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Local Outdoor Activities

Kelly McCombs - Friday, July 29, 2016

                                                         Photo Credit: Leah Carter

Now that summer is in full swing, why not take full advantage of the beautiful weather and get outside for some fun summer activities? We have compiled a list of some local attractions that are best visited during the warm summer months!


First on the list is Six Flags Great Escape! This has always been one of my very favorite places to go during the summer, ever since I was a kid. You can’t beat all of the fun roller coasters and other rides. They even have a water park which is perfect for those hot summer days. Great Escape is fun for all ages! Located just a few miles north of Saratoga in Queensbury, this theme park has over 135 rides, shows and attractions. Make sure to take a ride on The Comet, the wooden roller coaster towards the back of the park. This is my personal favorite! Great Escape is the perfect place to make memories with your family and friends!


If you will be in the Lake George area around September 8th-11th and you love classic cars, make sure to check out the Adirondack Nationals Car Show. This show is the highlight of the season for all of the regular car show guys and gals and is known for showcasing some of the best classic cars and hot rods in the area. There is nothing quite like walking through the aisles of cars and imagining the good old days. They sure don’t make them like they used to! This show features food vendors, automotive vendors, and a nightly cruise in, just to name a few of the exciting things that you'll see!


If you are in the mood to take in some beautiful sights, head on down to Thatcher State Park for some hiking. There are different difficulty levels on the various trails, so don’t worry if you are not an experienced hiker. Thatcher Park provides some of the most splendid views of the Hudson-Mohawk valleys and the Adirondack and Greene Mountains, so this is one place that you will not want to miss. The park also offers picnic areas, volleyball courts, baseball fields and playgrounds. Perfect for the whole family!


If you are more on the daring and adventurous side, you should check out Adirondack Extreme in Bolton Landing. This adventure course offers 1.5 miles of aerial adventures such as rope swings, zip lines, and bridges. Not for the faint of heart, however they do offer different course levels and you can exit the courses at any time. They are open from April through November and reservation are strongly recommended. If you are looking to add some adventure into your life, this is certainly the place to find it!


This is just a small taste of some of the fun, outdoor activities that the Saratoga area has to offer. Take some time this weekend, get outside, and enjoy this beautiful summer!


Things To Do in Saratoga!

Kelly McCombs - Friday, July 22, 2016



Today marks the beginning of the busy season in Saratoga Springs, with Saratoga Race Course opening for the 2016 meet! So we thought, what better time to pool together some fun Saratoga “must-see” sites into a blog post? If you’re planning to travel to the area this summer, or even if you’re a local, keep reading!


Of course, the main event of the summer in Saratoga is attending the races at the track. The hub bub of the town revolves around the goings-on there! Watching the races is perfect for everyone, whether you want to rent a picnic table and hang out with your friends and family, get grandstand tickets to watch the action in person, you can even get a table at one of the restaurants to view the racing while having a delicious meal. My favorite thing is to stand right up against the fence to the track when the horses fly by to the finish line. There is nothing quite as exhilarating as seeing them speed by. A little known fact is that you can tour the stable area for free. Get to the track early and have breakfast at the Clubhouse Porch, then take the tram over to the stable area to see where the horses are kept! This is perfect for the horse lover or anyone who loves the history of the track.


If you are a fan of wine, then you must head over to the Saratoga Winery and Tasting Room.  You can do wine tastings every day that they are open, with no reservation required! They also have live music and wood fired pizza every weekend. They have an extensive wine list and even have numerous beers on tap. Only 4 miles from downtown Saratoga, this is a great place to relax and socialize!


One of the most beautiful places in Saratoga is Congress Park. Located right downtown, this park is perfect for a quick afternoon stroll. There are fountains, a stream, the usual family of ducks, even a beautiful wooden carousel. In the center of the park is Canfield Casino, a historic gambling casino named a National Historic Landmark. Though the building is no longer used as a casino, it currently houses the Saratoga Springs History Museum. If you have an interest in learning about the rich history of our town, this is a wonderful place to visit.


Speaking of parks, if you like Congress Park, you will love the Saratoga Spa State Park. This one is much larger that Congress Park with a plethora of things to do. There are pavilions that you can rent for barbecues and get-togethers, there is an 18 hole golf course, numerous swimming pools, along with some of the most beautiful architecture you will see in all of Saratoga. There are beautiful trails for running, walking, and even riding your horse. I personally love to go here a few days a week to take my dogs for a walk. There are nice shady spots to lounge and a beautiful babbling creek. It is one of my favorite places in Saratoga!


If you’re like me and love a good farmer’s market, you are in luck! Saratoga Springs offers up two great ones! First is the Saratoga Farmers Market, located on High Rock Avenue downtown. This one is open year round on Wednesdays 3pm-6pm and on Saturdays 9am-1pm. From November to April, this market moves inside to the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. The second farmer’s market is the Spa City Farmers Market, located in front of the Lincoln Baths at the State Park, on the lawn. They are open every Sunday from 10am-3pm. Both of these markets offer a large variety of local, farm fresh goodies. I try to go once a week to pick up some beautiful fresh cut flowers to put into arrangements for my house. I also purchase my veggies for the week. I love how everything is seasonal so as the seasons change, my choice in vegetables will change as well.


These are just a select few of our favorite things to do in Saratoga.  Make sure you take advantage of everything offered by walking down Broadway. There are so many delicious restaurants, bakeries, beautiful shops, not to mention the vibrant night life down Caroline Street. Saratoga is the perfect place to spend some time during the summer and we hope you will visit soon!


