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Spotlight: Cooperstown

This charming village is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and much more.

Called America's hometown, Cooperstown has small-town charm and world-class attractions, including the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a must-see for fans of the game and a great look into Americana. Discover living history at the Farmers' Museum, acclaimed opera at the Glimmerglass Festival, breweries, great restaurants, four-season events, and outdoor fun—from golf and sailing on the lake to hiking or snowshoeing in Glimmerglass State Park—all amid picture-perfect scenery.

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Three Things You Can't Miss

Cooperstown ILNY - Baseball Hall of Fame - Photos Courtesy of ThisIsCooperstown.com

National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum

From the uniform that Cy Young wore and bats used by Willie Mays and Derek Jeter to interactive exhibits and special events, the museum's vast collection tells great stories of America's national pastime. 

Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum

This neo-Georgian mansion, built on the site of Fenimore Cooper's early 19th-century farmhouse, houses fascinating folk art, Native America art, decorative arts, and Hudson River School paintings. Splendid gardens overlook Otsego Lake and a Seneca Log House and Mohawk Bark House offer a glimpse of the past.

Glimmerglass Festival

Glimmerglass Festival

Acclaimed opera and musical theater are presented every summer in a lakeside theater called "the most magical of settings" by The Times of London

family fun

The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown

The Farmers' Museum

Weavers, blacksmiths, and farmers demonstrate crafts and skills in a recreated 1845 village and working farm that bring history to life. The Empire State Carousel features an Erie Canal boat and hand-carved animals native to New York. Events are held year-round.

Otsego Lake Cooperstown

Glimmerglass State Park/Otsego Lake

Four-season fun includes swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and camping in the spring, summer, and fall, and winter sports of snow tubing, ice-skating, ice-fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Hyde Hall, described as America's finest neoclassic country mansion, offers tours just eight miles north of Cooperstown.

Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad.

Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad

16-mile sightseeing trips run from Milford Depot to Cooperstown in passenger coaches from 1928 and an open-air gondola. Special themed rides include music trains, ice-cream socials, staged robberies, dinosaur trains, the Easter Bunny Express, Halloween, and Christmas Trains.

spend the day

Kid in Yankees hat looking at display at National Baseball Hall of Fame

Let the whimsical folk art at the Fenimore Museum and living history exhibits at the Farmers' Museum next door take you back to simpler times. Even a trolley ride down Main Street is a magical trip in this vintage American town. 

Have lunch at the Doubleday Café and explore Main Street, lined with historic landmarks and colorful shops selling sports memorabilia, gifts, crafts, and souvenirs.

Explore the world-famous National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum (pictured). Interactive exhibits, films, and thousands of artifacts celebrate the game, honor its greatest players, and reflect American culture.

Finish the day with a sumptuous lakeside dinner at the Otesaga Resort Hotel. Or, if you and your family are looking for a quick meal, head to Sal's Pizzeria on Main Street.

spend the weekend

Brewery Ommegang - Aerial View - Photo Courtesy of Central NY

Saturday

Get an early start with breakfast at Cooperstown Diner, a classic Main Street gem where locals, visitors, and the occasional celebrity go for good coffee, comfort food, and the latest news. Delicious breakfast is served from 6 am to 8 pm every day.

Spend a few hours or the whole day exploring the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. Visit during the Hall of Fame Classic or Hall of Fame Induction Weekend for a chance to meet living legends.

Stroll through Main Street shops and pick up a tasty lunch at Danny's Market or the Cooperstown Farmers' Market

Plan a night to remember at the Glimmerglass Festival, world-class opera and musical theater in a magical lakeside setting. You can pre-order a gourmet picnic to eat on the lawn pre-show. Kids ages 6 and up are welcome at performances, and tickets for the little ones start at just $10. If you're visiting during colder months, the Cooperstown Concert Series presents stellar music, from Cajun to classical, at various local venues like Brewery Ommegang (pictured) every Saturday night.

Cooperstown Bat Company

Sunday

Start your day with heavenly coffee, cinnamon rolls, and a serious roster of baked goods such as cupcakes and cookies from Schneider's Bakery, which dates back to 1887!

Step into an 1845 village, the Farmers' Museum, and explore the houses, barnyard, school, and shops, as costumed guides tell tales about the Cardiff Giant, the Empire State Carousel, and traditions and tasks of 19th-century rural life. Next door, at the Fenimore Art Museum, find one of the world's biggest and best folk art collections, with whimsical weathervanes, ship figureheads, quilts, paintings, and trade signs.

Have lunch at the Doubleday Café, then catch a ballgame at historic Doubleday Field, where players play just for the love of the game—every day, three games a day during baseball season—on the perfectly manicured diamond.

Continue the baseball fun by visiting Cooperstown Bat Company (pictured), where you can watch bats being made. Order an engraved bat for a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

spend the week

National Baseball Hall of Fame
Credit: Milo Stewart Jr./National Hall of Fame & Museum

Monday

Celebrate the spirit of baseball, its heroes, and its history at the National Baseball Hall of Fame (pictured). The world's most famous sports shrine has thousands of baseball treasures and exhibits on three floors. But this is no stuffy museum experience—plenty of the exhibits are interactive and kid-friendly. Pro tip: If you're planning to visit in the summer for Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, book your accommodations early.

