Fall in Cooperstown

When it comes to great autumn destinations, Cooperstown is a true fall classic. It's simply the best time of year to enjoy the scenic natural beauty and small-town charm that define our historic village.

Things move a bit slower after the crowds of the summer fade away and vivid fall colors emerge. It's easy to take in the Museum at your own pace and soak in the rich traditions that make baseball our National Pastime.

History, culture, great players and timeless moments: Our stories to tell are your memories to share. And you can make them in and outside of the Museum's walls in Cooperstown, where fall brings endless opportunities for adventure or relaxation.

Take part in the great upstate New York tradition of apple or pumpkin picking. Paddle the pristine waters of Otsego Lake. Have a round of late-season golf on the greens of the Leatherstocking Golf Course. Or have a craft beer with friends at one of many stops on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail.

Expand your trip to include visits to the unique Farmers' Museum or Fenimore Art Museum. Or simply make the most of your serene surroundings with a quiet afternoon or evening on the veranda of the Otesaga Resort Hotel.

From the pleasing views of the drive to your first stroll down Main Street, the pilgrimage is as memorable as the Museum.

Even after the baseball season winds down for the year, the ballgame beckons at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum – with plenty of other places to play.

The Trip Is Half The Fun

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The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is more than a destination. It's an experience saturated by the memories of the game's greatest players and the rich history that connects us to our past.

Getting to this quiet corner of Upstate New York is part of the experience, filled with beautiful views, authentic Americana and the promise of great times spent on the road with family and friends.

Sure, you can stick to the interstate most of the way, and the main roads into town will give you a taste of the incredible views that define the region. But if ever there was a reason to take the road less travelled, this is it.

So, pack up the car, truck, van or SUV and plan to tack an extra hour or two onto your journey. It'll be time well spent.

Here's a short list of the scenic byways you can take to Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame that will make the trip a memorable experience.

Route 28

You can't truly appreciate the Village of Cooperstown without a stint on the two main routes leading in and out of the village.

"New York's Adventure Route," State Route 28, connects the New York State Thruway (I-90) to the north and I-88 from the south to Cooperstown, winding through the rolling farmland and offering stunning views of pristine lakes along the way. Keep your eyes peeled and you just might catch a glimpse of the majestic bald eagles who call the region home in the summer months.

Hudson Valley (New York)

Just 90 minutes north of New York City, the Hudson Valley region was identified by National Geographic Traveler as one of the Top 20 must-see locales on its "Best of the World" list. Blanketed in some of New York State's most beautiful natural views and charming small towns, it is a photographer's paradise.

A drive through the Hudson Valley is the stuff of legends, as a trip up U.S. Route 9 and 9W can lead you through Hyde Park, home to the FDR House and Presidential Library. It is just one of numerous attractions and landmarks along the way.

Viaduct Valley Way (Pennsylvania)

The Endless Mountain region of the Quaker State is something to behold for history buffs. Routes 92 and 171 take travelers past two historic and critical rail bridges in northern PA.

Constructed in 1848, the Starrucca Viaduct is the oldest still in use in the commonwealth. The Tunkhannock Viaduct, aka Nicholson Bridge, built in 1915, remains the largest concrete structure of its kind in the world.

The Viaduct Valley Way is accompanied by numerous historic villages and attractions as well as endless outdoor adventure.

Lakes to Locks Passage (New York)

This scenic byway connects all points north to the Erie Canal and Thruway by way of the awe-inspiring twists and turns of New York's legendary Adirondack Park.

The I-87 alternative's 200 miles of blacktop is cut through the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains and the Adirondacks on a trip that includes historic and gorgeous waterways like the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, Lake George and the many canals that connect them all.

Following North America's first interconnected waterway, "The Great Northeast Journey" is filled with history that's documented in museums and sites in the many towns and villages that dot the Lakes to Locks Passage.

Jacob's Ladder (Massachusetts)

This slice of U.S. Route 20 outside of Boston has been a road trip tradition since it was christened in 1910. It was the "First of the Great Mountain Crossovers," carved specifically with automobiles in mind.

This classic rural highway cuts through the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains and thanks to development of the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) in the 1960s, it looks much the same as it did a half-century ago.

If you're in the mood for beautiful views and quintessential Americana, this short loop off I-90 won't disappoint.

Route 20 Scenic Byway and Route 80

"America's Main Street" stretches 3,365 miles coast to coast. About 100 of them make up the Route 20 Scenic Byway of New York State.

Adventurous motorists can take the long way for as long as they want with U.S. Route 20, which is arguably the best way to get to Cooperstown from the east or west, or if your travels take you through New York’s capital city of Albany. Rolling hills, small towns and tons of history populate this popular roadway that harkens back to simpler times and the pleasure of a long drive.

From quirky roadside attractions to amazing views, the former Cherry Valley Turnpike of the 1800s fast became a destination for drivers when it was converted to a cross-country highway in 1926. It remains a favorite today.

Route 80 connects Cooperstown to Route 20, and those last few miles into town will treat you with breathtaking views of Otsego Lake.

If you're headed to Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, be sure to grab a map and experience the roads less travelled. In any time of year, from any direction, your exploration of two of America's favorite pastimes – baseball and road trips – will be rewarded.

Cooperstown truly is baseball mecca. (Mitch Wojnarowicz/National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

Experience

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