Last year we visited Cooperstown, NY, the week after the Washington Nationals won the World Series and it was an amazing experience! (You can read about our first trip to Cooperstown and Woodstock, NY, here.) Despite how lovely it was, the Washington Nationals’ World Series exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame was not up yet. Naturally, this year we had to take another trip upstate before they take it down to make room for the new champions!
Once again, we had an awesome time. Cooperstown is the perfect getaway for couples, families, and even friend groups and there is something for everyone. My travel guide last year featured both Cooperstown and Woodstock so I decided to write a separate guide just for Cooperstown. I was so excited, too, because this is the first stop on our 2020 Fall getaway and the foliage driving up was absolutely breathtaking. (With that being said, stay tuned for the next spooky stop!) I was joking to my husband that the mountain ranges looked sponge-painted by God with the most beautiful array of warm colors from deep red to striking orange. It was gorgeous and actually made the long drive feel shorter!
Where to Stay
We stayed here last year and had to visit again! The Otesaga Resort Hotel was recommended to me by a friend who also loves Cooperstown and I am so glad that she recommended it. Not only is the hotel absolutely immaculate, but the staff is wonderful. Need an early check-in? Done. Need more towels because your toddler squeezed an entire tube of toothpaste on them? Done. Need toothpaste because the toddler squeezed out your tube onto the towels? Done. The staff even brought us warmed milk for our son’s nighttime bottle. I mean, how wonderful is that? They find any way they can to be helpful. They even allowed me to use a private conference room for a work meeting one evening while we were there.
Besides the awesome staff, the hotel is taking COVID-19 precautions very seriously. Everyone was wearing masks, hand sanitizer station were set up throughout the hotel, staff members were sanitizing everything with a sanitizing machine, temperatures were taken prior to entering the hotel, and upon checking in we were given complimentary bottles of hand sanitizer (and wine!) for our stay.
There is also a lot to do at The Otesaga. Last year I visited the spa for a facial and message and was not disappointed. Further, the resort is home to aa beautiful golf course on the lake. I personally do not golf, but if I did, I think I would come here. If you’re interested in all things spooky (like me), apparently this hotel is also haunted! Before becoming a hotel, it was an all-girls school and legend has it that the halls are haunted by the ghosts of children and guests in period clothing. Ghost Hunters even did an episode here! It was the perfect first stop for our annual fall trip.
Lastly, the restaurants are great at this hotel. The breakfast is reason enough to stay here. Usually the breakfast is designed in an elevated buffet style with just about everything one can imagine. Because of COVID-19, we were seated with menus (still featuring everything) and waited on. For lunch and dinner, the Hawkeye Bar and Grill is excellent, as is the 1909. The menus feature awesome options, and the wine lists are extensive.
Okay, I have not personally stayed here, but another friend of mine has and she loved it. If you’re looking for more of a bed-and-breakfast or charming-inn feel, I think this place would be great for you. The outside looks absolutely beautiful, and it was decorated for fall. Further, it is located downtown and is walking distance from Main Street in town. There are shops, restaurants, the Hall of Fame, etc. right in walking distance, which is awesome.
Where to Eat
If you’re staying at The Otesaga, stay for breakfast at the Glimmerglass. You will not be disappointed. Everything from the coffee to the bacon to the pancakes is excellent. Also, their oatmeal is, like, famous! Try it either hot or cold. If you’re staying downtown, the Doubleday Cafe has an awesome breakfast, too, and it located right on Main Street!
As I stated above, the Hawkeye Bar and Grill and the 1909 are great choices. The 1909 is a bit more upscale, but both have extensive drink and food menus and are located right in The Otesaga. The roast chicken and various steak options are very tasty. Also, the Hawkeye has an outdoor fire ring that is perfect for late night cocktails by the fire.
We also loved Mels at 22, which serves American classics. The burgers are soooooo good! They literally look like something out of a food magazine, haha. I also was a big fan of their Caesar salad. The house-made croutons are excellent. The Doubleday Cafe also has great lunch options! I know I talked about their breakfast previously, but they are worth checking out for lunch, too.
What to Do
Like, duh! Even if you’re not a huge fan of baseball, this is a cool place to visit. My husband is more of the baseball fan but even I had a great time. Besides the Plaque Gallery and literal Hall of Fame, there are exhibits for baseball cards and memorabilia, women in baseball, the African-American baseball experience, a beautiful art gallery featuring baseball-themed art by artists such as Norman Rockwell, and even an exhibit on baseball in movies! Do not miss the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?” section! If you’re a baseball fan, you should visit the Hall of Fame at least once.
Visit Doubleday Field
This field is the home of baseball and hallowed American ground — the birthplace of America’s pastime! It is always open, so stroll on in and check it out.
Visit the Brewery Ommegang
A traditional farmhouse brewery, the Brewery Ommegang is an awesome spot to hang, grab a beer, and even a bite to eat! It is about a ten-minute drive outside of the main downtown area, but still nestled in the heart of Cooperstown. You can even get a tour of the brewery and learn about how the beer is made.
Once again, if your staying in Cooperstown and enjoy golf, there the Leatherstocking Golf Course is beautiful! If you didn’t bring gear, you can even rent what you need right at the shop.
I think it is safe to say that we will be visiting Cooperstown, NY, again in the future. I did not even get into explaining how scenic the town is. If you are a fall fanatic like I am, do yourself a favor and visit. The drive alone is breathtakingly beautiful. There is something for everyone in town.