Travel Guide: Upstate NY

We recently took a trip to upstate New York for a weekend away with out little family. If you’re from New Jersey, it’s an easy and quick drive filled the scenic routes.

We began our trip in Cooperstown, New York. Something that I thought was interesting about the drive up there was that Cooperstown is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. By the time our GPS set our ETA as 5 minutes away, we were still passing farms. I was worried we were headed to the wrong place! However, then out of nowhere, this little charming town emerged from the trees and alas! We were there.

Downtown Cooperstown is very charming. The streets are lined with quirky shops (usually involving baseball), bakeries, and restaurants.

We stayed at the Otesaga Resort Hotel, which I highly recommend. The resort has an awesome spa (which I also highly recommend!), a beautiful outside area for relaxing and wine drinking, and great restaurants.

The hotel breakfast in the morning is excellent. The staff was also great and everyone was so accommodating with our stroller.

The Otesaga Resort was super baby and family friendly. Most of the guests that we saw had smaller children.

We decided to visit Cooperstown because my husband is a huge baseball fan. The weekend before our trip we actually took another trip down to Washington, DC, for a World Series game! Side note: visiting DC is always a fun time for my husband and I. We met while in college there and we love visiting our favorite restaurants and attractions.

Daniel is a Washington Nationals fan and visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame the week after they won the World Series was an awesome experience. The Hall of Fame did not have any of the sets up yet to commemorate the win, but they did have a poster of Stephen Strasburg up from the World Series.

The Baseball Hall of Fame was also very baby and kid friendly. It was a very well-organized museum and had a little bit for everyone. Although I enjoy attending baseball games, I’m not as big of a fan as my husband. Yet, I did find the Hall of Fame very interesting. Apart from celebrating actual baseball players and moments in baseball history, there was an art display featuring original works by artists such as Normal Rockwell and Andy Warhol, and even a baseball movie section that featured items from famous films. I found that stuff pretty cool.

After the Hall of Fame we walked around downtown Cooperstown for a while and got lunch in town. A lot of the locals recommended Mel’s at 22 for lunch and it was awesome. Downtown Cooperstown is super charming and reminds me a lot of the set of Gilmore Girls. I know New York is not technically New England, but it certainly has that feel to it.

After Cooperstown we wanted to visit Woodstock, New York. It was only about an hour and a half away and south towards home. We decided to stay about 20 minutes outside of Woodstock to also enjoy the Catskill Mountains. The foliage and waterfalls were absolutely beautiful.

We stayed at the Mountain Brook Inn. It was a lodge-like resort that was very cozy and also family friendly. This inn also had breakfast in the morning which was great. The Mountain Brook was also very personal. In the evenings they had s’mores for the guests and fire pits.

We stayed in the main lodge. I think I would have preferred the privacy of the isolated cabins, but the main lodge had a bar and two living rooms with fireplaces. It was also the location of breakfast. With all that considering, it was easier with Daniel Jr. Our room was very nice, cozy, and overlooked the mountains.

Again, where we stayed was a short distance from Woodstock so it was an easy drive. Woodstock was fun and definitely worth visiting if you’re in upstate New York.

The restaurants were awesome. We ate at Cucina because we were in the mood for Italian. They did feature classics like chicken parmesan, but also had unique dishes on the menu. For instance, we had an appetizer that was sautéed shrimp over a bed of white beans and cherry tomatoes. It was to die for. Another side note: my husband and I are major foodies and love trying new restaurants and dishes.

We totally recommend Cucina if you’re in Woodstock. They were also super family friendly! We called ahead to make a reservation (definitely make a reservation!) and told them we had a stroller and they made sure we were seated in a spot that we would fit and could rock the stroller if we needed to.

If Italian food is not your style, Oriole 9 has great reviews. We wanted to eat there, also, but honestly ran out of time. Woodstock has a lot of interesting shops and restaurants. The streets are lined with art studios and coffee shops.

One of my favorite things about this mini trip we took was how family friendly all of our destinations were. Everywhere in Cooperstown, from the resort to the Hall of Fame, were accommodating and great for families with small kids. Even the restaurants and shops in Woodstock were family friendly. With a new baby I’m constantly worried about him shrieking during dinner, or being upset while in an enclosed place with lots of people, etc. I loved that I didn’t have to be worried or anything. Everyone was so nice!

Anyway, I definitely recommend Cooperstown if someone in your family likes baseball. I also highly recommend visiting Woodstock while on your way there.

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