Just east of the Saratoga Race Course  lies this artists’ retreat (312 Union Ave., between the race course and I-87, 518/584-0746, gardens and grounds 8 a.m.–dusk daily, free), housed in a Victorian Gothic mansion that was once home to Spencer and Katrina Trask. Spencer Trask was a New York financier and philanthropist, Katrina a poet.
Artists come to Yaddo to get away from the noisy outside world and work in uninterrupted peace. About 4,000 writers, composers, and visual artists have worked here since the program began in 1926, including Flannery O’Connor, Saul Bellow, Leonard Bernstein, Langston Hughes, John Cheever, and Aaron Copland.
Though the house is off-limits to the general public, the landscaped grounds are not. Visitors are welcome to stroll through an Italian garden planted with over 100 varieties of roses, and a rock garden strewn with flowering perennials. Wistful marble statues stand here and there.