As part of our Utah Travel Series, “50 Reasons to Visit Utah in the Summertime,” here are some fun ideas for the Utah County Area:
The Quarry Indoor Climbing Center: We love this place because it is fun for adults AND kids. I remember going on one of my first dates here in high school, and many more in college, and a few more with my husband, and most recently he took our 3-year old daughter. I didn’t think she was quite old enough, but she love it! It has 13,000 feet of wall space for climbing and has a clean and friendly atmosphere. They have a kid’s area that’s even great for toddlers just starting to climb on things. For the adult climbs, they switch up the routes and problems weekly so you always have a new challenge to conquer. If it’s your first time, I would avoid Friday nights as it tends to get crowded with the “dating” crowd.
Living Planet Aquarium Located in Draper, this place was recently remodeled and is huge! They have everything from fish and penguins to alligators and otters! If you haven’t been before, this is a fun visit!
Thanksgiving Point This place is HUGE and always as so many activities going on, as well as their kid’s museums, beautiful gardens, and movie theater.
Looking for free entertainment on a hot day? Utah has TONS of public splash pads for the kids. Check them out here: Utah Splash pads
No matter what your religion is, this is a top University with a lot of history and nice venues. Take the kids to the Bean museum and then stop by the creamery for some ice cream afterwards. Speaking of the creamery, they have the best kids meals. It’s the only place that I order a kid’s meal for myself! (comes with a nice hamburger, fries, drink AND ice cream).
Provo Beach Resort is a unique attraction for families, and is part of the Shops at Riverwoods, so there is shopping (and a movie theater) right there. You can rent beach cruisers, Surf on the indoor flowrider, play laser tag, go bowling, or try out the ropes course!
A beautiful drive up Sundance & Provo Canyon
Timp Cave (American Fork Canyon)
Various City Days, Rodeos and demolition derbies.
These occur all summer in Utah and are so fun!
I like to feature a few different restaurants in various price ranges for each area in Utah that I highlight. Here are my favorite for Utah County:
If you are not from the area, Kneaders is a Utah favorite bakery! They never offer coupons, because they don’t have to. People will always come because it’s so good! You can buy your breads and pastries like a typical bakery, but my favorite things to order are their sandwiches! The flavor combinations are always amazing. I used to be the type that would only ever order the Turkey, Bacon & Avacado on Focaccia bread because I was scared nothing else would taste as good. This summer I branched out and tried many more of their sandwiches and I loved them all. My current favorite is the Chicken Cheese and Ham. It is so wonderful and it has a honey mustard sauce that I crave! The roast beef ranch on Asiago is also wonderful. In the winter I love getting their hot sandwiches. The one with chicken and the one with artichoke are my fave. They also have good desserts (key lime tart anyone?) and people are crazy for the all-you-can-eat french toast. I personally prefer their breakfast creoisants for breakfast. Very yummy.
I’ve heard rumors of Cafe Rio starting to make its way to the east coast, but for now, most in that area of the U.S. have not tasted of the goodness of cafe rio. If this is you, this needs to change. Our friends back east dream of Cafe Rio. If it’s your first time, I would recommend a salad. I PROMISE it is not what you would imagine when hearing the word “salad.” It is packed with meat and rice and beans and all sorts of goodness. Still not convinced? Try a smothered sweet pork burrito.
The only fine dining I am aware of in the Orem-Provo area, and it is awesome! See my full review of it here: Chef’s Table
Orem/Provo area doesn’t seem to have much in the way of unique lodging for families, we usually stay at a Marriott. However, if you are coming to Utah as a couple, 5th East Hall in American Fork is very cool. Otherwise, we like to stay at a Townesplace Suites so that we can make our own food with the Kitchenette. We stayed at the one in Orem which is right off the freeway, which is nice for getting around. The staff was friendly and the price was what we were looking for.
5th East Hall It is a quaint little bed and breakfast with themed rooms designed around different exotic destinations. We checked out the Cancun suite and loved it! The Maui Suite is awesome as well I hear. We’ve stayed at other bed and breakfasts, and this one just felt newer, cleaner, and of higher quality in both construction and decor. The breakfast was European style with fruits and cheeses and breads and pastries- it was all delicious! It is very reasonable priced and offers specials online to make it even more affordable. It is the perfect little getaway spot for you and your sweetheart!