Salt Lake City was meant to be a “get our bearings and work for a few days” stop before doing a slew of parks. But we found that we really enjoyed it!
Once we arrived and got hooked up, we made a quick dinner and decided to head into town to get dessert and check out Temple Square.
I did a quick search on Yelp and was overwhelmed with choices! (But very few coffee options – take note, Seattleites.) We decided on Sweet Rolled Tacos in the Gateway area, and we were not disappointed.
If you’ve never had a sweet rolled taco, it’s essentially a vibrant colored, light and crispy waffle cone in the shape of a hard taco shell. It is filled with ice cream and mixins of your choosing, prepared on a frozen steel surface –chopped and mixed and flattened, then rolled into a tube and placed neatly inside the waffle taco shell, topped with even more goodies. It is pretty spectacular. 10/10 on presentation and Insta-worthiness.
There was plenty of outdoor seating, which is a bonus. Unfortunately, the whole area around Temple Square was under construction so we really couldn’t see too much.
While we were in Salt Lake City, Charlie had a bunch of work calls lined up, so I did a little research via Kids Out and About and found This is the Place Heritage Park. It is a beautifully manicured property that has horses, various types of pioneer homes and buildings, and statue vignettes that told stories of the time. It had a playground, lots of astroturf to run around on, a little creek to dip your feet in, and plenty trees for shade. Such a great find.
The highlight was definitely the gold panning. We each got a little pan and were given instructions on where to pan, and how to find “gold” (fool’s gold). And we got to keep whatever we found. The kids were so excited. We stayed for a while since there was only one other family gold panning when we got there and they left soon afterwards. We found quite a bit – and went back into the store to grab a little velvet jewelry bag for 50¢ to put it all in.
As it started to get hot, we headed back to our campsite for lunch, but there was so much more we didn’t get to check out, including horses! I’m curious to see if there was also something on indigenous communities and Native inhabitants of the land. I’ll have to remember for next time.
After lunch, we decided to head to Antelope Island, a state park about 45 minutes outside of town – perfect for a quick nap for the kiddos. It’s an island in the Great Salt Lake that is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Camping is allowed I believe with reservations, otherwise day use per vehicle is $15.
It was such a cool park! Things to do included rock scrambling, walking down to the lake, finding lizards, and visiting the ranch. Our favorite part was looking for bison.
The next morning, we packed up and headed out. We made it as far as Provo before Charlie had to hop on his first call, so we found a mostly empty strip mall parking lot with a Dollar Store and Joann Fabric, and unhooked the Jeep. I took the kids to grab a few things from Trader Joe’s, and then we headed to the BYU Creamery to pick up some goodies!
We headed back to the RV before our ice cream melted, had lunch, and then I took the kids to the Dollar Store to grab some temporary tattoos (awesome activity for travel days) while Charlie did his last call.
Big parking lots in strip malls work really well for us in these situations – sometimes the state parks or rest stops don’t have great cell service, but usually if we can find a strip mall, we can be pretty certain that at least we’ll be able to tether for a Zoom call.
Visiting places like Antelope Island and This is the Place and Sweet Rolled Tacos reminds me that even though our children are still little, they are sponges and we hope that we are setting them up to appreciate travel and the outdoors. As they start to form stronger long term memories, and it’s so cool to see them soak up these experiences and learn about flora and fauna, history and culture, and of course dessert mashups.