Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What to Bear Lake, ID/UT?

photos by SMW

See that azure water?  It really is that beautiful color at Bear Lake.  It's even bluer on a sunny day.  We happened to there when some storms rolled in over a few days.  We had moments of sunshine on those days, but it was intermittent.  Our last day there we had glorious full sunshine and heat!  Yahoo!

Here are some ideas of what to do when the weather doesn't cooperate with your vacation plans:

1. Make the most of your condo or vacation rental.  We stayed at Worldmark condos.  They usually have a pool, hot tub, and other facilities on site.  Ours had a volleyball court, outdoor/indoor pool and hot tub, tennis courts, and lots of lawn space to play football and frisbee.  When the rained stopped, we ran outside to enjoy all of these activities. Don't try what Gigi is doing here!  

2. Find the best local spots to eat. Bear Lake is known for raspberries.  For a Pacific Northwesterner this is no big deal.  But if you're from the intermountain west, having fresh, farm raspberries is a big deal.  So we enjoyed local raspberry shakes at 2 cute places.  One shake shack has been there for over 40 years and they make their shakes thick and tall with real ice cream.  The other is a super cute hang-out where you can sit in boats while you enjoy your shake.

3. Find an activity you don't mind doing if it does rain.  You can see there are no clouds in the sky.  But the night before it dumped rain and we decided we were going to ride no matter what.  It turned out to be a gorgeous day, but it was horribly muddy.  The horses were knee deep in mud. I wish had 5 hands so I could have taken pictures in the aspen groves we rode through.  It was breath-taking.

4. Find a tour that's inside. Again, it looks like the clouds are moving out, but on the way to this tour, it poured buckets.  Heavier than usual even in Washington.

This little town, Paris, Id, is about 15 minutes north of Bear Lake. The pioneers built this tabernacle in the 1880's.  Surprisingly, I learned that my great great great grandfather was on the committee to build this beautiful structure.  His name was on a plaque on the front of the church.  Cool beans!

Every day they have an organ recital at 11 am.  The tour takes you to all parts of the building and is very interesting.  

We found another 'indoor' tour at Minnetonka Cave which is 15 minutes north of Bear Lake, near St. Charles, Id.  Wow, what a tour!  We were in the enormous cave for over 90 minutes and it was so interesting.  Lots to learn about cave bacon, wedding stalagmites, pack rats, and more!  Hope you can get to this cave to know what I'm talking about.

5. Visit the beach. We did relax at the beach when the rain stopped and on the one day we enjoyed heat/total sun.  Can you see the shells?  We visited a part of the lake that the beach front was littered with shells.  Millions of tiny ones all over you could barely see any sand.  Oh, and that book I'm reading is fabulous.

Bear Lake has an fun little mystery going on...they have their own 'nessie'.  There are plaques or signs all over the lake telling you to call the mayor if you spot their own Bear Lake Monster.

6. Make use of local attractions. We had been cooped up in the condo playing card games- which we love- and everyone needed a break.  We found a local park.  It occupied even our teenagers and adult children for awhile when the clouds parted for 30 minutes that day.

7. Play in the water. That's what most people do when they go to Bear Lake on vacation.  We only had one day to do it.  We opted to use paddleboards than rent a boat.  It turned out to be a great choice for us.  Gigi went well over half way into the middle of the lake.  The water is so clear you can see straight down.  It's gorgeous out there!

8. Rent a Surrey. We needed to expend some steam and get out because it had rained all morning.  Renting a Surrey bike was really fun and cheap.

So there you have 8 things to do in Bear Lake, ID/UT when the weather isn't too hot or stellar.