Did you know that, before the lockdown, New York State had hundreds of millions of visitors yearly? For instance, in 2019, it had 265.5 million visitors.
Many of those folks visit none other than New York City. Indeed, in 2019, the Big Apple welcomed 66 million travelers.
However, there’s more to New York than NYC; for starters, it’s home to Cooperstown, the Baseball City. It’s tiny, having a land area of only 1.64 square miles, but it has loads of things to offer.
To that end, we created this guide on what to do in Cooperstown, NY. Read on to learn what they are, and you’ll soon see why visiting this village is worth it.
Make Your Baseball Pilgrimage
If you’re one of the 170+ million American fans of Major League Baseball (MLB), it’s time to travel to Cooperstown, NY. After all, this tiny village is where the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum lies.
Constructed in 1936, the Hall of Fame and Museum has been on the same spot on Main Street for almost nine decades. Inside you’ll find honorary baseball-related artifacts and exhibits on display. From thousands of bats to trophies and uniforms, expect to see them all in the vast, 3-story building.
According to the MLB, the Hall of Fame and Museum is a chief reason for Cooperstown’s tourism. That’s particularly true during July, when the induction weekend takes place. As a result, its population of 1,800 swells to a staggering 50,000, thanks to fans on a Cooperstown, NY weekend trip.
Get Up Close to Babe Ruth
Not far from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is the Baseball Wax Museum. Located at 99 Main St., it’s the only wax museum in the world dedicated to baseball. So, it’s no wonder you’ll find wax models of legends like Babe Ruth here.
Aside from Babe Ruth, more than 30 other life-size wax models are in the museum. For starters, there are the baseball heroes Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, and Joe DiMaggio. It even has Abbot and Costello and, of course, the iconic Marilyn Monroe.
If you can’t get enough baseball, you can also check out the museum’s virtual reality batting cage. You can swing the bat here with all your might and not worry about the ball smashing a window somewhere.
And if that’s still not enough, head to the museum’s Baseball Bloopers Theater. You’re sure to have fun watching hilarious clips of game bloopers here.
Marvel at the Glacially-Formed Otsego Lake
Otsego, which means “place of the rock” in Iroquois Indian, is a lake formed by glaciers. It’s about 5.5 miles from Cooperstown’s Main Street, less than 10 minutes by car. You can find it by the foot of the Catskill Mountains.
Otsego Lake serves the quaint NY village as a giant water basin. It stretches for almost 8 miles, boasting sparkling clear and clean water. It’s open to anyone who wants to swim, kayak, fish, boat, or take a refreshing dip.
Because of its majestic beauty, you’ll find numerous Cooperstown vacation rentals near it. Moreover, many biking and hiking trails are along the lakeside’s scenic parks.
Schedule Some Forest Bathing Time
Known as Shinrin-yoku in Japan, forest bathing is a practice of spending time in the forest. It involves slowly taking one’s time to take in and enjoy the atmosphere.
That alone is already enjoyable, but studies also say it has many therapeutic effects. For instance, it appears to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It also seems to provide a way for mental relaxation.
The good news is that Cooperstown is a gateway to many tree-packed areas. For starters, there’s the 582-acre Decatur State Forest, which allows for hiking. The 521-acre South Hill State Forest is also perfect for peaceful walks.
Learn More About Rural Life
Along Otsego Lake’s west shoreline stands the magnificent Farmers’ Museum. It has been open to the public since 1944.
When it first opened, the Farmer’s Museum only had about 5,000 farming-related tools on display. That has grown to an impressive 23,000+ artifacts, educating visitors on agricultural life.
If you’re heading to Cooperstown in September, visit in time for the Harvest Festival. There’s also the annual Tractor Fest, which the museum typically schedules every October. Another October event you’d want to check out is the ghost tour, aptly named “Things That Go Bump in the Night.”
Cap the Day With Some Brews
At the end of your adventure-packed day, head to Brewery Ommegang. It’s the first Belgian-style farmhouse brewery in America and sits on a 140-acre hop farm.
You can find Brewery Ommegang at 656 County, Highway 33, just a 10-minute drive from the south of the village. The facility offers guided tasting programs from expert yet friendly staff. Each tour costs $15, including drink samples and a take-home tasting glass.
Once you’ve tasted the brewery’s award-winning ales, head to their Tap House. Here you can enjoy gastronomic delights that pair well with your drinks.
The Tap House, by itself, is a sight to see, boasting 20 taps with fresh craft beer poured on demand. You can sit at the bar or go outside to enjoy sipping your drinks under the expansive covered outdoor patio. Do the latter, and you can take in the brewery’s magnificent, lush, rolling landscape.
Start Planning What to Do in Cooperstown, NY
And there you have it, your ultimate guide on what to do in Cooperstown, NY. And now you know that despite its tiny size, the village has lots to offer to baseball fans and everyone else.
So, why not consider planning your to-do and to-see list as early as today? The sooner you do, the sooner you can determine if festivals are also taking place on your visit.
Are you looking for other lifestyle and entertainment guides like this? Then please feel free to check out our most recent blog posts!