Calling all baseball fans, there are some exciting things to do in Cooperstown, New York for you! Even if you’re not a huge baseball fan or aficionado, don’t worry, Cooperstown is still a charming town in New York worth a stop or a stay!
Located in Central New York, Cooperstown is set amidst the beauty of Otsego Lake, surrounded by rolling hills, and is renowned as the birthplace of “America’s favorite pastime,” baseball. This is also the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which draws sports enthusiasts from all over the world eager to explore the historic and iconic memorabilia of the sport.
Beyond baseball, there are still plenty of Cooperstown activities to enjoy. Cooperstown offers a quaint and charming downtown, with its well-preserved Main Street lined with charming boutiques, galleries, and eateries. You can also find other cultural institutions like the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum, which showcase an extensive collection of American art and artifacts.
Not to mention, the natural beauty surrounding Cooperstown makes it a treasure trove for outdoor activities from lake activities to hiking all available at one location. Oh, and one of my personal favorite breweries is located in Cooperstown!
We visited Cooperstown around my birthday, which is in the fall, and a sublime time of year to visit if you can catch a glimpse at the fall foliage. And our visit was driven by my desire to visit Brewery Ommegang, although we did fall in love with the town as well.
Whether you’re curious to stop and explore like we were or coming for the sports-centered attractions, there are plenty of incredible things to do in Cooperstown that make it a destination worthwhile to visit in Central New York!
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What to do in Cooperstown
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
With a nickname like America’s Hometown, it should be no surprise that Cooperstown, NY is home to an iconic attraction as the National Baseball Hall of Fame! Situated in the heart of the village, this renowned institution is the epicenter of baseball history.
From Babe Ruth’s legendary bat to iconic jerseys, the museum is a memorable experience for lovers of the classic game. But it’s not all about artifacts. The National Baseball Hall of Fame will entertain every visitor with engaging exhibits that bring the stories behind the stats to life!
You can learn more about your favorite baseball Hall of Famers, like Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, and Derek Jeter. Check out the museum’s collection of over 140,000 baseball cards or check out immersive exhibits like Diamond Dreams Women in Baseball.
Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or a casual visitor looking for the best things to do in Cooperstown, a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a must. You’ll definitely want to plan on taking at least 2 hours here. The experience begins with a 15-minute movie on the history of baseball and ends in the Hall of Fame.
You can go at your own pace, but guided tours are worth it. Private tours are also available. The museum is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. There’s an admission fee for those 7 years and older.
For more top Cooperstown activities, check out Doubleday Field, which holds the unique claim as the home of American baseball! Named after the believed inventor of baseball, Abner Doubleday, this historic field is a special place for fans.
But it’s so much more than just a sports venue! It’s a bucket list attraction for baseball enthusiasts. The sounds of the game, the crack of the bat, and the cheers from the stands take on new meaning here.
Enjoy a visit to Doubleday Field by watching a game or even participating in one. The park hosts amateur and vintage baseball games. This means you’ll have plenty of special opportunities to experience the sport at this historic site.
If you prefer a more relaxed visit, just take a leisurely stroll around the field. The park was built in 1939 and features some classic points of interest, both historical and architectural. Plus, Doubleday Field is a short walk from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, meaning it’s the perfect addition to your day in Cooperstown.d
From mid-April to mid-October, Doubleday Field is open for visitors. Stop by to catch a game or book an hour-long guided tour. Throughout the summer, the park hosts live concerts and special events. One of the biggest of the season is always the Hall of Fame Weekend in July.
We recommend you check the schedule for events and games ahead of your visit because the park also hosts private events.
Explore Up and Down Main Street
One of the very best things to do in Cooperstown, NY is to simply walk along Main Street! Especially if you love Americana vibes, you’ll adore the iconic, small-town feel as you stroll the shops along the main thoroughfare through town.
Of course, there are an array of baseball-centric shops with something for every type of baseball fan. You can’t miss Seventh Inning Stretch, where you can glimpse signed baseball paraphernalia by the biggest names in the game. Grab a Cooperstown, NY tee, or pick up niche baseball souvenirs that only true baseball aficionados will appreciate. And don’t forget to get some ice cream on your way out!
If you’re looking for a particular sports card or want to start your own collection, you can trust the knowledgeable staff at Pioneer Sports Cards.
