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Utica is a city of approximately 60,000 residents in Oneida County, NY, located along the Mohawk River, the Erie Canal, and the New York Barge Canal. It is the seat of government for Oneida County. The site was originally settled in 1758 as Old Fort Schuyler. The current name, Utica, comes from an ancient north-African city, once Rome's capital within Africa.
Historically an industrial center, it was particularly well-known for textile production, though this has declined in recent years.
A few interesting facts: Utica holds the Guinness World Record for "Biggest Doughnut," a monster 1.5-ton jelly doughnut prepared in 1993 by local bakeries and a local radio station. It has also appeared in the movies, as the setting for "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939) and the filming location for "Slap Shot" (1977). Well-known actress/Mouseketeer Annette Funicello was born in Utica.
Utica is in the Eastern Standard time zone, and is located at latitude 43.100N, longitude -75.233W.
Hancock Airport (Syracuse) or Albany International Airport- the small regional airport in Utica is no longer in operation, the Oneida County airport (Oriskany) has recently moved and is now located in Rome, which has over a 10000 foot runway (at the former Griffis air base). The former location in Oriskany is now a Homeland Security training center.
Amtrak out of Union Station, an historic train station in downtown Utica.
Utica is easily accessed from the New York State Thruway.
Children's Museum of History, Natural History, Science & Technology, 311 Main Street, Tel. +1-315-724-6129. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa 10:30AM-4PM (hours vary in summer and winter - check first!). A hands-on learning center with emphasis on local history, environmental science, the arts, and space science. The Museum also has an outdoor display of real train cars and engines. $4.00 (members free).
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art, 310 Genessee Street, Tel. +1-315-797-0000. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. The museum has 20 galleries featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions for a total of more than 25,000 American and European 18th-, 19th, and 20th-century paintings and 19th-century decorative arts.
Oneida County Historical Society, 1608 Genesee St. (in the former Christian Science Church - a local landmark), Tel. +1-315-735-3642. Tu-F 10AM-4:30PM, Sa 11AM-3PM. Founded in 1876, the Society has a museum, historical/genealogical library, and book/gift shop. It focuses on the history of Central New York and specifically of the County of Oneida. $5.00 entry for the library.
The National Distance Running Hall of Fame is located in Utica.
The New York State Twirlers Hall of Fame is also in Utica, reportedly with a children's museum and free twirling lessons for visitors.
The Stanley Theater 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. For event tickets, a tour, or information, call the Stanley ticket office at 724-4000.
The Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area. 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. To get there, turn north off Route 5A (Oriskany Blvd.) onto Barnes Ave. There is a parking area at the end of Barnes Ave, down a little hill to the right, or the pavilion location is down a right-of-way lane to the right called Doucharm Road.
Matt's Brewery Tour (brewer of Saranac, Utica Club, Matt's)
Florentine Pastry Shop
Catch a performance of the Utica Symphony Orchestra, one of the few professional symphonies in Central New York. [505 Henry Street, Utica, NY 13502, Tel. (315) 732-5146, http://www.uticasymphony.org]
As home to the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, you'd expect Utica to have some notable running events - and it does.
The Boilermaker 15K Road Race, run on the second Sunday in July, was established in 1976 by Earle C. Reed. The race began with just over 800 runners and a budget of $750. Now, the Boilermaker is the largest 15K in the nation with more than 10,000 runners. Join in or just watch the runners go by - participants typically include Olympians and world record holders. For more information visit www.boilermaker.com
America's Greatest Heart Run and Walk is a fun charity fund-raising event for the American Heart Association.
Utica has several colleges/universities whose programs may be of interest to potential students.
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.
Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY. Chartered in 1812, Hamilton College (named after Alexander Hamilton) is the third-oldest college in New York State. It is a residential college, and focuses on the liberal arts.
Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101 Sherman Drive. MVCC is the oldest community college in New York State, dating from 1946. It offers degrees and certificates in a range of programs.
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 outside Utica.
Piggy Pats Pickled Pig Pub. Bar-b-que and live bands, in a casual and entertaining setting. With great food at great prices. Pulled pork, smoked turkey, sweet potatoes, salt potatoes, wine, beer, Dining area separated from bar area to accommodate all needs. Great place to eat.
Utica has a wide variety of bars, with many of the most popular being in the Varick St area of downtown. Although popular with residents year round, expect the bars around Varick St to be particularly crowded during Saranac Thursdays.
Varick St Bars
The Electric Company, 700 Varick Street, 792-9271
Matt Brewery, Varick Street, 732-0022
The Venu, 601 Varick Street
Stiefvater Room, 618 Varick Street
Varick, 616 Varick Street, 724-7851
Hollyrock, Varick Street
Schinberger Lane, Varick Street
Genesee St Bars
The Auburn, 14 Auburn Avenue, 735-2649
Babe's Macaroni Bar and Grill, 80 North Genesee Street, 735-0777