RV Rental Utica, NY

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Utica, New York RV Rentals

Snuggled into the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, right on the banks of the Mohawk River, you’ll find the scenic and quaint city of Utica, New York. Its ideal location and welcoming population make it an excellent choice for getting away. The city has undergone a renaissance of sorts in the last couple of decades and has become a hub of cultural diversity in Upstate New York and a big supporter of the arts. 

An RV rental in Utica is the perfect way to explore the area and all it has to offer. RV options are plentiful, and you can find anything from a mansion on wheels to a minimalistic tow-behind. There are also some very beautiful and well-appointed campgrounds to park your RV.

Let’s explore some of the top attractions and fun events that are happening in and around Utica so that you can start planning your next road trip.

Popular RV Destinations in Utica

Stanley Center for the Arts

Located in the heart of downtown Utica is a visual marvel, the historic Stanley Theatre. A former silent movie palace, the theatre was opened in 1928. It features gorgeous Mexican Baroque architecture that really stands out. It was affiliated with Warner Bros. Pictures back in its heyday, but fell into abandonment and disrepair in the mid-1970s.

Today, this iconic theatre has been restored to its former glory thanks to the efforts of the Central New York Community Arts Council. It now serves as a performing arts center that is home to the Utica Symphony Orchestra, the Mohawk Valley Ballet, and the Broadway Theater League of Greater Utica. You can see Off-Broadway productions, legendary singers and performers, and more in this beautiful venue.

Utica Zoo

Spend the day with some of Utica’s animal residents at the Utica Zoo. Located in Roscoe Conkling Park, the zoo sits on 80 acres, 40 of which are home to over 200 animals. You can see everything from endangered to Chinese alligators, to Mexican gray wolves, African lions, exotic birds of prey, and much more.

As an accredited member of the American Zoological Association, the Utica zoo has some of the best-developed animal habitats in the country. It also regularly hosts traveling educational exhibits. Depending on the time of year you visit, you may also get to experience one of the zoo’s fun and festive events, like Eggstravaganza, Brewfest, Spooktacular, or Wine in the Wilderness.

Adirondack Railroad

The Adirondack Railroad is a scenic tourist railway that was once a New York Central line which operated between Utica and Lake Placid. Thanks to preservation efforts by the largely volunteer-run Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society, you can still experience the fun and world-class scenery along this historic railroad. Ride between the Utica, Thendara, Lake Saranac, or Lake Placid stations.

The railroad is a fun and different way to see the Adirondack region. Consider taking a themed ride on the Utica Beer and Wine Train where you can sip some of the area’s best wines and brews while listening to top local bands as you enjoy the changing scenery. 

You can also make it a full-day excursion on the round-trip ride from Utica to Thendara. You will get to spend the afternoon in Old Forge, visiting local restaurants and shops, and sample some of the delicious fare on the train’s cafe car.

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

Originally founded in 1919, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is the center for the area’s fine arts. The building itself is a beautiful International-style building that was designed by the famed architect Philip Johnson, with a model of the building exhibited at the Brussels’ World’s Fair of 1958. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Institute operates three separate programs. The public Museum of Art, which is located in the Fountain Elms Building, boasts a large collection of American and European art. You can see works by such famous artists as Picasso, Mondrian, Dali, and more.

The Institute operates a respected school of art, which teaches a large variety of techniques across a range of mediums. And lastly, the performing arts program hosts presentations and performances in the 271-seat theater that is open for the public to enjoy.

Saranac F.X. Matt Brewing Company

The Saranac Brewery is a true pillar of the Utica community, so you definitely want to add it to your list of places to see while in town. This award-winning brewery has been family-owned and operated in the same spot since 1888. It’s actually the fourth-oldest family brewery in the country.

You don’t have to be a beer lover to visit and enjoy this top Utica landmark, although it sure helps. With over 50 varieties of beer, including flagship offerings like Black Forest Bavarian Schwarzbier, Adirondack Germann Amber Lager, Legacy India Pale Ale, and more, it’s easy to find one you’ll love. There’s also plenty of non-alcoholic options for those who choose not to imbibe, so don’t worry.

