r Amidst the rollercoaster weather of winter-turned-springtime in Utah, spring will eventually break — or at the very least, there will be spring break. During the week of April 1-5, the local public schools will be out, making time for kids, parents and teachers from southern Utah County to spend much-needed time away from the rigors of daily school life.
And while you may already have your week off planned, if you are still deciding what to do with your time, may we suggest a staycation. Southern Utah County is home to many great attractions that can keep you busy, entertained and even educated all week long. Here are five destinations we suggest:r
- Fifth Water Hot Springs
rIf you’re still not ready to decide if you want winter to stay or spring to come, Fifth Water Hot Springs up Diamond Fork Canyon has just what you’re looking for: a little of both. With snow slow to melt in the higher altitudes, you will no doubt still get a taste of the white stuff. And with the many hot springs to soak in, you will also feel the warmth.
Keep in mind, that you will need to hike a total of 4.5 miles out and back to enjoy these natural wonders. Also, if you’re bringing children with you, you may want a to send a parent ahead to make sure that you warn potential adult bathers of children coming, as there have been several reports of individuals bathing without bathing suits. r
- Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant
rStart your break off right with a meal at Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant in Santaquin — that is, if you want to eat in a place that is said to be haunted. That’s right, this restaurant was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” as one of its many haunted destinations.
Whether you’re there for a scary meal, or feel like supporting a family-run business, you will definitely be impressed with the wide range of family pictures hung throughout the place that may or may not give you a heebie jeebie vibe. Even so, you’ll for sure want to try the restaurant’s larger-than-life, freshly made scones and honey butter. They are to die for — no pun intended.r
- Visit a local museum … or three
rIf you’re interested in history and unique art, but would rather not worry about those things coming to haunt you while you’re there, you may want to visit one of our area’s local museums.
Payson has the Peteetneet Museum, and Santaquin has the Chieftain Museum, both of which are run by local volunteers. Throughout these museums, that used to be old school houses dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, you will be able to learn more about the areas and locals who have made, and continue to make, this area great.
Then, there’s the Springville Museum of Art that was actually Utah’s first museum for the visual fine arts, opening in 1903. It houses over 2,500 unique pieces, with artwork displayed throughout its 29 galleries. r
- Little Sahara
Located about 26 miles southwest of Payson in the town of Eureka, are the Little Sahara sand dunes. These dunes span 60,000 acres, and are the result of deposits left by the Sevier River, that once flowed into ancient Lake Bonneville 15,000 years ago.
If you have dune buggies, you can take them for a ride. If not, there’s nothing quite like running around in the sand, or surfing — yes surfing on these awesome mountains of dirt. If you want to stay the night, there are also camping options available.r
- Spring Lake
Whether you want to visit simply to bird watch while on a walk around the lake, go fishing, or spend time relaxing on a canoe or paddle board ride, Spring Lake is a great little place to do any of those things.
The six-acre lake is open to the public from sunrise to sunset. While there, you will see a variety of ducks, geese, seagulls and a few other varieties of domesticated ducks. If you do plan to fish, there are rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and green sunfish and common carp. You are allowed to bag up to two fish per day, and while not mandatory, the Division of Wildlife Services asks that if you catch any bass, that you release them back to the lake.
And if you do release, the DWR says to fish with flies or lures to reduce injury and mortality to the fish. Hooks can also be left in the water, causing injury to birds and fowl who call this beautiful, local lake home all year round.