Cooperstown Beyond the Hall
Whether you’re heading to Cooperstown to see former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas and former Cubs hurler Greg Maddux inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27 or planning a visit for later in the summer, there’s a lot more to this charming village than just being the mythical birthplace of baseball.
Baseball fans will want to visit the Hall, which is at 25 Main St. (607-547-7200,baseballhall.org), and maybe see some of the 56 Hall of Fame legends (Yogi Berra and Willie Mays among them) expected in for the weekend, but there are other options after that. Besides a boatload of activities on 10-mile-long Otsego Lake, consider this list of things to do:
When I visit Cooperstown, I always budget one night to ride on the Cooperstown Blues Express, a three-hour party with plenty of libations and a live rock or blues band performing on an open-air rail car. The car goes 15 miles, departing from nearby Milford at 7 p.m. every summer Saturday through Sept. 27. 607-432-2824,cooperstownbluesexpress.com
Eating and drinking
Nestled along a rolling woodsy hillside, Brewery Ommegang has evolved over 17 years into one of the country’s most widely distributed lines of beer and ale, as well as a major outdoor concert venue and host to a series of widely attended seasonal festivals.
A relatively new and welcome addition to Cooperstown’s culinary scene is Council Rock Brewery, 4 miles from the Hall of Fame on state Highway 28. It serves its own handcrafted beers and an affordable menu of light fare, including salads, sandwiches and burgers. 607-643-3016, councilrockbrewery.com
Where to stay
Hall of Fame weekend obviously will be crazy busy for hotels, and many in and near Cooperstown will be booked.
One to consider after induction weekend is Bayside Inn and Marina. Since I began visiting Cooperstown regularly, I’ve been staying on this primo piece of real estate with its own private beach and lush woody surroundings on state Highway 80, about a mile shy of the Glimmerglass Opera House on the west side of the lake. Though booked for induction weekend, it’s worth a stay later. Summer rates start at $139. 607-547-2371,baysidecooperstown.com/index.php
Read the full story here