Road Trip Essentials

Kelly McCombs - Friday, July 15, 2016


With summer comes the urge to get out and explore! Whether you hop in the car to head to the beach, the mountains, somewhere close by or somewhere a few hours away, you should always make sure you have a few essentials with you, because you never know what unexpected things will happen! We have come up with a list of some important things to make any road trip fun and successful.


One of the most important things to bring along with you are maps of the area where you will be traveling. I know almost all of us have smart phones now, but some areas will have spotty cell phone service and you’ll need an additional way to find where you are going. I usually keep a New York State map in my car at all times anyway, but make sure to pack any others that you may need.


An essential thing that I constantly have to remind myself to bring is a cell phone charger. No matter the length of your road trip, your phone will inevitably die. You’ll be using it for GPS, music, to take pictures along with numerous other things like social media. All of these things will drain your battery’s life, and nobody likes a dead cell phone! I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping an extra charger in my car’s center console so that it is always there and I don’t forget it!


One of the things that will be draining that cell phone battery is playing music. It is essential to have a good road trip playlist! I keep a variety on my phone depending on my mood. It is smart to have standalone playlists instead of just a music streaming app, because if you are in an area with questionable cell phone service, you will still want some music to play!


I usually keep a small cooler filled with ice and water and various other soft drinks in my back seat, within easy reaching distance of the front seat. This saves me time and money because then I don’t have to stop at rest stops or gas stations to buy beverages. I also usually make a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, slip them into a plastic baggie and put them on top of the ice in the cooler for a little snack along the way. Part of the fun of road tripping is stopping along the way at random little eateries and restaurants to sample the local cuisine, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t bring snacks along!


I also tend to keep a little pouch filled with first aid essentials in my purse or the backseat when I go on road trips. It will hold everything from hand sanitizer to headache medicine to chewing gum, along with normal first aid kit products like band aids and triple antibiotic ointment. You never know when you will need one of these things on the road in the middle of nowhere with no gas station in sight.


The finally thing that we think you should bring along with you is a spare blanket and pillow. These come in handy for your passenger during the long drive or you, if you have the unfortunate opportunity to get stuck somewhere. Sleeping in the car is never a fun thing, but if worse comes to worst, at least you’ll be prepared!


We hope these travel essentials will be useful along your road trip. The main thing to always remember is have fun and make memories! 


Summer Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, July 08, 2016


                                                                                         Photo Credit: www.foodandwine.com


Given the intense heat and humidity in NY the last week or so, I thought it was a good time to bring you some summer cocktail recipes. These are some of the most satisfying and refreshing drinks around, which make them perfect for your next summer get-together!



We’ll start off with a cocktail that contains one of my favorite fruits, watermelon. The Watermelon-Tequila Cocktail is perfect for those summer months when watermelon is in season and can be found pretty much everywhere. Paired with tequila, this drink is super easy to make and will certainly hit the spot!



Since everything is better frozen, especially during the heat of summer, why not try Fruity Wine Slushies? You’ll need a blender for this recipe, but the combination of pinot grigio with frozen peaches and strawberries is enough to make your mouth water. It’s a delicious and quick way to cool down, too!



One of the classic staples of any summertime get-together is the Strawberry Daquiri. Most people have had one or at least know what it is, so this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. These are also easy to make in large quantities to pass around at your next BBQ!



A twist on the classic Mimosa is the Peach Melba Mimosa. You’ll also need a blender for this one to puree some frozen raspberries and peaches, but it will be worth it! This fresh and light cocktail is one that you could even have for brunch!



One of my favorite things to drink during the summer is lemonade. This recipe for Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade kicks it up a few notches! The addition of bourbon and the combination of basil with strawberries make this “grown-up” lemonade the perfect summertime beverage after a long hot day.



If you’re looking for a fizzy drink, why not try the Citrus Fizz? Another easy recipe, this one can even be made with our Saratoga Sparkling Water! I always find citrus to be so refreshing when it’s a hot day outside, and this one packs a punch with both orange and lime juices.



We hope you have enjoyed a few of these delicious and refreshing beverages , and as always, please drink responsibly!

Celebrate July 4th!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, July 02, 2016



With the 4th of July holiday fast approaching, we thought we would make a list of some local fireworks shows to help make your holiday extra special! Here are a few in our local area:


Saratoga Lake Fireworks Display

When: Sunday, July 3rd

Where: Saratoga Lake in two locations, at The Water’s Edge and at Brown’s Beach



Saratoga’s All-American Celebration

When: Sunday, July 3rd and Monday, July 4th

Where: Downtown Saratoga Springs

*Saratoga’s All-American Celebration is two days jam packed with events for the whole family. Everything from a historic city tour, a classic car show, a parade for the kids…all the way to the culmination of the celebration with fireworks in Congress Park on July 4th. This is my favorite 4th of July event and one that I go to every year.



July 4th Celebration in Clifton Park

When: Monday, July 4th

Where: Clifton Commons, Clifton Park

*This celebration ends with a wonderful fireworks display, but you don’t want to miss all of the other fun things you can do earlier in the day. There are amusement park rides, food vendors, a parade, and even a craft show. Something for everyone!



Lake George 4th of July Fireworks

When: Monday, July 4th

Where: Shepard’s Park in Lake George



New York State’s 4th of July Celebration

When: Monday, July 4th

Where: Empire State Plaza, Albany

*This is one of the largest fireworks displays in the area and one that comes highly recommended. More than 30,000 people attend this event every year, so be prepared for large crowds. Due to the high volume of people, parking might be a little harder than usual, so make sure you show up early. The evening starts at 3pm, with live bands that play all the way up until it is time for the fireworks display!


We hope you enjoy Independence Day with your friends and family!


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