Audience members, staff, interns, and the artists themselves­­ – everyone has a favorite route to The Glimmerglass Festival.  Some travelers search out shortcuts, while others prefer to slow down and enjoy the scenery.

The company’s Alice Busch Opera Theater is located in the bucolic countryside surrounding Cooperstown, New York, so a trip to the Festival is always scenic—no matter which route you take to get here.

Below, you will find Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello’s directions to the Festival from New York City.  She swears by them.

Share your preferred route in the comments section for others who may be traveling from your direction. Tell us your favorite places to shop, eat and visit along the way.

Francesca’s Directions from New York City:

-87 North to ALBANY (approx. 120 miles – depending on where you get on 87)
-90 West (NYS THRUWAY) to exit 25A toward Schenectady/Binghamton (10 miles)
-88 West to EXIT 24 for US 20/Duanesburg (5 miles)
-20 West to RT 80/ SPRINGFIELD CENTER (45 Miles)
-Turn Left onto RT 80 SOUTH
-Drive 2 MILES south on 80.

If you have trouble commenting on the blog, feel free to e-mail your directions to and we will post them for you.

Thanks to Dr. Martha Farnsworth for kicking off this post with the directions from Ithaca found below.

8 Thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Route to Glimmerglass?”

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  1. Dr. Martha Farnsworth’s Directions from Ithaca:

    Cooperstown is not on the way to anywhere from Ithaca, so it took me a few years to figure out that Glimmerglass wasn’t really out of range. Once I got there, I was hooked; now I’ve tried just about every route.

    My favorite is pretty, peaceful, and takes a little over two hours. From Ithaca I take route 13 through Cortland to DeRuyter. (I actually take the back way on 366 through Etna and McLean, because it’s pretty, but it doesn’t save any time.) Instead of turning left on 13 in DeRuyter, I go straight on. That road is called Albany Street in De Ruyter, and then Crumb Hill Road (County Rd 58, then 16 when it crosses into the next county). It ends at Rte 26, where I turn left and then right onto Rte 80, which goes all the way to the opera house (passing through Cooperstown on the way).

    The pretty drive puts me in just the right mood to enjoy the opera, or to enjoy the memory of it on my way home.

  2. Directions from Delhi, NY:

    This is the fastest route from Delhi. It does include one particularly curvy dirt road, but the roughest part is also the most scenic.

    -Take 28 North out of Delhi (7 miles)
    -After coming down the hill into Meredith, turn right onto County Rd. 10 (3 miles)
    -Turn left onto Rathbun Hill Rd. (dirt road, 3.5 miles)
    -Continue onto Prosser Hollow Rd. (0.7 miles)
    -Continue through traffic light onto County Rd. 11/County Rd. 47 (2 miles)
    -Turn right to merge onto I-88 East (2 miles)
    -Take Exit 17 for 28 North towards Cooperstown
    -Turn Left onto 28 North (17 miles)
    -Take 28 North into Cooperstown, continue onto 80 North
    -Take 80 North along Otsego Lake (8 Miles)
    -Glimmerglass Festival on right

  3. Directions from Oxford, NY:

    This is not only the fastest route from Oxford, but it is also the most scenic. If you are looking for a way to avoid the highway, this is the best choice!

    1. Take Route 12 North heading out of Oxford
    8.3 mi
    2. Turn right onto NY-23 E/Rexford St
    Continue to follow NY-23 E
    8.3 mi
    3. Turn left onto New York 8 N/N Main St
    Continue to follow New York 8 N
    7.7 mi
    4. Turn right onto NY-80 E/Genesee St
    Continue to follow NY-80 E
    8.0 mi
    5. Turn right onto NY-80 E/East St
    Continue to follow NY-80 E
    12.5 mi
    6. Keep right at the fork
    5.3 mi
    7. Turn left onto Chestnut St
    0.4 mi
    8. Turn left onto NY-80 E/Lake St
    Continue to follow NY-80 E
    8.1 mi
    9. Turn right onto Cary Mede Ln

    The Glimmerglass Festival will be on the right!

