New York : Safety by City
- Fair Haven
- Greenport Village
- Lake George
- Lake Placid
- Long Island
- Mt Vernon
- New Paltz
- New Rochelle
- New York City
- Niagara Falls
- Saranac Lake
- Saratoga Springs
- Seneca Falls
- Shelter Island
- Sleepy Hollow
- Watkins Glen
- White Plains
Saratoga Springs is a charming upstate New York destination in the Adirondack Mountains, holding a rich history of mineral water and horse racing.
Known as the “Queen of the Spas,” Saratoga Springs has been a popular health resort destination since the early 1800s, thanks to its naturally carbonated mineral springs.
In fact, the Seneca Indians revered the springs for their believed healing properties long before European settlers arrived.
By the mid-1800s, grand resort hotels surrounded the springs to accommodate visitors seeking the touted health benefits of “taking the waters.”
Today, visitors can sample the springs at spots like the Roosevelt Baths and Spa or enjoy the fine bubbles of Saratoga Sparkling Water, bottled right in town.
The springs contain naturally occurring minerals like calcium, magnesium, and sodium – said to aid digestion, circulation, and musculoskeletal issues.
Of course, Saratoga Springs is best known as the summer home of thoroughbred horse racing.
Since the mid-1800s, the Saratoga Race Course has attracted top horses, jockeys, trainers, and racing fans.
Horse racing season runs for 40 days every July through September, culminating in the prestigious Travers Stakes.
Beyond the racetrack, Saratoga Springs offers many cultural attractions.
Tree-lined streets showcase Victorian homes, boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Saratoga Springs is also known for its annual events, like Chowder Fest and the Wing-Off (chicken wings).
The town of 28,000 is also ranked as one of the best small towns in America for Christmas.
Whether you want to stroll an arts district, eat a different cultural cuisine for every meal, or take a boat ride on Saratoga Lake, it’s clear why this is a top destination.
Saratoga Springs, surprisingly, is a more common town name than even I realized.
Be sure you’re always finding the New York location.
Some of my research took me to Utah!
Warnings & Dangers in Saratoga Springs
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk here with so many options, no matter if you want to relax or get the adrenaline pumping. As a tourist destination, there will always be a potential for crime, so don't let your guard down while you're having fun.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
The high season has a trolley system. You can also use the bus system that goes around the capital region. Taxis and rideshares are available, but you might wait a while for a ride during the busiest time of year. Rental cars are available at the airport and local vendors in Albany.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
The police department doesn't release exact pickpocket rates, but I can tell you the theft rate is just above the national average. There's a high potential here during the summer tourist season, so keep your risk low by limiting what you bring, and don't carry a large purse. Never put a wallet in a back pocket. Keep it in front or inside a jacket.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk for the wide scope of bad weather potential here. Spring and summer can bring thunderstorms, flash flooding, dangerous lightning, and the occasional tornado. Winters can be brutal, but it's perfectly normal in this part of New York, and the storms come with plenty of warning.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
I only saw one rather brutal armed robbery of a person walking down the street in my recent research. In 2022, only about one robbery a month was reported. The risk is low, but don't make yourself a potential target by openly celebrating a big horse racing win. Take your cash to the hotel room and lock it up in the safe.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
This is another low risk, even though it's a big tourist destination. Security will also be strong during big events, and bags will be checked before entering major venues. Check the list of what is/isn't allowed before you go to the track or the theater.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Saratoga Springs has a large Boomer and older population, so some scammers might target those over 50. Most scams reported focus on local residents. The police department will let you know if there are scams happening during your visit. Check their social media sites.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk with a lot of rewards here, especially if you like shopping, restaurant variety, and spas. With more than a dozen golf courses, there's truly something for everyone.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2023 Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance with all required standards. You can check the city's website or Facebook page to see if there are more time-sensitive issues, like hydrant flushing or stormwater risks.
Safest Places to Visit in Saratoga Springs
Discover Saratoga is the name of the official tourism website for the city.
A free tourism guide is available to download without giving any personal information.
Saratoga Race Track has its own website with an abundance of information, from how to place your first bet to getting reservations for breakfast near the track.
The season runs for two months—late July through early September.
Races are held Wednesdays through Sundays.
A stroll down Broadway brings you back in time with Victorian architecture, shops, and restaurants.
After dark, Broadway lights up with live music, classic American cuisine, and high-end restaurants.
At the Saratoga Springs History Museum, learn about the 19th-century health resort origins thanks to natural springs.
Check out episode 618 of Ghost Hunters to learn about paranormal activity here.
From there, sample as many of the 21 springs as you’d like.
Get a list of the springs with the mineral content.
