jones, and his buddy the great Herbie Hancock. Collier takes the stage as an “up-and-comer” with some serious punch. We’ll let the video speak for itself. OTHER DETAILS Saratoga Jazz Fest is family-friendly. Food and drink are available at concession or you can also bring your own. Line up EARLY for the best lawn seats. 2-Day Passes available until May 1. Re-entry permitted with wristband. Tickets: Lawn Single Day: $65, Lawn 2-Day Pass: $110; Amphitheater Single Day: $75-$105, Amphitheater 2-Day Pass: $130-$190; Lawn for kids 15 and under: FREE; Amphitheater for kids 15 and under and students with a valid I.D.: $20 (excluding Orchestra pit, $90).
1c jazz group old

Best Jazz Joints in Saratoga

The fact that we have great local jazz is nothing new, but with this being Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), we’re tipping our hats to a few spots doing the music, and of course, great food and cocktails, some serious justice. We’ve outlined three of our favorite places to pull up a chair, pour a glass and get lost in one of Saratoga’s best music scenes, with a few insider tips along the way. 9 Maple A post shared by Richard Kline (@shannonrosedesign) on Feb 20, 2017 at 8:47pm PST When you have more bottles of single malt than seats in your club, you have us listening. Not only does 9 Maple have the largest selection of single malts from Manhattan to Montreal in their 27-year-old club - they’ve got some of the best jazz names in the area and beyond, hitting every weekend. Names like Chuck Lamb come to mind, a local who’s played with some recognizable jazz families, like Brubeck. Insider’s Tip Angel’s Share Society is a fine way to acquaint yourself with those aforementioned single malts and other libations. On the first Tuesday of every month (outside of track season), you’ll take an educational journey through a whiskey, single malt, bourbon, and a cocktail for only $25. On our monthly calendar. ALWAYS. Mouzon House A post shared by The Mouzon House (@the_mouzon_house) on Aug 4, 2015 at 4:09pm PDT Built in 1883, Mouzon House doesn’t do farm-to-table because it’s trendy. The Pedinotti family has always been committed to making their restaurant(s) as high quality as it is comfortable since their time owning One Caroline. And the food isn’t the only thing local. Their gypsy-jazz and New Orleans cuisine, as well as bands seven days a week, will carry you far away from downtown Saratoga to a place you’ll never want to leave. Insider’s Tip We’re no sommelier, but our favorite pairing: Thursday, Crawfish beignets, French wine (a predominantly Carignan to be exact), and Hot Club Saratoga. What could be better? Oh wait, Thursday is ½ price bottles of wine - come with friends or a bad day. One Caroline A post shared by One Caroline (@onecarolinest) on Jul 27, 2015 at 4:54pm PDT We know the first block of Caroline Street can either be the best place to tie-one-on until the wee small hours of the morning (yes that’s a Frank Sinatra reference, look it up) or the last place you want to venture. Either mood, One Caroline will satiate your cravings for a casual atmosphere, with great drinks and food that’ll change your mind about calling it an early night, especially once the music starts (around 9 pm). We’ve never heard something we didn’t like at One Caroline - from the music of Bob Dylan to Ella Fitzgerald they’ve got a great mix of regulars and one-stops along a greater tour. Insider’s Tip If you are tying-one-on until the wee small hours of the morning (Did you look it up yet? Honor Frank.) don’t you even dare blow it and grab a slice of pizza or your classic dough boy/girl. One Caroline’s kitchen is open later than most (10 pm Friday and Saturday, 9 pm the rest). Those small plates will have you ordering up another smoked cocktail… just ask your bartender about it. Jazz Fest Giveaway  BTW… don’t forget to enter our ticket giveaway for the 40th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, happening at SPAC June 24th and 25th. You can enter via our Facebook and/or Instagram pages through April 30th.
Steph hogan explore saratoga

Happy Spring, Dog Lovers!

I realize spring officially started a few weeks ago, but it didn’t feel like it here in Saratoga. As a dog mom I always get excited when the patio furniture comes back out on Broadway and the higher temperatures bring more opportunities for doggy adventures. To celebrate the end of the deep freeze, I've compiled a list of my favorite, local, dog-friendly goodies and ideas to help you and your four legged friends enjoy this beautiful time of year. Bella & Lindy Saratoga Pet Boutique Bella & Lindy has AWESOME dog mom clothing. My favorite SUPER comfy sweatshirt, perfect for the cool spring nights, has to be their DOGS BEFORE DUDES print. They also have lots of natural biscuits (gluten-free treats too), dog coats, accessories and totally adorable toys. Saratoga Marketplace - 454 BroadwayBella & Lindy Website  Lazy Dog Co. Have a dog birthday coming up? Adoption anniversary? These are your people. Homemade dog cakes (pup pies) for any occasion. Lazy Dog Co. Website Stinky Dog Neon dog bowls are one of my favorite purchases to prepare my pups for the inevitable summer slobber. They also have stylish and bold bandannas, balls and accessories. 488 BroadwayStinky Dog Website Benson’s Pet Center Need a dog life vest for those spring/summer boat outings? I know my Australian Shepherd did NOT get the doggy paddle gene, so I stocked up here. Customer service at Bensons is always on point. They will help you find the perfect food, homemade biscuits, harnesses, hiking gear and anything in between. 3083 RT 50Benson's Website Spring Run Trail Here in Saratoga we are lucky enough to have city leaders that care about health and preserving our beautiful town. The Spring Run Trail is my favorite for this time of year because it's paved during the wet sloppiness of almost-spring and in the heart of downtown Saratoga. Parking is available off East Ave, behind Quality Hardware and EBI. Satatoga Plan Website - Spring Run Trail Unleashed Canine Care As a working dog mom, Courtney at Unleashed Canine Care has been my savior. From weekly walks to random check-ins, training and overnight care - there's no one I appreciate more. She truly loves your dogs and I'm starting to think my Sadie might like her more than me. Warmer weather doesn't always mean shorter work hours and Unleashed Canine Care is happy to help your 4-legged friend stretch those legs. Unleashed Canine Website Brown Dog Pet Spa Here comes the mud! My love for long-haired, high-maintenance, dogs is made manageable by Brown Dog. No matter your dog's skin-type, hair-type or personality-type, they have you covered. 40 Park @ 5 pointsBrown Dog Facebook Gunners Goodies If you are a dog mom (or dad) chances are you LOVE spoiling your babies. Bring them to the Saratoga Farmers Market & grab some all-natural Gunners Goodies treats. Made by dog lovers for dog lovers, because everyone deserves to eat clean. Gunners Goodies Facebook Impressions Though Impressions is not a dog-specific store, your dogs are greeted with a water bowl just outside of the store, biscuits upon entering and lots of love while their human shops. There is a large pet section with toys, frames, leashes, collars and tons of pet accessories. My dogs never leave empty-handed and they totally know it. 368 Broadway Impressions Website Enjoy the warmer weather (finally!!) and the muddy walks. We’ll see you on the streets for some patio dining and lots of tangled leashes. XO & Sloppy Kisses,Steph, Sadie & Teddy
Ultimate saratoga brunch guide

