Home Cities Utica: The Oasis of the New York Thruway

Utica: The Oasis of the New York Thruway

Utica: The Oasis of the New York Thruway

You’ve spent hours on the New York Thruway.  You are road-weary and hungry.  Up ahead, in the distance, you spy signs of civilization alongside a beautiful canal.  Is it a mirage?  No, it’s Utica.

If you’re looking for a great vacation or just a respite from travel, you’re going to enjoy the riverside city of Utica. The city abounds with good restaurants and places to stay.  You may even decide to visit for a few days and enjoy the surrounding amenities.

History of the Area

utica new york photo
Photo by Dougtone

First settled by the American Indians, Utica has much to offer in the way of beauty and history. In fact, it was populated by the powerful Mohawk tribe until after the American Revolutionary War. Utica didn’t become a city until 1832, nearly 100 years after it first became incorporated as a village. In the 19th Century, it was the hub of the textile industry because of its connections with the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River. In recent years, Utica has become a melting pot of different cultures which has enriched the local lifestyle.

Things to Do

utica ny photo
Photo by atypicalchris

While you are in Utica, be sure to visit the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.  Here you will learn about the American tradition of long distance running.  You will be introduced to champions like Marty Liquori or Jacqueline Hansen.

If you’re looking for something to do with the entire family, you can check out the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Utica’s Union Station has been completely restored.  Train rides allow you to enjoy the beautiful surrounding countryside with many stopovers to explore along the way.

You may decide to stay in town to explore the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute or the Oneida County Historical Society. Or visit the Utica Zoo. Your family, and especially your children, are going to absolutely love the red panda cubs.

Close out your day with a tour at the  F. X. Matt Brewing Company, which is the fourth oldest brewery in the United States.  The Brewery has a rich history which began in Germany and today boasts the wonderful Saranac line of beers and ales.




  1. Thank you for the article and your appreciation of Utica. Other great restaurants near the thruway exit include Ancora, Aqua Vino, Trackside, and Tailor and the Cook. I think you meant SUNY Poly, not Empire. We are surrounded by golf courses for something to do,as well.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *