Although the last pitch for Major League Baseball is about to be thrown, baseball fans can indulge their passion all year round. How? By heading three hours north of New York City to Cooperstown, New York, where the town lives and breathes America’s pastime. And even if you’re traveling with non-baseball lovers, there’s plenty to do in the charming village. Here’s what you should know.
Nestled in the foothills of the Northern Catskill Mountains, Cooperstown is a convenient drive from several northeast cities, including Baltimore, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. If you’re coming from further away, fly into Albany and expect a 90-minute drive to the historic village filled with nostalgic charm.
Where to Stay
While there are many adorable inns and chain hotels, the town’s most iconic property has to be The Otesaga Resort Hotel. Situated on the banks of Otsego Lake, the legendary property is filled with historic grandeur and has sweeping lake views. Guests can indulge in a treatment at Hawkeye Spa, tee off at the resort’s award-winning Leatherstocking Golf Course, and enjoy a cocktail on the expansive wrap-around porch after a day of exploring. Plus, don’t forget to check out the popular outdoor fire bar, where you can sit back and chat about your baseball-fueled day.
What to Do
Ok, let’s get to the important stuff: the baseball itinerary. Perhaps best known among the village’s trio of museums is the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. The world-renowned attraction celebrates America’s Favorite Pastime through interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, and multimedia presentations. The Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery, often described as “baseball’s mecca,” can’t be missed.
Of course, playing baseball is a must on the itinerary. From mid-April into October, you can rent the famous Doubleday Field to play a game or two. Cooperstown opens 2-3 game slots each day, so just be sure to secure one ahead of time. Then, after you are done, head to The Cooperstown Bat Company for the ultimate souvenir. The famous baseball bat factory sells pro-level bats and can even do custom engravings.
To appease the non-baseball lovers, check out the Fenimore Art Museum, home to one of the country’s largest permanent collections of American Indian art and American folk art. Across the street from the art museum is The Farmers’ Museum, which depicts what life was like in a small town and on a farm through its 19th-century outdoor Historic Village. Because this museum was designed as a park-like setting, young visitors especially love seeing the adorable barnyard animals. And architecture enthusiasts will enjoy Hyde Hall Mansion. The 19th-century estate is a national historic landmark, housed five generations of families from 1819 to 1943, and is considered the finest example of a neoclassic country mansion in the United States.
Ready to play ball?