And Where It All Began Bat Company is the best place to pick up a personalized bat, a hat, glove, or any other gear you’ve had your eye on. And the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum is tons of fun for everyone!
For the average tourist looking for what to do in Cooperstown, we suggest a stop at Schneider’s Bakery. They have THE BEST baked goods! We went a little nuts in here and didn’t regret that at all.
Another special stop is the charming Cooperstown Diner, which has been in business for over a century. Or just enjoy exploring the cute gift shops before taking a break in beautiful Pioneer Park.
One of our favorite Cooperstown activities was checking out the local craft beverage scene! This central New York village did not disappoint with stops like Cooperstown Distillery. You’ll find the small distillery at 11 Railroad Avenue between Leatherstocking Street and Glen Avenue.
Or visit their tasting room and gift shop at 73 Main Street, this is where we popped in for a tasting.
This craft distillery offers a unique blend of artisanal spirits, including small-batch whiskey, vodka, and other finely distilled creations. Each bottle is hand-poured and labeled and features almost exclusively New York state grains.
If you’re in Cooperstown over the weekend, you can also find out about private tours at the distillery. Tours are offered on Saturdays between 11 AM and 4 PM.
At the distillery on Railroad Avenue, you’ll meet the distiller and learn about the distillation process, from grain to bottle! The friendly and skilled staff will guide you through a tasting experience, sharing insights into the distinct characteristics of each spirit.
You can also shop the spirits, apparel, glassware, and more at the Cooperstown Distillery Beverage Exchange on Main Street. During the day, it’s the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir from the birthplace of American baseball! Some of the bottles are even baseball-themed!
And in the evenings, the Main Street location turns into a popular cocktail lounge and gastropub.
Okay, this was the main event for me personally. I LOVE Ommegang beer and have always wanted to visit the brewery. This was my birthday we were celebrating, so you bet we went and had lunch here along with a tasting flight. I also went a little nuts in their gift shop too.
Just a 10-minute drive south of downtown Coopersville is the Brewery Ommegang, and I can attest, it’s worth planning a visit! For singles, couples, and families alike, this stop is one of the best things to do near Coopertown, by far!
The Belgian-style brewery incorporates centuries-old traditions with the community mindset of upstate New York entrepreneurs. The entire property is stunning, and of course we timed our visit perfectly with an array of autumn colors with peak fall foliage!
Check out Café Ommegang for their classic dark ale or try one of their newer farm-fresh beers or sours. And while you may come for the beer, you’ll stay for the food, which is fantastic! Enjoy a guided tasting or relax in the backyard if the weather permits. Their Hennepin Saison is my favorite!
The brewery regularly features live musical guests on the weekends and hosts several special events throughout the year. If you’re in town during the summer, you won’t want to miss their summer concert series and their Firepit Fridays! Or come for Sunday Brunch Bingo, held throughout the year.
The Farmers Museum
While this small town is all about baseball, you’ll find a wide range of Cooperstown activities to explore. The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York offers a fascinating exploration into the rural past of the region.
You can enjoy an immersive experience of 19th-century farm life. Set against the scenic backdrop of Otsego Lake, this living history museum invites you to step back in time and explore a recreated historic village!
It’s a blast to wander through the charming streets lined with authentic buildings, each showcasing a different aspect of rural life. From the blacksmith’s forge to the charming schoolhouse, every turn offers a snapshot into the past! Museum staff in period attire bring history to life, sharing tales of daily routines and demonstrating traditional crafts.
The museum also boasts a working farm, where you can encounter heritage breeds of animals and witness traditional farming practices. It’s a hands-on experience that’s perfect for both history enthusiasts and families looking for an educational outing.
The Farmers Museum is open April 1 through October 29, with different hours in each season. You can visit daily from late May through the beginning of October. There’s also a museum store that holds special holiday hours throughout the year. You’ll pay a small admission to the museum for everyone 7 years and up.
Fenimore Art Museum
Across the street from the Farmers Museum is the Fenimore Art Museum. If a blend of art, history, and natural beauty sounds like the perfect day, add this museum to your list of things to do in Cooperstown, NY!
The museum is housed in a stunning neo-Georgian mansion from the 1930s on the banks of Otsego Lake. It was named after famous collector James Fenimore Cooper and holds his diverse collection that spans American fine and folk art.
