Williamstown, Mass., and Cooperstown, N.Y.: Picture Perfect Towns
and photos (unless otherwise noted) by
created on 9/7/17.
Otsego Lake, Cooperstown.
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Interested in visiting two of the most beautiful towns in the northeast
United States during the fall season? Great! Then let's take the travel
journey to Williamstown, Mass., and Cooperstown, N.Y. right now...
Close-knit, wonderfully appealing small towns at heart,
Cooperstown are only a little over two hours from each other -- good
news for those who love fall foliage and don't care for driving several
hours to see colored leaves in pretty towns. Of course, the two towns
deserve visits at any time of the year, but fall gets a special mention
as both spots are vastly underrated at this time of year. Once arriving
in Williamstown and Cooperstown during autumn, it actually makes one
it is necessary to solely depend on the northern New England states
like Vermont and New Hampshire for
Columbus Day Weekend is a good time to visit as the
leaves traditionally show good color. If you start in Williamstown, all
it takes to arrive in Cooperstown is driving Route 7 south to Route 90
west to Route 88 to Route
20 west to Route 80. Williamstown is about an hour to Albany,
N.Y., and from there about an hour and 20 minutes to Cooperstown. The
ride is especially nice along Route 20 which features charming,
unassuming small towns like Sharon Springs, Esperance, and Cherry
Valley, as well as views of beautiful hills and mountains.
Williamstown, located in the scenic Berkshires of Western
Massachusetts, borders New York state and is home to the esteemed
Williams College. Arguably the nicest mountain town in the Berkshires,
Williamstown is ideal for cultural attractions, and refreshing walks
through leafy neighborhoods that feel like home. It is undoubtedly one
England's most beautiful towns.
Arriving at downtown Williamstown.
Field Park in Williamstown.
Cooperstown, best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of
Fame and Museum, is so much more than that one attraction. The quaint
turn-of-the-century village, stunning 10-mile Otsego Lake, incredibly
scenic surrounding Otsego County countryside with gentle rolling hills,
and a surprising number of quality family-friendly attractions make
this small town my
personal favorite destination in the northeast. Main Street features a
wonderful variety of locally-owned baseball-theme shops, art galleries
and boutiques, gift stores, restaurants and cafes, and the retro,
fabulous Cooperstown General Store. The people are incredibly friendly
and kind, the walks
down Main Street and the tree-lined side streets are memorable, and the
overall feeling so much more authentic than any other popular vacation
town I know.
The Williamstown area has several attractions -- heavily focused on the
arts -- to complement the fall foliage experience. Here are five
Williams College Museum of Art. Photo credit: Massachusetts
Office of Travel and Tourism
1. Sterling and Francine
Clark Art Institute A most unusual,
wonderful, world-class public art museum, The Clark also offers
research and academic programs, including a major art history library.
The Museum is considered a "leading international center for research
and discussion on the nature of art and art history." The Clark is located at 22 South
St. in Williamstown.
2. Williams College Museum of Art
is regarded as one of the best college museums in the northeast as they
feature extensive, innovative exhibitions, programs, publications and
projects. The Williams
College Museum of Art is located at 15 Lawrence Hall Dr. #2,
3. Images Cinema, a non-profit
community movie theater that first opened over 100 years ago, offers a
tremendous variety of independent, foreign and classic films. It is one
of the last remaining single-screen, independent theaters still in
Cinema is located at 50 Spring St. in Williamstown.
4. Massachusetts Museum of
Contemporary Art is located in a converted factory building just
down the road (or maybe up the road, given the elevations) from
Williamstown in North Adams, and is of the largest centers for
contemporary visual art and performing arts in the United States. MASS MoCa is
located at 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams.
5. The Appalachian Trail
skirts the town twice, and the highest point in town is at 3,320 feet
above sea level, just 0.2 mile west of the summit of Mount Greylock. Minutes east on
Route 2 will bring you to the famous or infamous Hairpin Turn, depending on how you
look at it. Whatever the case, the Hairpin Turn in a must see during
the peak foliage season. I took this photo around Columbus Day
Hairpin Turn, not too far from Williamstown.
Where to eat in Williamstown
The Log at Williams College
features a nice, rustic timber interior and offers lunch and dinner
including snacks and small plates, soups, a salad bar, pizza, burgers,
sandwiches and craft beers on tap. The Log is located at 8 Spring St.
Where to stay in Williamstown
The Williams Inn
Located on the Williams College campus,The Williams Inn offers
116 guest rooms, four event spaces, on-site dining options and
numerous amenities, including complimentary WiFi, an indoor pool, hot
tub and sauna.
Orchards Hotel Surrounded by the Berkshire
Mountains, the Orchards Hotel offers a four-star restaurant, an outdoor
pool and spacious guest rooms with free Wi-Fi.
1896 House Country Motel This long-time lodging
destination is just outside Williamstown center and offers three
buildings of lodging and seven guest room types and rates, from "posh
and elegant to practical and affordable."
Check all listed Williamstown hotels for availability
I'll leave you with a few more scenes from Williamstown before going
back to Cooperstown. Gorgeous!
Church in Williamstown.
Heading toward the downtown district in Williamstown.
Nice sidewalk in Williamstown!
In the Cooperstown area, I highly recommend visiting during the fall...
Baseball Hall of Fame on Main St. in Cooperstown.
1. The National Baseball
Hall of Fame
and Museum, one of the great treasures in our country, resides
proudly on Main St. in a stately large, brick building with a new,
inviting outside entrance. The Hall of Fame's mission is to "relive the
history of the National Pastime, through artifacts from historic
records, to the plaques of the game's greatest players in the Hall of
Fame Gallery," according to its literature. Once inside, that mission
comes to life whether it be the incredible New York Yankees displays,
an Abbott and Costello "Who's on First," movie clip, a wonderful
baseball card display, or, of course, the memorable and historical Hall
of Fame where one can read plaques all day on all the great players
inducted into this illustrious museum.The Hall of Fame and Museum has a
wonderful library and an appealing park area, perfect for a short
stroll or yet another perspective on Otsego Lake. The Hall of Fame and
Museum is a must-see for the baseball fan or anyone with an interest in
history. It is, simply, one of life's great travel attraction and
cultural joys. The
Hall of Fame is
located at 25 Main St., Cooperstown.
2. The Farmers' Museum and Fenimore
Art Museum The Farmer's Museum portrays rural life in early
times. An herbal pharmacy, blacksmithing, weaving, printing, stickball
games, music, farming, -- with many different animals -- and more make
for a lively afternoon. The Farmers' Museum also features the Empire
State Carousel. The best carousel we've ever been on, this is the
merriest of merry-go-rounds lovingly crafted from a 1947 vintage
carousel mechanism. Master carver Gerry Holzman, of Islip, N.Y., and
more than 1,000 volunteers across the state spent over two decades
creating this joyful masterpiece. The result: endless joy for children
and adults alike who marvel at the 25 riding animals native to New York
State, 23 carved portrait panels of famous New Yorkers, eight carved
folklore panels depicting the regions of New York and "The Mighty &
Magnificent Military Band" Organ. Virtually across the street is
the Fenimore House Museum, "home to one of the country's premier folk
art collections, and now the American Indian Wing with a dazzling
collection and galleries "'any museum in the world would envy.'" (The
New York Times). The Farmer's Museum and Fenimore Art
Museum are located on State Hwy 80 Lake Road, Cooperstown NY.
3. Fly Creek Cider Mill
Cider Mill is a turn-of-the-century water-powered mill with delicious
apple cider, great box lunches (including wonderful pulled pork and pot
roast sandwiches, chili, ice cream, tons of baked goods and homemade
pies), a picnic area, extensive two-story gift shop, and Fly Creek
where kids can feed the ducks. The Fly Creek Cider Mill is rural
American business at its best -- a viable, well-run operation where all
employees work hard to ensure customers have fun and come away with
good products. You simply can't get better cider anywhere else. The
fall brings about pumpkins, apples and beautiful autumn decorations.
Creek Cider Mill is located at 288 Goose Street, Fly Creek.
Fly Creek Cider Mill in Fly Creek.
Fly Creek Cider Mill snack area.
