This Week, Upstater Goes North

  |  December 29, 2014

Doubleday Field, Cooperstown

Pardon us for the indulgence. This week, as we prepare to ring in the New Year, we’re getting out of the Hudson Valley and traveling northwest through the Catskills into Cooperstown. The Otsego County village that seems like it’s all about baseball but really isn’t (more on that later) is still technically in the Catskills, just south of the Adirondacks in the Leatherstocking region, in some seriously breathtaking surroundings. Cooperstown, however, isn’t super easy to get to. It’s not like it’s a Thruway exit or anything. You have to head deep into Greene County, travel west into Schoharie County, follow the windy roads over the hills and through the Forest of Darkness where you must defeat the Black Dragon that guards the gold…okay, we made up that last part. Still, it’s a schlep, but oh what a pretty schlep it is. You’ll see all kinds of water bodies, woodlands, and red barns along your way, not to mention some incredible views once you get into higher elevations.

Cooperstown is situated on Lake Otsego and has that bubbly, walkable village vibe that we love about small upstate towns. In spite of its status as a popular tourist destination, Cooperstown, at its heart, is a single-stoplight town packed with mom-and-pop storefronts.


Main Street

Of course, we can’t talk about Cooperstown without mentioning the Baseball Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field, both of which are right in the center of the village (Doubleday Field itself is fenced off, but you can still see it, and it will surprise you how small it is), and all of the sportswear-related apparel and souvenir stores that surround it, but in truth, that’s just one aspect of Cooperstown. The village is also home to two other great museums: The Farmers’ Museum, and the Fenimore Art Museum. Cooperstown is rooted in creative pursuits. The incomparable Glimmerglass Opera is located there (as a personal aside, when I was attending music school, the Glimmerglass Opera young artists program was one of the most sought-after gigs for aspiring opera singers. Everyone wanted in). Brewery Ommegang is another popular spot for Belgian ale enthusiasts. It’s a writerly town boasting the likes of James Fenimore Cooper and his progeny. It’s no wonder that artists and novelists found inspiration around Cooperstown. All one has to do is take a short stroll down to the waterfront and gaze out at the sparkling waters of Lake Otsego to get those nature-inspired creative juices flowing.


Lake Otsego

But for old house nerds like us, the crown jewel of Cooperstown is its architecture. We found ourselves wandering around the village streets oohing and aahing over some magnificent Victorians, brick Federals, stone Colonials, the list goes on and on. The properties near the waterfront are particularly drool-worthy, prompting us to run straight to the listings when we got back from our day trip to peruse the good stuff currently on the market. And there’s plenty, so we’ll be looking at several properties throughout this week. If you’ve got some time available during this quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s, give yourself the gift of a Cooperstown day trip. You won’t be disappointed. We’ve included some photos just to whet your whistle.

Cooperstown is located approximately 30 minutes from Oneonta, 90 minutes from Albany, and 3.5 hours from NYC.cooperstown12

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Waterfront Park


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The oldest building in Cooperstown built in 1786


About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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