Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Oneonta, NY

  • Published 2023/01/06

Nestled in the south of Cooperstown is Oneonta’s charming city, also known as the “City of Hills.”

Oneonta boasts the eclectic fusion of urban lifestyle and natural spaces that offer a wide array of exploration opportunities.

The quaint city of Oneonta will welcome you with a small-town vibe and a cozy ambiance for a laid-back weekend getaway.

You’ll be surprised by a plethora of picturesque destinations and exciting activities that the city can offer.

If you’re planning a trip to the charming city soon, then read on for the 20 best things to do on your trip to Oneonta, New York!

Shop and Dine at Oneonta’s Historic Main Street

Oneonta's Historic Main Street

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A trip to Oneonta wouldn’t be complete without a bit of shopping and dining at the historic Main Street of the town.

Stroll through the charming downtown with red brick sidewalks lined with Victorian buildings housing specialty shops and restaurants.

Oneonta's Historic Main Street

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Enjoy the small-town vibe as you walk through the main street; you’ll also get a glimpse of the daily life in Oneonta.

You can see an eclectic selection of unique items as you scour through the city’s heart of retail shopping.

Don’t miss out on a comfortable dining experience in Main Street that offers a wide selection of restaurants and cafes that serves hearty meals and snacks.

Oneonta's Historic Main Street

Bennekom /

Appreciate Arts and Culture at Yager Museum

Stroll through the Yager Museum to see an eclectic collection of fine arts, archaeology, and ethnography all in one place.

The Yager Museum is nestled inside the campus of Hartwick College in Oneonta that serves as a learning facility for the students and visitors.

The museum is home to several artistic works ranging from Rennaissance Art up to contemporary works.

You’ll also marvel at the archaeological and ethnographical collections that showcase the culture and history of early America.

There are permanent exhibits in the museum, but the collection changes from time to time to serve as an opportunity to showcase a diverse collection of arts and artifacts.

Make sure to stop by for an inspiring and educational experience on your trip to Oneonta.

Walk Among the Free-flying Butterflies at Joseph L. Popp Jr. Butterfly Conservatory

Have a magical experience walking among free-flying butterflies surrounded by lush greeneries and vibrant flora at Joseph L. Popp Jr. Butterfly Conservatory.

You wouldn’t have to drive for miles to get an up-close experience with exotic animals because this indoor tropical garden in Oneonta will awe you with the spectacular biodiversity nestled in the city.

Aside from the butterflies, you’ll also get to meet birds, tortoises, and other animals thriving in the area; the staff will even allow you to feed the animals.

This little hideaway in New York is the perfect place to delight the young and the young at heart alike.

Play Golf at Oneonta Sports Park

If you’re looking for a way to kill some time, then head out for a game of mini golf at Oneonta Sports Park.

The sports park’s highlight is an 18-hole mini-golf course with a large waterfall and creative holes strategically laid out to be challenging but still fun for all ages.

If you’re looking for more fun games, you can also play wedge golf, disc golf, footgolf, or football golf in their wide multi-sport course.

For starters, you can warm up in their extensive driving range or learn a few tricks and skills if you’re a beginner.

The price for all this fun is unbelievably low, and the staff would even offer free cold treats for you to cool off after your game.

A trip to Oneonta Sports Park is a staple for large groups traveling together; the park will surely delight the young and the young at heart alike.

Have a Leisurely Stroll at Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway

The Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway makes for a peaceful time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hike under the canopy of lush trees as you explore the marked trails in the greenway, where you’ll enjoy the scenic view of Susquehanna Lake and get a few information about the flora and fauna that thrives in the area.

You wouldn’t have to worry about the daunting task of passing through tiring elevations; the hike through the greenway is perfect for all ages.

During the winter, the Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway is a popular destination for skiers and snowshoers to enjoy the stillness of the winter river.

For an educational experience, you can group hikes with local educators to guide you through the trail with scientific and historical facts.

Go Birdwatching at Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary

A Sign at Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary

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Get close to nature at Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary, which features a 100-acre protected sanctuary home to a large diversity of wildlife.

You can explore the paved hiking trails that meander through open fields, lush forests, old pastures, and a large wetland accessible through a boardwalk.

View of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary

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This hidden gem in Oneonta is the perfect place to go birdwatching and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

The sanctuary is a beautiful location for nature photography or simply relaxing in the scenic area while watching the majestic birds free-flying.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then a trip to Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary is a must!