The Ultimate Saratoga Brunch Guide

Brunch… it really doesn’t get much better in our opinion, with breakfast and lunch classics available at the same time. But the options can prove daunting when it comes time to placing an order. Do you go sweet? Order breakfast? Or embrace the “lunch” side with something more savory? We find it easiest to decide while sipping on a bloody mary, mimosa or brunch cocktail. And now, thanks to a recent change in the New York liquor law, we no longer have to wait until noon on Sundays before we imbibe! We think that’s cause for celebration, don’t you? Read on for a rundown we’re calling our Ultimate Saratoga Brunch Guide, and find out what we’re enjoying (and sipping) once the weekend comes around! Max London’s Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. With a cool city vibe, this hotspot gets busy fast. If you plan to go on a Sunday you’ll definitely want to call ahead and make a reservation or risk a wait. We love their Belgian waffles and blue corn-buttermilk pancakes when we’re in the mood for a something more “breakfast-like,” or their Big Max burger once the clock strikes 12. Don’t forget to grab a bloody Mary, as there are several to choose from: classic, virgin, spicy hot, bacon, the harissa/lime-infused Morocco, and the bloody Maria, made with tequila and lime. They also have some amazing mimosas to choose from, if that if more your style. Prime at Saratoga National Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The prix fixe Sunday jazz brunch buffet is worth gathering the whole family together for, as children under 5 are free, adults are priced at just $32.95 and kids ages six to 12 are $18.95 each. You’ll find standards like muffins and bagels of course, but also French toast, scrambled eggs, Applewood smoked bacon and a chef-manned omelet station. Savory options include pastas, salads, peel-and-eat shrimp, seafood chowder and a carving station, which should keep even the pickiest eaters happy. If you manage to save room, you can finish things off with a dessert spread, including fresh fruit, shooters and fondue, before you head home. Oh, and there’s live jazz, as the name suggests. Hattie’s Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fried chicken and waffles? Count us in! Plus, Hattie’s vibe is super relaxed—which is just perfect, in our book. Although their scrambles change weekly, their biscuits and gravy and fried chicken with grits are major mainstays that keep us coming back for more. FYI, they’ve been using the same chicken recipe since 1938—in case you want to impress out-of-towners with some trivia. Snag a Hattie’s bloody Mary, served with a fried chicken wing, candied bacon and pickled okra, or go south of the border with an Island Michelada, made with Red Stripe. Salt & Char Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This place has been getting plenty of buzz since its spring 2016 opening, and with good reason—it’s damn good. But make a reservation or risk being left out in the cold. They do a quiche du jour which is worth asking about as is their merguez hash, although newbies should consider one of their benedicts: steak, pork belly or gravlax. And if you’re in need of a good excuse to get a little sip-happy, they also do $5 martinis on Sundays. You’re welcome. The Local Pub & Teahouse Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Try the Irish breakfast—Irish bacon, sausage and eggs—or the mushroom tartine and taste something out of the ordinary. Their Meaty Mary is accented with bacon, and their Spicy Mary is infused with sriracha chili sauce, or you can keep things simple and choose an original. They also have a solid rotation of craft beer on draft, which will keep any beer lovers more than happy. If you’re driving, or looking for something on the lighter side, opt for one of their specialty hot tea blends, like Japanese sencha or Parisian red and cozy up by their fireplace. If you fall in love, you can even get some loose tea bagged to go. The Merry Monk Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stop by this Belgian-inspired favorite and enjoy any one of their gorgeous omelets—like leek and gruyere, brie and chive or Southwest. They also do Belgian waffles and crepes topped with Nutella, strawberries or caramel, which will thrill sweet-toothed brunch goers. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the duck confit hash, or a breakfast flammkucchen, which is a sort of flatbread. Park Side Eatery Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays until 3:00 p.m. They may not have a brunch menu per se, but with breakfast available all day, every day, they certainly have what it takes! Park Side has a cool, NYC-deli style sort of vibe, where you order at the counter and service is quick. We are literally in love with their fresh, made-from-scratch doughnuts, but their challah French toast and farmhouse pancakes are also amazing. Standards like egg sandwiches, bacon and sausage abound, and there are a dozen gluten-free options for those living a g-free lifestyle. Did we mention they also do a fresh-squeezed mimosa, fresh bloody Mary (with homemade tomato juice), and are planning to unveil a series of brunch cocktails soon? They've got Cava and beer on tap, too. Ravenous Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Who doesn’t love crepes, sweet or savory? Whether you like yours stuffed with feta, spinach and tomato, or inspired by chicken cordon bleu, you’ll find it here—along with staples like chocolate-hazelnut spread, lemon curd, strawberries and caramel pecans. You can even build your own to suit, then pair it with a little something extra, like an apple cider, cranberry pear or orange mimosa. The Gideon Putnam Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eggs benedict, custom crepes and Belgian waffles top this brunch buffet, but hand-carved meats and smoked seafood are on hand for those pining for something a bit more savory. Adults can eat their fill for $27.95 each, while children six to 12 are just $16.95. Bring the whole family, as kiddies under five are free. Take a tip from us: Indulge yourself, then burn off a few calories afterwards with a stroll through the Saratoga Spa State Park. Beekman Bar + Eatery Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. With two-for-one mimosas offered all day long, you can spend the better part of a Sunday here and not even notice. Standard brunch options like chicken and waffles, eggs benedict and burgers are on the menu, but their French toast should not be missed. Order a few entrees to share and get tipsy. Sweet Mimi’s Cafe & Bakery Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) No true brunch here, but we promise you won’t miss it, as breakfast and lunch are offered here six days a week, from open to close. So basically ‘brunch’ is available all day, every day. Go classic with an omelette, or opt for the Roman eggs, dolled up with asparagus, prosciutto and shaved parmesan, and pair it with a bottomless mug of coffee. Or maybe feed your carb-craving with Jeannette’s Signature Buttermilk Pancakes, the lemon ricotta pancakes or the bacon pancakes which have crispy bacon folded into the batter. Just remember they don’t take reservations and the wait can be as long as an hour. You must show up in-person, add your name to the list and wait to receive a text once your table is ready. But we swear, it’s worth the wait. Gaffney’s Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This Saratoga hot-spot is under new ownership as of the end of January 2017 and we can’t wait to see what they have in store (stay tuned for updates of course). Word is they are expanding brunch hours, currently only offered on Sundays, and introducing an all new menu with weekly specials.  You don’t need to wait to enjoy this classic American brunch though. We suggest the house-braised corned beef hash topped with two eggs, sunny-side up, and Hollandaise sauce. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can’t go wrong with the homemade buttermilk pancakes or the waffles. We’re also looking forward to some really amazing bloodys and mimosas, but not to worry, they have both on the menu now. What’s your favorite brunch spot? We want to know! Tag us in your Facebook and Instagram photos with #ExploreSaratoga, for a chance to be featured!
Fireplaces cover 4

