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Exploring Small Town USA: Oneonta, New York

There is more to New York State tate than just New York City. While the Big Apple is an exciting place for tourists to explore, there are other places in New York that are just as interesting. The City of Oneonta is filled with all sorts of little treasures. Whether you want to get away for a peaceful weekend, or take a family friendly vacation somewhere out of the ordinary, Oneonta, New York is the perfect destination!

Things to Do and Places to See

There are many opportunities to experience the visual arts in Oneonta. Neahwa Park host a summer concert series every Thursday during the summer. Also, the Catskill Symphony Orchestra performs a variety of concerts throughout the year. Hartwick College is home to the Yager Museum of Art and Culture. The exhibitions at this free museum change on a regular basis, so there is always something new and interesting for visitors to enjoy whether it be about art, archaeology, or ethnography. Visitors who enjoy history should definitely check out the Swart-Wilcox House Museum, which is another free attraction. Built in 1807, this is the oldest house in the city. The home was built by a Revolutionary War soldier and has a rich history.

Oneonta is the perfect place for nature lovers to visit. Fortin Park is the largest park in the town. This park includes pavilions, playgrounds, horseshoe pits and hiking, making it the perfect place to spend time for the entire family. Gilbert Lake State Park is also a delightful place to spend time. This state park offers amenities to camp, swim, picnic, and hike, among others. Robert V. Riddell State Park is also located near Oneonta, allowing visitors more opportunities fish, hike and enjoy nature. Visitors who are particularly fond of hiking might also enjoy Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway trail, which follows the Susquehanna River. This six-mile-long trail winds in and out of the town and allows hikers to see much of the Oneonta area. Oneonta is home to the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary and is one of the state’s prime spots for hawk watching. The Joseph l. Popp, Jr. Butterfly Conservatory provides another opportunity to observe nature. In addition to viewing butterflies, visitors can see tropical birds and reptiles in this tropical garden located in historic Oneonta.

While children would likely enjoy the vast number of outdoor activities found in Oneonta, the town also has a number of fun and educational opportunities specifically for children. Oneonta World of Learning is an educational museum for children. This museum provides children with a hands on experience where children can learn skills such as problem solving. The A.J. Read Science DIscovery Center, which is part of The State University of New York, also offers visitors an interactive learning experience. The Center is free and provides opportunities for visitors to learn about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

Places to Eat

For such a small town, with only around 14,000 residents, Oneonta has a wide variety of places to eat. Meat lovers might enjoy Andre’s Blue Ribbon BBQ and Brooks’ BBQ. Meanwhile, Sal’s Pizzeria and Tino’s Pizza and Restaurant could make fun family nights for those who enjoy, well, pizza! Oneonta also has several ethnic food options, including Mt. Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Tokyo Japanese Cuisine, and Simply Thai. The Red Caboose Restaurant and Bar is a must to visit. This restaurant is located in downtown Oneonta and features ingredients from local farms, and they serve a variety of seasonal cocktails throughout the year. The Farmhouse at Emmons provides diners with a unique farm-to-table experience. This eatery is literally located in a farmhouse and offers a wide selection on its menu.


There are several novel places to shop in Oneonta. The Artisans’ Guild is a not-for-profit cooperative featuring a variety of handmade items. The Marketplace on chestnut has over 100 antique and collectible dealers all in one building. Oneonta farmers market is held every saturday in Muller Plaza May through October and inside the Walkway to the Main Street Parking Garage from November through April.

Getting Around

While Oneonta is filled with a variety of attractions, it do not have an airport. However, you shouldn’t let that deter you from visiting this fun little town! If you live in the area, you certainly could drive over to Oneonta. However, if you live further away, you probably don’t want to endure the hassle of a road trip. In this case, your best bet is to fly or take a bus or train into Albany or fly into Syracuse Airport and then hire a taxi to take you the rest of the way to Oneonta. Absolute Taxi offers transportation to and from Albany International Airport, Syracuse Airport, the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak Station, and the Albany Bus Station.

What about getting around town once your are there? There are so many different things to see in Oneonta after all. Absolute Taxi has you covered for that too. Since Absolue Taxi operates 24 hours a day, so you can conveniently travel whenever you need to. It is also a safe company. They accepts cash and all major credit cards, and all their drivers are licensed and have background checks. In addition, their vans are smoke-free and clean. This family-owned business will help ensure that you see everything you want to see, and that you have an enjoyable visit to Oneonta.

All Star Village and Cooperstown Dreams Park
SUNY Oneonta & Hartwick College
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