View of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary

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Visit the Swart-Wilcox House

Distant view of Swart-Wilcox House

ErixS, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Complete your trip to Oneonta by catching a glimpse of the oldest standing structure in the city, the Swart-Wilcox House.

The house was built in 1807 by a Revolutionary War Soldier named Lawrence Stewart; this German Palatine Vernacular House is nestled on the banks of the Susquehanna River.

The Swart-Wilcox House is a historical focal point in Oneonta that also houses several artifacts and historical photographs depicting the family’s history that resided there.

The community house museum is open every Sunday during the summer for tours and organized events, and you can also call ahead if you’d like to tour the historic home.

Sip the Best-Tasting Wine at Bear Pond Winery

If you’re looking for a place to spend a laid-back night on your trip to Oneonta, Bear Pond Winery has got you covered!

This charming farm winery is nestled near a wooded acre surrounded by lush trees and a grassy field that makes for relaxing scenery while wine tasting.

Whether your taste buds prefer sweet, sour, or something tannic to balance the taste, the Bear Pond Winery offers a range of flavor selections you can choose from.

Spend a sunny afternoon hanging out with friends at Bear Pond Winery, where you can enjoy a glass of wine partnered with a hearty charcuterie board in a cozy spot.

Have a BBQ With the Family at Neahwa Park

A picnic day trip is a must-do for weekend getaways, so don’t forget to bring the whole family together for a fun day at Neahwa Park.

The scenic park features several amenities for recreation like play areas, tennis courts, plenty of pavilions, a skate park, and multiple baseball fields.

Neahwa Park is Oneonta’s largest local park nestled near the downtown area, where you can catch local events like live music events, fireworks displays, baseball games, and more.

You can set up a BBQ in the pavilion and let the youngsters have a blast in the playground, or simply sit by the small lake to enjoy the relaxing scenery of the park.

Whether you’re heading down to Neahwa Park for a fun picnic day with the family or you just want a nice quiet space to relax, this place has got you covered!

Go Rollerskating at Interskate 88

Hit up the skating floor for a fun, nostalgic rollerskating experience with family and friends at Interskate 88.

This 20,000 square-foot facility has been a spot for family fun since 1981; Interstate 88 highlights the hardwood maple skating floor.

This place is a great hang-out spot for a fun bonding experience surrounded by vibrant lights and lively music.

You can also enjoy a couple of games in the arcade, have a bit of competition at Laser Tag, or play around at the indoor jungle play area.

Don’t worry if you’re a beginner at rollerskating because Interskate 88 offers rollerskating classes, and you can rent your skating gear from their pro shop.

Make sure to include Interskate 88 on your itinerary to fill your trip to Oneonta with fun experiences.

Watch Live Performances at Foothills Performing Arts Center

Spend a night watching local and international talents perform at Foothills Performing Arts Center.

If you’re looking for something different on your trip to Oneonta, the Foothills Performing Arts Center has got a lot to offer.

This performing arts center is an abode to a range of performances, so make sure to stay updated with their events schedule.

Whether you want to watch comedy shows, live opera, or music concerts, the Foothills Performing Arts Center is the place to go!

You can also get acquainted with the community by joining town events organized here, so make sure to stop by on your visit to Oneonta.

Spend a Day Picnicking at Fortin Park

If you’re looking for a quiet setting to spend laid-back family time, then pack some snacks and head out for a picnic day trip at Fortin Park.

Nestled between the Susquehanna River and Charlotte Creeks, this 95-acre park offers a fascinating view of the glistening waters, especially during the golden hour.

There are plenty of open spaces and play areas in Fortin Park, so you wouldn’t run out of fun things to do when visiting with the youngsters.

There are paved hiking trails lined with lush trees if you want to explore a little, or you can cast your lines in their handicap-accessible fishing pier.

This hidden gem in the town of Oneonta makes for an idyllic family bonding experience surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Marvel on the Fascinating Science Experiments at A.J. Read Science Discovery Center

Experience the fascinating works of sciences with the hands-on science exhibits at A.J. Read Science Discovery Center.

Located inside SUNY Oneonta Campus, the science center offers an interactive experience for all ages and abilities.

You can run experiments on your own, experience hands-on robot building, and engage in educational activities in the center.

A trip to A.J. Read Science Discovery Center is free of charge and will truly delight the young and the young at heart.