  4. From Whitesboro, NY to Glimmerglass:

    I’m not really one to take the scenic route; I like the quickest path possible. However, my favorite way to get to Glimmerglass happens to include both types of travel.
    • Take Route 8 South.
    • Turn left onto Stone Road in Paris (this road is directly after a large, green barn-like business office building).
    • Take Stone Road all the way to the “T,” where you will turn right onto Holman City Road.
    • Stay straight on Holman City Road. It will eventually turn back into Stone Road. Take this leg of Stone Road all the way to another “T,” where you will now turn left onto Route 20.
    • Take Route 20 through the village of Richfield Springs. When coming up a hill on your way out of Richfield Springs, you will notice a small reservoir with wooden swans on your right. Very shortly after this, you turn right onto Allen Lake Road*. (Be forewarned, sometimes local pranksters paint over the letters so the sign reads, “Alien Lake Road.” No worries, you’re on track. 😉 )
    • After a few miles, there will be another “T,” turn left to stay on Allen Lake Road. There is a very sharp turn shortly after you turn onto this road. Stay with the main road, and follow the turn to the right.
    • Take Allen Lake Road all the way to State Highway 80, and enjoy the spectacular view.
    • Once Allen Lake Road comes to a “T” at State Highway 80, turn left. The Alice Busch Opera Theater will appear very shortly on your right.

    *There is an alternative to taking Allen Lake Road: You may take Route 20 straight past Allen Lake Road, and it will hit State Highway 80 in Springfield Center. There is a light at the intersection where you will take a right onto State Highway 80. The Alice Busch Opera Theater will be about three miles down on the left. Although this way is much straighter and the road less “rustic,” for me nothing compares to the view of Otsego Lake from the top of Allen Lake Road; it takes my breath away each time I see it. And, what a way to end your travels to Glimmerglass!

  5. Directions from Pittsburgh, PA:

    1. Get a friend to drive you to Pittsburgh Airport.
    2. Fly (Southwest Airlines) from Pittsburgh Airport to Baltimore/Washington, DC International Airport
    3. Change planes.
    4. Fly (still Southwest) from BWI to Albany Airport.
    5. Get picked up at Albany Airport by Glimmerglass’s Housing and Transportation Interns
    6. Get driven to Glimmerglass.
    7. Begin work immediately upon arrival.
    8. Enjoy the Festival!

    (Note: Numbers 5-7 only work if you are actually a Glimmenglass employee or intern. All others must obtain alternate transport after number 4 is complete. Number 8 applies to everyone, though!)

  6. This 20-year Glimmerglass habitue from Miami has traveled many routes to Cooperstown. I really love the 6-hour tour through the Catskills that Adirondack Trailways offers from Port Authority. Pack a lunch…keep your nose pressed to the bus window and enjoy the shockingly wonderful Alpine-like scenery! Oh, I left out the first step: Fly to LGA from MIA!
    1. Head northeast on 8th Ave toward W 42nd St
    151 ft
    2. Take the 1st left onto W 42nd St
    0.2 mi
    3. Take the 1st left onto 9th Ave
    0.3 mi
    4. Take the Lincoln Tunnel ramp to New Jersey
    0.2 mi
    5. Keep right at the fork and merge onto Lincoln Tunnel
    Entering New Jersey
    0.9 mi
    6. Continue onto NJ-495 E
    2.8 mi
    7. Slight right onto NJ-3 W (signs for Secaucus)
    4.0 mi
    8. Take the NJ-17 N exit toward Rutherford
    0.1 mi
    9. Keep left at the fork and merge onto NJ-17 N
    22.5 mi
    10. Take the exit toward I-287 N/NJ-17 N
    0.2 mi
    11. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-287 N/I-87/NJ-17 N/N Y. Thruway and merge onto I-287 N/NJ-17 N
    Entering New York
    0.6 mi
    12. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-87 N/NY-17 N/Albany and merge onto I-87 N/NY-17 N
    Continue to follow I-87 N
    Partial toll road
    45.9 mi
    13. Take exit 18 for NY-299 toward New Paltz/Poughkeepsie
    Toll road
    0.7 mi
    14. Turn left onto NY-299 W/Main St
    1.4 mi
    79.7 mi – about 1 hour 35 mins

