20 Best Things to Do in Cooperstown, NY

Cooperstown, NY

America's quintessential village in central New York state, Cooperstown is famous as baseball's birthplace.

This beautiful little place is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Abner Doubleday Field, and the world's only baseball wax museum!

Additionally, Cooperstown offers you beautiful scenery, a vibrant and eclectic fine arts scene, and history.

You may also enjoy its excellent food, comfortable accommodations, fantastic craft brews, and many more!

Interested to know more about this stunning place?

Here are the 20 best things to do in Cooperstown, New York:

Revisit History at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
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Even if you are not a baseball fan, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown is an American icon.

Situated on Cooperstown's Main Street, it was first established in 1936 and is a homage to the true history of baseball and all the brilliant sportspeople who played it.

Display of Rizzo's jersey, cap and bat at National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
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The museum protects thousands of artifacts, such as photographs and other physical mentos.

These tell the history of the game. Amongst these are Babe Ruth's glove preserved from the 1926 World Series and Derek Jeter's batting helmet.

The museum's digital collection is also extensive and offers a glimpse into the countless moments of brilliance preserved in the Archives.

Exhibits at National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
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See the Wax Figures at the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum

Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum has impressive life-size wax figures from baseball history and Hollywood.

You will see Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Micky Mantle, and many others.

You will also see Hollywood's iconic Marilyn Monroe and Abbott and Costello!

Additionally, the museum features a virtual reality batting cage and a fun "bloopers" show from baseball history.

Go Fishing at Otsego Lake

Scenic view of Otsego Lake
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No visit to Cooperstown can be remotely complete without a stroll down Otsego Lake.

It is the center of the town and a beautiful place to boat, fish, or merely walk around and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

It is a fantastic place to float for an afternoon, watching the local wildlife from your boat.

Boating at Otsego Lake
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For fishing enthusiasts, Otsego Lake permits ice fishing and has excellent smallmouth bass fishing and lake trout fishing facilities.

In the winter, you can also show off your skills at ice skating.

Other places to visit nearby include the Canadarago Boat Launch, the Hyde Hall site, and Betty & Wilbur Davis State Park.

People relaxing at Otsego Lake
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Experience the Glimmerglass Festival

Glimmerglass calls itself a professional non-profit summer opera company.

It is dedicated to discovering and producing little-known operas or innovative versions of familiar pieces.

A thriving center of art and music, the Glimmerglass Festival is unmissable for lovers of theatre and art.

The Glimmerglass Festival has a solid community base and a mission to give back to the community.

Every year, if you reach the right time, you will also have the chance to see the region's youth putting on the Youth Opera.

Even if you aren't a huge theatre fan, the shows are always worth a visit for the cheerful and compelling atmosphere and the immense creativity put into every performance.

See the Greenery at Origins Café at Carefree Garden

Origins Café is the center of a garden of Eden, lush foliage and greenery create a wonderful atmosphere for you to enjoy your delicious and healthy food!

The menu changes with the seasons to keep the freshest and most enjoyable local food on your plate.

The cafe is completely vegan and vegetarian friendly, with organic produce and plenty of tasty gluten-free options.

Once you have finished your lunch, you can look at the greenhouse.

It has a wide variety of plants you can take home to put on your desk or give as a gift!

Pay a Visit to Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum
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Closely associated with its sister organization, The Farmers' Museum, the Fenimore Art Museum is a bastion of folk and Native American art.

It was established in 1899 to promote an interest in the early history of New York state.

Over the years, it slowly developed into its present form due to the support of many people, including the well-known collector Stephen Carlton Clark.

Built on the site of James Fenimore Cooper's farmhouse on the shore of Otsego Lake, the gorgeous neo-Georgian structure and its beautiful scenery are as impressive as the art collection it hosts.

They have many events suitable for children as well, and a few that are suitable for the entire family.

Watch a Baseball Game at Abner Doubleday Baseball Field

Entrance to Abner Doubleday Baseball Field
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Another unmissable spot of baseball history, the Abner Doubleday Baseball Field is known to all who love America's beloved game.

In 1907, it was declared that "the first scheme for playing baseball" was probably devised by Abner Doubleday right here at Cooperstown.

Cooperstown community sought a way to immortalize this piece of their history.

In 1916, on President John Tener's suggestion, a ground that was once believed to have hosted the first baseball game was turned into a memorial to Doubleday.

Currently, the field has seating for over 9,000 people and is a historic stadium for baseball teams.

