Jul 15, 2012
A Trip To Cooperstown, NY
When most people hear Cooperstown, NY they immediately think baseball. Which they should, after all the first baseball field (ever ) was there. It’s home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as Dreams Park where baseball teams travel from all over the U.S. to come and play there for an intense week of baseball tournaments.
I’ll be honest...I’m not a fan of baseball, it’s one of the very few sports that I simply cannot bear to watch. So why was I in Cooperstown? Well, while everyone who visits there is busy at the baseball park there is a tiny little town to be discovered that is as quaint as ever, filled with wonderful boutiques & cafes and placed conveniently along the shore of a beautiful, picturesque 9 mile lake.
From where I live in the Hudson River Valley you take an incredibly scenic drive north, passing through the Catskills all the way up to Cooperstown. There were antique shops & farmers markets scattered along the way throughout the whole trip. And one thing I learned... I live really close to the middle of nowhere. It was farms galore and maybe every once in a while you would pass through tiny, tiny, little, rundown towns that consisted of maybe 10 buildings at the most. But when you finally make it you practically stumble across this town that has one little stretch of main street. So yes, it’s tiny too, but what it lacks in size it sure makes up for in beauty.
The first night we ate at the the Blue Mingo Grill. It was right on the water, so we ate outside and enjoyed the spectacular view. The restaurant is named after an Indian tribe that once lived there.
Every Thursday night there are fireworks.
What enthralled me the most was the architecture, the old buildings and history that flows throughout the town. The Clarks & Singers, (yes Singer sewing machine), two BIG family names have originated from and lived in Cooperstown forever. They generously fund the town and keep it so beautiful, it really is a gem.
If you're looking for something sweet, Schneider's bakery is the place to go. They had a delicious assortment of cookies, cakes and breads. (And may I suggest their red velvet cupcakes?). The window displays were enough to convince me.
There are the most amazing Victorian homes on every street corner. A lot of them have been turned into the most darling Inns and Bed & Breakfasts.
All of the homes hold such beautiful character and are immaculately kept. The flowers, the paint, the architecture...it’s all too much to take in, you have to walk by each one 5 times a day to really soak in all the beauty.
Savor New York is a wonderful boutique that has all American, local made products. We spent hours in there sampling the treats they had in the back and the owner even writes her own cookbooks. Out front was a perfect little spot to stop and rest surrounded by beautiful flowers.
And then there is the lake. It’s breathtaking. We sat out there for hours in the evening. There’s a beautifully landscaped park with a small walkway and lots of benches right by the docks. And the best part about all of this is that it’s so un-commercialized and quiet. It’s not busy at all because it’s such a small town and the locals know of the beautiful spots but everyone else who visits consumes their time with the baseball park and hall of fame.
Another of my favorite stops there was the brand new Council Rock Brewery. Named after a popular landmark of the area, this microbrewery is a new venture for the owners Roger & Maureen.
They are currently experimenting with new beer flavors and in addition to that they have an assortment of different Italian sodas that are made near by at Cooper's Cave Ale Company. They're not overly sweet but full of flavor, just the way they should be.
Their beautiful bar is handmade by a friend. It holds a variety of different woods and a unique geometrical shape.
Roger makes all of the beer himself and was kind enough to show me around the back and talk about the whole process he goes through for making beer. Roger is a chemistry teacher which plays a big role in the process.
He first started making beer when one of his sons came home from college and said, "Dad, let's make some beer", his response, "But I don't even like beer". So, they bought a beer making kit, tried it out, loved it and the rest is history!
And who knew compressed hops look like rabit food!?