Visit on your own to take your time and stroll through the galleries. You can admire an impressive array of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, showcasing American masterpieces from the 18th to the 21st centuries. The museum is defined by its commitment to preserving and celebrating all types of American art, including Native American art.
In addition to the indoor exhibits at Fenimore Art Museum, you’ll get to enjoy the gorgeous gardens of the estate that boast breathtaking views of Otsego Lake. The museum also hosts regular events that you might be interested in. There are holiday events, but also weekly workshops for both children and older adults.
The Fenimore Art Museum holds different hours every season and is closed from January 1 through March 31. There’s an admission fee for everyone 20 years and older. Plus, you can enjoy a discount on admission to both the Fenimore Museum and the Farmers Museum if you buy them together.
If you’re an outdoor lover curious about what to do in Cooperstown, definitely check out Otsego Lake! This glacial lake is the North Branch of the Susquehanna River and the largest in Otsego County, it’s actually where the Susquehanna River starts!
Cooperstown, NY is located at the southern end of the lake, making it a popular year-round destination for everyone heading to the lake. Otsego Lake offers scenic beauty, historical significance, and an array of recreational opportunities.
During the summer, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills from the water by kayaking and canoeing. There are a few swimming areas open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, including 2 close to Cooperstown (at Three Mile Point and Fairy Springs).
The Glimmerglass Queen Tour Boat offers scenic cruises on Otsego Lake, showcasing the beauty of Cooperstown’s landscape from the water. This Cooperstown attraction is typically available from late May to October as it’s seasonal.
And fishing is a huge draw to Otsego Lake since the water is teeming with a variety of trout, bass, and other fish.
Perhaps you’re visiting Cooperstown during the off-season or just prefer to stay on dry land. You can still enjoy the gorgeous views around the lake by taking a scenic drive along State Highway 80, or by enjoying a stroll in a lakeside park.
There are a few parks to choose from, including Lake Front Park and Fairy Springs Park, both in Cooperstown. And Glimmerglass State Park on the northern end of the park offers its own myriad of activities (we’ll cover this park later in the post!).
Fernleigh Estate Stone Bridge
For more outdoorsy things to do in Cooperstown, or if you’re interested in Gilded Age estates, consider the Fernleigh Estate Stone Bridge. The beautiful stone arch bridge over the Susquehanna River was built as part of the Fernleigh Estate.
This estate, featuring a neo-classical bridge, gardens, and elaborate neo-classical style mansion, was built in 1869 for Edward Clark of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. In its heyday, the Fernleigh Estate included an impressive Turkish bathhouse, terraced gardens, and a swimming pool.
Today, the estate is still privately owned by the Clark family, but the bridge is open to the public to visit! This small piece of New York history is stunning in every season, whether surrounded by lush plant life, framed by fall foliage, or trimmed in a dusting of snow.
If you’re exploring Main Street or the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, it’s an easy 10-minute walk south on River Street and then there’s a short stroll down a dirt path along the water to the bridge. You can also drive and park in the parking lot behind the Basset Medical Center, and then take the trail.
But if you drive, don’t follow the Google Maps directions. Instead, just head south on River Street, just past the hospital facilities. The parking lot is the last left before the road bridge. In the northeast corner of the parking lot, you’ll see the trail to the bridge.
There are also alot of impressive, large, historic homes around here too for anyone who loves peeping at cool old houses like we do!
Fairy Springs Park
Along E Lake Road in Cooperstown, you’ll find the entrance to Fairy Springs Park. This local park in a cozy neighborhood is used by visitors and locals alike between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It’s free for village residents but there’s a small fee for out-of-towners that’s worth the price!
Fairy Springs Park is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and a swim. There are swimming docks along the shoreline and during the summer, it’s a popular swimming spot in Cooperstown!
From Memorial Day to mid-June, you can swim on the weekends. Then, from mid-June to Labor Day, you can swim every day from 11 AM to 8 PM. There are lifeguards on duty, and you’ll have access to restrooms and changing facilities.
You can also use a boat launch at Fairy Springs Park to enjoy Otsego Lake. And if you want to grill, there are charcoal grills for visitors, as well as picnic tables and covered pavilions. For the kids, there’s a playground. And you can find out about renting a large pavilion with a stone fireplace and kitchen space.
