From art museums to music festivals, historic homes to scenic train tours, Cooperstown and Otsego County have so much to explore. Take a turn off the beaten path to experience some the best "glimmering" hidden gems of the area.
Rev up for the weekend with a cup of joe and head to the year-round Cooperstown Farmer's Market, offering the very best of the region's bounty in one space. Thirty growers, producers, and artisans located within 50 miles of Cooperstown offer fresh seasonal produce, pasture-raised meats, handmade bread, artisan cheeses, grass-fed milk, free-range eggs, and more. Be sure to check out the honey, wine, maple syrup, flowers, artisan crafts and sweets that are perfect take-home treats.
The Art Garage (open by appointment)
A funky pop-up art space in a three-bay garage a mile from downtown Cooperstown, The Art Garage displays (and sells) Louis Sherry's wild, colorful "birdhouse" sculptures. In the summer there's a constant flow of contemporary shows and programs. Visitors may always request to be shown Tracy Helgeson paintings & works by outsider artists, Lavern Kelley and Alice Hudson, whose art is in various museum collections.
Step into the Bobby Sharp Glassworks studio to watch the artist working his trade. Crafting stunning works of art for everyday use, high-quality wine carafes, beer mugs, and other hand-blown glassware and objects d'art are available for purchase. The studio also offers several workshops, including a popular "Make Your Own Beer Mug" class where up to six participants learn the skills to create their own glass-blown beer mug.
Located just outside of Oneonta, Gilbertsville Expressive Movement (GEM) is home to fourteen outdoor sculptures on a 14-acre former campus in the middle of the village of Gilbertsville, a Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. GEM encourages arts in the region with workshops and exhibits and offers residency and internship programs for emerging artists in art, music, literature, and other programs.
Every Saturday night from mid-May to early October, the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad cruises the tracks dating back to 1868 to the sounds of rhythm and blues performed by some of the region's most rockin' bands. Board the Cooperstown Blues Express for a three-hour tour on a historic train and enjoy a selection of food for purchase and a cash bar featuring local beer and wines. A seasonal schedule of other train experiences is also available.
Situated on the shimmering shores of Otsego Lake, on land once owned by American novelist James Fenimore Cooper, the Fenimore Art Museum houses one of the country's most comprehensive collections of American folk and fine art. Home of the Thaw Collection, one of the nation's premier collections of Indian art, visit to take in any number of exhibits representing North America's diverse and rich cultural heritage. When done roaming the galleries, stop to get a refreshment at the Fenimore Café's terrace, with spectacular views of Fenimore's famed 'Glimmerglass.'
A summer-long celebration of the arts, head to the grounds of The Glimmerglass Festival for a matinee performance of a top opera, live musical, or other headline performance. Attracting directors, singers, designers, and other talents from around the globe to the Alice Busch Opera Theater, the Festival features world-class performances in an intimate, casual setting. Grab a bite at the Marketplace Bistro prior to or after the performance for an impromptu picnic on the grounds.
Take a Sunday afternoon NY Goat Yoga class at the historic Gilbertsville Farmhouse. Lead by certified instructors, these hour-long outdoor sessions include regular yoga stretching, postures, and breathing,… except with friendly goats wandering around and even trying to join in on your yoga poses! Part of a growing trend of including animals in therapeutic exercise, Goat Yoga is sure to leave you feeling relaxed and with a smile on your face.
Enjoy the architecture of the Main Street buildings as you shop in Oneonta. There are plenty of stores full of treasures on this path. You won't want to miss the Green Toad Bookstore!
Downtown Cooperstown Shopping
Head downtown to Main Street Cooperstown to take in the small-town charm noted by the likes of Architectural Digest and MSN.com. There is much to discover in this famed, one-stoplight town, including the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Where It All Began Bat Company, and some of the world's best donuts at Schneider's Bakery. Don't miss the historic Doubleday Baseball Field and make time to enjoy a meal at one of the many great dining options in town ranging from casual coffee shops to farm-to-table and international cuisine.
Hyde Hall (Daily tours on the hour 10 to 3 pm)
A National Historic Landmark, Hyde Hall sits within the grounds of Glimmerglass State Park. Considered the finest example of a neoclassic country mansion, take one of the daily tours that explore the history spanning five generations of family from the early 1800s to 1943. This spectacular home with nearly 50 rooms filled with original furnishings and distinctive architectural details recalls the time in American history when powerful English families enjoyed large estates in their former colonies.