GETTING THERE: Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a half-hour from the Albany airport. If you've got more than a two-day weekend, driving becomes an option; from D.C., it's about 400 miles (roughly seven hours) each way. Flying nonstop to Albany from D.C.-area airports takes an hour and a half or less. We flew United Express from Dulles for around $200 apiece; Independence Air offers a nonstop flight in mid-July from Dulles for $141 round trip. US Airways flies from National for $181 and Southwest from BWI starting at $116.

SARATOGA NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK: The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. The nine-mile, 10-stop battlefield tour road is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from early April to Nov. 30, weather permitting; there are some good walking trails as well. Don't miss the Breymann Redoubt (stop 7), with its "Boot Monument" commemorating Benedict Arnold's wounding. Battlefield admission is charged from May 1 to Oct. 31: $5 per car or $3 per adult on foot. Info: 518-664-9821, www.nps.gov/sara.

STAYING THERE: We would have tried the Inn at Saratoga (231 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 800-274-3573, www.theinnatsaratoga.com) if it hadn't been booked up. It's a modernized Victorian in the middle of town; room rates vary from $114 on weekdays and $129 on weekends to $274 to $324 during racing season. The Adelphi Hotel is another vintage holdover from the town's glory days as a spa resort, with summer weekend rooms starting at $145, higher during race meets (365 Broadway, 518-587-4688, www.adelphihotel.com). The Courtyard by Marriott in Saratoga Springs (11 Excelsior Ave., 866-426-8789, www.marriott.com) is a white-bread alternative; rooms run $159 to $179 before the season, then jump to $369 to $399.

EATING THERE: Alternatives abound, all within a few blocks. Hattie's (45 Phila St., 518-584-4790) features southern and Louisiana cuisine; the sweet potato soup, jambalaya and pecan pie made us think we were at a Cajun Thanksgiving. Entrees from $12.95 to $18.95. Compton's (457 Broadway, 518-584-9632) is a down-home haven for breakfast and lunch; the highest-priced entree is $6.75).

BEING THERE: At Schuylerville, a few miles north of the battlefield, check out the 155-foot Saratoga Monument and visit the elegant summer house of Gen. Philip Schuyler. If you're interested in the ponies, the season at Saratoga Race Course (800-727-2990, www.saratogaraceway.com) is July 27 through Sept. 5.

INFO: Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau, 518-584-1531, www.discoversaratoga.org.