Even if you can't watch a match, it is worth visiting the beautiful stadium surrounded by majestic trees.

See the Farmers' Museum

Exterior view of Farmers’ Museum
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It would be wrong to assume that just because Cooperstown is the heart of baseball, that baseball is all there is to this charming town.

Along with the vibrant art scene typified by the Glimmerglass opera and the Fenimore Art Museum, rural America's deep roots and heritage are preserved in the Farmers' Museum.

Visitors can learn about daily life in rural America in the mid-1800s.

Entrance to Farmers' Museum
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The Historic Village is about 19th-century life, comprising buildings gathered from rural towns all over the state and restored brick by brick in their new home.

You can now enjoy seeing what a real smithy from the 1840s would have looked like!

For those fascinated by the history of brewing, a recent exhibit from 2019 depicts the history of brewing, hops, and barley in New York State.

The Museum is fantastic at bringing in visitors through activities and demonstrations, and children are always excited by the farm animals and the opportunity to travel on horse-drawn wagons.

Exhibits at Farmers' Museum
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Check Out the Cooperstown Bat Company

The Home of Baseball also has the home of baseball bat creators, the Cooperstown Bat Company.

The company was established in 1981 and is the third oldest bat company in the country!

While the company is still majorly focused on creating professional bats for players, they are also well-known for making custom bats with laser engravings.

You can request a history of the company and also have a custom bat made for you or a friend.

You can also learn more about the surprisingly fascinating details of how professional bats are made.

The company creates bats from woods like hand-split maple, ash, and yellow birch, all of which, according to them, are from a 350-mile radius of the town.

They also swear by the Route 20 Maple, which is widely considered the best wood for baseball bats.

See the Goats at Guided Yoga with Goats

Visit the Gilbersville Farmhouse to enjoy yourself with baby goats and enjoy the view of the Catskill Mountains.

This is held on over 125 acres of farmland and promises a relaxing and fantastic end to your vacation.

It is a guided yoga glass with cute baby goats.

The friendly little goats are amazing for lifting your mood as they walk around, making you smile as you attempt yoga poses.

There is lodging for guests, a glamping village, and even a boutique-style farmhouse!

Play a Game of Golf at Leatherstocking Golf Course

Take a shot at the Leatherstocking Golf Course's lovely lakeside location!

The resort golf course ranks among the most picturesque and difficult ones on the East Coast, not only in Upstate New York.

The prestigious golf course created in 1909 by Devereux Emmet has naturally curved terrain that flows along the picture-perfect beaches of Lake Otsego.

As you navigate the 18-hole championship course, take in the expansive views and various altitudes.

Leatherstocking Golf Course will inspire your most excellent game, so book your tee time immediately!

Lay Back and Enjoy a Drink at Red Shed Brewery

Exterior view of Red Shed Brewery
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A renowned brewery in the Cooperstown region, Red Shed Brewery takes pleasure in producing handmade, fresh beer.

Red Shed Brewery is a popular neighborhood hotspot with loads of outdoor seating, an indoor taproom, and a laid-back ambiance.

It represents one of the few breweries that also serves meals.

Beers at Red Shed Brewery
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The menu provides vegetarian choices crafted using regional ingredients and fresh pub classics.

A few craft beers in the beer garden are considered one of the locals' top picks to do in Cooperstown.

Outdoor dining at Red Shed Brewery
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Engage in Outdoor and Indoor Activities at Clark Sports Center

The Clark Sports Center's primary goal is actively contributing to the Village of Cooperstown and the neighborhood's academic, leisure, and health objectives.

The indoor amenities of the Clark Sports Center span 110,000 square feet and include a bowling alley, a swimming pool, conference rooms, and more.

Come visit and hit the climbing wall, fitness game room, multi-use gym floor, and fitness center, which has weight-lifting and cardio equipment to improve your mood.

They include 17 acres of well-kept fields, a high ropes adventure course with two zip lines, two softball fields, a four-court tennis complex, and more multi-purpose fields beyond, all encircled by Cooperstown's lovely rolling hills.

Free WiFi is accessible throughout the whole facility.

Explore Cooperstown Distillery

Cooperstown Distillery is the initial and sole distillery in Otsego County, the current home of the historic National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.

Spirits are produced to the greatest quality and are acclaimed as some of the finest in the country, earning the renowned Cooperstown distinction.

The Cooperstown Distillery uses only the best artisanal distillation techniques.

They make a whole range of spirits from grains virtually exclusively from New York State.

