Watertown South Dakota

Watertown South Dakota, the state's fourth-largest city, proudly celebrates its role as a rising star. Especially since the Redlin Art Center opened, more travelers have been visiting this community located 100 miles north of Sioux Falls and 140 miles south of Fargo.

The most-visited of all of the Watertown attractions, the Redlin Art Center, celebrates the work and inspiration of landscape artist Terry Redlin. Over the past 25 years, Watertown's favorite son has become one of the most-collected artists of Americana and wildlife. One of the state's free attractions, the gallery features more than 150 examples of his work. It's also a popular place for shopping and special events. In the summer, crowds gather on the lawn to watch chart-topping artists in concert, and throughout the year, it's a favorite spot to watch for wildlife.

Visiting the Redlin Art Center is just one of the fun things to do in Watertown. The Bramble Park Zoo is home to animals from around the globe as well as some species native to South Dakota. Visitors can take a ride on the ride on the Plains Commerce Railroad, listen to zookeeper talks, and explore the children's play area at this welcoming zoo in Watertown South Dakota.

Historic Uptown offers an array of things to do in Watertown. This hip historic district features specialty shops and distinctive restaurants. Special events are staged through the year, including an arts walk, block parties, and a Fourth of July parade. Visitors also can step into the Codington County Heritage Museum here. One of the Watertown attractions devoted to regional history, the museum is located in the former Carnegie library. The stately building is filled with interesting exhibits and sets the stage for guided tours, educational events, and workshops.

A celebration of art and music, the Goss Opera House & Gallery is the most elegant resident of the Uptown District. Standing proudly in this prairie town since it opened in 1889, this building has space for exhibits, concerts, and shopping, and there is also a coffee shop and fine dining restaurant. A local theater troupe, the Town Players, brings a variety of interesting works to the stage throughout the year.

The Mellette House is another site that preserves and shares the history of Watertown South Dakota. Arthur Calvin Mellette, the state's first governor, lived in this elegant Italianate home, now preserved as example of Victorian splendor. When visitors step back in time and explore this home, the first things they are likely to notice are the circular staircase and stained-glass windows.

As with other cities in this scenic state, many Watertown attractions are found outdoors. Two major lakes just outside the city are favorites for fishing, hunting, and boating. Both Lake Kampeska and Lake Pelican are known for their abundant walleye, perch, large-mouth bass, and pan fish. Several parks offer hiking and biking trails, among other places to enjoy the scenery. In October, pheasant hunting is one of the most popular things to do in Watertown.

Watertown's strategic location is part of its draw. Located along Interstate 29, the often-traveled route between Canada and Texas, it's a good stopping point between the Mall of America just outside Minnesota's Twin Cities and Mount Rushmore. A number of Watertown hotels welcome travelers with open arms, whether they're just passing through or planning to stay for a few days. One of the state's tribal casinos, the Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel offers Las Vegas-style gaming, welcoming accommodations, and several dining options.

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