Utica is the heart of the Mohawk Valley and the seat of Oneida County in Central New York State. Utica offers the charm of small-city living balanced with the cultural and ethnic diversity of an international urban center. At the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is a truly scenic city that offers the pleasures of both a rural and urban setting.

Understand edit

A street scene featuring a clock and the Carlile Building, built in 1884

Utica is a city of approximately 60,000 residents in Oneida County, NY, along the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal. It is the seat of government for Oneida County and its largest city. Like many Central New York place names, the name "Utica" is classical: it was first the name of an ancient Phoenician settlement in North Africa, near Carthage.

Settlement in Utica dates to the colonial area, as depicted in the novel and movie Drums Along the Mohawk. Utica became an urban industrial center during the industrial revolution, particularly in textile production. Frank Winfield Woolworth launched a "five-cent store" in Utica in 1878 which soon closed; the next year Woolworth's "five and dime" in Lancaster (Pennsylvania) proved successful. Like most American industrial cities, Utica has suffered from population loss and urban decay since the 1970s. However, the popular conception that has made Utica the butt of jokes in TV shows like The Office and The Simpsons is an exaggeration. Contemporary Utica, in addition to its historical points of interest, is a multi-cultural city with a restaurant selection and local arts scene that are robust for a city of its size.

The Utica-Rome area, situated between Syracuse and Albany, is served by Interstate 90. This article also covers the suburbs of New Hartford and Yorkville.

Get in edit

By plane edit

Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR IATA) and Albany International Airport (ALB IATA) offer scheduled flights to various cities.

The small regional airport in Utica is no longer in operation; the Oneida County airport moved from Oriskany and is now in nearby Rome, with a 10,000-foot runway (at the former Griffiss Air Force Base). Despite its size and name, Griffiss International Airport (RME IATA) serves primarily general aviation.

By train edit

See also: Rail travel in the United States

By car edit

Utica is easily accessed from the New York State Thruway, Interstate 90, which passes through the city.

Not far from the Thruway exit is a Tesla Supercharger station for electric vehicles, with eight stations.

By bus edit

Get around edit

By bus edit

  • 1 CENTRO (Central New York Regional Transportation Authority), 185 Leland Ave, +1 315 797-1703. Regional bus service based in Syracuse with services to Utica and to the Rome Amtrak station.    

By taxi edit

See edit

Museums edit

Sights edit

The historic Stanley Theater
  • 6 Players of Utica Theater, 1108 State Street, +1 315 724-7624. M-F 10AM-4PM, in addition to showtimes. Players of Utica, founded in 1913, is the oldest community theater group in New York State.
  • 7 Stanley Theater, 261 Genesee St, +1 315 724-1113. Opened September 10, 1928 and has been the premier showplace for Central New York ever since. Housed in a "Mexican baroque" building (with Moorish and art deco influences), the theater is home to the Broadway Theatre League, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Great Artists Series, the Utica Symphony Orchestra, and the Mohawk Valley Ballet.    
  • 8 Utica Memorial Auditorium, 400 Oriskany Street West, +1 315 738-0164. One of the first arenas built without central pillars, thus allowing an unobstructed view from all seats, the Aud is host to concerts and sports events, including a minor league hockey team.    
  • 9 Utica Zoo, 99 Steele Hill Rd, +1 315 738-0472.    
  • Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area, +1 315 785-2261. Utica Marsh is a wetland area shared by Utica and neighboring Marcy, between the Mohawk River and the New York State Barge Canal. The 213 acres are home to a tremendous variety of plants and animals, especially birds. Facilities include observation towers and platforms (at least one handicapped-accessible), walking and bike trails, a pavilion, water control dikes, a small-boat launch site for the Mohawk River, and a boat ramp for the Barge Canal.

Do edit

  • Boilermaker 15K Road Race. Second Sunday in July. Established in 1976 with just over 800 runners and a budget of $750, the Boilermaker is the largest 15-km run in the nation with more than 10,000 runners. Participants include Olympians and world record holders.    
  • 1 Adirondack Scenic Railroad, 321 Main St. (Union Station), toll-free: +1 800-819-2291.    

Learn edit

Utica Public Library

The Utica area is home to several colleges and universities, which host events regularly.

