At the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in central New York’s Mohawk Valley lies the city of Rome. With scenic lakes, rivers, streams and rolling hills, Rome provides a beautiful place to live, work and play. Rich in historical treasures as well as natural resources, the city features a top-notch school district, a regionally renowned hospital and an award-winning parks and recreation system. Rome also ranks among the safest towns not only in New York State, but nationally as well.
Restaurants & Nightlife
You can find most of the local restaurants on East and West Dominick and James Streets, the main commercial thoroughfares in the city. Rome's eateries offer a variety of dining options, including Italian, Spanish and Japanese. Begin your day with breakfast at Raspberries on James Street. Raspberries makes breakfast and lunch to order everyday, from 7 am to 3 pm, using only the freshest ingredients. Try the cinnamon French toast topped with a cinnamon glaze or one of their many omelet choices, such as spinach and feta.
Don't let the looks deceive you at Caribbean Restaurant on West Dominick Street. It may appears to be a dive from the outside, but inside, the food and service will make you glad you came. The menu features a variety of Spanish and Caribbean food. Local favorites include the Cubano sandwich with a side of papas fritas (homemade fries), or the mofongo: mashed plantains mixed with garlic, butter, cheese and your choice of meat.
Rome lacks a significant nightlife scene, but The Mill offers nightly specials and live entertainment. $2 domestic beers on Tuesdays, and 2-for-1 drinks on Wednesdays make this place a fun and affordable option for a night out. Neighboring Utica has more options in the way of bars, lounges and clubs. The Green Onion Pub caters to the hipster crowd with a great selection of craft beer on tap and in bottles from breweries like Southern Tier and Green Flash. They keep the TV turned off here so that the music and conversation provide the entertainment.
History & Culture
Rome's Fort Stanwix played a pivotal role in the defeat of British forces during the Revolutionary War. The reconstructed Fort Stanwix National Monument, located in the heart of the city, celebrates the history of "the fort that never surrendered." The site, owned and operated by the National Park Service, recreates life during the British siege of 1777. It also contains hundreds of thousands of artifacts in its Marinus Willett interpretative center.
For a fun day at a local museum, visit the Rome Sports Hall of Fame or head to the Children's Museum in nearby Utica. In late July. Rome kicks off a two-week citywide celebration called Honor America Days, with plenty of food, vendors and live entertainment. Don't miss the Fall Fun Festival at Fort Rickey Zoo from late September through the end of October. And if you're looking to take in a play, be sure to check out the Capitol Theatre, Rome Community Theater, the Art & Community Center and the YMCA Center for the Creative Arts.
Rome can be easily accessed by car or train. Three New York State Thruway exits lead to the city, as well as State Routes 365, 26, 46 and 49. Parking options include metered and non-metered off-street parking, paid parking garages and free public retail and commercial parking lots. Amtrak serves the historic Martin Street Train Station and has multiple departures seven days a week.
Rome provides a safe and friendly environment for walkers and bikers, with bike lanes on the streets as well as bike racks in front of local businesses. You can also get around the city on Centro, Rome's public bus system. Call ahead for a cab if you need a ride, but Uber does not service the area.
The cost of living in Rome sits at 28.6 percent lower than the New York state average, with a one-bedroom apartment renting for around $624. Gas in Rome sells for 11.1 percent more than the national average, making biking and walking great driving alternatives during warmer weather. Getting around the city on Centro costs just $0.75. And a beer at a local bar will only set you back $3.
Retail in Rome consists largely of staple suppliers such as drug stores, hardware stores and florists, so head to nearby New Hartford for more unique shopping options. Stop by Dick Sonne's on Commercial Drive in New Hartford for all of your ski, cycle and fitness needs. You can also get on-site bicycle repair service and free bike training sessions throughout the winter to get you in shape for riding season.
Reimagine Records, a small, independent record store also on Commercial Drive, carries a wide range of genres. The staff's expertise and great customer service make shopping here the polar opposite of the sterility of online music purchasing. If you can't find the CD or vinyl you want in the store, Reimagine will special order it for you with no down payment. You can also sell your used records and CDs here.
Tops Friendly Markets and Price Chopper provide groceries for the community. There are also several farmers' markets in the area. The Rome Farmer's Market at Franklyn's Field offers everything from local produce and baked goods to jewelry and flowers, and operates every Wednesday from June through October. Westmoreland hosts the North Star Orchards Farm Market, a family-run business specializing in produce, plants, herbs and other products. Located at historic Union Station in Downtown Utica, the Oneida County Public Market celebrates community and commerce on scheduled Saturday mornings throughout the year.
The New York State Canal Corporation owns and operates Bellamy Harbor Park, located just off of East Whitesboro Street in east Rome. The park includes a large dock with eight posts for boaters, walkways along the canal, fishing, a picnic area with tables and a pedestrian bridge spanning the Mohawk River. The park is well equipped for evening activities and hosts citywide events during the year.
Center Square Park, formerly known as the City Hall Green, also hosts a variety of events annually, from the Summer in the Square Concert Series to the YMCA's annual 3-on-3 Outdoor Basketball Tournament. All local parks are free, and most of them were designed around the open and natural beauty of the area rather than recreational use. If you need to get your child some outdoor activity, the city has 12 playgrounds and five swimming pools.