Utica

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Utica is a city in Central New York. 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.

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, located 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.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

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

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

By train[edit]

Amtrak [1] multiple daily departures to and from New York City, and one daily service to and from Toronto via Niagara Falls from Utica's Union Station, an historic train station in downtown Utica. Amtrak also operates a station in Rome.

By car[edit]

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

By bus[edit]

Get Around[edit]

By bus[edit]

  •    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]

  •    Children's Museum of History, Natural History, Science & Technology311 Main Street +1 315 724-6129. M-F 9:30AM-2:30PM, Sa 9:45AM-2:45PM (hours vary in Sept. & Jan. - check first). A hands-on learning center with emphasis on local history, environmental science, the arts, and space science. Housed in an historic building with four floors of interactive exhibits. $7.00 children 2-17; $6.00 seniors; $7.00 adults; members and children under 2 free.

Sights[edit]

The historic Stanley Theater
  •    Players of Utica Theater1108 State Street +1 315 724-7624. M-F, 10 am - 4 pm, in addition to showtimes. Players of Utica, founded in 1913, is the oldest community theater group in New York State.
  •    Stanley Theater261 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.
  •    Utica Memorial Auditorium400 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.
  • 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 / 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 15K in the nation with more than 10,000 runners. Participants include Olympians and world record holders.
  • Utica Music and Arts Fest (UMAF). Sept 13th and 14th. Music festival held at various venues throughout the city. Includes the Utica Greens Festival, a celebration of regional food with artisan vendors, held at Mohawk Valley Community College. $10 for all-access pass.
  • Utica Symphony Orchestra505 Henry St +1 315 732-5146. Recently reformed after bankruptcy.

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) Institute of Technology (in Marcy - just north of Utica). Established in 1966, SUNYIT offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in technology, professional studies, and selected liberal arts disciplines. SUNYIT has a large, grassy/wooded campus just north of Utica.

Buy[edit]

Looking south on Genesee St.
  • Off-Center Records116 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 Market321 Main St (Union Station), e-mail: . Saturday, 9am to 2pm. Weekly farmer's market
  • The Indie Garage Sale2310 Oneida St (Jewish Community Center), e-mail: . Fair of handmade crafts from independent local makers. On the "hipster" rather than "grandma" end of the craft fair spectrum.

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/Middle Eastern[edit]

Asian/Indian[edit]

  • The Lotus Garden1011 King St +1 315 798-8897. Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese dishes. Family-owned. Good atmosphere. $10 per plate.
  • Pho Mekong House of Noodles601 John St +1 315 797-7171. Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes. Building is a hole-in-the-wall but food is inexpensive and delicious. $7 per plate.
  • Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant60 Genesee St, New Hartford +1 315 507-5155. Halal meat served. $10-$15 per plate.

Other[edit]

  • The Tailor and the Cook94 Genesee St +1 315 793-7444. A very pleasant mix of locally sourced ingredients with a downstate-style artisan dining experience. Entrees about $25.
  • Tramontane Café1105 Lincoln Ave +1 315 732-8257. Espresso bar, deli sandwiches, daily specials. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. Live music most Fridays and Saturdays; poetry and spoken word open mic each Thursday; music and anything-goes open mic on Sunday. $6 for a sandwich.
  • Tiny's Grill1014 State St +1 315 732-9497. Known for live jazz performances. Can get cramped when larger bands play. (There's a reason it's called Tiny's...)
  • Cafe Domenico (Not to be confused with Delmonico's), 2011 Genesee St +1 315 798-8077. Not a place for a full meal, but excellent for a cup of coffee and a pastry.
  • Secret Garden Restaurant600 Culver Ave +1 315 724-7422. Bosnian and Italian food
  • Babci's Bistro152 Whitesboro St, Yorkville +1 315 725-8571. Babci (pronounced bob-chee) is Polish for "Grandma." Correspondingly, this restaurant serves authentic, home-style Polish cooking.

Drink[edit]

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 Vernon Downs racetrack, Sylvan Beach on Oneida Lake, and the Turning Stone casino, situated on Oneida Indian land. 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.

Routes through Utica
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BuffaloSyracuse  W NY-5.svg E  HerkimerAlbany
'  S NY-8.svg N  → Lake Pleasant → Chester
VolneyRome  W NY-49.svg E  END


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
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