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Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

California
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Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

My husband and I have been baseball fans since we were kids. We've had this trip on our list of places to go for years. Looks like we're finally going to get there!

We will be there in late September or early October and understand that is not a particularly busy time of year.

Would appreciate suggestions for motel, hotel or b&b - and is it better to stay in town and just walk to Hall of Fame, restaurants, and other sights in town? We will be there for a few days and would also like to see something of the surrounding area and its history.

Many thanks for your help.

Hartford...
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1. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

The fall is a great time to get to the Hall of Fame. As a supporting member, I try to get up there at least once a year, and I usually pick the fall. I've never stayed in town, but at a few of the hotels on Lake Otsego. Two that I've stayed at are The Lake View and The Hickory Grove. Both were clean,comfortable and reasonably priced. There are several others and all are only a 5 to 15 min. ride to the Hall. Once you get into town you can park your car and just walk around. The downtown area is small enough to navigate in an afternoon. There are many shops (sports memorabilia,etc.) and restaurants all along Main St. and throughout town to explore. The Farmers museum is a nice diversion and I believe they have boat cruise that takes you out on Lake Otsego. If you've got the time a side trip up to the Lake George or Saratoga regions are nice.

Johnson City, NY
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2. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

You say you want to see a bit of the surrounding area. What would you like in particular? Beautiful scenery, countryside, funky old villages or unique places with history? Would 8 minutes be too far for you to be from the Hall of Fame?

Vestal, New York
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3. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

I'd recommend that Fenimore Art Museum as well - they have a great Indian Art collection and some local history exhibits.

You may want to take a ride up the lake and pick up US 20 - there will be nice vistas along the way. a couple of relatively nearby funky small towns worth checking out are Cherry Valley and Sharon Springs to the east. To the west, there are some good antiques in the small towns of Madison and Bouckville and the small town of Hamilton is pretty college town.

Cooperstown, NY
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4. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

For Fall Colors try Rte 205 north south. Or Rte 51.

For cute towns I vote for Rte 20 from Esperance to Skaneateles with Cherry Valley, Boukville, Cazenovia and Sharon Springs in there as well. Richfield Springs has a very cute green commons park.

California
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5. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

Thanks for all the suggestions. Where would I be without TripAdvisor! I'm checking into the many possibilities you all offered.

To sunbreeze - Funky would be interesting, and something with a bit of history. My husband and I are history buffs. We enjoy small lesser known sites and going to towns with interesting beginnings. And beautiful scenery is always appreciated. Suggest away. We have no real plans in the Cooperstown area right now except the Hall of Fame.

Virginia
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6. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

Since you are interested in history you will love Cooperstown. We were last there in early June while it is still cold in that area and before the rates tripled and before there were 1000 people in town every week all summer. What a great place....a wonderful historic town. The town council investigates new businesses going in to make sure they are likely to make it so that there would be a minimum of people going out of business. The areas around the town are kept beautifully and there a endless historic homes amazingly restored and maintained.

We found ourselves particularly attracted to the home at the end of the main street with the unusual stonework pattern.

All photos are like they are out of a professional book...it's hard to take a bad picture there.

The Farmer's Museum...some people think...hmmm I don't know about that but as soon as we saw it we had to include it in our "3way ticket". It has a beautiful carousel and vast building on the history of ice cream featuring Ben and Jerry's and a vintage ice cream parlor. Beyond that, though, is a compilation of 1700s and 1800s buildings rescued from around the area and put in a town setting....General Store (where you can buy reasonably priced souvenirs), school house, homes, appothecary with the wonderful herb garden beside it...herbs having been used in healing, etc. Here is a picture on their site of the General Store just as an example of the setting:http://store.nysha.org/farmers/todds_general_store

You can get a 2 way or 3 way discounted ticket for the Farmer's Museum which is across the street from the Art Museum, and the HOF.

The Art Museum was magnificent. Originally a home, there are many places for children to do hands-on activities and shops and places mainly for adults. We were so very very thrilled when we found our already planned trip presented the opportunity to see a comprehensive collection of Remington, which has now moved on I'm afraid, a favorite of ours for his presentation of the history of the West to those who only dreamed about it. It was in a large special exhibit room.

There is also a book store and a little place to get delicious food and take it to tables or out to terrace tables. We went out to the terrace and since it was sunny and had just rained it was warm enough. We ate a la weekend house guests of old, looking across the enormous span of lawn to the beautiful lake.

End of Sept to end of Dec. will be an exhibit of Cunningham, one of the premier folk artists of the 20th Century.

There are some of the world's finest collections of American fine art, folk art and Indian art.

The Hudson River School of Art is represented.

The collection of Indian art is regarded by many as the most important privately owned collection of its kind. In 1995 a $10 million, 18,000 sq.ft. addition was created to showcase the collection spanning 2500 years of native cultures across North America. There are "dream visions" drawn by the Teton Lakota chief Black Hawk. Some really serious stuff.

The 1750 Native American Bark House is on the shores of that lake. Just walk out toward the lake and you'll see it down a quaint path on the left. We greatly enjoyed the young man with such valuable info on the history of life for Native Americans then.

