10 Best Places and Things To Do in Watertown, South Dakota

Watertown, South Dakota, is a charming city with a rich history and a range of activities to offer visitors. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or family-friendly attractions, Watertown has something for everyone.

1. Bramble Park Zoo

Bramble Park Zoo entrance, Watertown, SD.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bramble_Park_Zoo

Located in a picturesque park, Bramble Park Zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world. It’s a great place for families to explore and learn about wildlife conservation. The zoo features exhibits like the African Savannah, North American Prairie, and a Children’s Zoo, where kids can interact with farm animals.

2. Historic Downtown Watertown

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watertown_Commercial_Historic_District_(Watertown,_South_Dakota)

Take a stroll through the historic downtown area, lined with charming brick buildings, unique boutiques, and local eateries. Visit the Goss Opera House, an architectural gem that hosts various cultural events and live performances. Don’t miss the Redlin Art Center, showcasing the beautiful wildlife paintings of local artist Terry Redlin.

3. Codington County Heritage Museum


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codington_County_Heritage_Museum

Delve into the history of Watertown and the surrounding area at the Codington County Heritage Museum. This museum displays exhibits on Native American culture, early settlers, agricultural heritage, and military history. It offers an insightful glimpse into the region’s past.

4. Lake Kampeska

Sailboat on Lake Kampeska.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Kampeska

Enjoy outdoor activities at Lake Kampeska, located just north of Watertown. The lake provides opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking. There are several public access points and a campground, making it a great spot for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

5. Terry Redlin Environmental Center

Terry Redlin Environmental Center

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Nature enthusiasts should visit the Terry Redlin Environmental Center, located near Lake Kampeska. This 30-acre nature preserve features walking trails, wildlife observation areas, and educational exhibits. It’s a peaceful place to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

6. Mellette House


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mellette_House

Step back in time by visiting the Mellette House, the former residence of South Dakota’s first governor, Arthur C. Mellette. This Victorian-era home has been meticulously restored and offers guided tours that provide insights into the lives of early pioneers.

7. Thunder Road Family Fun Park

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For a dose of family-friendly fun, head to Thunder Road Family Fun Park. This amusement park features go-karts, mini-golf, bumper boats, batting cages, and an arcade. It’s an ideal place to spend a fun-filled day with children of all ages.

8. Redlin Art Center


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlin_Art_Center

The Redlin Art Center is a prominent cultural attraction located in Watertown, South Dakota. It serves as a tribute to the artwork and legacy of renowned American artist Terry Redlin. Terry Redlin was a highly acclaimed artist known for his detailed and nostalgic paintings of rural America, wildlife, and nature. His artworks capture the beauty of the countryside and evoke a sense of tranquility and warmth.

9. Watertown Veterans Memorial

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The Watertown Veterans Memorial is a significant tribute to honor and remember the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The Watertown Veterans Memorial serves as a place of remembrance, gratitude, and reflection for the sacrifices made by military veterans. It stands as a symbol of community support for those who have served and provides a space for both veterans and civilians to pay their respects.

10. Goss Opera House

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The Goss Opera House is a historic landmark and cultural center located in downtown Watertown, South Dakota. The Goss Opera House was originally built in 1889 by Albert and Eliza Goss. It served as a hub for cultural and social events during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hosting theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, and community gatherings. The opera house played a vital role in the cultural development of Watertown.

These are just a few of the best places to visit and things to do in Watertown, South Dakota. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, historical sites, or family entertainment, Watertown offers a memorable experience for all who visit.