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  • Writer's pictureAmy Leggett

How to Spend a Lovely Afternoon in Historic Congress Park in Saratoga Springs

Congress Park Saratoga Springs History
Entrance to Historic Congress Park off of Broadway

When visiting Saratoga Springs, you should definitely plan to spend a lovely afternoon exploring the Historic Congress Park. It is located right off of Broadway in the middle of the city. There are many ways to enjoy Congress Park and to take it all in will definitely take a few hours. Here are the best ways to spend an afternoon in Congress Park:

  • Have a Picnic! If it is lunch or dinner time, grab some grub and have a picnic in the park! There are many picnics tables throughout the park or bring a blanket to spread out under a tree. If you haven't thought ahead to pack a picnic basket (or if you are visiting from out of town and don't have supplies), you can certainly find plenty of picnic options at the various restaurants and food establishments throughout downtown Saratoga. For delicious sandwiches, I recommend Saratoga Deli, Putnam Market, PDT Market or Mrs. London's.

  • Take Your Daily Walk. If you are trying to reach your daily step count, a stroll around Congress Park is the perfect solution! There are paths that go all over the park. You can take paths with inclines, climb the Katrina Trask Memorial Stairway and take in all of the history of the park by following the self-guided walking tour.

  • Sip Some Water From A Famous Mineral Spring Fountain. There are two springs located in Congress Park. The Columbian Spring is now an inactive mineral spring, but if you are parched after all that walking you can grab some fresh municipal drinking water that now flows from the fountain. The Congress Spring located nearby produced one of Saratoga's best known mineral waters that was bottled and sold all over America and Europe in the 1800s. The Congress Spring is still an active spring, so you have the opportunity to drink some of Saratoga's renowned healing mineral waters during your stroll through the park.

Spring in Congress Park Saratoga Springs
Columbian Spring in Congress Park
  • Take a Rest By the Ponds in Congress Park. There are a couple of ponds in the park with benches strategically placed for maximum enjoyment. You can listen to the peaceful water sounds, watch all the people and dogs walking through the park and observe all the wildlife in the park (if you are here in the spring you may be lucky enough to catch mother ducks trying to corral all the baby ducklings).

  • Visit the Saratoga Springs History Museum in the Canfield Casino. In the middle of the park you will see the historic Canfield Casino. The beautiful building that used to house a men's gaming club back in the day, now houses the Saratoga Springs History Museum. The Canfield Casino is often used for special events and weddings, so you may catch bridal parties out and about in the park taking amazing wedding photos. I have never been to a wedding at this venue, but I have heard it is beautiful. I have visited the History Museum and I learned A LOT about the sordid and juicy history of Saratoga Springs and the wealthy people who used to travel here for rest, relaxation and the renowned healing mineral waters (not to mention the casino and the horse racing). There are rumors that the Canfield Casino is haunted, so if that is your vibe you will definitely want to check it out! I had no ghostly sightings when I was there, but maybe you will have better luck!

Canfield Casino Saratoga Springs History Museum
Saratoga Springs History Museum in the Canfield Casino

  • Take a Spin on the Historic Wooden Carousel. For only a dollar, you can take your kids (or your inner child) for a ride on an authentic wooden carousel. The Carousel opened on May 7 for the 2023 season. Until mid-June, it is only open on the weekends, but will be open daily thereafter from 11-6.

  • Check Out All of the Monuments and Statues in the Park. There are a lot of monuments and statues located within the park. Here is what you can see:

    • Spit and Spat Triton Fountain:

  • Italian Garden with statues of Pan and the Meneads Around a Sundial:

  • Spirit of Life Reflecting Pond:

  • War Monuments: Congress Park has war monuments honoring Saratoga Springs veterans from the Civil War and World War II.

Congress Park Saratoga Springs World War II Monument History
World War II Monument in Congress Park
  • Enjoy Live Music or an Art Show in the Park: Once track season begins, the City of Saratoga Springs holds weekly concerts, art shows and festivals in the park. Check out the schedule for the free 2023 Summer Concert Series here.

If you are heading to Saratoga Springs this summer, make sure to make plans to spend a relaxing afternoon in Congress Park enjoying the scenery and learning about the history of Saratoga. It is a beautiful spot you do not want to miss!


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