SPA TOWN IN UNITED STATES
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK
Saratoga Springs is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 26,586 at the 2010 census. The name reflects the presence of mineral springs in the area, which has made Saratoga a popular resort destination for over 200 years. The city is just north of Ballston Spa, in the heart of New York's Capital Region.
Saratoga Springs was ranked tenth in the list of the top 10 places to live in New York State for 2014 according to the national online real estate brokerage Movoto.
Before racing began in Saratoga, the area's natural mineral springs had been attracting wealth for many decades. The springs occur on a line where the north-south Saratoga Fault allows water trapped in subsurface shale layers to reach the surface.
Believed to have healing powers, springs can be found all over town. Most of the springs are covered by small pavilions and marked by plaques; others, however, are less conspicuous, sometimes just a spigot in a rock. The springs are famous for their varied and distinct tastes: some are clear freshwater, others are saltier, and some taste strongly of a certain mineral such as sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride. There is a sulfur odor, but mineral analysis of the water consistently shows almost no presence of dissolved sulfur. The sulfur is in the form of the gas hydrogen sulfide, which degasses from the water very quickly. Visitors are welcome to bottle the spring water for personal consumption.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century excessive pumping for commercial bottling was threatening to deplete the springs. In 1911 the New York State Reservation, now the Spa State Park, was created to protect the springs and the Lincoln and Roosevelt bath houses were built. Currently, luxury spa treatments with these waters are available in the Roosevelt Baths. The springs include:
Other springs popular in the nineteenth century which are no longer in use include the Hamilton Spring, the Patterson Spring, and the Favorite Spring.
Saratoga Spa State Park
The Saratoga Spa State Park capitalizes on the culture and mineral springs that drove Saratoga Springs. This is a large state park and includes a hotel, 2 pool complexes, mineral baths, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), picnic areas, hiking trails and numerous mineral springs. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, located on the State Park grounds, has been the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York City Ballet since 1966. Jazz and dance are featured at SPAC. The SPAC Amphitheater itself is 110 feet (34 m) high, sits in a natural, curved bowl that is bordered by large pine trees and a large lawn space, but is afflicted by the roar of nearby Geyser Creek, which creates serious acoustical problems. Inside the amphitheater is seating for 5100, the lawn can easily hold an additional 20,000 people. The park is also home to the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, the Lincoln Mineral Baths and Spa, and the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa.