Travel: Travel With a Passion: Cooperstown, NY
* What to see
Up in Last of the Mohicans country, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (above) waxes both poetic and playful on our nation’s pastime. The Hall has rotating exhibits and interactive pursuits that let you re-create an historic radio broadcast, compete in “Hall of Fame Jeopardy,” and go on a scavenger hunt for artifacts (25 Main Street, 888-HALL-OF-FAME; baseballhalloffame.org).
* Where to stay
The Otesaga, which just had a $34 million face-lift, is a columned, 96-year-old resort hotel that overlooks Lake Otsego and has tennis courts, a pool, the Leatherstocking Golf Course, and several restaurants, including a golf grill and a formal dining room. The hotel also owns the pretty Cooper Inn, a Federal-style manor that’s a more intimate spot but includes all the amenities of the Otesaga (60 Lake Street, Cooperstown, 800-348-6222; rooms from $315 in the Otesaga, from $115 at the Cooper Inn; the Otesaga is closed from Thanksgiving through early April).
* Where to eat
The lakefront Blue Mingo Grill is casual for lunch; the steamed lobsters are preceded by grilled flatbreads with fontina and duck at dinnertime (6098 State Highway 80, 607-547-7496; dinner for two, about $100 with wine). Chic Hoffman Lane Bistro, in an ivy-bedecked clapboard house on a side street, is known for the fireplace in its bar and a menu that often includes wild game (2 Hoffman Lane; 607-547-7055; dinner for two, about $90 with wine). The Otesaga’s Hawkeye Bar & Grill is a casual spot for burgers and roasted grouper sandwiches, while its dining room is a more formal affair of veal osso buco and double lamb chops—jackets required, guys (60 Lake Street, 800-348-6222; dinner for two at the Hawkeye, about $75 with wine, and in the dining room, about $130 with wine).
* What else to do
Brewery Ommegang, a gorgeous farm that produces Belgian-style ales, gives free tasting tours (656 County Highway 33, 800-544-1809; ommegang.com). Take the trolley along Lake Street to the Farmers’ Museum (State Highway 80, 607-547-1450; farmersmuseum.org) and the Fenimore Art Museum (State Highway 80, 607-547-1400; fenimoreartmuseum.org). From the Fenimore, it’s a short drive to the Alice Busch Opera Theater, summer home of the Glimmerglass Opera (7300 State Highway 80, 607-547-5704; glimmerglass.org). You can rent a canoe and fishing gear at Sam Smith’s Boatyard (6098 State Highway 80; 607-547-2543).