1. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is in a downtown area with shops and restaurants, is in walking distance to several hotels, and is open year round (summer is peak season).
2. Cooperstown is on a lake, so there’s boating, swimming, ice skating, and options for dining with a view (try Blue Mingo).
View from Blue Mingo restaurant in Cooperstown, NY. Photo by Anastasia Mills Healy
3. You can—and should—get a combination ticket for admission to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Fenimore Museum of Art, and Farmers’ Museum.
4. The Farmers’ Museum is a living history museum with numerous buildings, farm animals, and an exquisite historic carousel where you can ride a skunk, black lab, moose, beaver, frog, and other unusual carousel creatures.
5. The Fenimore Museum of Art, which is literally across the street from the Farmers’ Museum, has strong collections of folk art and Native American objects, and enjoys a stunning lakeside setting.
6. Cooperstown is named for the Cooper family whose most famous member was James Fenimore Cooper. His Last of the Mohicans is one of five novels chronicling frontier life known as the Leatherstocking Tales. This area of Central New York State is named the Leatherstocking Region after pioneers who wore leather stockings.
7. The Otesaga Resort is a grand hotel that you should visit for a meal or beverage even if you don’t stay there.
8. Craft beverages from beer to cider and gin to moonshine are produced in this region. Stop by Brewery Ommerang, Fly Creek Cider Mill, or Cooperstown Beverage Center on Main Street.
9. Cooperstown is a picture-perfect small town with a historic district and several individual buildings listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
10. Opera buffs shouldn’t miss a performance at the well-regarded summer Glimmerglass Festival.