To quote Billy Joel, “Some folks like to get away. Take a holiday from the neighborhood.” Billy, you don’t know the half of it. I usually write about family travel with my husband and daughter in tow, but it’s all about mommy time this time. I wanted to travel a few hours from my home on Long Island and relax and unwind. My destination was beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York.
Avenue of the Pines
I was welcomed to the Gideon Putnam hotel in Saratoga Spa State Park by driving down Avenue of the Pines. Words can not describe this road flanked by majestic towering pines, and I’m a writer.
The Gideon Putnam
One of the many things that makes a stay at the Gideon Putnam is its location. The park surrounds this historic hotel. It is a picturesque hotel where you can envision horse-drawn carriages pulling in to disembark guests.
There is no better hotel for taking in the park’s beauty. The interior is just as charming, with well-appointed rooms that balance original architecture with modern amenities.
Roosevelt Baths and Spa
While waiting to check in, I took the hotel’s complimentary shuttle to its Roosevelt Baths and Spa for a soak and massage. The shuttle will take you anywhere downtown and is at your demand. This allows for some imbibing and not worrying about driving and parking downtown.
The spa is located in one of the original spa houses in the park. Once I slipped on my very comfy robe, I waited in the relaxation area for my treatment. The room’s perimeter had these live chaise lounges on which to rest. There was complimentary tea, fruit, and water.
Olivia took me to my treatment room with its bathroom, massage table, and cast iron tub filled with mineral spring water brought to a warm temperature. Do not be put off by the rusty color, as that is just oxidation. The water was very buoyant due to its mineral and salt content, and my body just floated for 20 minutes.
Olivia brought me a warm towel, and I got ready for my massage. Robin had magical hands with just the right amount of pressure. Her voice and conversation were soothing. I highly recommend her.
I checked into my spacious room and headed to town, where I enjoyed a great show at Caffe Lena. Caffe Lena is an iconic place where the likes of Bob Dylan and Sawyer Fredericks have performed. It is the oldest continuously running folk music venue in the United States. It was an intimate setting where you connect with the performers. I enjoyed the show and my coffee.
The next day, I had a great breakfast at the Gideon Putnam and enjoyed the five-mile hike around the park. The walk included beautiful forestry, creeks, and, of course, the geyser spring. Bring a bottle in which to take home some of the famous miracle water.
After that walk, I drove back downtown. It was not difficult to navigate, and I felt very safe. There is ample free parking and plenty of people walking around.
Two restaurants stood out. I had lunch at Henry Street Taproom, where I felt very comfortable dining on their outdoor covered patio surrounded by colorful flowers. It was all the better because it started to rain. I love dining outside and hearing the rain. I had the sweet potato fries and their signature burger. The fries and the burger were cooked perfectly and had a three-napkin requirement.
Dinner was at Morrisey’s in the famed Adelphi Hotel. This upscale restaurant had various items on its menu, sometimes making me skeptical. Can they prepare a fantastic charred octopus, lobster dumplings, and orecchiette with lamb and broccoli rabe? Yes, they can. Michael was an attentive server as I sat outside and watched the gas lamps flicker while cozy under a heat lamp. I’m a bit of an octopus aficionado and this octopus melted in my mouth. The lobster was delicate and full of flavor. I ordered a California roll as well. This roll was made by a master sushi chef at Morrisey’s and had real crab meat. I can never eat a regular California roll again. The orecchiette and all pasta on the menu are handmade, and my orecchiette was perfectly prepared al dente. The lamb ragu and broccoli rabe balanced each other.
Between meals, I walked up and down Broadway, including a rest stop in Congress Park and some shopping and perusing. I loved the Northshire Bookstore with all its twists and turns and the various consignment shops. Impressions of Saratoga had plenty to get in terms of souvenirs and history. Two of my other favorites were Darkhorse Mercantile and G. Willikers Toys.
Saratoga Springs is a charming destination that I will be returning to, especially to see a performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). That was my only regret, as SPAC had no performance when I visited. The theater is on the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park, beckoning me to return with a picnic blanket and bottle of wine.