Wednesday, April 22, 2020
The Most Instagram-Worthy Destinations in Utah Valley
Your vacation or weekend getaway is not complete until you post a that perfect photo on Instagram to show off your adventures to your followers. Utah Valley has a great mix of stunning destinations, from city scenery to natural beauty. There are many hidden gems in the area that will make for eye-catching content and will have your friends asking, “where was that?” Here are the top 15 places in Utah Valley to snap your selfie.
1. Wadley Farms: these 18 acres are full of vineyards, gardens, and orchards surrounded by quaint pastoral scenery. The farms are a popular destination for weddings, events, and parties with both indoor and outdoor areas available.
2. Provo Wall Murals: there are over 30 hand-painted murals scattered around downtown Provo, and the fun is finding them all yourself! On the first Friday of each month, the community gathers for a self-guided stroll and a tour of the murals to discover new creations and artists.
3. Utah Lake State Park: open to the public since 1967, this park contains the 148-square mile freshwater Utah Lake, with recreational fishing access, swimming, boating, and paddle boarding. Within the park there are 31 RV campground sites. A special use permit may be required for professional photography.
4. Rugged Grounds Coffee Shop: Rugged Grounds has two locations, one in Provo and one in Salt Lake City. They serve locally-roasted, fair-trade, organic coffee and local teas, kombuchas, and light food items. The building was renovated entirely with reclaimed materials in 2017, making it the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram post.
5. Stewart Falls: this is a majestic and heavily photographed waterfall in Utah Valley. It is over 200 feet tall and can be accessed via a moderately strenuous, 3.5-mile hike. Locals recommend hiking in the summer, for the weather, or the fall, to take in the changing leaves. You can also snowshoe here during the winter months.
6. Sundance Ski Lift: skiers and non-skiers alike will enjoy this scenic lift ride to the top of Ray’s Summit, available only during the summer months. Take in the stunning views around Sundance Ski Resort, and either ride the lift back down or enjoy a hike.
7. Provo City Center Temple: this is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was built on the property upon which the historic Provo Tabernacle once stood. It has been fully restored and opened again in 2016, but is not open to the public, so your photos will have to be taken from the outside, on the beautifully planted temple grounds.
8. Kissing Point: if you are visiting the area with your significant other, this street sign is a must-see. Located on Center Street in Provo, this adorable spot is perfect for a PDA-filled social media post and is popular with engagement and wedding photographers.
9. BYU Bell Tower: you may have heard it's music, ringing out various melodies throught the day. The BYU Centennial Carillon, or bell tower, is located on the campus of Brigham Young University. It was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the school’s founding, and today stands as an iconic symbol of the university, easily identifiable in photos.
10. Ashton Gardens: located within Thanksgiving Point, Ashton Gardens features 55 acres of gardens, grand lawns, and the largest man-made waterfall in the western hemisphere. There are 15 themed gardens for you to wander through and explore, or you can rent a golf cart for a speedier tour. Open in the summer months only, the gardens’ bright colors are sure to add something eye-catching to your social media feed.
11. Roots of Knowledge: covering a wall of Utah Valley University’s Ira Fulton Library is the 80-pane Roots of Knowledge stained glass window. It is ten feet high and 200 feet in length, and incorporates over 60,000 pieces of glass in addition to naturally found materials like rock, fossils, coins, wood, and coral. It is accompanied by a fully interactive educational experience so you can learn more about each component of the window.
12. Pioneer Book: this is the largest bookshop of used and rare books in Utah County, making it a required destination for bibliophiles. The staff is well-trained with diverse educational backgrounds to provide a customized in-store experience. It has been in business since 1980 and is always changing its inventory. You are sure to find something that interests you here, or at least makes for a good photo #bookstagram.
13. Payson Lakes: the campgrounds of Payson Lakes are located 12 miles outside of Payson. The campgrounds provide plenty of fishing and canoeing opportunities as well as natural scenery without driving too far out of town. This area is very well-known for its wildflowers during the summer months. The shore of Big East Lake is a popular daytime trip, with a swimming beach, picnic areas, and a nature path.
14. Hike the Y: located just east of the BYU campus is the Y mountain trail within Slide Canyon. This steep, 1-mile hike leads up to the iconic block Y—the largest collegiate symbol in the United States—at the summit as well as panoramic views of the city of Provo and Utah Lake. Go at night to see stunning city lights. Just make sure to bring a light for your trip back down.
15. Petroliana Museum: car enthusiasts and vintage explorers will not want to pass up this spot located at AAA Lakeside Storage. The museum features kitschy items like antique porcelain signs, an antique gas station, and close to one hundred antique gas pumps going back to 1917. It also has antique cars and car memorabilia, paying homage to a time when good customer service was the key component of a gas station. Find your favorite sign and take lots of photos!
The best part of exploring a new destination is always sharing what you found, and that task often falls to social media these days. Whether you are a Provo local or a visitor, you are sure to find something unique to add to your Instagram feed and also provide indelible memories of your latest adventure. Enjoy your trip and do not forget to take plenty of photos along the way – even if they don't make it to your social media feed.