Be aware at the car insurance. The insurance provided by several rent a car Cies with a 4WD applies after the personal insurance which is a current practice in USA but not in Europe. It is a serious trap because :
- the parks are not so uninhabited they seem,
- the Rent a Car Cies don't give information,
- a liable accident in USA can cost more than a luxurius holiday.
Just watch out for all the tourist shops. I mean, I admit, I'll go in and pick up a postcard and shot glass, and maybe something else, but ugh... there's still a lot of junk in these places. The worst I saw in Utah was in Bryce. Moab has its share, but generally the shops were nicer here, like art galleries and such.
This olympic track is designed for speed skating, but the public sessions allow you to wear figure skates or hockey skates too. The track is so large, there is a hockey rink in the middle of it, and room for another! Public sessions cost $4 and skate rentals are $2. Olympic souveniers are available on site at the pro shop.
UTAH is a state where it almost doesnt need to designate parkland as the entire state seems like one big national park. This shot was taken simply when we stopped at a rest area on the interstate highway.
Saltaire at the South Shore of the Great Salt Lake is disappointing. If you want to go to the Great Salt Lake, take the Antelope Island Causeway to Antelope Island. It's a much more plesant experience, and there are buffalo and bird watching opportunities on the island. It's a great place to take your mountain bike.
However much Heber City has grown in the last few ten years, I have since moved away and moved back; my used to be little town was mostly for farmers. Now, because of the Olympic arrival in 2002, people felt it productive to spend spend spend and build many little useless shops on main street.
Unique Suggestions: Because I now live here, close to my family, so that I can help my aging mother and father (I am in no way a farmer, but a city girl myself), I find the surrounding mountains (CASCADE SPRINGS) to be my source of artistic inspiration and I hike with my 3 yr old everyday in the summer. I even taught my daughter how to swim at the Homestead Resort, indoor and outdoor pools. My husband has decided to learn to SCUBADIVE at the Homestead Crater, which is extremely tall and has a many caverns under the naturally heated volcanic water inside the crater which is accessable at ground level. You can litterally walk right into the wonderous earth formed mini volcano and scubadive for a reasonable price. Let me say two things about this: my family and I are in our mid twenties, and we make under $20,000 a year. So, it is reasonable to say that we deffinately choose to do things as a family that cost very little. HEBER city is not a tourist trap to say the least. If you love the ourdoors, love to fish, love to hike, bike, boat, canoe, kiyak (which my little family of three does also on the surrounding lakes), if you love to see the fall colors up close an personal, if fresh air is and not polution (PROVO) is what you desire, if you ski, snowboard, swim, and yes, enjoy a good live country band, then come to Heber. Otherwise, do your homework before you tell me that Heber City has nothing to offer. I guess to the person that just wants to shop will see nothing in our beautiful mountainous valley, but it's here: all you have to do is look beyond the city and you will find it.
Fun Alternatives: Bring a few bikes, rent some, whatever you need to do, and tour the whole back lot of the city on peddals. Go up to cascade springs and ride down the opposite side of the mountain into Sundance. There you will find a ski lift that takes bikes and people up the mountain, and you can ride down. Not scary at all: there are enough smaller, less steep angles to ride down, I took my daughter there. No problems, not even any "iffy" spots. If you're active and in shape and love the outdoors, come to my town! I will show you where the best places for day hiking and day camping are. I happen to live 20 ft away from, apparently, "world class fishing", however my daughter catches a lot of carp. She's three may I remind you! Have a wonderful vacation, where ever you may be, and always look beyond the money pits. Nature is free, so enjoy it while it's still there.
Most gift shops are traps. Try Rock Shops instead. We bought a magnificent stone carving (Indian pueblo) at a Rock Shop on Rt 9 in La Verkin (Utah). In most gift shops we saw a price tag of $150. At the rock shop we got it for $35.
Try to dress like a local, even when they tell you it's okay to wear 'what you normally wear', can you spot the out of towner?
I really did not encounter anything I would call a tourist trap. The city has graciously opened up the Utah Olympic Oval (ice rink) to the public for skating. What a thrill to skate on Olympic Ice!
Watch out with alcohol in this state. Utah and alcohol are opposite to eachother. The laws on use of alcoholic drinks are very strict!
They are not as liberal as Europe is about alcohol.
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