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. Located at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica is a true scenic city that offers the pleasures of both a rural and urban setting.


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.

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

By plane

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

Amtrak has 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, a historic train station in the downtown. Amtrak also operates a station in Rome.

By car

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

Get Around

By bus

By taxi




The historic Stanley Theater



Utica Public Library

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


Looking south on Genesee St.


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.


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




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

Varick St Bars

Genesee St Bars


Go next

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

Buffalo Rome  W  E  Schenectady Albany (Rensselaer)
Buffalo (Depew) Syracuse  W  E  Schenectady Albany (Rensselaer)
Buffalo Syracuse  W  E  Herkimer Albany
Buffalo Syracuse  W  E  Herkimer Albany
Rochester Rome  W  E  Herkimer Waterford

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.