With regular live music performances, brewery tours, special tastings of unreleased exclusive pilot beers, the Saranac Brewery is a top spot, for sure. 

Events and Entertainment in Utica

Boilermaker 15K

Hands-down, the biggest weekend event hosted in Utica each year is the Boilermaker 15K. Runners from all over the globe travel here every July to compete. In fact, the race hosts more than 17,000 participants. 

You can choose to take part in the 5K walk, 5K race, the Invitational Mile, Kids’ Run, Youth Olympics, 15K race, or the 15K wheelchair race. You can also show up to cheer on your favorite participant. It’s truly a family-oriented event.

The race is preceded by the health and fitness expo that is held at Mohawk Valley Community College. Being hosted by the Saranac Brewery, the race conveniently ends there with a huge after-party.

Oneida County Public Market

Every Saturday you can enjoy the festival-like atmosphere at the Oneida County Public Market. Housed in the visually stunning and historic Union Station, the public market is an experience. Soak in the marble and granite pillars and arches, and marvel at the opulence of the vaulted ceilings as you browse the dozens of vendors.

Choose from the area’s largest selection of artisan dairy products, free-range and grass-fed meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, gourmet baked goods, homemade jams, jellies, and preserves, and so much more. You can also find the perfect souvenir or gift among the vendors selling handcrafted cards, jewelry, soaps, lotions, gift boxes, etc. 

Great American Irish Festival

Every September, the city of Utica honors its proud Irish heritage with the three-day Great American Irish Festival. The event is hosted at the Irish Cultural building on the Herkimer County fairgrounds and draws thousands of visitors every year. It’s a family-friendly event that offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re Irish or Irish-for-the-weekend, you’ll love listening to the bagpipe competition in which some of the country’s best bagpipe bands showcase their incredible talents. Take part in the 5K Ranger Run, watch the exciting Highland Games, or expand your palate at the whiskey tasting. You can even attend a real Irish mass on Sunday.

Remsen Barn Festival of the Arts

Also in September, the Remsen Barn FOTA is a two-day event that showcases the area’s rich and diverse arts culture. The festival is held minutes outside of Utica on Remsen’s Main Street, rain or shine. You can browse the wide variety of offerings from more than 250 exhibitors.

Here, you can find everything from foods, to home accessories, jewelry, woodcrafts, paintings and prints, photography, knitting, glassworks, soaps and oils, and more. There’s also an abundance of musical and dance performances throughout the entire festival. Be sure to check out the fun corn maze and the winners of the various contests and competitions.

FAQs:

Q: What are RV rentals?

RV rentals work much like any other vehicle rentals. You pay a daily or weekly rate for your RV rental. You can expect these rates to fluctuate based on the time of year and the geographical location that you're renting. Naturally, rates tend to increase during peak season. 

They allow you to get an RV for a certain period and enjoy all its benefits while traveling without the hassles and large cost of owning your RV. It’s also a great way to try out some different RV models if you are considering purchasing your own.

Q: How much are RV rentals?

RV rentals in Utica can range between $75 and $150 per night for most small- to medium-sized trailers and campervans. Larger RVs and travel trailers can cost between $100 and $250 per night, depending on the season and the year, make, and model of the RV. Some companies also offer a discount if you rent for longer than a week.

Q: Do I need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Utica?

The minimum legal age to rent an RV in the state of New York is 25. 

Q: Do I need insurance when I rent an RV?

Yes, you'll need insurance to rent an RV in Utica. It's meant to cover the vehicle in case of an accident and is mandatory in most states. Most RV rental companies will have RV-specific insurance that you can purchase.

Q: Do I need to return my rental RV with a full tank?

This policy varies between rental agencies, but most RV rental facilities in Utica will expect you to return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. At the very least, the fuel should be at the same level as when you got the vehicle. 

Q: Are RVs pet-friendly in Utica?

Many RV and camper rentals in Utica are pet-friendly, and there are even vehicles specially designed for accommodating animals. Still, it’s important to double-check the policy with your chosen rental agency before renting a particular vehicle.