The photography collection included something we were unaware of, historic life masks. In the early 1800s Browere worked for decades to create a portrait gallery of national heroes, casting the faces of famous living people.

This might be of interest to you:

visitcooperstown.com/group_attractions.cfm

We stayed at Lake n Pines on Otsego Lake. We loved it. It has large rooms...one can imagine lots of rooms for rollaways and many seem to overlook the lake.

Since it was a quieter time, we could be a bit choosey and chose one of the rooms...up by the ice cream vending machine is one way I can think of describing it. We chose that area because several others overlooked woods, pool or parking area. We had thought we'd like a ground level with a patio looking out on the lake but doing so would actually mean one looks out on the cars parked in fron of the room, as with any motel. However, the hill is so wonderfully sloping that if one enters the units where we were...entering in front of the ice cream machine....one enters at ground level. BUT the back walks out to a balcony overlooking the woods and lake. Below those units are more units with the terrace/parking area issue.

Here's their site: http://www.cooperstown.net/lake-n-pines/

They have an indoor pool, outdoor pool, great wooded setting which will be all the better in autumn; the rooms do look just like that but are totally clean, have a tv and refrigerator. Every day we'd see a group of people including a mennonite lady or two taking great care in housekeeping. The photo on the bottom of the site with the chairs overlooking the lake on the deck is a great place to enjoy breakfast. Breakfast is self serve in the room pictured to the right of the deck/lake picture...even has micro/refrig, etc. On cooler mornings our favorite place to take in the natural beauty was ...just continuing further right in that photo to the corner of the room where two large windows met at right angles. Great view. So much natural history in the Cooperstown area that we wanted to partake of that as well as what was closer into town just about 10 minutes away.

Now back to that ice cream machine. We were fascinated by it and probably had more ice cream than we should have just to see it work. In the midst of so much history and woodsy/lake beauty was this unusually high tech vending machine where the ice cream choices were pneumatically vacuumed up and sent out.

Johnson City, NY
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7. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

Well, for beautiful rides, there are lots of choices. If you were staying at The Comfort Woods Guesthouse, they have a nice 8 minute ride into Cooperstown, short, but beautiful, and it is between the 2 lakes. If you stay in town, the rim of the lake ride, around Otsego Lake is my favorite, with a crossing up by Hyde Hall.

For history and cute towns, check out Cherry Valley with the workshop of the inventor of Telegraph- Samuel Morse. This is also the place where Alan Ginsburg had his famous farm and infamous parties. I'd also go into Sahron Springs for the curing springs at the old springhouse, and pass on a side trip to the village of Van Hornesville as well. If you go west on Rte 20 or on rte 80, the scenery is also spectacualar.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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8. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

If this is one of your trips of a lifetime, you may want to stay at the Onondosas (?spelling), fanciest resort there.

I grew up in the countryside 20 minutes from Cooperstown, in fact my Dad's company installed the Hall of Fame's security system and still maintains it today.

I'm not sure Richfield Springs is a destination worth heading to.

Perhaps head down to the canal towns of Ilion, Mohawk, Herkimer and Little Falls. Both Ilion and Little Falls have recently developed their canal fronts. And the Erie Canal factors large in the history of these Leatherstocking Region towns. Little Falls has a lock on the canal unique in all the world.

Something else that brings people from all over the world is the Herkimer Diamond Mines out rte 28 the other side of Herkimer. A unique type of quartz found only in this one place in the world. Was featured on the Treasure Hunters show, and I can still vividly remember walking the streets in Regensburg Germany, peering in a shop window and seeing a Herkimer, NY label on a huge Herkimer Diamond. Dad's got a system in there too.

You can take a train ride out of Utica and head north to take in the countryside. And while you are in Utica, take the Utica Club Brewery Tour. Very nice, with tastings at the end.

Simeon's is great for greek, and there is a nice Italian restaurant not far from the brewery, family style in an old house, can't remember the name. There are other good Italian there too.

And if you are interested in art, the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute in Utica is top notch, really. A hidden treasure.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Cooperstown has a super brewery too, one of my husbands favorites. Ommegang, just outside of town. Don't miss it.

And if you want something timeless not far from Cooperstown, there is a monastery very close to Van Hornsville, my Mom's hometown.

Howe Caverns is interesting and not far away, if you like that sort of thing.

I'm suprised at how many things are near my old back door. A couple years ago, less than 20 minutes from Cooperstown on rte 28 heading towards Mohawk, one of those strange circular pattern things in the cornfield appeared. Created quite a stir that year.

Enjoy my old stomping grounds.

Virginia
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9. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

Onondosas....you mean Otesaga? Fabulous historic hotel. One can eat there...even during the day when it's not as pricey as at night....and not necessarily stay, thereby soaking up the atmosphere, admiring the historic architecture. It is beautiful indeed.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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10. Re: Fall trip - HELP - 1st time to Cooperstown!!!

thanks for the correction. I've lived away from the area for over 25 years, and as a local, at that point in my life, I never went there, and still haven't. Guess I should, next time back for a visit. Time is always so short.