Every Friday in 2013, the Let’s Fly Away Across the USA series features a different state, documenting the things we love about each sate and what you should do or see when you visit.
For Utah, Elisabeth says
I’m Elisabeth, and I blog at Bella. I just finished school in Utah and moved to Cincinnati this summer with my husband. We met and fell in love in Utah and spent the first two years of our married life there! After 4 years of living next to those gorgeous mountains, they’ll always hold a piece of my heart.
Other than the amazing people in Utah, I love the outdoors. Within a few short hours you can find some of the most amazing skiing and rock climbing, fabulous boating, wonderful hiking and biking, and flat desserts. There is a such a variety and the landscape difference between northern and southern Utah is so great, you’d think were in different countries. My husband and I love rock climbing and biking together so Utah was a perfect place for us to start off.
1. Salt Lake City. Visit Temple Square — be sure to hit up Mini’s for delicious cupcakes or City Creek for a scenic shopping experience afterwards.
2. Arches National Park. No explanation needed if you see the photo above!
3. Alpine Scenic Loop. It’s one of top five scenic drives in the country (and nestled in my mountains right behind my aunt’s home). There is a lake up there perfect for summer outings and in fall the brilliant yellows against the deep evergreen is stunning.
For bonus points
Random Fact: Utah was originally settled by the mormons who tried to establish the State of Deseret (much larger than current Utah and named after the honeybee). Eventually, congress settled on “Utah,” an Apache word for higher up.
For Idaho, Annelise says
I’m Annelise Rowe, and I blog at Aunie Sauce. I live in Meridian, Idaho, a suburb of Boise. I moved to Idaho in 2002, the sixth state I’ve lived in. We moved often for my dad’s job (he’s in the lumber industry), and Idaho was our final stop. I look forward to someday raising a family in this growing little-city.
We have four full seasons. We have mountains, desert, lakes, rivers, and the best hiking around. We have the best climate for the outdoorsman, boasting great places to camp, fish, hunt, explore, photograph, boat, run, and travel. Our state also holds claim to the only blue football field in the world, Boise State’s blue turf! I may be a little biased (I’m a BSU alumni & former cheerleader), but it certainly is unique!
1. Float the Boise River. It’s a 2-hour experience that’s like traveling the lazy river at a waterpark. Slap on the sunscreen, bring some beverages, your favorite tube or raft (or even an inflatable animal—I rode the river on a whale this summer!) and enjoy every minute.
2. Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho. There’s nothing like a summer spent on Payette Lake. McCall is a very small town with great hole-in-the-wall eateries, recreation parks, and a lovely little lake that is cool in the summer and freezes over in the winter. It’s a sight to be seen.
3. A show up at Starlight Mountain Theatre. It’s an outdoor amphitheater in Crouch, Idaho that puts on small-scale Broadway musicals. The theatre overlooks a creek and rolling hills, and it’s not unusual to see deer passing through the fields behind the stage. The actors are always high school and college age, and there are always some good laughs to be had. If you catch a show on the weekends, you can also eat a full catered dinner for a small fee. A full tummy and great acting will bring music to your ears up in the mountains of Idaho.
For bonus points
The best thing about Idaho is that you can be in a big(ger) city like Boise, and within 5-minutes you can be hiking in the wilderness without another person in sight. It’s a state where you can enjoy the cities if you want to, but escape to be surrounded by nature at a moment’s notice. Also, we have beautiful, bright sunsets! Idaho is a truly amazing state.