    New Paltz, NY
    15. Head southwest on Main St toward S Chestnut St
    30 ft
    16. Take the 1st right onto NY-32 N/N Chestnut St
    Continue to follow NY-32 N
    14.1 mi
    17. Turn right onto Henry St
    0.5 mi
    18. Turn right onto Broadway
    0.5 mi
    15.0 mi – about 26 mins

    Kingston, NY
    19. Head northwest on Broadway toward E O’Reilly St
    0.8 mi
    20. Continue onto I-587 W/NY-28 W/Col Chandler Dr
    Continue to follow I-587 W/NY-28 W
    1.2 mi
    21. At the traffic circle, continue straight onto NY-28 W
    6.0 mi
    22. Turn right onto NY-375 N
    2.9 mi
    23. Turn left onto Mill Hill Rd
    0.5 mi
    11.4 mi – about 19 mins

    Woodstock, NY
    24. Head west on Mill Hill Rd toward Rock City Rd
    56 ft
    25. Take the 1st right onto Rock City Rd
    0.6 mi
    26. Turn right onto Co Rd 33/Glasco Turnpike/Rock City-West Saugerties Rd
    1.7 mi
    27. Turn left onto Co Rd 33/Rock City-West Saugerties Rd/W Saugerties Woodstock Rd
    4.6 mi
    28. Turn left onto W Saugerties Rd
    This road may be seasonally closed
    1.1 mi
    29. Continue onto Platte Clove Rd
    This road may be seasonally closed
    6.1 mi
    30. Turn right onto Co Rd 16
    0.4 mi
    31. Slight left onto Bloomer Rd
    1.1 mi
    32. Turn left onto New York 23A W/Main St
    3.6 mi
    33. Turn right onto NY-296 N
    6.3 mi
    34. Turn left to stay on NY-296 N
    1.5 mi
    35. Turn left onto NY-23 W
    Destination will be on the right
    1.6 mi
    28.7 mi – about 52 mins

    5510 New York 23
    Windham, NY 12496
    36. Head west on NY-23 W toward Hickory Hill Rd
    9.4 mi
    37. Turn right to stay on NY-23 W
    14.2 mi
    38. Slight left onto Harper St
    0.2 mi
    39. Take the 3rd left onto NY-10 S/Hobart Rd
    Continue to follow NY-10 S
    20.2 mi
    44.0 mi – about 55 mins

    Delhi, NY
    40. Head northeast on Main St
    0.1 mi
    41. Take the 1st left onto NY-28 N
    7.5 mi
    42. Turn left to stay on NY-28 N
    12.5 mi
    43. Turn left onto Main St
    0.6 mi
    20.7 mi – about 27 mins

    Oneonta, NY
    44. Head northeast on Main St toward Chestnut St
    5.4 mi
    45. Turn left onto D.K. Lifgren Drive
    0.5 mi
    46. Turn left onto NY-28 N
    16.0 mi
    47. Continue onto Chestnut St
    0.3 mi
    48. Turn right onto Main St
    0.1 mi
    49. Take the 1st left onto Pioneer St
    49 ft
    22.4 mi – about 33 mins

    Cooperstown, NY

  7. The fastest way from Ithaca:
    – NY 13 from Ithaca to Cortland. The back way to Cortland through Etna and McLean takes the same amount of time, with a lot less traffic.
    – Continue on 13 from Cortland; upon reaching DeRuyter, turn left to continue on 13 to Sheds.
    – In Sheds, turn right on Route 80 toward Georgetown.
    – In Georgetown, turn left on 26.
    – Follow 26 through the various Eatons to US 20.
    – Turn right on US 20 through Bouckville, Madison, and numerous other places to Richfield Springs.
    – Just past the Fountain View Hotel on the east side of Richfield Springs, turn right on Allen Lake Road and follow your nose to Route 80.
    – Left on 80 1/4 mile to the Opera.

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