When the need to rejuvenate hits you, head to upstate New York from Harlem to quiet, beautiful Saratoga Springs for a weekend filled with culinary delights, historic sites and healing waters not found anywhere else in the world.
A former hot spot frequented by royalty and celebrities for the summer horse season and the original wellness destination, Saratoga Springs has a small town look and feel with cosmopolitan amenities.
After arriving in Saratoga Springs by Amtrak or car, a mere three-hour drive from New York City, book a stay at the historic Gideon Putnam, the only resort located on Saratoga Spa State Park. A lush property that features 124 guest rooms, including suites with scenic porches and spacious parlors, the grounds feature four clay tennis courts, four hard courts, two golf courses, two outdoor swimming pools and a 24-hour fitness center. The resort is also pet-friendly.
The spacious grounds are home to manicured lawns, a main drive framed by pines, several paths for walking and gorgeous brick complexes that highlight the beauty and simplicity of the area. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy biking and hiking in the summer, and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. A complimentary shuttle is offered to guests to make the five-minute trip to downtown Saratoga.
Start your weekend with a spa day at the Roosevelt Baths & Spa located a short walk from the Gideon Putnam. The facility opened in 1935 as a bathhouse and today, all 44 private treatment rooms are still decorated with the original tile and original deep bathtubs. It is also one of the only places on earth where you can experience the natural healing water from the Lincoln mineral spring. Before your treatment, relax with a steam and grab a cup of tea or fresh fruit in the relaxation room. After the mineral bath, follow your therapy with a massage, facial or body wrap.
For dinner, head to downtown Saratoga Springs to 15 Church. This cozy yet sophisticated eatery is located in a restored historical building, and is the perfect gathering spot for weekend cocktails or an extraordinary meal. The restaurant is a collaboration between Chef Thomas Burke and Paul McCullough, and the eclectic menu is comfort-food-meets-creative-essence, with fun appetizers such as the Scallion Pancake with King Crab made with farm egg, sesame, oyster sauce and wasabi crema.
The entrées are just as fabulous, with a Panko Crusted Tuna, Braised Beef Short Rib and a USDA Prime Filet Mignon gracing the menu. One thing not to miss is the extensive cocktail menu. From the namesake 15 Church Cocktail (St. Germaine, Pama, Champagne, pomegranate arils, crushed ice) to the Champagne Mojito (El Dorado three-year cask aged white rum, fresh lime juice, fresh mint, simple syrup and Champagne), 15 Church proves they know their libations.
The next morning, start off with a guided tour of the Saratoga Spa State Park. Listed as a National Historic landmark, the park is home to not only the Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths & Spa, but also the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Saratoga Automotive Museum and the Spa Little Theater.
The Roosevelt Baths & Spa recently named Trent Millet, an author, speaker and leading authority on mineral water, the official Water Wellness Expert. During his “Walk, Talk and Taste” tour, Trent introduces guests to the healing properties and history of the mineral springs found in Saratoga Spa State Park. Not only informative, the walk is beautiful and each spring has its own personality to go along with the different mineral content.
After the walking tour, continue the adventurous day by picking up bikes and exploring on two wheels. Saratoga Springs has several multi-use paved paths that connect towns while framed by beautiful rivers and lakes. Stop at the Spa City Farmer’s Market on Sundays, where you can feast on local bites, listen to live music and grab some souvenirs made by locals. Truly a calming getaway, Saratoga Springs is the place for renewal (source).