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  • Writer's pictureAmy Leggett

Discover the Timeless Charm of the Victoria Pool in Saratoga Springs

Victoria Pool Saratoga Springs
The Victoria Pool on a Hot Summer Day

Tucked away, nestled along the edge of Saratoga Spa State Park, Victoria Pool is a hidden gem that treats visitors to a unique blend of old-world charm and modern-day relaxation. The historic site serves as a timeless reminder of the elegance and relaxation that Saratoga Springs is built upon. I am embarrassed to say that I have lived in Saratoga County for 20 years and I just recently visited this breathtaking spot for the first time! I didn't even know what I was missing all those years.

A Dip Into Victoria Pool's History:

Victoria Pool Saratoga Springs
Victoria Pool was Established in 1935

Victoria Pool opened its doors in 1935 and was the first heated pool in the United States. Then NY State Govenor Franklin D. Roosevelt was a strong proponent of Saratoga's healing spa waters and supported the construction of the pool as a part of a complete hydrotherapy program. The subsequent construction of Victoria Pool and the surrounding buildings used a traditional neoclassical architectural style with stately brick walls, arched promenades and sculpted accents. The Pool featured a limestone deck and and lion water spouts. It reflected the elegance of the wealthy visitors who frequently visited Saratoga at the time.

Today, after extensive renovations in 2005, Victoria Pool looks very similar to how it looked in 1935 and transports visitors back to an era of sophistication and grandeur. The Pool's original boilers used to heat the pool are too costly to run, so despite being the very first heated pool the water now feels a little cooler. It is probably warmer by now, but on opening weekend the water was...well let's say refreshing! At some point an alternative, less expensive energy source may be installed to heat the water. Until then, they say cool water is good for the circulation and it certainly feels nice on a hot, humid day.

Victoria Pool Saratoga Springs
The Water Was Chilly This Day...But Felt Refreshing Because the Temperature Was Hot!

An Oasis of Tranquility:

Victoria Pool Saratoga Springs
Beautiful Entrance to the Victoria Pool

One of the most captivating aspects of Victoria Pool is its serene and peaceful atmosphere. As I mentioned, Victoria Pool is located on the breathtaking grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park. There are many great attractions and sights to see at the Saratoga Spa State Park. Read about all there is to enjoy at this amazing public space in my blog about the Spa City's Crown Jewel here.

Victoria Pool is not the most obvious attraction in the State Park. It is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everything else going on in the Park. The Pool is situated on the very edge of the Park along side the tennis courts and the Saratoga Spa Golf Course Clubhouse. There is a small parking lot outside of the Golf Clubhouse and the 58 Roosevelt Bar and Grill (off Roosevelt Drive). Once you find the pseudo-secret location, you will walk along a path surrounded by lush greenery and shaded by towering trees to find the Victoria Pool entrance. The remote pool setting, surrounded by the beautiful buildings and the gorgeous natural landscape, offers the perfect spot for peace and relaxation.

Saratoga Springs Victoria Pool
Ready for a Relaxing Day Reading a Book with a Positive Self Affirmation for a Title!

While you are relaxing, keep your eye out for celebrities as several famous people have been spotted visiting Victoria Pool when they are in town. Maybe you've heard of Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow and the NYC Ballet? They have been spotted enjoying the tranquil and low-key setting of Victoria Pool.

Two State Park Pools to Choose From:

It should be noted that there are two pools located on the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park and their differences are very important depending on the type of day you are looking for. In addition to Victoria Pool, Peerless Pool is located in the State Park. Here are the major differences:

  • Peerless Pool is definitely geared towards a day at the pool with kids. There is a zero-depth entry pool, kiddie wading pool with a mushroom fountain and a 19' winding double water slide area. There is also a playground area right outside the pool grounds. Victoria Pool has no kiddie area and no swimming attractions like slides or diving boards, etc. Victoria Pool is definitely geared toward a more relaxing, adult day at the pool. Unfortunately, the day I visited Victoria Pool, Peerless Pool wasn't open yet and so all of the families looking to beat the heat headed over to Victoria Pool in the afternoon making for a much less tranquil environment. But that is not the norm so choose your pool accordingly.

  • To get to Peerless Pool you enter the Park from the northern entrance and will have to pay a Park visitor fee which is $10 per car. However, once you are in the Park entrance to Peerless Pool is free. To get to Victoria Pool you will enter using the entrance to the State Park off of S. Broadway down Avenue of the Pines (one of my favorite drives in Saratoga!). There is no Park entry fee coming from this direction, but there is an admission charge of $8 ($4 for children 5-11 and seniors 62+; no charge for children under 5) to get into Victoria Pool. So depending on the number and ages of the people in your party, it may be cheaper to go to Peerless. Another reason it is better for a day with the kids.

  • Food concessions are located around Peerless Pool, including a Ben and Jerry's ice cream stand. The only food option at Victoria Pool is dining inside or poolside at 58 Roosevelt Bar and Grill. They offer a full menu of lite fare. I ordered a turkey wrap with fries that was delicious and hit the spot. Of course you can always carry in your own picnic at both locations as well.

  • There is a poolside bar at Victoria Pool where you can order refreshing adult beverages. I had a yummy frozen Miami Vice cocktail (mixture of frozen Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri). No outside alcohol is allowed (although no one was really checking).

Saratoga Springs Victoria Pool Frozen Cocktails
Yummy Frozen Miami Vice and Margaritas!

What You Need to Know Before You Go:

Ok, now that you see what a beautiful spot Victoria Pool is and you have decided to check it out for yourself, here are the nitty gritty details you need to know before you go:

  • Victoria Pool opens weekends only from Memorial Day weekend until late June. This year (2024) Victoria Pool will be open daily beginning June 29 through September 2 (Labor Day).

  • Hours are 10 am to 6 pm

  • Fees (as noted above) are $8 for adults and kids over 11, $4 for kids 5-11 and seniors 62+, kids under 5 are free. For up to date information on opening dates, current hours and fees go to the website (or click here for direct access to the Victoria Pool link).

  • There are showers, changing rooms and bathrooms available for guest use.

  • There are lounge chairs and umbrellas available, but on a first come, first served basis. (NOTE: Regular Victoria Pool goers know that to secure these coveted items you need to line up before the pool opens...and I mean BEFORE the pool opens. The line starts VERY early. My friend offered to go at 8:30 to get in line and I thought she was crazy! But thanks to her we secured chairs and an all important umbrella (since I have to stay out of the sun due to my Lupus). When I got there at 10 (wayyyy too late if I didn't have an in-the-know friend), there was a huge line of people waiting and my friends were way at the front. But they weren't even at the front of the line. Some people had gotten there even earlier! If you are lucky, you will have a friend willing to go stand in line for hours like I did. Otherwise, just plan to bring your own chair and umbrella and it won't matter.

A Timeless Destination:

Saratoga Springs Victoria Pool Saratoga Spa State Park
Beautiful Victoria Pool Building

Victoria Pool in Saratoga Springs is more than just a place to swim and relax, it is a destination that captures the essence of a bygone era in Saratoga Springs while providing modern-day comforts. Its historic charm, combined with the natural beauty of the surrounding Saratoga Spa State Park, makes it a must-visit location for anyone seeking a unique and relaxing experience while visiting Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Springs Victoria Pool
A Window to the Victoria Pool Experience


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