The Best Fireplaces in Saratoga Springs

Upstate New York is in the depths of winter, and it’s starting to take its toll. After all, one can only spend so many nights and weekend afternoons tucked away at home, before things get a little boring. The freezing temps and gloomy skies have worn us down and we’re all looking forward to warmer weather. Unfortunately, Punxsutawney Phil has said we’re in for another six weeks of winter... and judging by the 10-day forecast, he appears to be spot on! To help get you through, we’ve put together a list of our favorite fireplaces to sip (and sit) by, which are perfect for passing the time until spring. So grab a loved one and brave the cold. You’ll be glad you did! Henry Street Taproom This one’s a “not-to-miss,” as it’s quite possibly our favorite downtown fireplace. It’s also wood-burning, which adds some extra authentic flair, and is pretty much going non-stop throughout fall and winter. We love sinking into a deliciously luxurious leather chair (there are four fireside) with a hot toddy or craft beer, and spending hours chit-chatting with friends while the snow comes down. Full table service is available, so you won’t miss a beat. The Inn at Saratoga As the oldest operating hotel in Saratoga, this ranks as another favorite—especially as there are two historic fireplaces, each with a brick façade and antique wood mantle, topped with glorious 19th century mirrors. If you’re headed out for a quick drink, grab a seat in the tavern’s side room, located just off the bar, and pretend you’re in a Dickens’ novel (A Christmas Carol was released the same year the hotel opened, so you’re guaranteed a truly Victorian experience). Gas inserts keep things convenient, and allow guests a ready-to enjoy fire with the flip of a switch. Olde Bryan Inn Step inside and walk back into history, literally, as this inn was first established in 1773, with the old stone house portion of this Saratoga mainstay dating back to 1825.With three fireplaces to enjoy—two in the main dining room, and one in the tavern which still burns real wood—we’ll let you pick your favorite. But plan to get there early to claim one of the coziest seats in the house—on a cold night, the fireside bar stools, booths and tables are a hot commodity. The Local Pub & Teahouse With a solid craft beer list and fantastic brunch offerings, this neighborhood hangout is a great place to sit back with a few of your nearest and dearest. A broad table by this gas, stone-faced fireplace is always in demand, so plan ahead. Or simply grab your pint glass and hover nearby. The Brook Tavern Thanks to a gas-insert, this double-sided exposed brick fireplace with gorgeous wood mantle throws off quite a bit of heat, making what was once an 1800s’ horse carriage factory, truly cozy. With a pair of leather easy chairs on one side, and several cocktail tables on the other, there’s plenty of fireside seating. Tip: They do a great happy hour, so head here instead of a cold home once five-o-clock strikes. The Gideon Putnam Opened in 1935 alongside the Roosevelt Baths, the hotel remains a legendary place to celebrate with loved ones or sneak away. Its lobby, complete with two wood-burning fireplaces, dressed up with a white scroll-worked mantle, can transport even locals to another time and place and is often fairly quiet. Grab a cup of coffee and a newspaper and watch the time pass, or grab something adult-friendly in the evening hours with a date. The Wishing Well Their four fieldstone fireplaces—three or which are in the restaurant, and two of which are over 150 years old—are going all fall and winter long, thanks to convenient gas inserts. Eight tables sit adjacent and are always in demand. Two small tables located fireside in the oldest part of the restaurant are Valentine’s Day favorites, and are consistently reserved one year in advance. For something more spontaneous, head to the bar and enjoy the fire there. The Wine Bar This stone, gas-burning gem is a bit hidden underneath shelves of wine, so if you’re lucky, you can snag a table fireside and lose an evening while gazing out the large front window which overlooks Broadway. This is our absolute favorite spot to settle in with a glass of Malbec or Chardonnay, or perhaps a signature gin cocktail, and watch the snow fall. Longfellows With two giant, brick-faced, wood-burning fireplaces, you can have your pick—either the tavern, or the wine cellar. Both have two tables situated in front of them, are running consistently from late fall to early spring, and are always in demand. So call ahead, if you can, and round up friends and family to spend an evening, warm and cozy, in the very best company.
Steph cash hogan dog mom

But Can My Dogs Come?

They can... OK, count us in!!  As a Saratoga Springs native and proud dog mom of two, I frequently find myself researching fun and exciting new places to dine, exercise, and socialize with my pampered furry children. Saratoga Springs is known as a "dog friendly" town where there is ALWAYS a paw-some furry event happening. I will keep you updated on the latest dog friendly events as well as all the exciting options around town for dogs and owners alike, some with my personal experiences, pictures and testimonials!  A little bit about me and my furry babies: I am a first grade teacher in Galway NY, about 20 minutes outside of Saratoga. In my free time I am usually running, reading or catering to my ever-needy pooches. I currently have two *rescue* pups that I am proud to call my "children". My oldest, Sadie, is a Miniature Australian Shepherd who is 5 "going on 25" with her spunky attitude. She is an Adirondack-Save-A-Stray graduate who has successfully run my life the past (almost) six years. She is also certified as an Emotional Support Animal and comes into my 1st grade classroom as much as possible! My younger pup is Teddy, a Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd mix, who I rescued from H.O.P.E. (Homes For Orphaned Pets Exist) last April. He is my first male dog and definitely "ALL DUDE" as my mom likes to say. My husband was not keen on the idea of bringing a second dog into our lives because of our busy schedules and the ease at which Sadie travels, behaves and fits into our lives. After seeing Teddy on Steve Caporizzo's Pet Connection last winter, I instantly fell in love. Needless to say, Ted was in our home a week later. Ted is an avid runner and has logged up to a half marathon on the streets of Saratoga Springs with me. He has absolutely no regard for personal space and enjoys hugging everyone he meets. My dogs are my world and bring happiness into my life each and every day! There truly is nothing like the love of an animal, and there is no town better for dogs than Saratoga Springs! I hope to bring some stories, advice and dog-friendly happenings into your life so that you and your pets can have as much fun as I do with mine! Oh and I occasionally do some fun things without them too. Cheers and sloppy kisses!XO, Steph
Tuesday date night

