insight guides

Even those with only a passing interest in the sport enjoy the stories of the personalities and history of the game at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Dedicated fans spend days here. See newsreels of early games (and Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine), displays about baseball’s impact on America and equipment used in significant games or achievements. The Hall of Fame has the reverential air of a cathedral.

Baseball and beer go together, so it’s fitting to find thriving breweries. This was once a major hops-growing region and farmers are starting to reintroduce them. Ommegang Breweryworks with Cornell University to identify strains that do well locally. The tour and tasting is fun and informative, and the restaurant pairs food with Ommegang brews. The Cooperstown Distillery produces bourbon, whiskey, gin and vodka, and is experimenting with brandy.

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James Fenimore Cooper lived here and used Lake Otsego as inspiration for “The Leatherstocking Tales.” The lake is nicknamed Glimmerglass because on quiet days the water is so still that it reflects the landscape like a mirror. Native American tribes met on the shores and you can overlook the lake and Council Rock where they met at a small park.


At the Fenimore Museum, paintings from the Hudson River School — artists inspired by the region — are displayed so intimately that you can see every detail. The museum also has a significant collection of Native American clothing, beadwork, weaving and ritual objects.

Locavore is a lifestyle here. Restaurants boast about their locally sourced and fresh ingredients, which are paired with small-production local wines. Bocca Osteria Restaurant has a sophisticated Italian menu in a casual bistro setting.

Get lost on a drive along the scenic back roads and look for roadside stands with the last of the autumn harvest.

The upscale, Federal-era Cooper Inn is set in its own park just steps away from Main Street. If B&Bs are your preference, book a stay at the Rose and Thistle.

Don’t miss:

Nov. 5: A new permanent exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame, “Whole New Ballgame,” looks at the sport and its changes and influences since the 1970s.

Nov. 5-9: During Glimmerglass Film Days, “Sacred Places” explores the concept of natural sacred places and the effect that humans have on them.

Weekends in November: Wassailing at Fly Creek Cider Mill includes learning how to make the traditional holiday drink. Don’t miss the apple cider donuts.

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