Visit Watertown, New York


The city of Watertown is the burgeoning urban center of Northern New York, with the modern conveniences of national chain stores, restaurants and hotels co-existing with a healthy community of independent shopping, dining and recreational services that provide local flair and a friendly atmosphere.

One of Watertown’s true treasures – the Black River – is just steps from the shops and restaurants of downtown Public Square. Seven miles of whitewater featuring 14 sets of class III and IV rapids offer thrilling and reliable adventures from spring through fall. The Black has several great play spots for kayakers and has hosted national competitions. It’s not unusual to find top-ranked world freestyle kayak competitor Eric Jackson downtown practicing his moves on the water.

Every year, thousands of visitors enjoy guided whitewater rafting trips with several professional outfitters leaving from downtown Watertown. Easily accessible trails offer visitors the chance to bike, hike or fish along the Black’s shoreline.

The City’s beautiful Olmsted-designed Thompson Park overlooks downtown, the Black River Valley and eastern Lake Ontario. Nestled in the park, you’ll find the New York State Zoo. This vibrant, interactive and FUN attraction is the world’s only Zoo specializing in the animals of New York State. Get nose-to-nose with a black bear, discover the humorous antics of wolverines, climb into a life-size eagle’s nest or crawl into a real bat cave – as bats fly over your head!

Winter in and around Watertown brings tubing, snowboarding and downhill skiing to Dry Hill, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing to Thompson Park, and snowmobiling across the nearby Tug Hill Plateau – which gets nearly 300 inches of snowfall annually!

Consider Watertown the front step to the great outdoors. Conveniently close are some of the best – and most popular – outdoor recreation destinations in the world. The Great Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and Tug Hill Plateau are less than a half hour away. A couple hours down the road, you can be in the high peaks of the Adirondack Park. Even better, you don’t have to leave the city limits to find some of the best outdoor experiences in New York.