Whether you are looking for a dog friendly vacation, or a quick getaway to the Adirondacks, Saratoga Springs should be on your list of places to visit in the Northeast.
While Saratoga Springs is not actually in the Adirondacks, it is close to its southern tip and makes a great starting point to explore the area.
From here you can easily visit dog friendly Lake George and Bolton Landing both in the southern foothills of the Adirondacks.
The spa city offers something for everyone including dog friendly restaurants and hotels, outdoor festivals and a downtown area that is home to many dog friendly shops. Not to mention the hundreds of acres of dog friendly forest preserves in the area.
If hiking through the woods is not your style, but you still want to take in the splendor of the fall foliage season, Saratoga Springs offers an abundance of dog friendly, city parks. All of them with easy walking trails to see the leaves change color.
With so much to offer it’s no surprise that Travel Magazine named Saratoga Springs one of the Nation’s Most Charming Small Cities in 2021
Note: When we talk about dog friendly places we mean places that are friendly to pet dogs. Trained service dogs fall under different regulations.
Please confirm with the venue that pet dogs are still allowed prior to visiting. Information listed here is subject to change without notice. While we strive to insure accuracy on Happyoodles.com, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Also, the mentioning of a business on this page should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Happy Oodles may earn a commission if you click through.
What is Saratoga Springs, NY Known for?
If you ask people if they have ever heard of Saratoga Springs some will probably mention the historic Saratoga Race track in NY. Others will say it is a Disney World Hotel, which was named after the New York town.
But, the area first became popular for its natural springs. Thanks to cracks in the underlying bedrock mineral water is forced to the surface here. It is the only area with naturally occurring, carbonated, mineral springs east of the Rocky Mountains.
Back in the early 1800’s both drinking and soaking in natural mineral waters was a European tradition for many health-conscious people. In fact, doctors at the time would prescribe bathing in these waters to their patients as a cure for a host of ailments.
Knowing this Gideon Putman set out to create a spa resort in the wilderness to draw people to this area. You can still bath in the water today and drink from the spring fed fountains located throughout the city. Though my understanding is some taste really bad.
However, these days Saratoga Springs is getting a reputation of being very dog friendly. There is a large assortment of hotels, places to eat and things you can do with your dog in Saratoga Springs, NY
Dog Friendly Ways to Get to Saratoga Springs, NY
Before you get to enjoy Saratoga Springs, NY with your canine companion, you both need to get there. Saratoga Springs, NY sits in the county of Saratoga, which is just below the Adirondack region in Upstate New York.
The closest large city to Saratoga Springs, is Albany, NY which is about 37 miles to the south. By the way, Albany, NY, is another dog friendly place to visit.
Getting to Saratoga Springs by car is easy. The New York State Thruway runs right through Saratoga Springs, NY.
Approximate time to get to Saratoga Springs from:
- Albany, NY – 45 to 50 minutes
- Burlington, VT 2.5 to 3 hours
- Montreal, CA – 3.5 to 4 hours
- New York City –3.5 to 4 hours
- Hartford, Ct – 2.5 to 3 hours
- Providence, RI – 3.25 to 4.25 hours
- Boston, Ma – 3.5 to 4.5 hours
- Philadelphia, PA – 4.5 to 5 hours
You can take the Amtrak Adirondack Rail Line from New York City to Saratoga Springs. The rail line allows small dogs in a carrier (under 20 lbs., including carrier) to ride on this train.
The Adirondack Rail line begins in New York City but you can extend the trip from Philadelphia by using the Northeast Regional line. However, dogs cannot ride on the rail lines for more than 7 hours for the combined trip. This includes any layovers.
Due to the train schedules some connections extend the overall time period to over 7 hours so you will need to pay close attention to the schedules.
Also keep in mind that Amtrak views the pet carrier as one piece of carry-on baggage. You can get more information on riding the rails with a pet at Amtrak’s pet policy.
The Amtrak train station is about 1.5 miles from downtown Saratoga Springs.
- The closest international airport is Albany International Airport, in Albany NY, which is about 30 miles from Saratoga Springs, NY
- The smaller Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport is approximately 25 miles away.
