By May Zhee Lim, Markets Media Life Correspondent
Cooperstown was once home to frontier novelist James Fenimore Cooper, whose industrialist father founded the village in 1785. Today, the word “Cooperstown” is synonymous with the Baseball Hall of Fame. Between its storied past and the national baseball shrine on Main Street, Cooperstown has much to offer visitors looking for American history and culture on top of a relaxing weekend getaway.
While this charming village is a popular summer vacation spot, going this time of the year means you can avoid the throngs of tourists and explore Cooperstown at your own pace. The Otsego Lake, immortalized in Cooper’s novels, will be free of jet skiers and rental boats, all the better to take in the region’s natural beauty. At the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, you get to delve into the history of America’s favorite pastime, admire thousands of artifacts, and pay tribute to baseball legends in the Plaque Gallery sans the summer crowds.
In March, the Fenimore Art Museum opens its doors to visitors again. There, you will find collections of American folk art, American Indian art, and changing exhibitions from influential artists and photographers. In the meantime, warm up with some award-winning Belgian-style beers at Ommegang’s brewery. Tours and tastings run on the hour, and the café serves up Belgian-themed foods to pair with your favorite beer. The cold weather putting you in the mood for something stronger? There’s always the Cooperstown Distillery, which offers small-batch, handcrafted spirits.
If all this entices you to extend your stay, make lodging arrangements at 19th century hotels (equipped with modern amenities, of course) like The Inn and The Cooper Inn. Both are steps away from the village’s main attractions, and you don’t have to pay the summer rates.
Cooperstown is located in the south-central part of New York State, 70 miles west of Albany and 30 miles south of the NYS Thruway (I-90).
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