Tuesday Date Night Deal: Beer and a Movie

When a local brewery offers a deal this good, it’s Beer Dinner and a Movie. Not to worry, I’ve got the food covered too. The weekend may be a perfect time to get out, catch up, and live life - but Tuesday has a couple of great advantages (sorry, Saturday). Put food and films together, and you have a classic combo for a date night. Whether you’re looking to stay in budget, or simply get out of the house, both Druthers and Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas offer some fantastic deals on Tuesday nights. We like to pair them up for a fun and affordable night out. First, the beer! Every Tuesday at Druthers, from open until close, pints are just $3.00. Even better, If you can make it in time for their daily happy hour, from 3 - 6pm, you can also get $2 off apps and wings (wine and cocktails too if you’re not beer drinker). That’s $2 per item btw. If you can’t get there before 6:00, don’t worry, the beers are still only $3! When you think about how many items your meal consists of, these add up to a great savings. After food and drinks at Druthers, the movie theater is just a few blocks away. On Tuesdays, showings at the Bow Tie Criterion are just $6.00 per ticket instead of the usual $12.50 (some holidays excluded). That means two for the price of one! While you might be ok with splurging on an Oscar-nominated film, why not use this weeknight deal for a fun comedy or other lighthearted date material. Don't get me wrong, weekends are fantastic. Sometimes we just need a treat before Friday comes along. Some cheap (and awesome) beer plus half-off at the movies is just the motivation we need to get off our butts and out the door.
23rd and fourth cover

Inspired by Design: 23rd and Fourth Opens New Showroom in Saratoga

Let’s face it, when it comes to shopping, we’re all looking for those unique items that will make us the envy of our social media followers. And when it comes to home décor shopping, this is no exception. The days of drooling over interior design posts on Pinterest and yearning for the finished product on your favorite HGTV shows are over. How will you get the look?   Welcome to 23rd and Fourth. Here you will clearly notice a departure from your standard, traditional furniture store. With a more urban vibe, 23rd and Fourth is offering everything from one-of-a-kind pieces and fully customizable furniture to high-end accessories that will transform any space. Owned by a mother-daughter team with a combined experience bridging over 20 years, 23rd and Fourth has taken their new showroom to another level. You may remember them from their former location in Franklin Square. The new store boosts wall-to-wall windows, a design center and double the square footage to serve their luxury clientele throughout the Capital Region and beyond. For a full list of their services, visit the 23rd and Fourth profile on Explore Saratoga. We had a sneak peak of the space last week and were pretty blown away by the selection. Grand Re-Opening is February 3. We suggest you check them out! 23rd and Fourth 130 Excelsior Avenue Saratoga Springs, New York 12866 518.584.3700 --------- Explore Saratoga Tips: #1 - 23rd and Fourth is participating in Saratoga Chowderfest this year, hosting Next Door Kitchen who will be searing a Smoked Haddock Chowder. They will be giving away balloons all day and there will be face painting from 11am-1pm. All of proceeds from chowder will be donated to Jake’s Help from Heaven. #2 – 23rd and Fourth is located across the street from the Saratoga Brewery. Have a partner who might not be as interested in shopping as you? Send them to sample some beer and have them leave the credit card with you.
Local egg nog exploresaratoga

Don't Forget the Eggnog!

‘Tis the season for eggnog and we’ve got some great local producers. While it seems the exact historic lineage of Eggnog is still very much a mystery, most seem to agree it originated from the medieval British beverage “posset,” a warm milk drink. Monks in the 13th century were then known to add eggs to this concoction. By the 1700s, the drink crossed the pond and became a holiday staple in America. The origin of the name Eggnog, is also not exactly clear. Some say “nog” comes from the word “noggin,” meaning a wooden cup, or “grog,” meaning alcoholic beverage. By the late 18th century, the combined term “Eggnog” seemed to stick around. Hey, works for us! We just want to get to the drinking. And calling all locals, bonus, we have several local dairy brands churning out high quality Eggnog, all conveniently available. Whether you like yours spiked or straight up, here are three of our favorites. Battenkill Valley Creamery With more than a century in dairy farming under their belt, Battenkill Valley Creamery is now being overseen by the 4th and 5th generations in Salem, NY. They were recently awarded the “Highest Quality Milk in New York State,” at the State Fair in Syracuse, which is used to make their seasonal Eggnog. So you do the math, their Eggnog is pretty damn delicious as well! For a list of locations where you can buy this creamy goodness, as well as delivery options, visit the Battenkill Valley Creamery website. Of course you can also stop by their Creamery Store and Ice Cream shop. King Brothers Dairy The King family has been producing milk from their grass, corn and alfalfa fed cows across the river in Schuylerville for over 100 years. The King Brothers not only make a delicious, high quality Eggnog, they sell it at their farmstand where you will find dozens of other regional and specialty food products. If you can’t make the short trip to Schuylerville, then look into their delivery service. Yes, they will deliver Eggnog, milk or anything else on their product list directly to you. Visit the King Brothers Dairy website for additional info or to place your order. Stewart’s Shops As if you didn’t already know, Stewart's has basically conquered every beverage offering possible from beer to energy drinks. And of course we all know about their high quality milk, which is collected from local family farms. So naturally they produce a premium eggnog. They also have a light nog, if you’re into that sort of thing. Today Stewart’s Shops has 335 locations across upstate New York and southern Vermont so chances are you can get to a location within minutes of reading this article. To find a store, drive in any direction, you will run into a Stewart's Shop momentarily. Or, I guess you could also visit the Stewart’s website. Now go get yourself some nog. You can thank us later! 
Gift guide 2016