In both cases you will need to rent a car, taxi or call Uber Pet for a ride to Saratoga Springs, NY.
Getting around in Saratoga Springs, NY
If you plan on staying in the Saratoga Springs, downtown area you can walk around fairly easy, but not all the activities listed below are in walking distance from downtown. There are a few that will require a car to get to them.
Parking in Saratoga Springs
If you are visiting Downtown Saratoga Springs, NY with a car you will be pleasantly surprised to find that the city offers many free parking options. However, most have a time limit on how long you can stay parked in one spot.
Parking options include garages, public parking lots, and street parking. The ABC Local News 10 has a comprehensive up-to-date guide with maps to parking in the area
How long should you spend in Dog Friendly Saratoga Springs, NY?
If you plan on doing all the activities listed below it will take you about 3 or more days to do all of them, depending on how rushed you want to be. It rained during our trip to Saratoga Springs, NY so we did not get to do everything we planned.
Going on a dog friendly vacation shouldn’t have to cost a small fortune, you are looking for ways to keep the costs down, read our post on: Cheap Vacations With a Pet: Budget Friendly Ideas
12 Dog Friendly Things to Do in Saratoga Springs, NY
The first thing you are going to want to do is stop by the Dog Friendly Saratoga Heritage Area Visitors Center located at 297 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY.
Here you can pick up maps to the springs, walking tours and learn about any events that are happening while you are there.
You may also be able to catch a dog friendly walking tour from here. It’s up to the tour guide to decide if they will allow dogs to come along. Just ask about the tour at the desk.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Heritage Visitors Center was very dog friendly. They even brought Bella a fresh bowl of water and offered her a cookie. Seems we were the first group that day to stop by with a dog.
Although there were no signs stating that pet dogs were allowed in the building at the time we visited, we were told that dogs are allowed. It seems the sign that was normally there was missing.
If you happen to arrive on a day that the Visitor Center is closed you can also find brochures with maps for the springs and walking tours of the historical neighborhoods on their website under maps and brochures.
1. Take a stroll in Congress Park
Once you have your maps in hand, head on over to Congress Park. You will find it directly across the street from the Visitor’s Center.
Here you will find three of the twenty-one natural springs you can see in Saratoga Springs. You will be able to see Columbian Spring from the front of the Visitor’s Center as it is right across the street.
In addition to the three springs which are housed in elaborate fountains or pavilions, the park also offers two reflecting pools, walking paths, various statues, a war memorial with pond and an antique carousel. Though, I doubt dogs are allowed in the carousel house since it is a tight space.
2. Take a walk around downtown Saratoga Springs and enjoy the dog friendly shops
Next if you like to shop at unique stores to find one of a kind pieces, Saratoga Springs has you covered. Plus, many of the stores in the downtown area are pet dog friendly.
We stopped by the Darling Doughnuts for some out of this world donuts. They even sell doggy doughnuts.
Many of the shops go out of their way to make dogs and their owners feel welcomed by offering water bowls for dogs.
One restaurant even setup a casual seating area on the sidewalk so that people could grab a quick bite and eat with their dog.
Of course, we took a picture of the sign but didn’t really take a picture of the area. You can see it a little in the pic above.
Saratoga Springs’ Dog Friendly Initiative
Many of the store owners were dog lovers themselves so in 2009 that the town decided to have a Dog Friendly initiative to welcome pet dog owners to the area.
While it’s completely up to store owners to decide if pet dogs can come into their stores, the initiative made it easier to identify pet friendly stores by placing a Dog-Friendly decal in their store windows.
I believe the decal that was originally displayed is the one shown in the middle of the pic below. However, we did not see that many places with this decal.
Instead some shops had alternative signs, like the two shown below.
But we found some dog friendly stores did not display any dog friendly signs but allowed us to enter when we asked if it was ok.
One of the ways you can identify dog friendly stores that may not have a sign is to go to discoversaratoga.com. There you will find a list of dog friendly stores but it does not seem to be up-to-date with new stores that have opened since the program was started.
If all else fails, just pop your head in the shop and ask if your dog can accompany you into the store.
The other thing to note is that not all the shops in the program are located on Broadway. You will find a few on the nearby side streets.
