I travel back to my hometown about once or twice a year, every year to visit with my family and friends. This year I agreed to run the Ogden Marathon relay with my bro, his kids, and a friend of my niece. My husband, being the good sport that he is agreed to drive down with me this year as I am super paranoid about flying on airplanes right now. It’s a good eleven hours without stopping, and you always have to stop, but for the most part the drive is beautiful and there are lots of fun places to see on the way (that is a whole other post). I figured I would mention a few of the highlights of my trip in case someone out there needs some ideas of things to do or see, or stay when they find themselves in the midst of the Northern part of the Zion curtain.
I have waxed poetic about my hometown before, and I still think it is a great place with loads of potential and I always enjoy my time there.
I always try to get in touch with my roots! This is always the most important part for me to hang out with all the awesome friends and family that still like me even though they have seen me at my very worst, even better if they invite you to eat dinner and they know how to make some great grilled deliciousness or they have epic beards!
A huge thanks to those folks that went out of their way to spend time with us….seriously it means the world to me, I wish I had photos of everyone and everything but I don’t. Even if you aren’t from Ogden, I promise you will make some fast friends just by chatting up some locals!
Participate in some of the great outdoor activities:
Hiking, biking, skiing, running, pickleball, hunting, Ogden is a sportsman’s paradise. I am pretty much terrible at running and I did a beautiful 5 mile section of the marathon relay in the best time per mile I have ever done, it was mostly downhill in gorgeous Ogden canyon, a special shout out to bluetooth headphones, coaching from my niece Xena, and Rage against the machine for helping me stay motivated. I felt really accomplished that I conquered the fear of distance running I had and did something with my family that took teamwork, training, and a bit of “daughters of the Utah pioneers” grit. I also met some really nice people on the shuttle ride up, and the subsequent wait we had in the canyon, people are super nice and curious there. I would do it again but maybe the half so I wouldn’t have to get up at 4 am to wait till 11 am to actually run….better get training.
Support the locals who own businesses and attend their events. One of my favorite nights we had was going to the Lighthouse lounge for “Record Night” with the Digital Smoke crew. Digital smoke sponsors a night where you can bring in your favorite vinyl, sign up on a list, and listen to it while you drink a local beer, and eat some good pub grub (drink the Ghostrider White IPA and eat a french dip). Dance with your friends to records!! Don’t have any vinyl? Lavendar Vinyl is across the street and can service your needs.
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, eat at Tona! Basically you can’t go wrong, they are one of those rare places that just keep getting better and better, tell them I sent you and order the chef’s choice nigiri, the maki rolls, or basically any special they have. You won’t be disappointed.
I don’t get out much in my normal life, so whilst on vacay, my husband decided that we should try out Airbnbing a few spots one of which was in Salt Lake City, we met in SLC along time ago at the U of U so SLC holds a great deal of nostalgia for us. We left our kids with the family in Ogden for a few nights and he and I hit a few of our favorite spots, and found a few new ones. We got an Airbnb on Capitol hill, for $80 a night
it was a bargain with its 100 year old charm, 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, and kept in pristine condition by the owner, it was also close to where we had our first apartment before we backpacked through Europe and got hitched way back when.
Go for coffee at Caffe D’ Bolla! This shop has been open nearly as long and Jarom and I have been together, and it’s a must for any coffee connoisseur. Caffe d’ bolla rivals anything we have here in Portland, start with whatever freshly roasted espresso he has (a real macchiato does not contain caramel and is served in espresso demitasse) and if you have the time and want to splurge, experience his exceptional and rare siphoned coffee. Let John be your guide and taste coffee like you never have in your life.
Eat at the Red Iguana, but don’t order the gringo stuff (I’m talking to you crisp shell beef taco, make those at home its easy!)get the mole any mole, I am partial to the verde, but Jarom ordered the rib special with a mango version that blew my mind! Expect a wait, they are always busy, and consider ordering the jalapeno appetizer that is stuffed with shrimp and queso fresco, goes great with a rocks margarita! Our waiter was great and loved sharing his love for the food they serve and their culture, he gave me some tips on getting better at pronouncing in Espanol, not to mention hooked us up with some tres leches cake!
Go to the Gilgal Sculpture Garden, it’s weird, it’s behind Chuck o’ rama, and it is a fine way to round out the whole Temple square, LDS history part of Salt Lake. One man’s passion for his religion with a twist of masonry, and love of sculpture is a total gem for the curious and open minded tourist, plus Joseph Smith sphinx nuff’ said.
Check out some sassy nightlife with a local, I was lucky enough to have a night out #salazarstyle with many drinks and fun.
Next we traveled on to Park City, home of the Sundance film festival, and more chefs per capita than anywhere else on the planet. We Airbnbed an entire house (zillow value 800K) for about $180 a night! It was incredible and located in the heart of the action, with a hot tub, trampoline, and home gym. If I ever moved back to Utah, I would live in Park City…..make sure you check out Mainstreet, walk down, shop, ride the free trolley back up, walk down the other side, shop. Check out the Banksy on the side of a gallery.
Go to the High West distillery saloon Take a tour, sample the wares, decide which variety is your favorite, have the best “old fashioned” of your life! Buy some merch and bottles for the road. We tried hard to take everyone to eat at the saloon, but it was a three hour wait by the time we rounded up the troops. So we ended up at the Baja Cantina, which you should skip, it was expensive, the food was awful, and the wait was too long for the atrocious fare. It was however family friendly, but I can’t believe a world class resort would house such a terrible, out of date, disappointment of a restaurant. Canned refried beans, cremated hockey puck burgers, or cold fish tacos anyone? If you read this Baja Cantina….step your game up.
Do, do the fun activities at the resort, we did the Alpine slide which is a classic, but I wish we would’ve spent the day doing the other activities….Alpine coaster you are on my radar for next time. In all it was a great trip and there is really no right or wrong way to do it, but I hope I could give you some inspiration to get out there and do your own road trippin adventure! See more photos and some fun boomerang vids of the trip on my instagram!