Since you are interested in history you will love Cooperstown. We were last there in early June while it is still cold in that area and before the rates tripled and before there were 1000 people in town every week all summer. What a great place....a wonderful historic town. The town council investigates new businesses going in to make sure they are likely to make it so that there would be a minimum of people going out of business. The areas around the town are kept beautifully and there a endless historic homes amazingly restored and maintained.
We found ourselves particularly attracted to the home at the end of the main street with the unusual stonework pattern.
All photos are like they are out of a professional book...it's hard to take a bad picture there.
The Farmer's Museum...some people think...hmmm I don't know about that but as soon as we saw it we had to include it in our "3way ticket". It has a beautiful carousel and vast building on the history of ice cream featuring Ben and Jerry's and a vintage ice cream parlor. Beyond that, though, is a compilation of 1700s and 1800s buildings rescued from around the area and put in a town setting....General Store (where you can buy reasonably priced souvenirs), school house, homes, appothecary with the wonderful herb garden beside it...herbs having been used in healing, etc. Here is a picture on their site of the General Store just as an example of the setting:http://store.nysha.org/farmers/todds_general_store
You can get a 2 way or 3 way discounted ticket for the Farmer's Museum which is across the street from the Art Museum, and the HOF.
The Art Museum was magnificent. Originally a home, there are many places for children to do hands-on activities and shops and places mainly for adults. We were so very very thrilled when we found our already planned trip presented the opportunity to see a comprehensive collection of Remington, which has now moved on I'm afraid, a favorite of ours for his presentation of the history of the West to those who only dreamed about it. It was in a large special exhibit room.
There is also a book store and a little place to get delicious food and take it to tables or out to terrace tables. We went out to the terrace and since it was sunny and had just rained it was warm enough. We ate a la weekend house guests of old, looking across the enormous span of lawn to the beautiful lake.
End of Sept to end of Dec. will be an exhibit of Cunningham, one of the premier folk artists of the 20th Century.
There are some of the world's finest collections of American fine art, folk art and Indian art.
The Hudson River School of Art is represented.
The collection of Indian art is regarded by many as the most important privately owned collection of its kind. In 1995 a $10 million, 18,000 sq.ft. addition was created to showcase the collection spanning 2500 years of native cultures across North America. There are "dream visions" drawn by the Teton Lakota chief Black Hawk. Some really serious stuff.
The 1750 Native American Bark House is on the shores of that lake. Just walk out toward the lake and you'll see it down a quaint path on the left. We greatly enjoyed the young man with such valuable info on the history of life for Native Americans then.
The photography collection included something we were unaware of, historic life masks. In the early 1800s Browere worked for decades to create a portrait gallery of national heroes, casting the faces of famous living people.
This might be of interest to you:
We stayed at Lake n Pines on Otsego Lake. We loved it. It has large rooms...one can imagine lots of rooms for rollaways and many seem to overlook the lake.
Since it was a quieter time, we could be a bit choosey and chose one of the rooms...up by the ice cream vending machine is one way I can think of describing it. We chose that area because several others overlooked woods, pool or parking area. We had thought we'd like a ground level with a patio looking out on the lake but doing so would actually mean one looks out on the cars parked in fron of the room, as with any motel. However, the hill is so wonderfully sloping that if one enters the units where we were...entering in front of the ice cream machine....one enters at ground level. BUT the back walks out to a balcony overlooking the woods and lake. Below those units are more units with the terrace/parking area issue.
Here's their site: http://www.cooperstown.net/lake-n-pines/
They have an indoor pool, outdoor pool, great wooded setting which will be all the better in autumn; the rooms do look just like that but are totally clean, have a tv and refrigerator. Every day we'd see a group of people including a mennonite lady or two taking great care in housekeeping. The photo on the bottom of the site with the chairs overlooking the lake on the deck is a great place to enjoy breakfast. Breakfast is self serve in the room pictured to the right of the deck/lake picture...even has micro/refrig, etc. On cooler mornings our favorite place to take in the natural beauty was ...just continuing further right in that photo to the corner of the room where two large windows met at right angles. Great view. So much natural history in the Cooperstown area that we wanted to partake of that as well as what was closer into town just about 10 minutes away.
Now back to that ice cream machine. We were fascinated by it and probably had more ice cream than we should have just to see it work. In the midst of so much history and woodsy/lake beauty was this unusually high tech vending machine where the ice cream choices were pneumatically vacuumed up and sent out.