April 14, 2015

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Utah Invents


Weekend Escapes

Over-the-border Getaways that are Just Close Enough to Home

By Adva Biton

April 14, 2015

The state of Utah offers unparalleled beauty and tremendous options for Utahns looking for weekend vacations, but now and then, it’s fun to just get out of town. If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway that’ll take you beyond state lines, here are a few options:

Mesquite, Nevada
Mesquite is located about 40 miles southwest of St. George, just across the Nevada border. A small desert town that has 330 days of sunshine, Mesquite is a golf oasis. Desert vistas and red mesas surround the greens, making for a picturesque background for any of the seven Mesquite courses.

Where to Stay:
Mesquite has a few casino-resorts to spice up the usual hotel options. Family-owned and operated, the Eureka Casino Resort sits on 60 acres and includes a casino and spa. Rooms are separate from the casino, accommodating both those who wish to get a taste of Vegas in their golf vacation and those who don’t. Eureka caters to golf clientele and will arrange tee times and transportation for golfers, as well as offering recommendations regarding the seven golf courses in Mesquite.

Where to Play:
Wolf’s Creek is an 18-hole, par-72 golf course that sits on a 7,018-yard layout. The tee boxes at Wolf’s Creek are elevated, allowing golfers to view the whole of the desert terrain as they play. Wolf’s Creek is known for its elevation changes and unique play.

Conestoga Golf Club is an 18-hole, par-72 course that calls itself “tranquil.” It undulates more gently than Wolf’s Creek and boasts beautiful desert views, while still challenging the player. Conestoga’s course has 51 bunkers and a lake that abuts two of its holes.

Where to Eat:
Katherine’s Steakhouse, located in the Casablanca Resort, offers old-fashioned steakhouse standards such as oysters Rockefeller, escargot and bananas foster.

Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
Lava Hot Springs is a tiny town situated about 80 miles from Logan along the Portneuf River. It is known for its natural hot springs and the resorts that have recently cropped up around them.

Where to Stay:
Choose from a variety of small bed and breakfasts and inns, or try Home Hotel. A mainstay in Lava Hot Springs since 1918, Home Hotel offers rooms with oversized soaking bathtubs that fill with the town’s hot spring mineral water.

Where to Play:
A trip to Lava Hot Springs necessitates a dip in the springs themselves, which range in temperature from 102 to 112 degrees. The springs are not sulfurous, so there is no odor, but the waters are laden with minerals. Around 2.5 million gallons of water refresh the springs daily.

If the hot springs prove too warm during the summer time, refresh yourself in the Portneuf River waters. Rent a tube from one of the purveyors located near the hot springs and set adrift. Tubing season spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend.

Where to Eat:
Greystone Manor is located within the manor’s B&B, a stone-building and chapel with five rooms. Dinner is a four-course prix fixe with the option of a beef, chicken or salmon entrée. The manor also offers a Dine & Unwind package, which includes a four-course dinner and a one-hour couple’s massage.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Situated near Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the National Elk Refuge, Jackson Hole is a nature-lover’s dream and offers a host of outdoor activities.

Where to Stay:
The Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole was recently renovated and offers locally sourced and organic breakfasts, as well as ski shuttles. Rustic décor such as leather furnishings, mounted antlers and stone fireplaces in some of the rooms complement the Jackson Hole scenery.

Where to Play:
In the winter, Jackson Hole’s Snow King ski area offers challenging skiing, snowboarding and ice climbing. Night skiing at Snow King Mountain Resort is available. For ski-novices or families, try snow tubing or take a lesson at Snow King’s Mountain Sports School.

In the summer, ski lifts at Jackson Hole Resort give access to biking and hiking paths and paragliding. Horseback riding, fishing, and canoeing and kayaking on the alpine lakes are also popular in warmer seasons.

Where to Eat:
A local favorite, The Bird is slightly off the beaten path but offers a free shuttle to the restaurant for visitors without transportation. The Bird offers classic American fare such as hot wings (with a flavor scale described as “from pansy to pure punishment”), steaks and a wide variety of fresh-ground burgers with hand-cut fries. The Bird is also open for Sunday brunch. 

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