4. Brewery Ommegang features
tours, tastings of its Belgian-style beers and some great food at its
cafe -- all within an idyllic, bucolic setting. Many well known singers
and bands play here, too! Brewery Ommegang is located at 656 County Highway
33 in Cooperstown.
5. The Tepee Located in
neighboring Cherry Valley, NY, The Tepee is a beloved American roadside
landmark featuring a 50-ft. tall metal cone and housing a gift shop
with Native American souvenirs. Across the street are amazing panoramic
views of the Mohawk Valley with the Adirondack Mountains in the
distance. Pete's Chow Wagon complements the experience with
chili, hots, dogs, hamburgers and more healthy choices like
veggie wraps. The chili is about the best I've ever tasted --
ordered to the desired amount of spiciness (they had us sign a
disclaimer before trying the hottest level!). The Tepee is
located at 7632 US Highway 20 in Cherry Valley.
6. Otsego Lake One of the
ways to access Otsego Lake is taking a two minute walk down Lower
Pioneer St. from Main St. This beautiful lake meets with the
Susquehanna River a block over from Lower Pioneer St. off Lake St., and
meanders 500-plus miles to Havre de Grace, Md.! At Otsego Lake, there's
nothing better than sitting on a bench, relaxing and enjoying one of
most scenic locations on Upstate New York...
A peak at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown.
Where to eat in the Cooperstown
The Doubleday Cafe is pure
Cooperstown, an extremely pleasant, popular one-room cavernous bar and
restaurant attracting tourists and locals. The Doubleday has a knack of
going beyond good "grub" and venturing into some sophisticated and
ultimately well done lunch and dinners. It is a great restaurant for a
burger, but it's even better for a marinated vegetable dish or seafood
special of the day. A popcorn machine, four televisions, a charming
brick wall and high ceilings, and always good service add up to the
ultimate "townie" restaurant to dine. The Doubleday Cafe is located at
93 Main Street, Cooperstown.
Doubleday Cafe in Cooperstown.
The tiny Cooperstown Diner is
better than some restaurants that think they're really good. One taste
of the chicken and biscuits dinner special makes one realize that home
style cooking can still be done effectively when eating out. Hearty
breakfasts, substantial lunches and a few dinner selections (the pot
roast is very good) make the Cooperstown Diner a terrific,
family-oriented restaurant. Service is always friendly, courteous,
quick and informal. A classic diner experience for breakfast, lunch or
dinner, not to be missed! The Cooperstown Diner is located at 136 1/2
Main Street, Cooperstown.
Cooperstown Diner in Cooperstown.
Brooks BBQ in Oneonta Famous
for some of the best barbecue chicken, pork spareribs, beef, pork and
steaks this side of the Mason-Dixon line, Brooks isn't one of those
"Johnny-Come-Lately," trendy barbecue joints that serves watery
rotisserie meats. With the largest indoor charcoal barbecue pit (38
feet in length) in the East, Brooks Bar-B-Que certainly isn't for the
macrobiotic, vegetarian crowd as this 300-capacity family-oriented
restaurant serves high-quality, hearty portions that never disappoint
for lunch or dinner. The great food, low prices, efficient service and
cleanliness make Brooks a must-visit dining spot when visiting
Cooperstown, even if it is a half-hour away. Brooks BBQ is located at
5560 State Highway 7, Oneonta.
Where to stay in Cooperstown
Bayside Inn and Marina Located on Otsego Lake, the
rooms and cottages are very nice -- many with great lake views. Manager
Jennifer Moore runs this inn beautifully, and we have enjoyed each stay
here immensely. The inn has a small beach, kayaks, picnic grove, a game
room and workout area.
Lake 'N Pines Motel Also located on Otsego Lake,
the Lane 'N Pines is scenically situated between tall pine trees and
the lake. They also have an indoor pool!
Lake Front Hotel Ideal waterfront downtown
location at Lakefront Park and just a few minute's walk to Main St. and
The National Baseball
Hall of Fame and Museum.
Check all listed Cooperstown hotels for availability
I hope you get to visit both of these amazing small towns during the
foliage season. If so, please write me to
share your experiences there!
County Route 11 in
Field Park, Williamstown
Otsego Lake, Cooperstown
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