Not all the springs are going to taste good, but you might be surprised which ones you like.
Tours are available by boat, helicopter, floating tiki bar, and railroad so that you can see more of the beautiful landscape in the Adirondacks.
The Heritage Center also offers 90-minute historic walking tours.
In addition to its history and springs, Saratoga has a thriving arts and cultural scene.
See concerts and dance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Universal Preservation Hall.
Beekman Street is home to the town’s Arts District.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum exhibits antique 20th-century cars.
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame covers the history of horse racing.
The Saratoga Children’s Museum has hands-on exhibits for kids to explore art, science, and culture.
At the Saratoga Military Museum, learn about the area’s role in the Revolutionary War.
The Tang Teaching Museum on the Skidmore College campus showcases thought-provoking contemporary art.
Places to Avoid in Saratoga Springs
I know I’m biased, but this is why researching travel safety is just as important as knowing the places to visit.
For those who only read the tourism brochure, you’ll find a list of parking lots and garages in town.
One is touted as “a great parking option…half a block off the main strip.”
The Woodlawn Avenue parking garage is also well-known as a defacto place where homeless people live and store their stuff.
The stairwells were even used as restrooms.
A new homeless shelter opened in mid-2023, hoping to move the homeless out of the garage.
Use caution if plan on parking there, and be prepared to run into panhandlers on Broadway Street.
At times, they can be aggressive.
Please report any harassing behavior to the police immediately.
Also, Saratoga Lake is mostly on private property.
You can access Brown’s Beach at the southern end of the lake.
This is the only part where you can swim.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Saratoga Springs
- Saratoga Springs has its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook @sspdny or call (518) 584-1800 to ask specific questions.
- There are two ways to get emergency alerts here. One is through Hyper-Reach Emergency Notifications, which most cover severe weather watches and warnings. Using Nixle, you can get updates on criminal or other public safety concerns during your stay.
- If you have non-urgent information about a crime, you can send crime tips to email@example.com.
- Download the City Finder app to get routes and schedules for the Saratoga Trolley. It runs from mid-July through early September. If you are buying trolley tickets online, allow 48 hours for the purchase to go through. Otherwise, use local vendors to purchase a card, effective immediately.
- Most of the parking in Saratoga Springs is free, but the paid lots will be closer to the entertainment districts. You can also reserve a great parking spot for events at the racetrack or performing arts center using SpaceDerby, which will cost extra.
- For those visiting the racetrack, check the dress code for the section where you have tickets. In most sections, jeans and shorts are not allowed.
- The gambling age in Saratoga Springs is 18. That goes for the racetrack and casino. You do need to be 21 to drink alcohol.
- As popular as tasting spring water can be, you should talk to your doctor about what minerals might not be good for your health conditions. Each spring has a different flavor and mineral makeup. You likely won’t want to drink water with a lot of salt if you are prone to swelling.
- While each spring location has a list of ailments it can allegedly help with, mineral water should never be used as a treatment for a health issue.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Please repurchase this only from the official website online.
So... How Safe Is Saratoga Springs Really?
Saratoga Springs, New York, has average crime rates by most accounts compared to state and national levels.
However, that rate doesn’t factor in the 250,000+ people who visit each year.
That means the real statistical risk is a lot lower.
Summer is the peak season for visitors, and you’ll find the largest crowds with the highest potential for problems like theft and car break-ins.
It’s also a town with surprisingly robust nightlife, offering a lot of fun but known problems like bar fights and drunken arguments.
The most common police reports in 2023 involved drug busts, assaults, and at least one armed robbery of an individual.
These situations are easily avoided by using common safety steps and situational awareness.
Saratoga Springs is a really fun, relaxing, and exciting place to visit, and you should have no reservations about visiting in any season.
How Does Saratoga Springs Compare?
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- Visas - International travelers will need a passport and visa or visa waiver to get through Customs, Border Patrol, or across the border. If you plan on visiting Canada while you're here, review the requirements from the Canada Border Services Agency.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency used here. A handful of places might exchange Canadian Dollars, but most banks won't do currency exchange unless you are a member. Take care of that at home to get the lowest fees from your own bank.
- Weather - Casual, comfortable clothing and shoes are the best choice throughout the year. Since a lot of activities are in the summer, you should know that it can be muggy and buggy here. Bring sunscreen and bug spray. You'll also want a swimsuit if you are planning to soak in the springs.
- Airports - Albany International Airport is the closest major commercial airport to Saratoga Springs, located about 30 miles south of Albany.
- Travel Insurance - You're already betting on the horses; why gamble with your travel plans? Comprehensive travel insurance helps you make the most of a trip, no matter what goes wrong.
Saratoga Springs Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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