The effervescent water that gives Saratoga Springs its name has been thought to have healing properties since the land was inhabited by the Mahican Native Americans. Shortly after Europeans forged permanent settlements in the area in the late 18th century, the healing springs became the focus of intense tourist interest, and by the end of the 19th century the town of Saratoga Springs was a full-fledged destination. People came not just to soak in the mineral-rich spring water, but also to visit the gambling houses that sprung up after the popularity of the now famous Saratoga Race Course.
You can still bet on horse racing during the summer season, soak in the mineral water, or visit the casino. The debauched gambling atmosphere has mostly mellowed, but the town retains a year-round frivolity as bubbly as the spring water that put the town on the map.