3. Find all the Natural Springs
Long before horse racing became popular in Saratoga, visitors came to here for the perceived health benefits of the springs. You too can come and see the springs.
There are 21 working natural mineral springs in Saratoga, located at various points throughout the City. Each one has its own distinctive feature.
Some are natural formations while others are ornate fountains like the Congress Park Deer Spring shown above. Some even have their own pavilions to shelter the springs.
You can find four of the springs in or near Congress park. Congress is a small park so finding the springs is easy.
There are twelve more springs spread out across Saratoga Spa State Park.
The park is fairly large so if you are limited on time take the Mineral Springs Trail in Saratoga Spa State Park. This half-mile loop will take you past the historic Island Spouter, Hayes, Orenda, Polaris and State Seal mineral springs.
The trial runs along two parallel pathways, one along the banks of the Geyser Creek and the other along the ridge-line above. The two trails are connected by a stairway overlooking a waterfall.
The last five springs are located in or around High Rock Park, north of Congress park. Saratoga.com has a list of all the springs and where to find them.
You can also go to the Saratoga Spa State Park website to find a map with the locations of the twelve springs in that park. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the Spa park Mineral Springs Brochure.
4. Visit the Gardens at Yaddo
If a stroll in a beautiful garden is your cup of tea, then the Gardens at Yaddo should be on your must-see list while in Saratoga Springs.
The gardens, located on the former Trask Estate, was a gift from Spencer Trask to his beloved wife Katrina in 1899. The 400-acre estate is now an artists’ community that is run by the Corporation of Yaddo.
Although the buildings are closed to the public, the garden is open to visitors to walk around and enjoy.
While not very large the gardens are beautifully maintained by the Yaddo Garden Association (YGA).
When visiting the gardens, you will see that they are divided between lower and upper terraces that are separated by a pergola.
Make sure you walk beyond the rose covered pergola to find the rock garden, plus the upper and lower pools and fountains.
The best part of the garden, in addition to its beauty of course, is that they allow leashed dogs. Not many gardens will allow dogs in fear that the dogs will ruin them so please make sure to thread carefully when visiting.
There are both a guided tour for a fee or a free self-guided tour you can follow. You will find a map and overview of the park at the entrance.
Yaddo Gardens pet Policy – “All pets must be kept on a leash, and under leash control at all times. It is a city law that you clean up after your pets.”
The Gardens are located at 312 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY Phone: 518-584-0746.
4. Take a swim in Saratoga lake
If your pup likes the water, take them over to the Saratoga Lake State Boat Launch for a dip in the lake. The boat launch allows up to two dogs in the day use area (unless prohibited by sign or directive). There is a fee to use this park.
Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length. They must be supervised at all times and must have proof of rabies inoculation if requested.
Dogs are not allowed on life guarded beaches, playgrounds and more. For a complete list of where dogs are not allowed please visit New York State Parks and Recreation site.
5. Explore Saratoga Spa State Park
Whether you are hunting for springs, or just looking for a spot to watch the leaves change color, Saratoga Spa State Park should be on your list of places to see when you are in the area.
In addition to 12 springs, Saratoga Spa State Park is also home to the Roosevelt Baths and the Hall of Springs. Unfortunately, neither are dog friendly but you can walk around the grounds to admire the stately architect.
You can find the only active “spouting geyser” east of the Mississippi River here. Well, the Island Spouting Geyser is not technically a geyser by definition but it does resemble one.
Instead of heat pushing the water up into the air like a true geyser, the Island Spouting Geyser uses pockets of carbonic gas that is trapped beneath the deep layer of shale to propel the water out. Either way it is still amazing to see.
To find the Island Geyser you can take the Geyser Creek Trail which is an easy 2.9 mile mostly paved path that runs along the Geyser Creek at points. You can pick up the trail just east of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center parking lot.
6. Saratoga State Dog Park
If your dog needs some off-leash time the Saratoga State Dog Park is located across the street from the Lincoln Baths.
There are two dog areas at this dog park. One is for small dogs; 25 pounds and under, the other one is for all dogs. There are garbage cans but not clean-up bags so you will need to bring your own.
People have stated that this place can get very crowded and parking is limited so it is best to come early.
8. Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour
Experience the legend and lore of one of American’s earliest resort destinations via one (or all) of the self-guided walking tours from the Saratoga Springs Heritage Visitor Center.
You can find guided tours for areas throughout the city including Congress Park, Mineral Waters, North Broadway, East Side and West Side.
You can pick up the brochures at the Heritage Visitors Center or download them from the Heritage Visitors Centers website.
9. Tour the Saratoga Battlefield
Here you can learn about the Battle of Saratoga, which is considered to be a turning point in the Revolutionary War.
It was on this battlefield that the Americans defeated the British army in the fight for independence in 1777. This was the first time in world history that the British army ever surrendered.
Start your visit at the Visitor Center where you can pick up a park map and brochure. Dogs are not allowed in the building. They also have a small gift shop there.
Next you can explore the Battlefield via the Wilkson Trail or the Tour Road. The Tour Road has 10 Stops with walking trails and interpretive signs.
You can download an optional cell phone or MP3 tour or use their smart phone mobile web app. All of these options are available on the park’s website under Plan Your Visit.
Once you are done touring the Battlefield, you can drive over to the Saratoga Monument and the Schuyler House in Schuylerville, NY. Both are about 15 minutes from the Battlefield
Dogs are allowed on the grounds of the Saratoga National Historical Park, but not in the building, houses or monuments.
10. Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail
The Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail is a two-mile long (one-way) trail that follows an abandoned railway.
While on the trail you will walk through marshland, wet meadows and forested wetlands. Along the trail you will find benches and signs that explain the flora.
There is parking on each end of the trail, but unless you take two cars you will need to walk back the same way you came.
The trail is open from sunrise to sunset. You can find the trail head on Lake Ave near Old Schuylerville Road. You can find a map of the trail on the Saratoga PLAN website
11. Rent a Boat on Saratoga Lake
If a boat ride around Saratoga Lake is on your wish list of things to do, these two boat rental companies allow dogs on their boats. Please contact these places directly for additional information.
Vivi E. Basta Rentals – Located at 511 NY-9P Saratoga Springs, NY Phone: 518-709-5463
Vive E. Basta Rentals allows pets on any motorized vessel but there is a cleanup fee if the dog sheds or leaves a mess. You are also responsible for any damage your pet may cause.
Salvi Aquatic – located at 1464 NY-9P, Saratoga Springs, NY. Phone: 866-538-9370
Salvi Aquatic only rents pontoon boats. They allow dogs under 50 pounds.
12. Go for a Paddle on the Lake
If you and your pup like to spend time paddling on the water you can rent either a Kayak or Standup Paddle Board to paddle around Saratoga Lake. Just make sure to bring a life vest for your dog.
Vivi E. Basta Rentals allows pets on their Kayaks and paddle boards. They suggest that you bring a Life vests for your dog but they do not provide them for dogs.
They are located at 511 NY-9P Saratoga Springs, NY on Saratoga Lake. Right near the public beach. Their phone number is 518-709-5463.
Dog Friendly Restaurants in Saratoga Springs, NY
You will find an assortment of dog friendly places to eat in Saratoga Springs from small cafes to larger restaurants with outdoor seating.
Plus, there are a few takeout places that you can grab a bite and eat at one of the nearby parks if the weather is nice.
We ate at Bailey’s Cafe located at 37 Phila Street on the corner of Phila Street and Putman Street in downtown Saratoga Springs. They are just one block away from Broadway. Phone: 518-450-1305.
When we called, we were told that our dog could accompany us on either the upper covered patio or the lower patio.
We chose to sit on the lower patio since it provided more space for our pup to lay down. There were three other dogs there already when we arrived. All the pups were well-behaved and kept to themselves.
I noticed that water bowls were put out for dogs at some tables. We were not offered one. Not sure if you needed to ask. We prefer to use our own portable water bowl anyway so it was not an issue for us.
Otherwise the people working there seem to be very dog friendly and at ease with having the dogs around.
Another dog friendly option is the highly rated Comfort Kitchen. They serve locally sourced, seasonally inspired comfort food at a reasonable price. Open for breakfast, lunch and an early dinner.
