Marine News from the Great Lakes

Watertown, New York

Published: Thursday, July 20, 2017

Its name would imply that Watertown is the kind of place you can drift into and dock up for the night. In reality, not exactly — but this historic city with modern amenities is worth checking out when you’re along the shore of eastern Lake Ontario.

Located about a dozen miles from ports such as Chaumont, Henderson Harbor, and Sackets Harbor, Watertown is a small city of just under 30,000 that stands out among the rural northern New York state landscape because of its contemporary hotel chains, restaurants, and entertainment. Watertown is about the only place around this end of the Lakes that you’re going to be able to rack up loyalty points, order from familiar menus, and catch a touring act.

More than 100 years ago, Watertown was an industrial hub thanks to power generated from the Black River that runs through the city core. Titans of industry and innovation from Watertown left their marks on New York and the United States, leaving behind some pretty intriguing finds for history buffs. The city’s Thomson Park, for example, was designed by Frederick Olmstead, who created New York City’s famed Central Park. The park includes a golf course — one of four in the city — as well as a zoo dedicated to New York’s animals — in case you have little ones in tow.

The Black River runs all the way to Lake Ontario but those old power dams make passage impossible. Whitewater rafters have a blast though and a handful of outfitters are ready to cater a trip across Class III-IV waves if you’re the adventurous type.

Watertown experienced a construction boon over the past two decades thanks to the expansion of the nearby Fort Drum Army base. That led to chain hotels — your Hiltons, Fairfields and Ramadas — all going up in the past 10 years. Add in modern chain restaurants like Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden, and Panera and you

See how Watertown sets itself apart from the rest of northern New York.

Want to catch a show? Headliners in Watertown this season include rock band Daughtry, country star Chris Young, and comedian Jeff Foxworthy.

Highlights on the festival circuit include:

•Black River Brew & Music Fest, July 8
•Watertown Bacon Festival, July 22
•Brew at the Zoo, July 29
•Annual Faery & Earth Festival, Aug. 19

With all the money you’re saving on points and loyalty programs, you’ll figure out the answer to “How do I get from the dock to Watertown?” Plus, New York finally greenlit ride sharing in June, meaning you’ve got Uber and Lyft added to the choices that include local cabs and vehicle rentals.

So, go ahead, let someone else pilot for once and get you to Watertown, a small city deep in history and wide on offerings just a little way from the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Click on today!


tags: Destination

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