A collection of lake-country art, a painting on a grain elevator, giant pheasants, a zoo and family fun parks — these and other adventures await Highway 212 travelers. Watertown was home to Arthur Mellette, the state’s first governor. Tours of his house and the Codington County Heritage Museum are a window to the 19th century. Terry Redlin, also a Watertown native, was named America’s Most Popular Artist from 1991 to 1998; today more than 160 of his large originals can be seen (no admission fee) at Redlin Art Center. Across town, Bramble Park Zoo is home to over 800 animals on 15 pretty acres. Families will also love Thunder Road Family Fun Park with mini-golf, go-karts, Euro bungy and an arcade.
Feeling lucky? Head to the Dakota Sioux Casino. Twelve miles west of Watertown on Hwy 212, watch for a giant concrete pheasant at a rural intersection known as Tinkertown. Further west, Redfield has the distinction of being the “Pheasant Capital of the World” and there you’ll find a big fiberglass rooster. See the “Across the Generations” mural by Robbie Jelsma, depicting a pheasant hunting tradition that spans generations. Fisher Grove State Park (eight miles east of Redfield), named for the first permanent settler in Spink County, is a good place to hike or golf.
Faulkton is the final stop on your Glacial Lakes backroads tour. Faulkton is a farm & ranch community small in population but large in ideas. Faulkton is known as “Carousel City” after the owner, Bob Ketterling, purchased the carousel and began offering free rides. The carousel, with 19 original horses and two chariot seats, operates three days a week in summer. The little city also has the Casino Bowling Alley, Lyric Theatre, city swimming pool and historic, pink Pickler Mansion. In 2018 Faulkton commissioned the creation of two large-scale murals on the Faulkton grain elevator that are a “must see.”