As we sit in our homes scrolling through Social Media wondering when we can finally escape, are you thinking where can we go? Most of us will choose to venture only a few hours from home. Have you always wanted to visit Cooperstown? When we are asked when the best time to visit is, we say before Memorial Day or after Labor Day to avoid the crowds from the Baseball camps. Many of our small businesses are currently open for take out and delivery. They are also feeding our healthcare workers and frontline staff and will greatly appreciate your help this summer by patronizing them.
This summer our loss is your gain since the entire season has been cancelled. This is a perfect opportunity to see the true beauty of the area the way it use to be.
During the summer this view can only be seen before 6:00 AM otherwise it is a Sea of people.
Early mornings are a beautiful time to take a stroll around the empty streets and take in the History and Architecture of the old buildings. From here cross the Street and head down Hoffman Lane and take a left on Stagecoach Lane. Here you will find a spectacular cup of coffee and quick bite to eat before heading down to enjoy the views of the lake. They added a room for roasting and you can see them at work. Stagecoach coffee can also be ordered online to enjoy at home now. They too are doing their part to help the community during this tough time.
Out the front door you will find Pioneer Street which leads down to the lake and park. I love sitting on a bench watching the ducks and drinking my coffee as the sun starts heating up. You may wish to avoid Thursday mornings , it seems every time I have been there my peace and quiet is interrupted by mowing of the lawn in Pioneer Park.
To the right you will see Lakefront Motel and restaurant. Late in the afternoon a cocktail outside on the porch is a great treat. While you are there check the schedule for the Glimmerglass Queen boat ride. Depending on the day there are 3 or 4 times daily that it sails. You can also rent a boat or kayak. Sam Smiths Boat yard has rentals from small boats up to a pontoon boat. Enjoy dinner at their restaurant The Blue Mingo.
From here walk back up to Lake Street and in either direction you will find history whether it’s Council Rock or the Otesaga Resort there is more to Cooperstown than Baseball.
The Otesaga Resort hosts all types of events including weddings and has a wonderful spa.
Guests can also enjoy their pool , golf and dining.
For a more unique take on History , how about an evening Ghost Tour.
Bruce, who is a local does a wonderful job with the tour. If you still want more Hyde Hall also has ghost tours.
We have plenty of wildlife right in town. Here is a Deer heading home after breakfast at the local florist Mohican. They have been enjoying a diet of fresh Hosta in the spring.
If you google deer in supermarket you may find some photos taken by the staff of Price Chopper. A few years back we had a deer walk in the store on two separate occasions; no it was not a pet.
If you are visiting on a weekend you could stop by the Farmers Market on Saturday located in Pioneer Alley just behind the Wax Museum. You can find everything from Fruits and Vegetables to Flowers and Wine. Speaking of Wine, take a short ride out of town and visit the Pail Shop for a glass of their signature Chianti. On the other side of the alley is the Famous Double Day Field , currently under construction.
For the Baseball Fan there is no lack of things to see and do. I recommend saving it for after you have visited all of the other wonderful places and your traveling companion is blissfully happy.
Many of you may know of the Farmers Museum. If you do live within a few hours of here , most likely as a child you visited there on a school field trip.
As one of the oldest rural life museums in the country, The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life firsthand through demonstrations and interpretive exhibits.
The museum, founded in 1943, comprises a working farmstead, a recreated historic village, the Empire State Carousel, and a Colonial Revival stone barn listed on the National Register for Historic Places, The museum preserves important examples of upstate New York architecture, early agricultural tools and equipment, and heritage livestock. Its collection of more than 23,000 items encompasses significant historic objects ranging from butter molds to carriages, hand planes to plows.
The museum presents a broad range of interactive educational programs for school groups, families, and adults that explore and preserve the rich agricultural history of the region. ( paragraph borrowed from the Chamber of Commerce )
The Fenimore Art Museum features one of the nation’s finest collections of folk art, American art, and the renowned Thaw Collection of American Indian Art. Enjoy lake view dining on the terrace and unique shopping in the Museum Shop.
HYDE HALL represents an extraordinary vision of 19th-century Anglo-American culture and the establishment of vast agricultural estates in the early years of the American republic. Built by George Clarke (1768-1835), the house is considered one of the finest examples of the neoclassical country house in the United States.
Roger Kennedy of the Smithsonian Institution has hailed Hyde Hall as “a great house, architecturally, and a social document of the first importance.” The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called Hyde Hall “one of the most remarkable buildings in America,” and Brendan Gill, long-time architecture critic for The New Yorker magazine and an early champion for Hyde Hall’s restoration, declared it one of the “three or four great buildings in America of its time.” ( paragraph borrowed from the Chamber of Commerce)
The map shows the Trolley Lots for Parking if you want a ride.
I am in hopes that the village will lift the parking restrictions for the time being too encourage visitors.
When it does come time for the Hall of Fame Induction (also Postponed) or Special Events Parking does come at a Premium.
There are many great places to visit just outside of town ,how about miniature golf for the kids at Barnyard Swing.
Premier 18-hole miniature golf and family fun center. Wild-West laser tag in an authentic civil war-era barn, gem panning, ice cream saloon.
