We are one of those families with an endless itinerary. We’re always ready to go and explore.
Last year, our collective family travel itinerary included 13 trips, and our suitcase was a staple in our bedroom because it was being packed and unpacked so often. As any parent knows, traveling with kids is an amazing adventure, although it’s not always relaxing. I read somewhere that after you have children, “vacations” become “trips” for a little while. That being said, my husband and I like to try and get away alone at least once or twice a year for a little true R&R (SLEEP!), romance and a little adventuring without the kids in tow.
Saratoga Springs, NY, is a town that totally caught me by surprise in the best way possible. As frequent visitors of the Adirondack area, I thought we would be visiting another sleepy mountain town with beautiful views. But when we arrived in the historic town and pulled into Saratoga Spa State Park and up to The Gideon Putnam hotel, we knew we were in for a treat. The Gideon Putnam is grand, and instantly played into a nostalgia that was way before my time. I could easily picture elegant people in beautiful hats headed to the races, drinking juleps, and eating cucumber sandwiches. I quickly wanted to get settled into our room so we could do what Saratoga Springs State Park was calling us to do… explore!
Saratoga Springs offers so many activities to choose from, including golf, hiking, biking, and the famous Saratoga Horse races. The Gideon Putnam even offers a complimentary shuttle service into town where you will find dozens of amazing restaurants, beautiful boutiques (and incredible hat shops), and a movie theater (I mention this, because I was so excited to go see a non PG rated movie!).
But with all of the things that Saratoga Springs has to offer, the gems are truly the State Park, the springs themselves and the absolutely amazing and famous Roosevelt Baths. If you are desiring a getaway focused on wellness, healing and relaxation, this is the place to come. Built in 1935, the Roosevelt Baths are still home to the original tubs where you can experience a mineral bath with water collected directly from the natural Springs in the park. There are 18 active mineral springs still in the park, and at Roosevelt Baths, the naturally effervescent water is captured cold from the underground springs and then mixed with warm fresh water. Our private bath attendant made sure to explain to us that when the mineral water hits the fresh water, it oxidizes and turns brown… and good thing she did, because the muddy and almost rusty looking water would have definitely surprised us otherwise! Now, a disclaimer: I am not a bath person. It takes me a long time to relax (like most moms), and I usually do not enjoy them. I. Loved. This. Bath. The effervescent water mixed with the salt buoyancy made me feel like I was floating on air for a 20 full minutes (PS — there is trace evidence of natural lithium in the spring water… so maybe…). After our bath, we were treated to an amazing massage. I then relaxed for an additional 40 full minutes in the relaxation room alongside my husband and a cup of tea. Heaven.
I’m not quite sure how, but we floated back to our room (during our walk back we were able to hear an entire sound check for a Counting Crows concert happening at the Performing Arts Center inside the park!). We spent the rest of the evening hanging out, snacking on some French fries and juice for dinner, and then heading back to The Gideon Putnam for an exquisite 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
After a long morning of hiking the grounds of the State Park, we decided to attend one of the Roosevelt Bath’s walking tours of the active Springs. Our tour guide explained to us the different benefits of the different springs (and which would go best with our favorite whiskey drink!) and we left with a newfound respect for nature, and a few jugs of the healing water to bring back home.
Our retreat to Saratoga Springs left my husband and me feeling recharged, rekindled and extremely relaxed. We both said we could not remember another time that after only 48 hours at a single location we felt like we were away for much, much longer. Never underestimate the power of some time alone as a couple, a healing spa experience, and a snazzy new “races” hat.