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Big city culture, small town comforts

There's more to Cooperstown than meets the eye.


Ancient arts housed in architectural marvels. Big name performances showing in unique venues. In Cooperstown and Otsego County, you're not missing out, you're getting more.

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.

Fan Favorites for Arts/Culture: Things to Do

Fenimore Art Museum

From its incredible collection of American Indian art to unique curations of American folk art, the Fenimore is a hidden gem amid the rolling hillsides of Cooperstown's Central New York location. Open each April through December, the Fenimore also plays host to a number of special events and partners with other area museums, including its sister museum The Farmers' Museum as well as the Glimmerglass Festival, to curate unique rotating exhibitions. Don't miss this year's lineup of standout exhibitions at the Fenimore's incredible location along the shorelines of Otsego Lake.

Location: Cooperstown

Glimmerglass Festival

The Glimmerglass Festival is a summer-long celebration of all things opera and musical theater. This season, the festival will present four productions: La Bohéme, Sweeney Todd, The Thieving Magpie and The Crucible. Enjoy one of the most unique nights at the theater you'll ever come across, including pre-show picnics on the lawn and the open-air architecture of the festival's Alice Busch Opera Theatre.

Location: Cooperstown

The Farmers' Museum

Providing the ultimate perspective on "the way things used to be," a visit to The Farmers' Museum brings history to life — literally. For American culture and history aficionados, this is a must-experience attraction in Cooperstown. The museum is dedicated to providing its visitors with a look back into rural life of the 19th century through its authentic historic village, farmstead, and array of other on-site features like the Empire State Carousel, Cardiff Giant, and Main Barn. Visit and step back in time!

Location: Cooperstown
Hyde Hall

Whether you visit Hyde Hall for its beautiful architecture or supernatural atmosphere, a tour of the hall's magnificent property will be sure to place you under its spell. Enjoy a tour of the grounds and mansion at Hyde Hall, offered May through October, and get a behind-the-scenes look into this 50-room country house, which overlooks author James Fenimore Cooper's beautiful Glimmerglass, also known as Otsego Lake.

Location: Cooperstown
Glimmerglass Film Days

Glimmerglass Film Days presents documentaries, feature films, and shorts, curated by Peggy Parsons, director and founder of the film program at the National Gallery of Art.

Location: Cooperstown
Cooperstown Summer Music Festival

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival began with three events in 1999, and since then has offered the region more than 100 performances, from classical to contemporary, jazz to bluegrass, cabaret and children's concerts.

Location: Cooperstown
The Art Garage

The Garage is a private gallery less than a mile outside Cooperstown. Visitors and collectors are welcome!

Location: Cooperstown
Fan Favorites for Arts/Culture: Places to Stay

Otesaga Resort Hotel

Built in 1909, The Otesaga Resort Hotel exudes the charm and gracious hospitality of a bygone era. A magnificent Federal-style edifice with an imposing front portico supported by massive 30-foot columns, The Otesaga occupies 700 feet of lakefront on the southern shore of pastoral Otsego Lake, the famed "Glimmerglass" of James Fenimore Cooper's novels.

Location: Oneonta

Landmark Inn

Rated #1 by guests, the Landmark Inn is a beautiful B&B in the heart of the village. Just a short walk to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Landmark is the perfect home for exploring historic Cooperstown. Let their concierge help plan a trip to remember! Your stay will be highlighted by a gourmet breakfast chef Vita creates each morning, our dream-like linens, and a staff focused on making you feel at home and pampered all at once.

Location: Cooperstown
August Lodge

August Lodge Cooperstown is a 25 room and suite, two-story timber frame country hotel, perched atop a wildflower-covered meadow. Each over-sized room is accessed from a two-story, full-length porch with soaring, dramatic, hand-hewn hammer beam trusses centered front and rear. Located just 4 miles from Cooperstown, and one mile from the Cooperstown Dreams Park.

Location: Hartwick Seminary
Cooperstown Lakeview Bed & Breakfast

Upscale mountaintop accommodations with panoramic views of Lake Otsego. Spanning 22 scenic acres with hiking trails, this elegant B&B boasts a rustic flair with Jacuzzi & fireplace in most rooms and magnificent views of the lake. A full breakfast is provided. Guest refrigerator, microwave, utensils, ice and hot water for beverages.

Location: Cooperstown