Local Utah gems prove tourist worthy

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Utah students looking for a way to escape the stresses of work and school this summer don’t need to get out of Utah to do it. Kylie Petersen, an incoming BYU freshman this fall said there is a lot to do in Utah that people don’t know about.

“The more that I realize there is to do here in Utah, the less I feel like I need to leave to have fun,” Petersen said.

Here are a few local summer fun activities showing it isn’t always necessary to leave Utah to cure that feeling of wanderlust.

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(Provided by Dru Laws)
Orchard manager, Chris Healy, working on the 21 – acre field of peaches and cherries.

Manning Orchards is located in Fruit Heights, Utah, and is a one-hour drive north from Provo. Manning Orchards is family-owned and is about 120 years old. Orchards manager Chris Healey said this is a place where people mainly come to take pictures because of how beautiful the trees are during spring and summer.

The family also allows people to walk through the orchard, sit and relax or have a picnic for free.

“I have been here all my life and it is still my place to go when I want to just relax,” Healey said.

Healey said the most popular time for visitors is during blossom season when the cherry trees have white flowers budding on them.

“Every year is a little different obviously,” Healey said. “Mother Nature has her own schedule. Typically it is early April and lasts for about two weeks.”

Anyone looking to visit Manning Orchards should schedule a time with Healey to be there in case the trees are being sprayed or picked. They can reach him at (801) 678-4608.

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The Tower Theatre is located on Ninth and Ninth in downtown Salt Lake City and is the oldest movie theater still operating in SLC. The theater plays independent films and classical films on weekends.

Salt Lake Film Society's Tower Theatre. (SLFS)
Salt Lake Film Society’s Tower Theatre. (SLFS)

The Broadway Centre Cinema is located at 111 E. 300 S. in downtown Salt Lake City. Both theaters are run by non-profit organization Salt Lake Film Society. Tickets for the Broadway Centre Cinema and Tower Theatres are $9.75.

Salt Lake Film Society uses these theaters to reach different people in Utah. The society’s facilities “create cinematic events that build bridges for communication within Utah’s continually diversifying population and the changing global milieu,” according to the site.

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At the mouth of Parley’s Canyon in Salt Lake City is an aqueduct rigged with wood and chains, allowing adventure seekers to stop the water until it is high enough to send a person down the duct, just like in a water slide.

“The aqueduct known as ‘The Tube’ begins near the base of Suicide Rock and exits into a large pool on the eastern side of Tanner Park,” according to the I Heart Salt Lake blog.

Friends shooting the tube in Salt Lake. (Youtube: JoshDance)
Friends shooting the tube in Salt Lake. (Youtube: JoshDance)

Petersen looks for things that are active and outdoors when she wants something fun to do. This is how she and a group of friends found themselves at Shoot The Tube.

“This board blocks the water until it builds up, then someone breaks the board and you just go flying down the tube,” Petersen said.

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The Redwood Drive-in in West Valley City is open seven days a week for movies and on Saturdays for the swap meet.

Redwood Drive-In sign (facebook)
Redwood Drive-In sign (facebook)

Moviegoers pay $9 for two movies and need to bring an FM radio station. Movies start after dark since the theater is outside. Viewers can either watch from their cars or bring portable lawn chairs to sit in during the movie.

The swap meet is an inexpensive Saturday activity and is in the same location as the drive-in. Admission is only 50 cents. During the summer it is open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and during the winter from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visitors can enjoy hundreds of vendors’ booths where vendors sell a variety of things such as food, jewelry and clothing.

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Fifth Water Hot Springs is a short 40-minute drive from Provo. It is about a 2.3 mile hike to the spring along the Fifth Water Creek East of Spanish Fork.

Waterfall in Fifth Water Hot Springs (Facebook).
Waterfall in Fifth Water Hot Springs (Facebook).

Taylor Pace, a 26-year-old from Kamloops, Canada, was traveling to Provo when he found Fifth Water Hot Springs. He has been to many hot springs before and said that this spring is especially beautiful.

Pace met friends in Provo and shared his experiences of the springs with them.

“I love it when I go to a place and I can show people some things about their city or area that they don’t already know of and give them a tourist’s viewpoint about it,” Pace said. “I hope you know you live in a very beautiful place.”

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