Show a Little Local Love With Your Gifts This Year

Handcrafted and locally-made, these Saratoga County gems will inspire even the toughest on your list. It’s that time of year again, when our minds and our wallets are preoccupied with gift-giving, and an overwhelming need to find the perfect gift for our bosses/babysitters/in-laws/neighbors/longtime friends… As daunting a task as this may seem, Saratoga County residents don’t have to venture far beyond the 12866 to find fantastic, high-quality, locally-made products that demonstrate great taste, without breaking the bank. Read on to find out what’s at the top of our (local) wish list this year, and how you can win one of these treasures to give or keep (details at bottom of post)! Lather Bar Soap Company A photo posted by LATHER BAR™ Soap Company (@lather.bar.soap.co) on Dec 7, 2016 at 12:04pm PST Handcrafted, mineral-rich soap made with local Saratoga water is an easy way to extend a bit of luxury to a hard-working mom, busy father-in-law or jet-setting bestie. With options ranging from Lavender Fields and South Pacific Sea Salt, to Balsam Cedar and Chardonnay, you can literally find something for everyone. Their beer-infused collaborations with the likes of Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. and Lake Placid Pub & Brewery are so out-of-the-box, they will make even the most challenging loved one on your list swoon. Consider building your own gift set with a few of their handmade chapsticks and bath bombs, or book a soap-making class ($40), then design your own brew and make seven bars to gift! Stop by their studio/shop on Broadway to purchase or visit the Lather Bar website.  Razimus Jewelry A photo posted by Sustainable Fabric Jewelry (@razimusjewelry) on Oct 10, 2016 at 5:53pm PDT Each piece is lovingly handmade from vintage and recycled fabrics, and the end result is a sustainable, eco-conscious approach to jewelry that’s anything but ordinary. Owner Virginia Fretto believes in upcycling, and chooses pieces that are in line with fashion trends and color palettes—so even if you’re wearing a piece crafted from a vintage item, it still feels fresh. Designed to be stacked, consider packaging two or three together to give a lovely lady some real arm candy worth bragging about. Or choose one of their buffalo plaid styles for that hipster gent in your life. Available online, as well as at Lifestyles of Saratoga and the National Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Check out our interview with Virginia, from earlier this year, to learn more about Razimus. GTS Clothing A photo posted by GTS clothing (@gtsclothing) on Sep 27, 2016 at 4:49pm PDT Greater Than Sports offers body-friendly athletic wear infused with a comfortable, “casual street style,” which is exactly what people want these days. Each piece is made to order in fashion-forward styles which incorporate mesh, reflective prints and patches of sheen, making them as perfect for the yoga studio as they are for a day running errands, or even a Christmas Day hike. Smart accessories like hats, tees and tanks make for ideal stocking stuffers. Designed and made under the same roof in Ballston Spa, each piece is truly local from start-to-finish. Available online at the GTS website. Death Wish Coffee Co. A photo posted by Death Wish Coffee Company (@deathwishcoffee) on Dec 9, 2016 at 2:20pm PST Thanks to a genius Viking-inspired ad during last year’s Super Bowl, the entire nation is downing Death Wish, but locals can get it at the place where it all began: Saratoga Coffee Traders. Known for being the world’s strongest coffee, Death Wish offers beans by the pound as well as K-cups, plus tons of great merchandise to make you look as cool as you’ll feel. Stop by their Round Lake Headquarters, any local Price Chopper, Saratoga Coffee Traders or Healthy Living Market & Cafe in Wilton to purchase, or go online and visit the Death Wish Coffee website. Upstate Distilling Company A photo posted by Upstate Distilling Company (@upstatedistilling) on Nov 25, 2016 at 7:37am PST A bottle of Ryen’s Rye or Blinders Vodka will bring a smile to any booze-lover on your list. Upstate Distilling Company spirits are made with real Saratoga water, at the first distillery to open in the Spa City since prohibition, and are already gaining attention well outside of Saratoga County. Think big and pair a bottle with a set of glasses… then ask to be invited over for a tasting. You can pick up a bottle while visiting the distillery, after your tour and tasting of course, or at Purdy’s Discount Liquor Store.  If you enjoy local spirits as much as we do, take a look at our adult Advent Calendar. Saratoga Chocolate Company A photo posted by Allison Rose (@saratogachocolateco) on Nov 25, 2016 at 2:16am PST These homemade truffles, bars and barks will make your mouth water, so be sure to grab a few for safe-keeping (i.e. yourself). You can even step outside the box with their cocoas, which come in bold flavors like Mayan Spice and Orange Cinnamon. You’ve heard by now that it’s going to be a snow-laden, frostbitten winter, and quality drinking chocolate is sure to help you make it through. Pick them up at Romas, Putnam Market, Iron Roost or Fortunate Cup, or shop online in your pajamas by visiting the Saratoga Chocolate Company website. Holiday Giveaways Want to win one of these great local gifts? Make sure you’re following Explore Saratoga and these makers on Facebook and Instagram. We announcied six different opportunities to win... one each day, from Monday December 12th through Saturday December 17th. MONDAY: One Soap Making Class from Lather Bar Soap Company ($40 value).  TUESDAY: The Janelle Bracelet by Raziumus Jewelry ($58 value) WEDNESDAY: Dark Chocolate Lovers Collection from Saratoga Chocolate Co. ($18 value) THURSDAY: Bottle of Ryen's Rye Whiskey from Upstate Distilling Company. ($48 value) FRIDAY: One lb of Death Wish Coffee plus their 2017 Ceramic Mug ($55 value) SATURDAY: $100 Gift Card from Greater Than Sports ($100 value) Winners will be slected at random and announced on Christmas Day! You can enter to win one item or all six and you can enter on both Facebook and Instagram to increase your chance of winning. Be sure to share with your friends/family so they can enter to win too. Good luck!!  Happy Holidays!
Victorian street walk cover

