Saratoga, New York, is a beautiful old city known for mineral springs and baths, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Skidmore College, and--oh yes--the oldest horse-racing track in the United States, dating back to 1863. The racing season for Saratoga is about 6 weeks long, from late July through Labor Day. Thousands of people from around the country and abroad flock to Saratoga to see, and be seen at, the Track each season.
My husband and I try to get to the races once a season, usually on one of the "give-away" days. On these days just $3 gets you into the track to watch the races and you get some kind of free souvenier as well. We have gotten several different T-shirts over the years, tote bags another year, and our latest freebee-- logo-embellished hats.
Of course the free stuff is not the only reason to attend; it's fun to watch the horses, feel the excitement, and even win a little money. We are very conservative gamblers, feeling great satisfaction if we are able to go home with as much money as we brought. This year we may have lost a couple of dollars, but it was great fun doing it!
So if you are planning to be in upstate NY during the month of August, give Saratoga a try. Even if you don't get to the racetrack, people-watching, shopping, dining at first-class restaurants, and gawking at the amazing Victorian architecture will entertain you enough to make your trip worthwhile.