Purchase Fresh Products at Annutto’s Farm Stand

Established in 1984, Annutto’s Farm Stand has happily served the public for over three decades and is owned and run by Tony Annutto and his daughter, Debbie.

Annutto’s Farm Stand is well-stocked to meet all of your food requirements as well as all of your outdoor needs to build a lovely and robust environment.

They are happy to deliver a wide range of regional cuisine, products, and home items.

From April 1 to December 31, the farm stand is accessible Monday through Sunday, with extended winter hours in November and December.

Come to see for yourself and take in the aromas of the numerous fresh fruits, veggies, and baked delicacies available everywhere.

Play a Friendly Game of Golf and Host your Upcoming Event at Oneonta Country Club

Oneonta Country Club offers 18 holes of outstanding golf spread across a broad range of terrain, including wonderfully manicured greens protected by water, forests, and sand.

It is located in the gorgeous valleys of New York’s Leatherstocking area.

The Club has played home to several prestigious golf tournaments for groups.

Their team expertly administers the operation, whether you’re organizing a professional match, a charity golf excursion, or an executive golf outing.

The Roundhouse Event Center at the Oneonta Country Club will make your event unforgettable!

While you dine and celebrate, enjoy one of the most wonderful sights of the valley underneath.

They can host small private gatherings, major weddings, and just about everything in between.

Discover the Best Book for You at Green Toad Bookstore

Green Toad Bookstore offers custom orders for you, and their helpful, literate, and experienced staff would be happy to assist you with your individual book needs.

Many books ordered within the week come the following day.

A robust support system is in place at Green Toad Bookstore for regional writers of fiction, nonfiction, literature, and self-help books.

The bookshop is conveniently located in the middle of Oneonta’s wonderfully landscaped Main Street, and a bicycle rack is provided just outside their front door.

Free parking is offered in the nearby three-story city parking garage.

Savor Tasty Food at Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q

Since 1951, Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q has provided delicious food in a wonderful, loving setting at very affordable costs using only the best ingredients and amazing customer service.

It has the biggest indoor charcoal BBQ pit in the East!

Taste some of their renowned sweet and tangy chicken hand-basted in Oneonta, New York, the City of the Hills!

They provide options for dining in, taking out, curbside pickup, and outdoor table seating.

Additionally, Brooks’ offers full-service, buffet-style catering for special events such as parties, reunions, weddings, workplace picnics, and gatherings.

Rediscover Your Sporty Side at Table Rock Bouldering

Table Rock Bouldering presents a welcoming environment for the neighborhood to discover a creative exercise.

The social area suits novices and specialists looking for elevated excitement.

With Table Rock Bouldering, you may easily ascend to breathtaking heights.

Train and test your entire body’s muscles, stability, skill, and mind.

Participants are motivated to pick up new abilities and enhance their skill sets in a friendly environment.

Burn calories and eliminate tension through an enjoyable workout at Table Rock Bouldering.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Surround Yourself With Nature at Robert V. Riddell State Park

View of Robert V. Riddell State Park

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Explore more than 2,000 acres of forested woodlands, fields, and wetlands on your outdoor adventure to Robert V. Riddell State Park.

Hike through the scenic trail that goes through woods and meadows along the Susquehanna River, and the path is mostly level perfect for beginner hikers.

View of snow covered Robert V. Riddell State Park

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There are picnic tables and a BBQ, so you can also stop by for a peaceful picnic trip surrounded by the majestic sight of nature.

Make sure to include the Robert V Riddell State Park on your itinerary to unwind and get closer to nature.

View of Robert V. Riddell State Park

Bennekom /

Cruise Along the Susquehanna River on a Train Ride at Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad

A 20-minute drive from Oneonta is the Cooperstown and Charlotte Vally Railroad built in the 1860s.

Depart from a restored depot in Milford and aboard a historic train ride that features beautiful sceneries along the Susquehanna River Valley.

The Cooperstown and Charlotte Vally Railroad also offer themed train rides throughout the year, like the Easter Bunny Express, Dinner Express, Christmas Trains, and more!

Don’t forget to include the historic train ride on your itinerary, and make sure to reserve a ticket for a hassle-free experience.

Final Thoughts

A trip to Oneonta will never be a dull one because the small city offers a surprising number of attractions.

If you’re planning a trip to this vibrant city in New York, make sure to reference this list to fill your weekend getaway with memorable experiences.

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