A Stroll Through History: 30th Annual Victorian Street Walk

Bundle up and take a step back in time during the 30th Annual Victorian Streetwalk on Thursday, December 1st from 6:00 to 9:00PM. This is a favorite events among locals. Broadway is closed for the evening and thousands come out to kick off the Christmas season, with carolers, live performances, food and a visit from Santa. As you are walking around town tonight, enjoying the entertainment and decorations, take a minute to appreciate the stunning architecture and rich history of these buildings. Some of them date back to the 1800s. Here are five we just can’t get enough of. 297 Broadway - Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center Today the three grand arches of this landmark welcomes visitors from near and far much like it did when it was constructed. The Hudson Valley Railroad built this impressive Beaux-Art style trolley station in 1915 to serve as the gateway for those who wanted to taste the natural spring waters at the newly established Saratoga Springs Reservation, today known as the Spa State Park. The trolley passed by the rear of the Lincoln Baths to allow passengers to disembark to enjoy the baths and then continued on to Ballston Spa and Schenectady. With the increased popularity of the automobile, trolley service ceased. In 1941, the building was purchased by New York State and rededicated as the Drink Hall, a place to buy the state-owned bottled mineral waters. Drink Hall closed in 1965 and was deeded to the City. After serving many uses, the building once again welcomed visitors when it was designated the Visitor Center in 1987.   As you walk up to this great building, be sure to check out the two exterior bas-relief murals – right, Sir William Johnson visiting the High Rock Spring and left, the surrender of British General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga in 1977.   25 Washington Street - Universal Preservation Hall Many of you have seen this steeple from afar, as it is one of the tallest in Saratoga Springs standing at 129’ tall. On the night of the Victorian Streetwalk, this beautiful High Victorian Gothic building will serve as a community gathering space much like it did historically. In 1871, the Methodist Church constructed this church for its local congregation as well as to host Annual Methodist Convention. Over 1,000 people traveled  from near and far to attend the convention to hear various famous people speak – William Jennings Bryan, Frederick Douglas, and Theodore Roosevelt, just to name a few.   In 1976, the Methodist Church constructed a new church and the Universal Baptist Church purchased the building the following year. With a dwindling congregation, the building fell into disrepair. The roof started to collapse and the City condemned the building.   In the late 1990s, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation took initial steps to stabilize the building to prevent its demolition. Out of this effort, the non-profit Universal Preservation Hall was formed to adapt this majestic church to serve as a community performing arts center, a special events space, and the sanctuary of the Universal Baptist Church. Before you leave this space be sure to check out the amazing auditorium with 44’ ceiling and beautiful abstract, non-denominational stained glassed windows.   472 Broadway - Fallon Wellness Did you know that this space has been a pharmacy in the Ainsworth Building since 1871, when the building was constructed? Menges & Curtis Apothecary, established in 1860, is one of the oldest pharmacies in the country. Today we know it as Fallon Wellness Pharmacy, but we are still reminded of its origins from the nearly unchanged storefront to the Menges & Curtis sign above the awning.   Architect Gilbert B. Croft designed this handsome Italianate commercial block building with shops on the first floor and offices and apartments on the floors above for community leader Seymour Ainsworth. Don’t forget to look up otherwise you might miss the date of construction in the pediment above as well as the beautiful ornate tall narrow windows with their decorative hoods. 473 Broadway - The Adirondack Trust Company It is hard to not feel as sense of strength and stability when you walk up the white marble stairs of this impressive structure, which was exactly the intent of its architect Alfred Hopkins. Hopkins designed this impressive structure for the Adirondack Trust Company in 1916, replacing the previous building on the site that they had outgrown. The Adirondack theme is carried throughout the building inside and out. The crowning ornament of the primary façade is a large shield with a stag’s head, signifying the name Adirondack, flanked on each side by horns of plenty and the American eagle. The bronze front doors that grace the building depict an Adirondack mountain scene with stags, considered a noble animal of the Adirondacks that symbolize strength, in the foreground. Inside, the chandeliers also feature stag heads, clusters of acorns of the Adirondacks that symbolize the storing of wealth, and the zodiac signs.    Perhaps learn a lesson or two about the virtues of honesty, industry and thrift while inside by reading the sayings highlighted in gold Roman lettering.   475 Broadway - United States Post Office  There is much more to this building than being just a convenient place to send a letter. It has impressive decorative bronze doors that open into a lovely space that is lit by natural light from the skylight.   James Knox Taylor designed this 1910 building in the popular Beaux-Art style. In 1977, the federal government attempted to close the post office. Then Mayor Raymond Watkins personally sued to stop the closer and was successful. A second attempt was made in 1993 and was again thwarted by citizens of Saratoga Springs who devised a plan to divide the space to allow for a commercial tenant to provide a source of revenue to fund the maintenance of this historic building. Don’t miss the wonderful murals of the Saratoga Racing Season by Guy Pene du Bois that grace the interior. Trained in Paris, Du Bois focused on scenes of the fashionable life so it was only appropriate that the painted scenes of Saratoga Race Course. The murals were created during the Depression under the Treasury Relief Art Project, a program that awarded commissions to fine artist to create works of art to enhance federal buildings. Samantha Bossart is the executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation which promotes and preserves the architectural, cultural and landscaped heritage of Saratoga Springs, NY.
Explore saratoga 2016 advent

