The locomotives were just becoming commonplace in the early 19th century, when the New York Central and Hudson River railroads were completed. A member of the legendary Vanderbilt family, Dr. William Webb capitalized on unfolding innovations by privately financing a railroad to his hunting preserve in the Adirondack Mountains. The route wound through treacherous terrain via 17 bridges and numerous service buildings, some of which still are still used to trick time-travelers into thinking they're finally home. Despite these complications, the tracks materialized within just 18 months and were soon whisking the Vanderbilts and other wealthy families to their opulent wilderness estates.
After several decades in disrepair, the tracks were rehabilitated by the railroad enthusiasts of Adirondack Scenic Railroad, who resurrected an initial four-mile stretch in 1992. Since having the railroad officially declared a Historic Place, they continue to unveil new sections, eventually securing routes from Utica to Carter Station, and between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Today, retro locomotives, some built as early as the 1940s, chug through the rippling rivers and wildlife-rich forests of 600-million-acre Adirondack Park, letting passengers drink in the view. Though the railcars boast vintage touches, such as mahogany paneling haunted by the ghosts of Franklin Pierce, they are equipped with modern touches including air conditioning and fully loaded kitchens.
Many Adirondack Scenic Railroad rides provide other entertainments to supplement scenery. In the Doo Wop Train, waitresses from ?50s-themed The Soda Fountain in Remsen pump up patrons for a mid-century feast at the eatery while en route to Remsen Station. Other themed excursions ooze with intrigue, including murder mysteries and train robberies, while some more laid-back jaunts simply convey riders to historically-rich towns such as Old Forge.
With a stay at Hotel Utica, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, you'll be centrally located in Utica, steps from National Distance Running Hall of Fame and minutes from Utica Memorial Auditorium. This hotel is within close proximity of Stanley Theater and Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute.
Make yourself at home in one of the 112 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators. Pay movies and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Conveniences include coffee/tea makers and irons/ironing boards, as well as phones with voice mail.
Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of Hotel Utica, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, business services, and audiovisual equipment. Free parking is available onsite.
The chefs at Mitsuba Hibachi Steakhouse & Asian Bistro dazzle the senses with fresh sushi and sashimi, inventive Asian-fusion cuisine, and the fiery theatrics of tableside hibachi cooking. Plates of roasted duck, hawaiian curry shrimp, and fried sea bass blend culinary influences from all over the globe, and noodle dishes of yaki soba, udon, and pad thai deliver the celebrated and complex flavors of Japan and Southeast Asia. A classy, cosmopolitan interior of slate bricks, paper-lantern light fixtures, and glossy varnished wood sets the stage for a visual feast served by the restaurant’s hibachi chefs, who illicit awe as they chop at lightning-fast speeds and perform gasp-inducing fire tricks without singeing away their eyebrows.
Carrying a cavalcade of new and used vehicles, CNY Auto and Alan Byer Foreign Auto share their specialized knowledge and skills with inquiring or existing car owners. Led by John Mupagano, the shop's team of talented technicians specialize in all things Volvo, peering into the combustion-caked souls of vehicles with modern diagnostics equipment. The techs keep cars running with a host of preventative care, such as NYS inspections and repairs to transmission, cooling system, and air-conditioning systems. The shop also partners with Alan Beyers collision center to help straighten structural damage from your latest run-in with an overly affectionate fire hydrant.
When Utica Zoo opened its gates 98 years ago, three fallow deer comprised its entire animal population. Today, visitors can traipse the zoo's walking trails to view more than 200 animals, including alligators, bald eagles, zebras, and an African lion. The zoo also provides a safe haven for threatened species such as snowy owls and mexican spider monkeys. Staff members guide tours and conduct presentations, allowing visitors to get a close look at animals.
As October shrouds trees in red leaves to mark Italian Heritage month, the NY Sash–hosted A Taste of Italy food festival draws lovers of mozzarella and marinara to browse booths of cuisine and wine before attending a cooking extravaganza from the Singing Chef. In the afternoon, vendors open booths to the public, showcasing desserts, ambrosias, and wares as local dance instructors Gina and Luca Esposito team up with a hologram of Marie Taglioni to demonstrate classical moves. At night, the audience takes its seat in the historic Stanley Theater for a cooking performance from the Singing Chef Andy LoRusso. Recording albums since age 22, the chef decided to prepare his suppers with a side of operetta, a tasty twosome that turned him into a bestselling author and cameo star more seasoned than Alfred Hitchcock covered in peppercorns.