Saratoga Springs, NY

Five Museums for Visitors to Saratoga Springs, New York

George J. Ziogas
Lisa S. Engelbrecht/Danita Delimont/Adobe Stock

There are a variety of museums in Saratoga Springs, New York. What makes them worth seeing? This guide will explain about each of them in detail.

1. National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame

Located at 99 South Broadway in what was formerly the Washington Bathhouse, this is the only American museum that focuses on the subject of dance. One of the museum's permanent exhibitions enlightens visitors about its earlier bathhouse status with two meticulous restorations of adjoining bath and treatment rooms, complete with the original furnishings. The other permanent exhibitions explore the subject of dance. Particularly noteworthy is Dancers in Film, which examines the long and fascinating history of the art of dance in cinema. Another permanent exhibition, the Alfred Z. Solomon Children's Wing, has diversions for youngsters, like an interactive dance game. The museum also has rotating exhibitions. Among the notable past temporary displays were the Dance of the Iroquois, Golden Land/Golden Dreams: Images of Sacred Temple Dances and Dancers from the Kingdom of Cambodia, and 30 Years of Barbie Dolls: A Child's Introduction to Story Ballets.

2. National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

It makes sense that the popular horse racing spot of Saratoga Springs should have the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. At 191 Union Avenue, this museum explores the history of horse racing in America. This history ranges from its origins by English settlers during colonial times throughout its flourishing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to its present day activities. There's an Official National Thoroughbred Hall of Fame section where visitors learn about the distinguished careers of the Hall of Fame inductees - the horses, their jockeys, their trainers, and other contributors to horse racing. Visitors are also treated to an informative and entertaining 16 minute-film, What It Takes:Journey to the Hall of Fame. An Anatomy Gallery utilizes anatomical displays and interactive exhibits to explain the breeding and biology of thoroughbred horses. These are just some of the displays that enthrall tourists, both young and old.

3. New York State Military Museum

As the name indicates, this museum at 61 Lake Avenue examines the subject of New York State's military forces and veterans. It is home to thousands of New York artifacts like uniforms, weapons, and artillery pieces utilized throughout America's various conflicts from the American Revolution to Desert Storm. The museum celebrates such notable troops throughout history like New York's 27th Division in both world wars and displays relics like the uniform of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the Union's first casualty in the Civil War and the uniform and bugle of Gustav Schurmann, who was a boy bugler in the same war. The museum also has the largest collection of state battle flags in America and the largest collection of Civil War flags in the entire world. It is a must-see for both military and history buffs.

4. Saratoga Automobile Museum

This museum is at 110 Avenue of the Pines, within the 2,500-acre Saratoga Spa State Park. Its exhibits inform visitors about the impact of automobiles in American society, particularly in the state of New York. Those interested in the role of vehicles in the history of the Empire State can check out the presentation East of Detroit, which explores the state's various car manufacturers during the first part of the 20th century, Racing in New York, which examines automobile racing in the state, and New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame, which celebrates the drivers, their fans, and the people who have promoted races in both New York State and western Vermont. The Saratoga Automobile Museum is also noted for its annual classic car shows, held outside on the lawn.

5. Saratoga Springs History Museum

This museum at 1 East Congress Street is devoted to the history of the town of Saratoga Springs. It consists of three floors of permanent exhibitions. On the first floor is the Orientation Exhibition, which utilizes graphics to sum up the chronological history of Saratoga Springs. Visitors to the second floor are treated to the spectacle of the Canfield Casino, which operated over a hundred years ago. They can examine the original furniture which was used for the casino. The Walworth Memorial Museum, which displays in seven rooms historical artifacts of the legacy of a prominent Saratoga Springs family called the Walworths, is on the third floor. The Saratoga Springs History Museum also has revolving exhibitions that focus on the city's history. Among the temporary exhibitions this museum has hosted, there's been one concentrating on Saratoga Springs's hotels in the late 19th century and another focusing on how settlers developed the city's celebrated mineral springs.

This guide has just explained why each of the five listed museums are worth seeing. They cover various aspects of Saratoga Springs's history and culture, from automobiles to the military. And these museums present these subjects in such an enlightening and entertaining way. Anyone who visits Saratoga Springs should check them out!

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