  • Utica College, 1600 Burrstone Road. Spun-off from Syracuse University in 1946, Utica College (UC) offers bachelor's degrees from Syracuse, as well as master's degrees in its own name, for a wide variety of academic programs within the fields of health sciences, social sciences, liberal arts, and business studies (to name a few). It prides itself on a low faculty-to-student ratio and the individual attention possible in a small-college setting.
  • Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Sherman Drive. MVCC is the oldest community college in New York State, dating from 1946.
  • Pratt at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, 310 Genesee Street. In addition to its Fine and Performing Arts programs (see Museums, above), Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute is also home to a well-regarded School of Art.
  • State University of New York (SUNY) Polytechnic Institute (in Marcy, just north of Utica). Established in 1966, SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and engineering technologies. It also offers professional degrees, such as business, communication, and nursing, as well as selected majors in the arts and sciences. SUNY Poly has a large park-like campus just north of Utica.

Buy edit

Looking south on Genesee St.
  • Off-Center Records, 116 Bleecker St, +1 315 738-7651. Probably the last remaining independent music store between Syracuse and Albany. Off-Center carries recordings in CD, vinyl, and tape formats, turntables, band swag, musicians' gear, and anything else the owner can cram into the store.
  • Oneida County Public Market, 321 Main St (Union Station), . Sa 9AM to 2PM. Weekly farmer's market
  • The Indie Garage Sale, . Fair of handmade crafts from independent local makers. On the "hipster" rather than "grandma" end of the craft fair spectrum. See web site for location.
  • 1 Sangertown Square, 8555 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford. Medium-size shopping mall    

Eat edit

Utica has a long history of welcoming immigrants, from Italians and Poles who came early in the twentieth century to work in the mills, to the present-day influx of immigrants from places as far-flung as Bosnia and Burma. The variety in restaurants is just one of the marks these diverse cultures have left.

Italian edit

Oneida County is one of the few counties in the United States where Italian is the most common single ancestry, so Utica does not lack for Italian restaurants. Italian food in Utica is generally of the southern Italian and Sicilian, cucina povera variety, reflecting the backgrounds of the immigrants who introduced it. The icons of Utican Italian food are greens (escarole sautéed with prosciutto and hot peppers) and chicken riggies (chicken and rigatoni in a spicy sauce).

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern edit

Asian/Indian edit

  • The Lotus Garden, 1011 King St, +1 315 798-8897. Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese dishes. Family-owned. Good atmosphere.
  • Pho Mekong House of Noodles, 601 John St, +1 315 797-7171. Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes. Building is a hole-in-the-wall but food is inexpensive and delicious.
  • Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant, 60 Genesee St, New Hartford, +1 315 507-5155. Halal meat served.
  • Sunny Restaurant Asian Cuisine, 530 Albany Street, +1 315 292-7034. Chinese and Pan-Asian cuisine.
  • 3 Minar Fine Indian Cuisine, 609 French Rd, New Hartford, +1 315-797-9918. 11:30am-3pm, 4:30pm-9pm. Wide variety of award-winning Indian cuisine with a lunch-time buffet and full dinner menu. Plentiful seating. Hours vary slightly by day.

Other edit

  • 4 The Tailor and the Cook, 94 Genesee St, +1 315 793-7444. A very pleasant mix of locally sourced ingredients with a downstate-style artisan dining experience.
  • 5 Cafe Domenico, 2011 Genesee St, +1 315 798-8077. Excellent for a cup of coffee and a pastry. Not to be confused with Delmonico's.
  • 6 Utica Coffee Roasting Company, 92 Genesee St, +1 315 269-8898. The premier coffee roasters in the area also run a small cafe where their beans can be sampled.
  • 7 Willows of Utica, 900 Culver Avenue, +1 315-765-0271. New America cuisine.
  • Motus, 234 Genesee St, +1 315 624-9090. New American gastropub.

Drink edit

Utica as seen from the southern hills
Tour of the Saranac Brewery

Varick St bars edit

Genesee St bars edit

Sleep edit

Go next edit

Rome is Utica's twin city, home to Fort Stanwix of Revolutionary War fame. Also to the west are the Vernon Downs racetrack, Sylvan Beach on Oneida Lake, and the Turning Stone casino, situated on the Oneida native reservation. Little Falls to the east holds historical points of interest as well. The Adirondacks are accessible to the north-east, via a picturesque drive through Amish country. Syracuse is about 55 miles to the west, Albany about 95 miles to the east.

Routes through Utica
BuffaloRome  W    E  SchenectadyAlbany (Rensselaer)
Buffalo (Depew)Syracuse  W   E  SchenectadyAlbany (Rensselaer)
BuffaloSyracuse  W    E  HerkimerAlbany
BuffaloSyracuse  W   E  HerkimerAlbany
RochesterRome  W   E  HerkimerWaterford

This city travel guide to Utica is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.