Barnyard Swing Golf
Who doesn’t love mini golf?! Thanks to Otsego Lake and the Susquehanna River, Cooperstown is a popular summer destination. While you’re looking for things to do in Cooperstown, don’t miss out on another popular summer stop, Barnyard Swing Golf. It’s worth the short drive, being just a 5-mile drive south of the heart of the village.
Whether you’re looking for what to do in Cooperstown with kids or looking for a casual place to take your significant other, Barnyard Swing is tons of fun for everyone! Enjoy a classic game of 18-hole mini golf, then grab a local brew or some ice cream, including a local favorite, Perry’s Hard Ice Cream!
There’s indoor and outdoor seating, a gift shop to peruse, and much more. Take the kids to the Build-A-Buddy station, the gem mining area, or to play a few arcade games. Adults can drink while they play the course, and there are kid-friendly plastic golf clubs for the smallest visitors!
Sadly, we didn’t get to do this on our visit but we have it saved for next time.
Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard
For more things to do near Cooperstown, New York, Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard is a must-visit. And yes, it’s a cider mill that offers both tours and tastings, but that’s just the beginning of all the fun experiences to be found here. Year-round, you can explore the cider’s production, try delicious treats, and enjoy the lovely countryside atmosphere.
Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard offers a variety of public and self-guided tours of the grounds. The mill is known for its production of fresh apple cider using traditional methods. You can take a cider mill tour where you’ll witness the cider-making process, from pressing apples to bottling. The tour ends with a visit to the Tasting Room for a curated tasting of the mill’s best offerings.
An essential stop during your visit is the on-site country store, the Mill Store Marketplace. It’s a treasure trove of local products, from apple-based goodies like cider donuts and apple salsa to a variety of preserves, pickles, and other gourmet treats from around New York State. And make sure to pick up some of the mill’s famous fudge or apple cider.
It’s also just fun to stroll along the Millpond Boardwalk! You can purchase feed and head out to the pond to feed the ducks and geese. There’s a fun playground for the kids, vintage John Deere equipment you can explore, a rubber duck racing game, gemstone mining, and more.
Throughout the year, Fly Creek Cider Mill is a popular destination for hikers, with several hiking and biking trails that begin and end throughout the mill grounds. And depending on the time of year, the mill hosts seasonal events. It’s especially busy in the fall during apple-picking and cider-pressing season!
Glimmerglass State Park
While you’re exploring all the wonderful attractions and things to do in Cooperstown, NY, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Glimmerglass State Park. This breathtaking destination offers natural beauty and tons of outdoor activities, as well as historical sites. It’s open all year with a variety of seasonal attractions.
For literary lovers looking for what to do in Cooperstown, you’ll find Glimmerglass State Park to be a unique stop! The park is part of the former estate of American author James Fenimore Cooper. Cooper’s novels often drew inspiration from the landscapes surrounding Otsego Lake.
In fact, the lake and the surrounding area served as inspiration for Cooper’s “Leatherstocking Tales.” In the series’ novel, “The Deerslayer,” he described the lake as “Glimmerglass,” Today, the term is now commonly associated with the beauty of Otsego Lake. Cooper’s vivid descriptions of the area also had a powerful influence on the romantic perception of the American frontier in popular literature.
Visit Glimmerglass State Park, and you’ll fall in love with the wilderness just like James Fenimore Cooper!
Throughout the year, you can enjoy hiking trails and historical landmarks like Hyde Hall. In the summer, the park is popular for boating, fishing, and swimming on the sandy beach. There are pavilions with picnic tables and grills, as well as tent and RV campsites.
Hyde Hall Covered Bridge is also not to be missed as it’s not only the oldest covered bridge in New York, but the oldest in the United States!
In the fall, the park is the ideal location for spotting local animals as they prepare for winter, as well as for fall foliage hikes. And in the winter, Glimmerglass State Park takes on a whole new life with opportunities for ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing! You can also rent tubes for snow tubing.
Tour Hyde Hall
Located inside Glimmerglass State Park, Hyde Hall is a satisfying destination on its own for hobby historians looking for things to do near Cooperstown. This national historic landmark is considered one of the most impressive structures of its time. Construction began in 1817 and took 17 years to complete. It was built for George Clark, a wealthy landowner and politician.
For those interested in period architecture, Hyde Hall is a stunning and well-preserved example of neoclassical styles. The sprawling mansion includes the original family quarters, wings with rooms for staff and guests, as well as an expansive kitchen and rooms for entertaining. Today, you can see the house by taking tours between the end of May through the end of October.
