Adam and I have been in New York for the winter holidays spending time with our families and enjoying the food and entertainment we miss when we’re traveling. These two areas of New York, Saratoga Springs/Glens Falls and Nyack/Rockland County are where our LOCAL roots began. We have favorite things to do, see and eat in each area that we want to share…. and maybe even a few local favorites that are definitely worth going out of your way for.
From Saratoga Springs to Glens Falls there’s so much to explore. There’s the local art, music and culture scene in Downtown Saratoga to the plethora of local restaurants and entertainment in the Glens Falls area, and all the barns to see in between. Here are some of our favorite local spots in our upstate New York hometown.
Local Noms :
Cool Beans Coffee – With three locations in the Glens Falls area, tons of flavors of coffee, delicious pastries, bagels and sandwiches made to order, Cool Beans is a great spot to refuel! If you’re in need of some serious caffeine (like Adam) go for “the foglifter”, and if you’re into creative flavored coffee, some of my favorites are maple bacon, snicker doodle, and peanut butter cup. PS. Their cinnamon rolls are amazing!
“Poopie’s”- AKA Dimanno’s Lunch is a true local favorite of Glens Falls. This small family-run restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only. The walls are lined with photos of Rock musicians, local places and sports memorabilia. It has easily become my favorite breakfast spot because of its local atmosphere and DELICIOUS food. I LOVED the pancakes!
Mr. Bills Carhop– If you’re in town for track season in Saratoga or visiting Lake George, you’ve got to check out this seasonal favorite in South Glens Falls. Known for their soft serve ice cream, and “Zookie”dogs, they are one of those rare establishments that offers old-school carhop service (just leave your lights on!) I love me some good soft serve in the summer time!
Bonus: In the mood for a unique flavor of soft serve, head on out to Cooper’s Cave Ale Company (open year round), they offer almost any soft serve flavor you could think of, a bunch of hard ice cream flavors, a slue of different sodas and a mess of beers. I have never had a harder time making a decision… Oh yeah, they have food too!
What are some fun things to do in the area?
Well, Saratoga is most well known for…
The Saratoga Race Course- My favorite time to go, however, is in the morning before the crowds and the races. Grab some coffee and breakfast to go and watch the horses warm up for free! You can also go to a race or walk around and look at the paintings and wares in the boutiques at the grand stand or try your luck playing the ponies.
Yaddo Rose Garden- A beautiful garden even when the roses aren’t in bloom. I still have yet to see it at the right time… but Adam tells me it’s beautiful (considering he took his prom photos there back in the day). I’ve heard they also do Garden Ghost tours in the month of October, which sounds really cool! I’m looking forward to when we come to Saratoga and the roses are in bloom.
Saratoga Hall of Springs- This to me in another unique place to visit. It’s really more of an event venue but the exterior property is beautiful to walk around and take pictures of. The long halls, grassy lawns and expansive pools of water are like something out of a storybook.
Bonus: Also attached to the Saratoga Spa State Park is the National Museum of Dance (if you’re into dance, which I am) and SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) if you’re into seeing good music in a great outdoor venue. (Adam and I saw our first Phish show at SPAC and it was AMAZING!)
If you’re looking for a few date night options in Saratoga/Glens Falls, go see a double feature at one of the 3 surrounding Drive In theaters. For a truly nostalgic evening, take your date to Mr. Bills Carhop before the movie!
Into sports? Take your date to a Local ECHL hockey game at Glens Falls Civic Center, home of the Adirondack Thunders. Or grab a drink or two at Putnam Den in downtown Saratoga. (We suggest going when the Grateful Dead Tribute bands are in town!)
As for shops in town, we have two distinct favorites
Stewart’s Shops- a regional convenience store that has gas, local milk and their own brand of ice cream, [Isn’t it obvious? We LOVE ice cream] as well as everything else you may need at your convenience! This is not the famous Stewart’s brand of soda, but they do make their own as well.
42 Degrees– The one true local head shop located up in Glens Falls. They have beautiful local glass, glass blowing demos almost every night, some gear, accessories, books, great service and the sweetest shop dog. We love visiting 42 degrees!
Finally, there are tons of hiking and outdoor fun opportunities in the area to take advantage of, just head outside!
Moreau Lake State Park, Hadley Mountain and the Adirondack State Park, Saratoga Spa State Park, and Congress Park just to name a few.
Tell us what your Hometown Favorites are. What do you crave when you’re away from home? Share your favorites with us in a comment below. If you’re visiting the area or have questions, leave us a comment below or send us a message on one of our social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!