People make their way to Cooperstown, NY, because it’s the home of baseball. More specifically, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which is what makes Cooperstown a must-see destination for any big fans of America’s favorite pastime. But though Cooperstown is a baseball town, that isn’t all it is: there are plenty of sights to see in Cooperstown, music to enjoy, art to be absorbed, beer to swig, and lakes to canoe. Welcome to Cooperstown, where the journey is everything, and the baseball – well, the baseball is too.
Cooperstown is just under a four-hour drive from both Boston and New York City, which means that it’s not exactly a day trip. It’s best to think of Cooperstown as the ideal weekend getaway with the family.
"Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations", indeed. At the Baseball Hall of Fame, ordinary citizens are in the company of American legends. Since opening in 1939, the museum has accumulated over 38,000 baseball artifacts, which are showcased over three floors of exhibitions. It’s an intimate wander through the playhouse for any fan – the ghost of Babe Ruth lives on in the Babe Ruth Room; Hank Aaron is immortalized on the third floor. This is a destination, not a stop-over, for any baseball fan, and it’s a great place to bring the kids.
Tubing, sailing, kayaking, wake-boarding, waterskiing, canoeing, and fishing in the summer; ice fishing, snowshoeing, skating, and snowmobiling in the winter. Otsego Lake is a great place for all kinds of water sports activities, all year round. Take in the view of the lake with the 60-foot-tall Kingfisher Tower on the eastern shore, which is a fantastic spot for picnicking and enjoying Cooperstown in the fall.
For the art-loving traveler visiting Cooperstown and trying to load up on opera between baseball games (or in lieu of baseball games, it’s OK, not everyone is into bats and balls), the Glimmerglass Festival is not to be missed in the summer. The rolling hills and sprawling parks of Otsego Lake offer a larger-than-life backdrop to the fantastical operas and theatrics on stage. Themed restaurant tents, catered by the Otesaga Resort Hotel and other local restaurants, offer the finest of dining in a natural setting.
Is there a better combination than baseball and beer? The answer is no, there is not. Historically, New York State was one of the country’s leading beer producers, and the beer remains ever-flowing, particularly at Brewery Ommegang, where they specialize in Belgian-style ales. After filling up on the golden nectar, take a breezy tour of the grounds and discover the fields of wild hops and see how beer is produced in their massive tanks. The brewery is just one of six stops on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, which visits a number of breweries and wineries around Cooperstown.
Conveniently located in Central Cooperstown, a hop and a skip away from the Brewery Ommegang, Otsega Lake, the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Fenimore Art Museum, The Inn At Cooperstown is a quaint, comforting place to stay. From the outside, it looks like a sprawling mansion, but inside it contains all the comforts of a home away from home. It’s definitely one of the top lodging choices in Cooperstown, along with the Otesaga Resort Hotel.