Get into the Holiday Spirit with 24 Days of Glorious, Local, Craft Booze

Remember those advent calendars you had as a kid? The best ones always had tiny squares of chocolate hidden under mini flaps, each marked for a day in December. Knowing you had something sweet to look forward to before bedtime underscored a lesson in patience, and helped make the countdown ’til Christmas a bit easier. But we have an even better way—although admittedly stronger—to help you keep track of the number of sleeps until Santa. A build-it-yourself advent calendar, featuring delicious, craft beer, cider, wine and spirits, all from local purveyors. Get started today and give yourself something that gives back this year: good, old holiday cheer. Upstate Distilling Company THU, DEC 1 Get into the spirit of things with Shmaltz Brewing Company's Messiah Nut Brown Ale, a World Beer Championship gold-medal winner.   FRI, DEC 2 Ease into the weekend with Olde Saratoga Brewing Company's Death Wish Coffee Nightmare IPA, which you guessed it—has a coffee-infused finish. SAT, DEC 3 Pick up a bottle of Ryen’s Rye with notes of pepper and honey, from Upstate Distilling Co., and embrace the season alongside some great friends. Druthers Brewing Company SUN, DEC 4 Mix yourself a Bloody Mary with some real kick, by opting for High Rock Distillery's Pepper Shine, infused with Serano, Poblano, Jalapeno, Chipotle and Habanero peppers. MON, DEC 5 With four more days until the weekend, pour yourself a bit of relaxation with Saratoga Winery’s Spitfire, aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels with pomegranate undertones. TUE, DEC 6 Keep things light with The Dare (Gose) from Druthers Brewing Company. Brewed with coriander and a dash of salt, you’ll love it for its citrusy, wheaty flavor. Oh and we should mentioned it’s $3 at Druthers, every Tuesday, from open to close. WED, DEC 7 Get over hump day with a strong Scotch Ale from Davidson Brothers Brewing Company, that has just the right amount of sweetness—and 8.3% ABV. THU, DEC 8 Try Saratoga Apple’s Hard Cider, made with a blend of 40 different apple varieties. Stop by their Schuylerville farm, open daily, and grab a big bottle to share. FRI, DEC 9 Track season may be over, but you can still enjoy the flavor with Trappists at the Track, a Belgian Triple from Artisanal Brew Works, which boasts a “perfect balance” of malt, hops and yeast. SAT, DEC 10 Pour two-fingers-worth of Yankee Distillers’ Colonial Rum, and embrace the holiday spirit, literally, the way it was done in days of old. Artisanal Brew Works SUN, DEC 11 With hints of dark chocolate and coffee, feel free to open a bottle of Argyle Brewing’s Oatmeal Stout whenever the “it’s five o’clock somewhere” feeling hits. MON, DEC 12 Go bold, with Fruit of the Forest Hard Cider from Nine Pin, made with sour cherries and sumac cones for “rich, woody fruit notes.” TUE, DEC 13 Adirondack Brewery’s Dirty, an unfiltered American Pale Ale, has loads of citrus flavor and a rousing grapefruit aroma. WED, DEC 14 Go traditional with Lake Placid Pub & Brewery’s Ubu Ale, a garnet-hued classic English-style strong ale with a mild bitter finish. THU, DEC 15 The Derailer IPA by Artisanal Brew Works, a nod to the old Serotta facility they now brew in, is an East Coast-style IPA with an emphasis on flavor hops. FRI, DEC 16 Grab a big growler of Druthers' Fist of Karma Brown and some friends and kick off the weekend right, with hoppy, malty flavor. SAT, DEC 17 Impress your loved ones with a nip of Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery's Sly Fox Gin, made with juniper berries, botanicals and real Adirondack mountain water. Albany Distilling Co. SUN, DEC 18 Get yourself ready for a busy week, with Albany Distilling Co.’s Death Wish Coffee-Flavored Vodka, made with the legendary cold brew and smooth vodka. MON, DEC 19 Brighten up a Monday with Brown’s Brewing Co.’s Cherry Razz, brewed with crushed cherries and raspberries. TUE, DEC 20 Make gift-wrapping less daunting, by opening a bottle of Ledge Rock Hill Winery’s Marquette, with blackberry, plum, spice and pepper notes. WED, DEC 21 On the shortest day of the year, embrace whatever daylight we have left with Common Roots Brewing Company’s Daylight Double IPA. THU, DEC 22 Warm things up from the inside, out, with Winter Warmer, from R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery. Brewed with orange peel and classic holiday spices, like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, it’s sure to get you into the mood for the holiday. FRI, DEC 23 A longtime holiday favorite, Adirondack Winery’s Red Carriage has cranberry notes, and is a perfect base for mulled wine. SAT, DEC 24 It's Christmas Eve! Hopefully your shopping is done and your presents are wrapped. Time to sit back with your loved ones, in front of a nice warm fire, and sip some Bullhead Bourbon from Lake George Distilling Company. Looking to knock more than one off your list at once? Consider the Hoppy Trails Brew Bus for a pre-Christmas get-together with friends. Enjoy yourself—but remember to always drink responsibly. Happy Holidays!
Turkey trot cover

A Turkey Trot Through History

Planning to burn off some calories during the 15th Annual Christopher Dailey Turkey Trot in Saratoga Springs this year? Don’t forget to check out the scenery while racing your way up North Broadway and back.  474 Broadway: City Hall The City of Saratoga Springs was not incorporated until 1915, so what we know as City Hall was originally built as Town Hall in 1871. This handsome Italianate building was designed by architects Cummings and Burt who were paid a mere $300 for their design. The structure cost $109,999.46 to construct and originally was topped by a bell and clock towers. These were removed in 1936 due to safety reasons. Be sure to wave hello to “Nobility” and “Magnanimity,” the two lion statues next to the front steps. 510 Broadway: Algonquin Building We’ve all been watching the multi-million dollar award-winning rehabilitation of the Algonquin this past year, but it was just as costly to build it. According to the Daily Saratogian, the cost to construct the luxury Romanesque influenced apartment building in 1892 was approximately $129,000, a significant amount for the day. James H. Pardue, an owner of a china, crockery and glassware shop China Hall, hired prominent local architect S. Gifford Slocum to design the building. Known then as the Pardue Building, it was constructed in phases with the center section built first. Pardue resided in the southern portion of the building in an apartment that had ornate woodwork, wainscoting, built-ins and fireplaces – much of which still exists today. 563 North Broadway: Dr. Adelbert Hewitt House We recognize this beautiful Queen Anne as the office of Witt Construction, but it was originally built in 1884 for well-known physician and surgeon Dr. Adelbert Hewitt, for his home and office.  Later it was home and office of Dr. Arthur Leonard, who in 1952 was serving as the Commissioner of Public Safety and was charged with conspiracy and bribery as part of the Kefauver investigation of illegal gambling in Saratoga Springs. He was believed to be allowing gambling to go on rather than putting an end to it, but the charges were dismissed. In 1964, the Salvation Army purchased the house and many alterations were made during this time, including the removal of the front porch and cladding it in aluminum siding. In 1999, John Witt of Witt Construction and Jim Sasko of Teakwood Builders purchased the building and restored it to the original grandeur based on historic photographs. 605 North Broadway - Senator Edgar T. Brackett House Many of us recognize the name Edgar T. Brackett as the principal founder of the Adirondack Trust Company, but he is also known for being a prominent local attorney, New York State Senator, and for crafting the legislation with Spencer Trask to save Saratoga’s spring waters and creating the Saratoga State Reservation, which is known today as the Spa State Park.  Brackett had this half-timbered with brick Queen Anne home built for him and his family - his two sons, Edgar and Charles. Edgar died at the age of 9 and Charles went to gain fame in film, working with Billy Wilder on 13 films. In addition to receiving an Honorary Academy Award for outstanding service, he won Academy Awards for his screen writing of The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, and Titanic.   655 North Broadway - W. Stone Smith Cottage There is a long-standing tradition of homes on North Broadway being used only during the summer. W. Smith Stone, a principal of a well-known stove manufacturer in Troy, built this beautiful Shingle style house to serve as his summer residence.  The house later became the home of John K. Walbridge, the president and manager of The Saratogian. John collapsed at the desk in his office and was brought to the house where he died. Upon his death, the entire first page of the Saratogian was his obituary. Today, you can see the typeset for that edition in Greenridge Cemetery as it was incorporated into his gravestone. In 1954, the house was turned into five apartments. It was returned to single-family residence in 2008.   658 North Broadway - Mary S. Wayland House Today we see this graceful white Colonial Revival with double-gallery porches that face the expansive south lawn, but this was not the first house constructed at this site. In 1876, Mary S. Wayland demolished the original 1856 house and built a new house on the site. A year later she passed away and Eugene O’ Connor acquired the property. In 1888, he hired prominent local architect S. Gifford Slocum to do extensive renovations. In 1918, the Queen Anne with wrap-around porch was purchased by the Van Duesens. That same year, architect Alfred Hopkins, who also designed the Adirondack Trust Company Bank on Broadway, was hired to transform it into what you see today.   688 North Broadway - Southgate-Breslin- Green Cottage Ever wonder why some houses in Saratoga Springs have a unique looking roof? The character-defining feature of the Second Empire style is the mansard roof, which was named after 17th century French architect, Francois Mansart, and was designed to gain usable attic space. This beautiful house was built on speculation in 1877 and served as the summer residence for a number of wealthy residents. In 1915, the house became a year-round residence for Colonel Edward Green and his family. The Green family sold the house in 1931 and for periods of time throughout the 1930s and 1940s the house was vacant. In 1946, the house was turned into a boarding house, the Pines Tourist House. In 1975, it was returned to a single-family residence.   719 North Broadway - King- Fuller-Jeffords Cottage We all know that there is a high price tag for the homes on North Broadway, but this was even true back in 1875 when Dr. Benjamin W. King of Fort Edward built this Italianate style summer residence in 1875 at a reported cost of $30,000, the equivalent of $630,000 today. In 1882, the King family sold the house to Joseph W. Fuller of Troy who also used it as a summer residence. Fuller was president of the Fuller and Warren stove manufacturing firm, which produced up to 60,000 stoves, ranges, and furnaces annually and had sales buildings in New York, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco and other cities across the country. In 1946, Walter and Kay Jeffords, a successful racing family with two Belmont Stakes champions, acquired the house and it served as a summer residence for over 50 years. Ironically, a heating system was never installed in this house since it always served as a summer residence. 740 North Broadway - Henry Hathorn House Henry Hathorn, part owner of the United States Hotel, built this handsome Queen Anne in 1884 and was the home of three generations of the Hathorn family, until 1970. At some point the original front porch was removed. This year the current owners restored the beautifully ornate porch based on historic photographs. Why else do you recognize Hathorn’s name? He sold his interest in the United States Hotel to become part owner of the Congress Hotel, which burned in 1866, the night before opening for the season. While excavating to construct the new hotel the Hathorn Spring was discovered.   791 North Broadway - Lucy Skidmore Scribner House You probably know this home as the official residence of the president of Skidmore College, but that wasn’t always the case. The gambrel roof Queen Anne was purchased in 1897 by Lucy Skidmore Scribner, who was the widow of J. Blair Scribner of the Scribner Publishing Company. In 1903, she founded of the Young Women’s Industrial Club of Saratoga, which was chartered as a four year liberal arts college in 1922. During her ownership the porte-cochere over the driveway and the upper sun porch, referred to as “the nest” in her diaries, were added. Upon her death in 1931, Skidmore College acquired the house. In 1937, the college exchanged the house for another house closer to the original Union Avenue campus, located at 46 Circular Street. The college reacquired the house in 1964 and in 1987 it became the official residence of the president. For race details visit the Christopher Daily Foundation website. Samantha Bossart is the executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation which promotes and preserves the architectural, cultural and landscaped heritage of Saratoga Springs, NY.
Mens facial