On tours, you’ll see many of the 50 well-preserved rooms of Hyde Hall that offer a glimpse into early 19th-century life. There are a variety of tours, including mansion tours and grounds tours. Hyde Hall was also featured in a popular episode of Ghost Hunters in 2013. You can take ghost tours held throughout the summer and thrilling candlelit tours during the month of October.
The fascinating part of Hyde Hall is how meticulously George Clark kept records of everything in the home, from light fixtures to furniture and works of art. Because of this, tours include detailed information about the Clark family and their lives in the early 1800s.
Even more period pieces have been added to the Clark family’s impressive collection over the years, and the estate features several exhibits that you’ll see when you take a tour.
When you visit Hyde Hall, start at the Tin Top Gatehouse, which is now the estate’s visitors center. This is where you can sign up for tours, shop at the bookstore, and see additional exhibits. Tours are offered daily between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM during the season.
Ride the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad
If you love scenic vintage train rides, get your tickets for the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad! One of the most popular Cooperstown activities, you can enjoy different themed rides throughout the year along this heritage railroad through the Susquehanna River Valley.
April through December, you can enjoy a ride on a vintage train through the charming countryside. The railroad hosts a range of themed train rides every month, including the Easter Bunny Train in April and the ever-popular North Pole Express rides in December!
During the summer, some of the most popular things to do near Cooperstown, New York with the kids are the Dinosaur Trains and the Train Robbery excursions. And our favorite trips with the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad are the breathtaking fall foliage tours.
Tickets per person cost a decent fee, and kids under 3 are free. Because the trains are historical, there’s a limit to their ADA compliance. Tickets should be bought online. And do this early because they usually sell out months in advance! When you arrive, have your reservations ready on your phone or printed out, and be there 45 minutes to an hour before your departure time.
Where to Stay in Cooperstown:
There are several great options for where to stay in Cooperstown, New York in the heart of downtown and Otsego Lake.
The Inn at Cooperstown is a historic and charming inn set in an 1874 brick building. Located right off of Main Street, it’s just a 5-minute walk to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Otesaga Resort Hotel is one of the most beautiful, historic properties and options to stay while exploring Cooperstown attractions. The hotel is set in a historic Federal-style building dating back to 1909 and offers breathtaking views from the shores of Otsego Lake. Better yet, it’s walking distance to all the attractions downtown too.
The Tunnicliff Inn is located right off of Main Street in the heart of downtown Coopersville. This inn is set in a historic Federal-style townhouse property dating back to 1802! It’s been an inn since 1848 and one of the most iconic places to stay while exploring the best things to do in Cooperstown.
Cooperstown, NY is renowned as the birthplace of baseball, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This charming village on Otsego Lake also boasts rich cultural heritage, scenic beauty, and outdoor recreation making it a top destination in upstate New York.
To fully experience Cooperstown, plan to spend at least 2-3 days exploring its attractions, including the National Baseball Hall of Fame, museums, historic sites, and outdoor activities. This allows ample time to soak in the town’s baseball heritage and scenic surroundings.
Absolutely! Cooperstown offers a unique blend of baseball history, cultural attractions, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a baseball fan or simply seeking a charming getaway, this quaint village in upstate New York promises a memorable and enjoyable experience for visitors of all interests.
The best time to visit Cooperstown is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild, and the attractions are less crowded. Additionally, late spring offers the added bonus of baseball season, perfect for fans eager to experience the sport’s heritage firsthand.
Beyond baseball, Cooperstown offers a range of attractions for non-sports enthusiasts. Visitors can explore museums like the Fenimore Art Museum and Farmers’ Museum, enjoy outdoor activities on Otsego Lake, or indulge in the town’s charming shops and restaurants.
A day in Cooperstown can include a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame, exploring the charming downtown area with its shops and eateries, taking a scenic boat ride on Otsego Lake, and discovering the town’s rich history at local museums like the Fenimore Art Museum.
The best month to visit Cooperstown is September when the weather is pleasant, and the fall foliage begins to appear, creating a picturesque backdrop for exploring the town and enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and boating.
There you have it, all the wonderful things to do in Cooperstown, New York! Be sure to bookmark this guide for later or share the love below on Pinterest.