By the numbers, Utah is an excellent place for us to visit. We're always about getting out and about, and Utah certainly is an outdoorsman's paradise. The state has two National Recreation Areas — Glen Canyon and Flaming Gorge. There are seven national monuments — Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Hovenweep, Natural Bridges, Rainbow Bridge and Timpanogos Cave. And, there are five beautiful national parks — Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. These places alone are more than enough to fill up a weekend. That's not even mentioning the Great Salt Lake!
Of course, we’ll be visiting those spots, but we also want to visit Snelgrove's Ice Cream Parlor. It’s been closed for over a decade, so we won’t be going in, but we want to look at the beautiful Art Deco storefront and take a picture with the giant double scoop ice cream cone. Then we’ll be sure to visit the Real “Up” House. It’s a replica of the house from the PIXAR film. It’s a private residence, so we’ll take a snap and then head to the park across the road for a picnic.
While out and about in Utah, we cannot miss visiting Pando, the Trembling Giant. You might see the plant and think it’s a forest. But, it’s actually one plant. The “trees” are offshoots from one root system. It’s believed to be the oldest and largest living root system in the world! From those roots, we’ll travel to see the Roots of Knowledge at Utah Valley Univ. It’s a 200-foot-long, 10-foot-tall “panorama of history and human drama.” This stained-glass art installation 80 windowpanes and more than 60,000 pieces of glass. It tells the story of human life from cave dwellers to the iPhone.
Utah is known for being a treasure trove for paleontologists. With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that the Museum of Ancient Life at the Thanksgiving Point Institute has the largest display of mounted dinosaurs in the world. The museum has an active paleontology lab where people are digging up dinos right now, and you can watch! The Thanksgiving Point Institute also has a butterfly biosphere where you can walk with butterflies, a working farm with a petting zoo and so much more along with events throughout the year! If we aren’t dino-fatigued by then, we’ll go over to U-Dig Fossils to find our own trilobite fossils in a quarry. They’ll make a great souvenir, and kids are sure to love the spot.
For our final stop before we leave the state, we want to pay a visit to Butch Cassidy’s childhood home. Visitors can go inside, see wanted posters, read news articles from the time and see farming equipment that would have been used on the land at that time. People love it for the history and the views the location offers. Additionally, people like its clean bathrooms, which is great, because we will be hitting the road again after our stop!