Cutler Reservoir, UT

Cutler Reservoir, UT

Sunset Canoe Trip

Cutler Reservoir is a reservoir located in Cache Valley, UT.  It is an impoundment on the Bear River built for irrigation, flood control, and water supply… but has become a haven to all kinds of birds in the marsh and a beautiful place for a day on canoes or kayaks.

Antelope Island State Park, UT

Antelope Island State Park, UT

If you want to see the Great Salt Lake, see it through Antelope Island.

Beautiful drive.  Beautiful hiking.  Great place to swim at Bridger Bay (parking next to Island Buffalo Grill).  We went in early June, right before the noseeums (biting gnats) by luck… so if you plan to go make sure you go then too!

Glendale Reservoir, Idaho

Glendale Reservoir, Idaho

We were lucky enough to stay at Susie’s family’s cabin at Glendale Reservoir in Idaho.  It was beautiful this time of year with green grassy fields and snow-capped mountains in the background.  We went shooting, canoeing, kayaking, four-wheeler riding, hiking, swimming, and more.

Mineral Hot Springs

We visited Riverdale Resort for a dip in the mineral hot springs.  View their website.  

Bear Lake

Bear Lake

Turquoise Lake

Bear Lake is a natural fresh-water lake on the Utah-Idaho boarder.  It is the second largest fresh-water lake in Utah, and is 48 miles around (if you were to ride a bicycle around the lake – which I’ve done twice!).  But one of the characteristics that stands out most about this lake is the deep blue color.  It is gorgeous… like water from the Bahamas.


Lake Access

There are a couple great lake access points.  One is Garden City Park (on the UT side).  There is a nice park here with a boardwalk that goes to a small-ish beach access point.  The park is nice for the kids with a playground, pavilions, good parking and bathrooms.  Beautiful scenery.

The second place would be North Beach (on the Idaho side) which I believe you pay a small fee to park.  The beach is more sandy and spread out, so there is more room there to find a spot away from the crowd, and the water is shallow and fun to play in.

Bear Lake West Golf Club

Just North of the Utah / Idaho boarder on the West side of the lake is Bear Lake West, a golf club community.  Our family has a cabin in this area, so we’ve always enjoyed the amenities of the community, but guests are welcome also to take advantage of the golf course, pool, hot tub, restaurant and of course the amazing view of Bear Lake.


Minnetonka Cave

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Minnetonka Cave is open for tours.  It is about an hour drive from Garden City.  Bring cash / check because they do not accept cards.  But the cave is worth a trip to walk through with a tour guide.  It has over 1000 stairs, but the trail inside is paved in most places and has hand rails… so as long as you can do stairs it is safe and fun for the entire family.

See more from our Minnetonka Cave trip

Get a Famous Raspberry Milk Shake

Garden City has some serious skills for raspberry milkshakes.  There are three main places you can pick up a milkshake when you visit Bear Lake.

  • LaBeau’s: 69 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028
  • Quick N Tasty: 28 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028
  • Home Town Drive In: 105 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028

Cafe Sabor

21 E 75 N, Garden City, UT 84028 .  Fantastic Mexican food.  We love Cafe Sabor.

Minnetonka Cave, ID

Minnetonka Cave, ID

Minnetonka Cave opens around Memorial Day through Labor Day and about a 50 minute drive from Garden City, UT (Bear Lake) makes for a great addition to a say at Bear Lake.  Bring cash or check to visit the cave, $8 for adults and $6 for kids 6-15 years old.  It is a 90 minute tour through the chambers on a trail of stone and steel stairs with guard rails.   The cave is 40 degrees year round, so bring a jacket.  You will see underground streams, all kinds of formations, bats, and in the bottom of the cave they will turn off the lights for you to experience total darkness for a minute.  We arrived in early June and found snow on the mountain which gave the kids a thrill.

Amelia Island, FL

Amelia Island, FL

Amelia Island is a beautiful part of the Sea Islands chain off the Florida Atlantic coast.  Between the cute, historic downtown Fernandina, Fernandina Beach, and Fort Clinch (historic military fort), it makes for a great family trip.

Fernandina Beach

Towards the end of April the Sea Turtles hatch.  We didn’t see any, but they caution beach goers to watch out for the turtles.  There is easy beach access at the point on the map.  Nice little beach town.

Downtown Fernandina Beach

There is a really cute, historic downtown in Fernandina filled with restaurants, boutiques, cafes and overlook on the water.

Restaurant Recommendations:

Fort Clinch State Park

On the North point of Amelia Island, Fort Clinch ists along the Amelia River and was used in the 19th century as a military base.  The kids loved exploring the fort and imagining being a soldier 100 years ago.  The road to Fort Clinch from the park’s entrance is a beautiful drive through a canopy of old live oaks with spanish moss.  If we visited again, we’d probably bring our bikes to bike through the road.  There is a parking fee to enter the state park, and an extra $2 per person to tour the fort.