Engineered fun built into every hole including water shots, drop-down holes, and obstacles. Beautifully landscaped complete with fountains and stream.
If you like Beer , we have Breweries. Visit the famous Brewery Ommegang known all around the world. They are doing pick up’s at this time.
For some evening entertainment stop by Red Shed Brewery, with two locations and that small town feel. Unable to be open during this pandemic, their original Cherry Valley location is doing pickup’s Friday and Saturday’s, Still wanting more? Nearby Milford, NY is Cooperstown Brewing.
Cooperstown Brewing Company –
We’re a true small batch brewery in the heart of upstate New York. We brew premium English ales, stouts and porters using an original Peter Austin System. Our most notable brands include Old Slugger Pale Ale, Nine Man Golden Ale, Benchwarmer Porter and Backyard IPA.
New for 2017, Bambino American Amber, a true home run classic. Also find our Induction Summer Ale, a Limited Release with Collectors Edition label honoring the years Inductees.
Within view of the Brewery is the Cooperstown and Leatherstocking Railway. They offer rides for different holidays and events as well as a Blues Train during the summer months. We are very lucky to have them and all of the Volunteers that keep it alive. Please check out their website and learn more about them and what you can do to help support a piece of History.
There are many more great businesses, check out the Chamber of Commerce for more details. Sorry I can not showcase them all but I need keep this short.
If you are a local living outside of Cooperstown remember, all Business helps our economy in every town and village. Money spent in their community is your neighbors yearly salary that eventually is spent in yours.
I use to go out for lunch at least once a week. We always tried to go someplace different every time. My friend was a former cook and both of us had been servers. When I go out to eat I like a little atmosphere. I think lunch is a good way to sample restaurants since you should get nearly the same meal you would at dinner but without all of the added expense. We are more fair than most in our reviews because of our knowledge. I wish I could say there is a perfect place to eat; but if so I have yet to find it.
A good meal to me is made up of a lot of things. I want good fresh food, presented nicely (garnished or a variety of color) on a clean unchipped plate, served Hot or Cold whatever it should be. I want pleasant wait staff that will at least make eye contact if you need something and are not covered in last weeks leftovers. I don’t think that is asking too much.
Pet peeves, salads with rotten lettuce, dirty dishes, no coffee refills, wait staff that drops off your food and comes back only to tell you they will bring your check not even asking if you want dessert, or you can’t get a check to pay in the first place. Carpets with more crumbs than a cake, tables that wobble and spill your drinks. Notice I did not even discuss the prices.
Accountability, a word that seems to be a thing of the past. We have a place nearby that just opened a few months ago. All of us were excited to see the menu, it looked great. The very first time we ordered ( all take out) our order was over an hour late and the chicken was like rubber. The flavors were wonderful so we decided to give them another chance. Next we had a salad that looked like the boxes were dropped. The stuff that was supposed to be decorating the top of the salads was all on the bottom of the pile of lettuce. The smells of this place come in through our doors and windows from there char-broiler and make us hungry. One more chance…. we got soup and found hair in it. Okay I am finished. People are still giving them mostly rave reviews. We have decided that takeout orders should be banned, they obviously can not multi task. I would not hold that against them but it needs to be recognized before I will give it another chance.
There are many things to do in Florida; a lot depends on how you arrived and where you will be. I love Disney but there are many things to do near Orlando and several of the parks will offer transportation from Orlando International included. If you are a little more adventurous and don’t mind driving there is a lot to do on the West Coast. Let’s begin up near Crystal River you can swim with the manatee and there is wonderful fishing in both fresh and salt water. It is a much slower pace up there and the people are mostly local or lifelong transplants. There are also a lot of wonderful wildlife parks that are trying to preserve the local habitat. They are state-run and survive mostly on donations. My favorite is in Homosassa, Ellie Schiller Wildlife Park. I loved it as a kid it was privately owned then. They use to have a big machine that you put quarters in and it created an alligator out of hot wax. It had closed for a few years until the State took over. My favorite animal was the Hippopotamus. I was excited when I discovered he was the same one that was always there named Lu. I liked the monkeys too but apparently no one else did so they were removed. Lucky for me they did not go far they now live on Monkey Island just around the corner at Riverside Resort.
After you have visited all the wonderful little shops and bars along the way, head south down 19 to Weeki Wachee. This is another old-time Florida favorite. The claim to fame are the underwater singing Mermaids, they also have a lot of birds and wildlife. Travel on 19 can get a bit nerve-wracking it is stop and go traffic but plenty to eat and buy along the way. Another all time favorite is Tarpon Springs sponge docks. Here you can take a cruise out to pick shells or learn about the sponge divers. Greek food is also plentiful and the best. When you are full, walk off your meal by shopping. My best guess is there are over 50 little souvenir shops in the short quarter-mile strip. Before you head home go to Hellas and take home dessert. Now we are about halfway down the coast so if you are thinking it is time to stop for the night we found a really nice place. Residence Inn Tampa ( its in Lutz ) it is clean and they are all very friendly. This hotel offers free breakfast and several evening get togethers offering complimentary horsd’oeuvres and drinks. There is also a nearby Flea Market on Fri , Sat & Sundays if you are a bargain hunter. Look for a later post on things to do from here to the Southern end of the state.