Watertown, New York is full of a wide variety of things to do that will keep visitors busy for a day trip or a weekend. The town offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and to learn more about the history of the region. There are several places for entertainment, recreation centers, historic sites, rivers, parks, and more for a fun-filled and memorable visit to Watertown, such as viewing a variety of animals at the New York State Zoo or sampling the freshest apple cider and cider donuts around. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Burrville Cider Mill, Watertown, NY
© Burrville Cider Mill
The Burrville Cider Mill in Watertown, New York is one of the oldest establishments in Jefferson County, built back in the year 1801. Guests are greeted with the smell of some of the best apple cider in the North Country, as well as freshly made cider donuts. At the Burrville Cider Mill, visitors watch as the delicious, crisp New York apples are made into apple cider or snack on cider and donuts as they take in the beautiful view of the 30-foot waterfall. The Burrville Cider Mill is open to visitors from Labor Day weekend through the day before Thanksgiving.
18176 County Rd 156, Watertown, NY 13601, Phone: 315-788-7292
2.New York State Zoo at Thompson Park, Watertown, NY
The New York State Zoo encompasses thirty-two acres of Watertown’s Thompson Park and is the world’s only zoo dedicated to the wild animals of the state of New York, as well as wild places with animals that were at one time native to the state. Visitors can get up close to black bears, climb an authentic Adirondack fire tire, view the rare wolverines and their playful antics, and much more. Along with the ecosystems in the New York State Zoo built around these native New York State animals, the grounds also include a Butterfly House and the Olmsted Pond surrounded by wildflowers.
1 Thompson Park, Watertown, NY 13601, Phone: 315-782-6180
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3.Public Square, Watertown, New York
The Public Square in the town of Watertown, New York is an open area located in the center of the town, designated on the National Register of Historic Places as the Public Square Historic District. The square is where the town began, stretching outward from the site, with many of the establishments and buildings surrounding the Public Square dating back more than one hundred years. There is also a historic, well-maintained small park featuring a number of historic statues, offering a great place to relax for a while, and is a particularly beautiful spot during the holidays.
1200 Franklin St, Watertown, NY 13601, Phone: 315-785-7775
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4.Things to Do in Watertown, New York: Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Monument
The Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Monument is located within the Public Square in Watertown and was built back in 1891 to honor the residents of North Country who fought during the Civil War. This historic monument stands at fifty feet in height and was constructed out of granite. On top of the column is an “allegorical figure of Victory.” The monument also features commemorative bronze plaques along the west and east elevations and a bronze sailor and soldier on the south and north sides. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Monument was repaired, stabilized, and cleaned in 2012.
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5.Things to Do in Watertown, New York: Honor the Mountain Monument
© North Country Honors the Mountain
The Honor the Mountain Monument is a centerpiece of the beautiful and historic Thompson Park, constructed in Tower Square. The monument was designed, built, and then unveiled on July 1st of 2016 to serve as a lasting statement by the community of North Country of connection and gratitude towards the service and sacrifice of the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, as well as their family members, along with the Fort Drum Civilian Workforce. Since it was reactivated in 1985 at Fort Drum, the Tenth Mountain Division has been the United States Army’s most deployed unit.
34 Thompson Park, Watertown, NY 13601
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6.The Crystal Restaurant, Watertown, New York
© The Crystal Restaurant
The Crystal Restaurant is the oldest restaurant in Watertown, New York, opened back in 1925. The locally owned and operated dining establishment replaced the early saloons that once occupied the town’s Public Square during the turn of the 19th century. Originally owned by Jerry and Dennis Valanos, the Dephtereos family bought the restaurant in 1943, continuing the belief of offering good meals at fair prices to everyone. Today, The Crystal Restaurant is still a thriving part of the old Watertown, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 7:00am until 9:00pm and Sundays from 7:00am until 2:00pm.
87 Public Square, Watertown, NY 13601, Phone: 315-782-9938
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7.Art's Jug Restaurant, Watertown, New York
© Art's Jug Restaurant
Art's Jug Restaurant in Watertown, New York is another one of the Sboro family’s restaurants and has been a part of the local community since 1933. Four generations of this restaurant family have carried on the same business principles and traditions that have helped Art’s Jug become a popular destination for dining in northern New York. The restaurant’s menu has expanded over the years, specializing in Italian cuisine and including pizza, prime rib, veal, chicken, seafood, and steaks. Art's Jug Restaurant is open Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday 3:00pm until 8:30pm and Wednesday to Friday 11:00am until 8:30pm.
820 Huntington St, Watertown, NY 13601, Phone: 315-782-9764
8.Maggie's, Watertown, New York
Located within a brick three-story building that once contained the Watertown Thermometer Company, Maggie’s on the River features all of the warehouse charm of the building’s exposed beams and original brick walls, but has been restored to provide an excellent setting for a memorable dining experience. Maggie’s overlooks the Black River, a popular destination for kayaking for testing skills with the “Hole Brothers” rapids, located just right outside near the restaurant’s deck. The restaurant is known for serving some of the best burgers in town, however, the menu also includes an array of appetizers, soups, gourmet salads, and steaks.
500 Newell St, Watertown, NY 13601, Phone: 315-405-4239
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9.Jean's Beans, Watertown, New York
© Jean's Beans
Jean’s Bean in the Upstate town of Watertown, New York was established back in 1953, owned and operated by the Fuller-Bowman family since it originally opened. Originally operating in multiple locations, the remaining Jean’s Beans is famous for its freshly made salads, fish fry, baked beans, doughnuts, and rolls. Each item on the menu is made fresh every day on the premises without any preservatives. The restaurant’s origins come from a French chef by the name of Jean who peddled his soon famous baked beans during the early part of the twentieth century along the streets of Syracuse, New York.
259 Eastern Blvd, Watertown, NY 13601, Phone: 315-788-7460
10 Best Things to Do in Watertown, New York
- Burrville Cider Mill, Watertown, NY, Photo: Burrville Cider Mill
- New York State Zoo at Thompson Park, Watertown, NY, Photo: EBFoto/stock.adobe.com
- Public Square, Watertown, New York, Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com
- Things to Do in Watertown, New York: Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Monument, Photo: bravissimos/stock.adobe.com
- Things to Do in Watertown, New York: Honor the Mountain Monument, Photo: North Country Honors the Mountain
- The Crystal Restaurant, Watertown, New York, Photo: The Crystal Restaurant
- Art's Jug Restaurant, Watertown, New York, Photo: Art's Jug Restaurant
- Maggie's, Watertown, New York, Photo: Maggie's
- Jean's Beans, Watertown, New York, Photo: Jean's Beans
- Cover Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com
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