Rent a canoe, kayak, or fishing boat from Sam Smith's Boatyard on Otsego Lake. You can also buy fishing licenses, poles, and bait if you'd like to try to catch your dinner. If you come up empty, Blue Mingo Grill on-site serves lunch and dinner lakeside on the porch.

Glimmerglass State Park

Tuesday

Swim or hike along the wooded trails of Glimmerglass State Park (pictured). Just north of the village, it's beautiful in every season. Watch for wildlife, walk through the covered bridge, and tour the neoclassical mansion and National Historic Site Hyde Hall, surrounded by rolling hills and stunning lake views. 

Rent a bike from Woodland Cycles in Milford. This area's great for riding, from rural roads and rolling hills to epic climbs. See bike routes at This is Cooperstown. For a gorgeous 22-mile loop, head north and keep turning right around Otsego Lake.

In summer, bring a blanket to the free Cooperstown Lakefront Concert Series, at the bandstand in Lakefront Park every Tuesday evening at 7 pm. Dancing is encouraged.

Howe Caverns

Wednesday

Take a 35-mile road trip to Howe Caverns (pictured)—a geological wonder 156 feet below the Earth's surface and New York's second-most-visited natural attraction (after Niagara Falls). Get a lift at Howe Caverns High Adventure Park, packed with affordable outdoor fun for all ages, from ziplines to rock climbing walls.

On the way back, stop in Sharon Springs to visit the fabulous Beekman Boys' Beekman 1802 Mercantile on Main Street, selling heirloom-quality artisanal and handcrafted goods, from their famous goat-milk soaps and cheese to pasta sauce. Have a fabulous farm-to-table dinner down the street at the American Hotel.

Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown

Thursday

Follow the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, a scenic 37-mile route in the former hops-growing capital of the US. Breweries, wineries, a distillery, and a cider mill host tours, tastings, and events.

Tour Brewery Ommegang (pictured), a Belgian farmstead-style brewery on a former hops farm, named one of America's 25 Best Craft Breweries by The Daily Meal. The café on-site serves Belgian fare, from beer-steamed mussels with frites to waffles. You have to be older than 21 to taste the brews, but kids are welcome to tag along.

Visit Fly Creek Cider Mill, offering samples of 40 foods, from sweet cider to tangy New York State cheddar cheese. In autumn, pick up apples and fresh-baked pies.

Empire State Carousel at Farmers Museum, Cooperstown

Friday

Ride the charming trolley down Main Street and visit the Farmers' Museum (pictured), a very kid-friendly replica of an 1845 farmstead and village with seasonal crops, farm animals, and costumed interpreters showcasing traditional trades, crafts, and chores. 

See great American art, from Thomas Cole to Grandma Moses, at the Fenimore Art Museum. The gardens overlooking the lake are an ideal spot for a picnic lunch.

If you're looking to soak up some fresh air on the water, board Glimmerglass Queen, which offers narrated cruises and views of the scenery that inspired James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales.

Paddleboarding at Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales

Saturday

Rent a stand-up paddleboard from Canoe & Kayak Rentals (pictured) and head out on the water for a scenic and relaxing ride. 

"Field to flask" Cooperstown Distillery crafts award-winning spirits from New York farm products. Take a tour and see their retail shop. After 5 pm, the shop transforms into a cocktail lounge serving pub food, music, and cheer.

Be inspired by a performance of opera or musical theater at the Glimmerglass Festival, a summer season of world-class music. Food trucks and concession stands are available so you can picnic on the grounds.

Baseball players at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown

Sunday

Start big with the sumptuous Sunday Brunch Buffet at the Otesaga Resort. Then bring home country flavor from Middlefield Orchard. Depending on the season, you can pick berries, peaches, apples, pears, or pumpkins at the family-friendly farm with more than 10,000 dwarf fruit trees for easy picking.

Catch one of Cooperstown Summer Music Festival's Sunday afternoon concerts, from classical to bluegrass, May through October.

Take a seat behind home plate in the grandstand and watch a ballgame at Doubleday Field (pictured). Mickey Mantle played here in 1965. Admission is free; the experience is priceless.

Hotels and Stays

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getting there

By Train

Amtrak to train station at Albany-Rensselaer (1.5-hour bus ride to Cooperstown via Trailways) or Utica (1-hour bus ride to Cooperstown via Trailways).

By Plane

Whether you're traveling near or far, start your journey by flying into Albany International Airport, Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY. 71 miles from Cooperstown via Trailways bus or rental car.

By Bus

Trailways provides direct bus service to Cooperstown.

By Car

• From Albany: 1.5 hours
• From NYC: 4 hours
• From Boston: 4 hours
• From Buffalo: 3 hours 40 minutes
• From Philadelphia: 4.5 hours
• From Montreal: 4.5 hours
• From Toronto: 5.5 hours 

Bonus Tip

Visit This Is Cooperstown for more information.