You may take a VIP tour, get to know the distiller, and sample some spirits in the tasting area at Cooperstown Distillery.

Fill Your Shopping Bag with Healthy Food from Cooperstown Farmers' Market

The Cooperstown Farmers' Market, established by Otsego 2000 in 1991, provides a direct link between producer and shopper while promoting businesses, artisans, and regional farmers.

They provide your weekly essentials, such as fresh seasonal vegetables, pasture-raised meats, artisanal bread, gourmet cheeses, grass-fed milk, and eggs within 50 miles of Cooperstown.

Add honey, flowers, herbs, spirits, maple syrup, sweets, handmade items, and more to your shopping basket.

Take in live music from 10 a.m. until noon every Saturday.

The Cooperstown Farmers' Market has all you need to enjoy and avail yourself of the abundant local produce.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Roam around Glimmerglass State Park

Hyde Hall in Glimmerglass State Park
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While you visit Otsego Lake, you must also take the time to go to Glimmerglass State Park.

Only eight short miles out of Cooperstown, the Glimmerglass takes its name from James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales.

The idyllic location is partially forested and has wildlife flitting through it.

People relaxing at Glimmerglass State Park
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The lake aside, a slow walk through the ascent of the park will also give you glimpses of the Beaver Pond and a variety of wild animals and plants.

The Beaver Pond Nature Trail, Hyde Hall, and the Covered Bridge are all beloved visitorvisitor's spots.

In the winter, you can try out a variety of winter sports, including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, winter hiking, and so on.

View of Glimmerglass State Park
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In the summer, it is possible to bike, hiking, and picnic.

Visitors who love outdoor adventure can also try camping and enjoy the park's picnic table and fire ring facilities.

Picnic area at Glimmerglass State Park
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Have Fun at Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard

Shops at Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard
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With a long and distinguished history going back over 150 years, the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard is an area of rich heritage.

It is also a fantastic place to sit and have a drink.

For kids, there is a play area called Tractorland, with a paved track and a wooden tractor, where they can spend their youthful energy.

View of Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard
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Meanwhile, you and your fellow adults can relax or explore the extensive vintage John Deere equipment collection.

For those who appreciate a good drink, the Cooperstown Beverage Trail Tour will take you to four historic spots.

Do not miss New York State's first official cuisine trail.

Visit Howe Caverns

View of Howe Caverns
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The Howe Caverns tours are family-friendly, and they pride themselves in offering cave activities that don't require you to bring advanced gear.

They also offer fun escape rooms!

The Howe Caverns tour moves 156 ft below the earth's surface.

Interior view of Howe Caverns
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The tour will take you through unique carved limestone galleries to a subterranean riverbed.

The earth's history will be in front of you as your guide describes the geology you are walking through.

The Lake of Venus is a particular favorite for visitors.

Gift shop at Howe Caverns
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Pay a Visit to Wood Bull Antiques

Owned by Kip and Judith Coburn, this has been called a "picker's paradise."

The barn dates back to 1880 and has been renovated with love by the couple.

It now has about 60 rooms, sprawling out over four floors.

There are an astonishing number of pieces around; the owners once provided a ballpark figure of a hundred thousand pieces.

However, the rooms are arranged carefully, displaying each curio best.

Even if you do not find something you wish to buy, you can wander around and enjoy the effect of the pieces.

On a lovely morning, you can also roam around the four equally interesting acres of garden, with waterbodies, statuary, unusual paths, and sculptures all arranged for your viewing pleasure.

Play a Golf at Barnyard Swing Mini Golf

For people with kids, Barnyard Swing Mini Golf is heaven-sent.

There are plenty of activities for the whole family and a chance to enjoy yourself with beer on tap, sodas, and seltzers.

Their mission and vision are to provide groups and families with memories they will keep throughout their lives.

Amongst others, you can enjoy an 18-hole course of Mini Golf, laser tag, and gem mining!

The gem mining mimics the California gold rush and is a game where you pan for gems in a water sluice.

When you're all tired out, enjoy sundaes and cones from the sassy cow creamery!

They also pride themselves on being community-based and getting their ingredients from local sources.

Final Thoughts

For all types of travelers, the village of Cooperstown is a fantastic location.

Besides baseball, Cooperstown is home to several breweries, wineries, and other significant attractions, revealing that this little village offers many more.

The state parks provide various recreational opportunities, including trekking, mountain biking, and more.

People travel across the globe to explore Cooperstown, New York, for its culture and tradition, making it a genuinely beautiful destination to experience.

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