North of Long Island in upstate New York, Otsego County features two well-known destinations: the village of Cooperstown and the City of Oneonta, which are only about a half-hour drive apart. Many will travel to these parts to see the Baseball Hall of Fame or visit colleges, but there’s so much more to explore and pit stops to make along the way. Hop in the car and hit the road to experience thrills, history and more fun this fall.
PIT STOPS ALONG THE WAY
A.J. Read Science Discovery Center
Visitors can touch and try interactive exhibits like a working telegraph, an “augmented reality” sandbox and a Mars Rover that can be guided remotely. The facility’s planetarium will be holding live star shows select Fridays throughout the fall.
INFO 108 Ravine Pkwy. (Physical Science building), Oneonta; 607-436-2011, suny.oneonta.edu
Joseph L. Popp, Jr. Butterfly Conservatory
A small (3,000-square-foot) indoor tropical oasis in Oneonta, it’s home to tropical butterflies (during warmer fall days), birds and reptiles (year-round). Admission is $15, kids 11 and younger $11.
INFO 5802 RT. 7, Oneonta; 607-435-2238.
For those who want to skate, this rink has a classic hardwood, disco dance floor. The spot offers skate rentals, lessons and it’s equipped with an indoor playground, snack bar, arcade and laser tag. Rates for open skate sessions vary by day and time; rentals are an additional $2.
INFO 5185 RT. 23, Oneonta; 607-432-0366, interskate88.com
Wilber Park Trail System
This mountain bike trail reaches elevations as high as 1,424 feet, the upper park trails are deemed moderately difficult to difficult; the lower park trails are more level and rated as easy. The terrain consists of different soil types — including muddy areas — and runs over wooden bridges in some spots, ramped logs, water crossings and stone walls are also part of the experience.
INFO 122 Center St., Oneonta; 607-547-4225, otsegocounty.com
Stop into Autumn Café for brunch, craft beverages, mocktails, sandwiches, salads and a variety of soups before exploring the nearby attractions. Outdoor seating is available and reservations are highly recommended.
INFO 244 Main St., Oneonta; 607-432 6845, autumncafe.com
Brooks' House of BBQ
Serving its brand of barbecue for more than 60 years, it's famed for its use of an indoor charcoal pit when cooking its chicken. The menu also includes pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs and burgers.
INFO 5560 Rt. 7 Oneonta; 607-432-1782, brooksbbq.com
Yager Museum of Art and Culture
Offering a wide range of cultural, historical and archaeological exhibitions, including indigenous artifacts from the Upper Susquehanna Valley and both European and American fine art. It’s currently running the “Front Row Center: Icons of Rock, Blues and Soul” exhibition, which features dozens of images taken of iconic musicians and a look at some of their past performances. “Juxtapositions” compares Baroque and Renaissance pieces to the work of Andy Warhol. Admission is free.
INFO 1 Hartwick Dr., Oneonta; 607-431-4000, hartwick.edu
Fly Creek Cider Mill
A historic water-powered cider mill, it also produces apple wines and offers tours ($199 for groups up to six people) that includes a $50 gift card, four tasting flights and an autographed cookbook. Apples are also available to purchase by the bagful and there’s a tasting room with a food menu. Guests can also peruse the facility’s collection of vintage John Deere equipment on display and kids can climb on a wooden tractor or ride tricycles around a paved track found in the Tractorland play area.
INFO 288 Goose St., Fly Creek; 607-547-9692, flycreekcidermill.com
The Farmers’ Museum
Focused on rural and country life during the 19th century, the museum includes a recreated historic village among its exhibits. A program of special events is slated for fall ($15, $6 ages 7-12, free ages 6 and younger), starting with its Harvest Festival (Sept. 17-18) that will host live music, dance performances, craft making, lawn games, horse-drawn wagon rides and potato harvesting. Followed by “Weaving Weekend” (Sept. 24-25), the “Blacksmith Weekend” (Oct. 1-2) and its “Tractor Fest” (Oct. 8-9) before starting its Halloween-inspired “Things That Go Bump in the Night: Ghost Tours” (Oct. 14-15, 21-22, 28-29; $17, reservations required).
INFO 5775 RT. 80, Cooperstown; 607-547-1450, farmersmuseum.org
Glimmerglass Queen boat tours at Lake Front Hotel
Otsego Lake, nicknamed "Glimmerglass" by author James Fenimore Cooper, whose father founded the village of Cooperstown, is a scenic spot with centuries of history. The Lake Front Hotel operates narrated boat tours of the lake aboard the Glimmerglass Queen boat. Running Wednesdays through Sundays until Oct. 9, tickets are available 15 minutes in advance (cash only) for $19 ($13 for children). Hotel rates start at $131.25.
INFO 10 Fair St., Cooperstown; 607-547-9511, cooperstownlakefronthotel.com
Fenimore Art Museum
Host to collections of both folk and fine art, as well as American and Native American pieces, the fall will feature exhibitions such as “North by Nuuk: Greenland After Rockwell Kent: Photographs by Denis Defibaugh” (through Dec. 31), “The Art of Observation: The Best of Photographer Elliott Erwitt" (Sept. 17 — Dec. 31), “Tales from the Rockabout Hills: Paintings by D. Michael Price” (Sept. 17 — Dec. 31) and more. The museum’s distinguished collections also include its Thaw Collection of American Indian Art. Admission is $15, free for ages 19 and younger.
INFO 5798 RT. 80, Cooperstown; 607-547-1400, fenimoreartmuseum.org
Built atop a former hop farm and surrounded by a hilly backdrop, the brewery is marking its 25th year in operation with a special anniversary Imperial Amber Ale release for the fall. Autumn visitors can also look forward to guided tastings ($15; Thursdays through Sundays) plus an $18 Sunday bingo brunch that includes a “beermosa” beverage. Its cafe will also be serving a menu that pairs eats with brews and guests can play its nine-hole disc golf course.
INFO 656 CR-33, Cooperstown; 607-544-1800, ommegang.com
Down the street from the Baseball Hall of Fame, this cafe serves up Sunday brunch, cocktails, desserts, burgers, fish and vegetarian options to enjoy.
INFO 93 W. Main St., Cooperstown; 607-547-5468, doubledaycafe.com
Otesaga Resort Hotel
The Otesaga Resort Hotel features the Leatherstocking Golf Course, which is also open to non-guests (guests pay $125 to play, non-guests $135-$155). Those who book a stay can take advantage of an Unlimited Golf Package (two-night minimum package), which includes unlimited play and practice range balls plus cart fee coverage (per round per nights of stay) and a 15% discount on golf merchandise (available through Nov. 22; nightly rates start at $450).
INFO 60 Lake St., Cooperstown; 607-547-9931, otesaga.com