I know I’ve only been in Boise for under two months, but I am always restless and needed an adventure! Utah was the perfect destination for a little weekend road trip. We booked an inexpensive hotel for $70/night in downtown Salt Lake City and started the 4.5-5 hour trip from Boise after work Friday! Here’s what we did:

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese

Before our reservation at Homestead Crater on Saturday, we had about 20-25 minutes of time to kill. Alas, ice cream at a cute little mountainside dairy farm, it is. While we were there, a baby farm animal festival was going on for kids and it was precious. I got the Aggie Blue Mint ice cream, but the shop sold cheese, raw milk, honeys, jams, olive oils & more!

Location: 920 River Road, Midway, Utah https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/

Homestead Crater

Inside the Homestead Resort lies one of the most unique things of the area: a geothermal spring, in a 55-foot tall, 10,000 year old beehive-shaped limestone rock. A pool inside a crater you can swim in…

The Crater also offers scuba diving, yoga on paddle boards & so much more. Reservations are required and it was $16 per person to swim for an hour on weekends.

Location: 700 North Homestead Drive. Midway, UT 84049

Reservations: 435-657-3840 or thehomesteadcrater@gmail.com

Diamond Fork Hot Springs

The drive from Midway to Diamond Fork was beautiful and this event was unexpectedly so, so beautiful.

We heard a few mixed reviews about how far this is from SLC & how long the hike is. The drive is about 80 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and the hike to the springs is an easy 2.5 mile hike, which takes almost exactly an hour depending on how quick you do it.

Here are some beautiful views of the hike:

The hot springs pools were a little crowded, but there are a few options! They are both scorching hot & freezing cold, so move around until you find a good spot. Totally worth the hike, because it was gorgeous itself!

Temple Square

So, if you don’t know, the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is located in Salt Lake City. The last census showed that over 62% of Utah is Mormon! Although non-Mormons are not allowed actually inside the temple, there is a large, beautiful square with a visitor’s center and gorgeous landscape. Definitely worth the Sunday stroll.

Eat & Drink in Salt Lake City

Eva’s Bakery

An adorable cafe with yummy macarons! This place will be amazing when the summer comes & you can sit outside with friends as well.

Location: 155 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

Red Iguana

The line was long…there are literally 18,000 check-ins on facebook, it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives…and it was all 100% worth it! Although the line was super long & they don’t take reservations, the service is super quick once inside! Go!

Location: 736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116

Lake Effect

Live music and an extensive craft cocktail list! One of my favorite places for a drink in Salt Lake City. There is a cover and the drinks are pricey so maybe stop in for one or a special occasion.

The huge bar wall is stocked with tons of different alcohols and the bar tenders have to use a ladder to get to the top! I wish I got a picture.

Location: 155 W 200 S Salt Lake City, UT, 84101

Red Rock Brewery

I feel as though in the US, a quintessential way to experience the vibe of a place is to head to get some locally brewed beer. The fun thing about Utah are their intense alcohol laws due to the high population of Utah residents that are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also known as Mormons. Mormons do not drink alcohol, which has created an interesting culture for the state. The following are some random laws and facts that create this unique Utah drinking lifestyle: 

  • anything above 4% is considered liquor and requires a different license
  • if a restaurant has a “liquor” license for their 5% beer…you won’t be served until you’ve ordered food… This is what happened to me, SO i had to purchase a bowl of pretzels (which was literally printed on the menu under “sides”) in order to be served a beer…at a brewery…
  • no more than 1.5oz of alcohol can be in any drink, no exceptions, including “Long Island Iced Teas,” which usually has 3oz of alcohol when made traditionally.
  • No happy hours because they “promote overconsumption.”
  • The state markup for liquor is 88 percent more expensive than alcohol from other states and its illegal to bring alcohol across state lines.
  • not a law, but over TWENTY out of the 29 counties in Utah have less than 5 bars, with five of those having zero in the entire county

Location: 254 South 200 West. Salt Lake City, UT 84101

And that’s a wrap!

Overall, it was a great two days in Utah without heading down to the famous Zion arches. A beautiful state with incredible nature & weird alcohol laws.

Thanks for reading!