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Close Encounters with Small-Town Charm

The last out's been called in the World Series. So what's there to do in a baseball town in the winter? Lots, actually.

In Cooperstown, the off-season means adventure without the crowds. Let Otsego Outdoors guide you to local hikes or suggest road cycling routes while they're still free of ice and snow—or the best places to snowshoe and cross-country ski once flurries pile up. Meet small-batch producers on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, and call Cooperstown Distillery for a tour of their small-batch production facility each Saturday at 2 p.m.

If you prefer a more leisurely pace, head for our downtown districts to discover local artists. Visit the Artisans' Guild in Oneonta or the Cooperstown Art Association's Gallery Shop for jewelry, pottery, fabric arts, and more from regional makers. Locals know cold-weather months offer the best chance to relax and reconnect at Otsego County bars, eateries, or music venues. Stay for dessert at Alex's Bistro in Cooperstown, where Chef Alex Webster crafts tiramisu, apple tart, and crème brûlée. Or head to Oneonta's B-Side Ballroom, where live music acts take the stage after dark.

The baseball diamonds may be quiet, but the fun never stops in Cooperstown and Otsego County—and remember, unless it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Day, it's always game time at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

There are many reasons to make an off-peak pilgrimage to the home of America's pastime. Start here:

This winter, curate your own private exhibition with the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Custom Tour Experience. Stay with select Cooperstown lodging partners, and the Hall of Fame will reveal items linked to your favorite players or team from their collection of 40,000 artifacts.

Concerts, art exhibits, author readings. The Community Arts Network of Oneonta heats up the culture scene with regular events throughout the winter—often staged at Oneonta's historic Wilber Mansion.

For the first time, the Fly Creek Cider Mill welcomes winter visitors. Warm up with mulled apple cider, a behind-the-scenes tour of the 1856 mill, and more than 40 varieties of fudge all made in house.

Savor lake views from a fireside perch at the Otesaga Resort Hotel. The Hawkeye Bar & Grill serves lunch and dinner, including seasonal specials, six days a week (closed Sundays) from Thanksgiving to April.

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