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5 Places to Visit in Downtown Utica this Fall

Situated in the heart of New York State’s Mohawk Valley Region, the City of Utica hosts a population of more than 62,000 people. Known for its rich history and cultural diversity, the city offers plenty of activities and places to visit during any time of year.

While Upstate New York experiences its fair share of summer tourism and events, the fall season also draws many visitors to the Mohawk Valley and Adirondack Mountain regions. Visitors travel to Utica and its surrounding areas for the breathtaking rustic scenery and colorful foliage.

Whether you’re a local resident or someone looking to plan a fun outing this fall, this guide is for you. Check out our list of some great places to visit and activities to attend in downtown Utica.

1: See Over 200+ Animals at the Utica Zoo

The Utica Zoo is one of the city’s most popular and frequented destinations. With more than 200 animals under their care, you will have the chance to see different species that you would not find anywhere else in the region. 

This fall, the zoo is hosting two events that are great for visitors of all ages! This October, they will be hosting the Spooktacular Harvest Festival with trick-or-treating, food trucks, and a walk through the new Twisted Fairy Trail. Costumes are encouraged!

In preparation for winter festivities, the Utica Zoo will also be hosting its famous Bright Nights events. Tour the zoo grounds and participate in a wide variety of activities designed for all ages to enjoy. The annual celebration runs from the end of November through mid-December.

2: Catch an Exciting Event at the Adirondack Bank Center

Utica’s Adirondack Bank Center serves as the home arena for the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League. The team is the official minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils and features some of their most exciting up-and-coming future stars!

Home games occur on multiple dates throughout the months of October and November. On nights where the Comets are away from the rink, you can also find multiple other live action entertainment events and concerts from major artists being scheduled at the Adirondack Bank Center.

3: Sample Selections from Local Breweries and Distilleries

Across the entire State of New York, you can find a wealth of local craft breweries and artisanal distilleries. If you travel to Utica, be sure to visit the Adirondack Distillery on Varick Street where you can tour their facility and sample some of their incredible spirits that they craft in-house.

For those who prefer a fresh glass of cold beer, there are also multiple breweries to be discovered throughout the city. Establishments like Saranac Brewing Co., Bagg’s Square Brewing Company, F.X. Matt Brewing Company, and the Nail Creek Pub and Brewery are just a handful of destinations to find a local brew within city limits.

4: Take An Autumn Adventure on the Adirondack Railroad

The Adirondack Railroad is a scenic round-trip railroad ride between Utica and Thendara. Over the course of approximately 90 minutes, you can take in the sights of Upstate New York’s iconic colorful foliage and see history come alive through restored historic train stations.

The Railroad also hosts different themed rides that passengers can enjoy throughout the year. One of the most popular is the recurring Beer & Wine Train where you can sip on some of the finest-quality local beers and wines and enjoy live music from local performers while riding the historic railways through the Adirondacks.

5: Play a Round of Golf with Unforgettable Scenery

The Valley View Golf Course is a municipal course in the Utica area that offers golfers the opportunity to play 18 holes with a backdrop of beautiful Upstate New York Scenery. Play a solo round or head to the course with your friends and enjoy a day playing the game you love in the fresh autumn air and vivid foliage you won’t experience anywhere else.

Make the Utica Metropolitan Area Your New Home

Located in Rome, New York, our community at Air City Lofts offers luxurious living in the beautiful Mohawk Valley region. Located a short drive from Downtown Utica, we provide all the desirable amenities of modern apartment living with a convenient location near plenty of new places to adventure.

To learn more about our apartments, view our floor plans or contact us today to schedule a tour.