SARATOGA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Since its founding, Saratoga Springs has served as a place for people near and far to visit. From the history to the culture, there are many reasons why you can call Spa City a destination!

One key attraction started it all for the city of Saratoga Springs: its springs.

“All the springs we have then and now have a different mineral content so it was thought that if a visitor came and you drank the water from say Congress Spring, it might have minerals in there that it would help an ailment,” said James Parillo, executive director of the Saratoga Springs History Museum.

Mineral water, for both drinking and bathing, was the catalyst for the explosive development of the city, attracting settlers to the area.

But according to Parillo, it couldn’t all be about mineral water, the city needed more. That’s when gambling and horse racing came into play.

Much of what people came to do in Saratoga in the 19th and 20th centuries, still rings true today.

After much anticipation, the summer meet at the Saratoga Race Course will welcome fans back into the stands.

“To see fans right where they belong… it’s tremendously important for the sport. I mean the best way to enjoy a day in the races is obviously in person,” said NYRA Communications Director Pat McKenna.

The 2021 summer meet at the Saratoga Race Course kicks off July 15 and runs through September 6. And if the buzz on Broadway St. is any indication, all signs point to a busy summer ahead for the city as they welcome back racing fans.

“We’re already starting to see quite an influx of people coming into the area,” said one business owner.