Saratoga, Wyoming is not a large town, and it doesn’t offer much. But because it is in a quaint mountain setting, there are a couple of nice places to eat, some local beer to drink, and of course, some excellent examples of taxidermy in the local grocery store. More on that later.
It’s easy to fill the day with work back at the artists’ camp, but eventually, we are all slowly making time to explore Saratoga, like the mental patients being brought into town for a field trip to experience normal life and test our social boundaries. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but it is weirdly diverse and fast-paced in town compared to the ranch. And it’s not actually at all diverse or fast-paced in town, if you get my drift. If you happen to find yourself passing through (or visiting), which many people do here in Southern Wyoming, here are my recommendations:
Saratoga Hot Springs: A couple of the expensive hotels in town have their own private hot tubs, but the public pool (charmingly called the Hobo Pool) is friendly, unassuming, and free. And it’s right off the main road.
Bella’s Bistro Italian Restaurant is delicious, and the service is very friendly (although they definitely run on mountain time, like everywhere). It's also a pretty tiny place, so if you're going during normal meal times with more than one other person, call ahead for reservations.
Snowy Mountain Brewery at Saratoga Resort and Spa: The beer is good, the accommodations are beautiful, and they make a lot of different brews. Right now, my favorites on tap are the Indian Rye IPA, Macadamia Nut Brown Ale, and Dirty Blond, which is a light blonde with honey and coffee in it.
Saratoga IGA: I wasn’t kidding--do your grocery shopping in high mountain style surrounded by a stuffed black bear and mounted elk (multiple), moose, and more. The owner either has a sense of humor or he has never visited other towns to see how unsettling this is. I particularly appreciate the increased number of fine mounted specimen near the butcher’s area in the store.
Beaver Liquor: You can buy liquor here. And take your photo with the sign.