Guys... Get Your Spa Game on at Complexions

It’s easy to talk a big game when you are the best at what you do. Heck, our town’s slogan is “Health, History & Horses,” so you know when you descend on Saratoga Springs, you are going to find the best of the best in these categories. We are not going to spend any time today discussing the world-class horse racing or the endless historic sights our town is famous for, you will hear all about that another day. Today, we want to let you in on a little health experience. Health in the slogan refers to the famous mineral springs and spas that punctuate the landscape of town. And here at Explore, we love a spa day and would like to share with you some of our favorite treatments taking place at Complexions Spa. More specifically, treatments that cater to men. Yes, men’s treatments! Along with the classic barbershop offerings of fancy hot-shaves and no-nonsense, in a good way, manicures, there are a variety of men’s specific treatments such as the Gentleman’s Rebalancing Facial that we find ourselves going back to again and again. This facial is not only deep cleansing but it is also extremely soothing should you suffer from too many car shaves or spending one too many days on your paddleboard sans sunscreen. This treatment will be sure to leave your damaged skin renewed and restored. And if that doesn’t sound enticing enough, Complexions Spa offers complimentary sauna, steam, cold plunge rain shower and access to their incredible relaxation room complete with panoramic views of Congress Park. You can relax here before or after your treatments for as long as you like! With an organic tea bar, fresh snacks and complimentary wi-fi, we might just make this our new satellite office. Complexions is located at 268 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. For more information, check out their profile.  Check out some deals for Dad... http://www.complexions.com/fathers-day-specials/ 
Best of ig february 6

Our Favorite Instagram Pics from February 2016

The mild temps continued throughout February making way for one of the busiest Chowderfests on record. We got just enough snow for a fun sculpture on Broadway and just enough cold for some beautiful shots of a frozen Saratoaga Lake. But overall, it seems like Saratogians spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying this warm winter. If you would like to see your photos featured on our Instagram or here on our blog, please be sure to follow us and use our hashtag, #ExploreSaratoga. Sunset over a frozen Saratoga Lake A photo posted by Aerial Photography by Eric (@ttsupra628) on Feb 1, 2016 at 1:43pm PST Exploring the Saratoga Spa State Park A photo posted by Michelle Johnsen Photography (@thankyouplum) on Feb 6, 2016 at 8:54am PST What is winter in Saratoga without Chowderfest? A photo posted by Saratoga Food Fanatic (@ashleydingeman) on Feb 6, 2016 at 8:58am PST We got just enough snow for this... A photo posted by Explore Saratoga (@exploresaratoga) on Feb 10, 2016 at 12:42pm PST And this... a snowy Saratoga Performing Arts Center A photo posted by Elizabeth DellaRocco (@liz_to_the_d) on Feb 10, 2016 at 11:57am PST Our friends at Hamlet & Ghost just keep impressing A photo posted by Hamlet & Ghost (@hamletandghost) on Feb 10, 2016 at 1:37pm PST February hiking (sans snow) at Saratoga National Historical Park A photo posted by 💖Amanda DeLuke💖 (@rainbowmandy) on Feb 12, 2016 at 5:52pm PST At least we got some winter weather for this guy A photo posted by Just Jack (@itsjustjackdog) on Feb 15, 2016 at 4:15pm PST Foggy February morning at the Oklahoma A photo posted by @anneswashingtoninn on Feb 25, 2016 at 5:08am PST The ice on Saratoga Lake is breaking up A photo posted by Andrew Figliozzi (@eh_figs) on Feb 29, 2016 at 4:03am PST


Featured Businesses

Show More