Watertown, SD

The Redlin Art Center in Watertown, S.D. (South Dakota Tourism photo)

Quick City Facts

County: Codington
Population (2019): 22,174
Population (2010): 21,482

Data provided by US Census Bureau (2019)

Welcome to Watertown

The state’s fourth largest city and the county seat of Codington County, Watertown is nestled in Northeastern South Dakota along the Big Sioux River. Considered a highly livable, family-friendly location, the city is heralded for its safe, quiet environment and low crime rate. Watertown’s uptown district serves as the hub of the city, boasting a thriving business district with dozens of nationally registered historic landmarks. Historic home tours allow visitors to explore some of the city’s oldest structures for insights into the area’s early ways of life. Uptown Watertown is home to numerous shopping and dining establishments, centered by the Watertown Mall. The Mellette House, the preserved historic home of South Dakota’s first governor, is open to the public for guided tours of the family’s heirlooms.

Recreation

Like most South Dakotan cities, Watertown offers plentiful opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hunters, fishers, campers, and swimmers take advantage of the city’s copious forests, rolling grassland, scenic Lake Kampeska and Lake Pelican, and well-maintained campgrounds. Ample biking and walking trails cater to the nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts. Open year-round, the Bramble Park Zoo is home to more than 500 animals from around the world.

Arts & Culture

Watertown is home to the Terry Redlin Art Center, a Mecca for the famous wildlife artist’s most popular pieces. Two annual events, the Watertown Art Festival and the Art Walk, give local artists the opportunity to showcase their creations, while the North Country Fiber Fair offers homemade crafts and live demonstrations by local spinners and weavers. The city also offers an abundance of other cultural attractions, such as the Codington County Heritage Museum, which showcases hundreds of local artifacts, and the Kampeska Heritage Museum. For theatergoers, the Town Players perform a series of dramatic productions throughout the year. Outdoor concerts and choral events fill the city with inspiring song.

Goss Opera House – Watertown

The restored Goss Opera House and Gallery has hosted a wide variety of art and entertainment “ from Second City comedy tour to the South Dakota Chamber Orchestra, from nationally acclaimed musicians to the Dinosaur Adventure exhibit currently on display.

Popular Attractions

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Glacial Lakes & Prairies Tourism Association

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Great Faces. Great Places.

South Dakota is an incredibly unique state in that each region offers a completely different experience then the others. Check out each of the regions to see what each has to offer!

Badlands

Western South Dakota

Featuring the Black Hills, Badlands, the Sturgis Rally. This region tends to be the most popular.

CENTRAL REGION

This region of South Dakota offers some of the best hunting and fishing in the entire central US. 

Eastern Region

The eastern region is home to the largest city in the state and provides visitors with a true "prairie" experience.