While your first impressions of Otsego County may involve baseball and quaint family farms, there is big city culture to be found in this small town corner of America. While art museums and opera are typically thought to be the staples of large metropoles, they are quite at home nestled among the pristine lakes and rolling foothills of the northern Catskills.
Art enthusiasts will fall in love with The Fenimore Art Museum. With stunning permanent collections of American Indian Art and American Folk Art, and new national exhibits presented seasonally, this is a destination you can return to again and again. Best of all, you can see that exhibit you've been waiting for without waiting in line at a big city gallery. A former home of the influential Clark family, the building itself is a work of art, too. With expertly manicured gardens and amazing views of Otsego Lake, there is plenty at The Fenimore to please the eye.
Summer brings world-class performances to the Alice Busch Opera Theater for the yearly Glimmerglass Festival. For over 40 years, cultural enthusiasts have flocked to Otsego County to see renowned productions and performers grace the stage of this unique venue. With productions running July through August, and multiple showings per day, this is an easy attraction to fit into any schedule.
Hyde Hall, built in the early 1800s, is another breathtaking reminder of a bygone era. The 50-room mansion and grounds is the best that English aristocracy has to offer. This former Clarke family home has been painstakingly restored over the years and is now regarded as one of the finest neoclassical homes in the country. Revel in the remarkable architecture, original furnishings and picturesque landscape. If you're looking for a thrill, stay for a candlelight tour and you may even encounter a spirit from Hyde Hall's past.
A number of seasonal festivals and exhibits ensure there is always something to do and see in Cooperstown and Otsego County. Cooperstown's Art Garage features diverse exhibits from outsider artists in contemporary exhibitions, arts programs, and by appointment. The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival brings an impressive line-up of award-winning classical musicians to a variety of venues throughout the region. In the fall, Glimmerglass Film Days showcases the documentaries, indie feature films and artistic shorts you simply cannot find at the big theaters.
Other artistic outlets to consider include the Foothills Performing Arts Center, which brings all sorts of performances and productions to the eclectic little city of Oneonta, and Cherry Valley Artworks, which offers experiences such as the Sculpture Trail, a perfect meld of art and nature.
Explore the vibrant culture of Cooperstown and Otsego County, and make the arts a part of your next visit.