Comfort Kitchen is easy to miss since they are located on the lower level of the Saratoga Marketplace on Broadway.
You can also enter the restaurant at their back entrance at 17 Maple Street. Here you will find an outdoor, dog friendly patio.
Their official address is 545 Broadway at the Saratoga Marketplace. From this entrance you need to go down to the lower. Phone: 518-587-1234.
Last on our list is The Merc. They have hearty all day brunches that are served from 9 am to 4 pm and dinners from 5pm to 10pm. Limited outdoor seating can be found in season out-front on Broadway.
You can find them at 430 Broadway, close to the corner of Broadway and Caroline Street. Phone: 518-886-8479.
For more pet friendly restaurants and bars in Saratoga Springs visit DiscoverSaratoga.org.
Saratoga Springs, NY Dog Friendly Places to Stay
As Marriott Bonvoy members we often stay at dog friendly, Marriott hotels to earn points for free nights.
So, while in Saratoga Springs we stayed at the dog friendly Residence Inn by Marriott. The hotel location was on the northern outskirts of the city, but that was fine with us since we were visiting Lake George on the same trip.
However, if you are looking for something close to all the action in Saratoga Springs or if you don’t have a car this hotel is out of the way.
We had a one bedroom, two room suite with a small kitchen, couch and separate bedroom. The staff was very helpful and friendly.
They placed us on the second floor near the stairs which was convenient with the dog. There is an outdoor grass area off to the side of the front entrance for dogs. They had bags and a trash can there to clean up the waste.
The Residence Inn by Marriott. Saratoga Springs is located at 295 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Phone: 518-584-9600
Downtown Dog Friendly Hotels
If you are looking for a hotel downtown here are a few dog friendly options.
First is the Adelphi Hotel. This downtown hotel allows pet dogs for a one-time fee. Pets are allowed in select guest rooms, lobby and on the seasonal restaurant patio during the spring, summer and fall months.
They are located at 365 Broadway, in the heart of the historic district. Phone; 518-678-6000.
You are required to sign a pet waiver which you can find on their Pet Friendly Page.
Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs
Located in the historic downtown district of Saratoga Springs the Holiday Inn is just a short walk to shopping and restaurants. They allow well-behaved, quiet pet dogs for a nightly fee. You can learn more about their pet policy on their website.
You can find the at 232 Broadway, Saratoga Springs next to Congress Park.
The Gideon Putman
The Gideon Putman is the only hotel located in Saratoga Spa State Park. It’s just a short walk to the Roosevelt Baths and Spa and close to everything the park offers.
Dogs are allowed to stay with you for a non-refundable per day fee. Dogs are allowed on the outdoor dining area during meals but cannot walk through the indoor dining area to get there. They can enter the outdoor dining from an outside access.
For more on the rules regarding pet dogs please see their pet policy page.
They are located at 24 Gideon Putman Road, Saratoga Springs, NY. Phone: 866-890-1171.
Before booking a pet friendly hotel, check out our post on Hotel Stays with a Dog: 23 Tips, Tricks and Hacks.
Dog Friendly Things to Do Near Saratoga Springs, NY
If you are looking for more things to do with your dog, Lake George is only a 30-minute drive from Saratoga Springs making it an easy place to visit while in the area. You can also visit the very dog friendly Bolton Landing a little further up the west side of Lake George.
If you are looking to travel with your dog, check out our post on Traveling With A Dog: Tips For An Easy Trip.
Not what you are looking for? Check out our other dog friendly vacation ideas:
- Dog Friendly Family Vacations in the U.S.A.
- 11 Dog Friendly Spring Vacation Destinations
- Dog Friendly Island Vacations
- Newport, RI: Dog Friendly Things to Do
- Block Island – Dog Friendly Things To Do
- Dog Friendly Cape Cod, MA
- Dog Friendly Fall Getaways in the Northeast
- Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts (MA)
- Dog Friendly Beaches on Cape Cod.
We hope you found our post
“Saratoga Springs: Dog Friendly Things to Do and Places to Go” helpful
If so, please leave a comment below.
The Dog Friendly Guide to Saratoga Springs, NY Resources:
- Discover Saratoga
- National Park Service