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Saratoga Spa State Park, NY

After a morning of heavy writing and editing for the Fall 2008 issue of the magazine, I broke out of the trailer with Eleanor and we rode over to Saratoga Spa State Park to check out the facilities.   As I mentioned yesterday, this is part of the prep work for the Vintage Trailer Jam 2008.   We’re trying to camp up to 100 trailers, many without holding tanks, in a place that is not designed for camping, and so there are many logistical challenges.

But driving and walking around the park, I was seriously impressed — it is a beautiful park, full of shady picnic spots, handsome brick buildings from the romantic age of mineral water health spas, and lots to do.   It will be worth the effort, I think.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is just a couple hundred feet from where we’ll be camped, just a hop across a park road.   We’ll be holding our seminars inside that building, so everyone attending the Jam or paying the “walk in” fee will get free unlimited admission.   In fact, they’ll get a year’s membership at the museum.

saratoga-spa-water-filling.jpgAlso right next door to the Jam site a free filling station for spring water.   The filling station has both the “state seal” water that was sold for many years, and mineral water.   That mineral water is definitely an acquired taste, quite strong, but the spring water is delicious. It’s free for the taking, as much as you want, as long as you bring a jug.   (There aren’t any hose connections for filling your trailer.)

The SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) is a short walk away. There are multi-use trails for cycling and walking, and dozens of acres of open green lawns for picnicking and hanging out. There are two major spas on site, plus a luxury hotel, the Victoria Pool, beautiful and free clay tennis courts, and more.

Just outside the park, about a mile away, is downtown Saratoga. The downtown is exceptionally full of preserved historic architecture, but most of the really good stuff is a block or two off the main street.   We spent a couple of hours walking the area and I was really amazed with the incredible buildings that managed to survive 50’s “urban renewal.”   They are now the cornerstones of a lively downtown, which has great shopping, dozens of restaurants and cafes, free wifi all over, museums, etc. It is a really fun place and worth a couple of days by itself.

The whole city is impressive, really. It has much more in the way of entertainment, attractions, and history than older and bigger towns.   It’s surprising to me that I never discovered it all before, since I’ve driven past Saratoga Springs dozens of times on I-87.   But at least we’ve found it now.


After mapping out routes in and around the park, and other details necessary for people coming to the Trailer Jam, we joined our courtesy parking hosts at a local pizzeria   and then finished off the last of Eleanor’s key lime pie.   It has been a full and productive day, the kind I like, and now that I’ve had a chance to see a little of Saratoga Springs, I’m looking forward to coming back in July.

One Response to “Saratoga Spa State Park, NY”

  1. abe & melissa Says: