Native Utahans and Idahoans know that it is simply not summer until the first slurp of a Bear Lake raspberry shake and sinking their toes into the sand.

Sunrise winks across mountaintops; then, it tickles a turquoise lake. Soft waves flirt with a white sand shore. The mountain air is crisp and the summer silence is warm – a limitless adventure awaits in and around Bear Lake.

Located just two and half hours north of Park City, Bear Lake is Utah’s second largest natural freshwater lake. A true beauty of nature and recreation paradise, it spans 20 miles on the borders of northern Utah and southern Idaho. Fittingly called the “Caribbean of the Rockies” the lake’s striking turquoise-blue color captivates new and seasoned visitors alike. At an elevation of 5,923 feet, Cache and Caribou National Forests surround Bear Lake.

Water enthusiasts can swim, kayak, canoe, boat, waterski, wakeboard, paddle board, fish, dive and sail. You can also simply relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery on numerous rustic beaches. Friendly and informative locals off er helpful tips and insights from family-operated shops throughout the area, making each visit a customized experience. Make sure to set aside time for hiking, running and mountain biking. You will want to absorb the view via miles of paved and mountain trails surrounding the lake. ATV and horseback trails are equally scenic. There are a wide variety of places to eat and many places to spend the night – from camping to condos to beautiful log cabins.

For over 40 years, the Pickleville Playhouse has catered to family fun. Th is summer, guests will enjoy Who Shot Juanito Bandito and Disney’s Tarzan. Pickleville off ers musical theater workshops for kids ages 8-16. These workshops include singing, dancing, acting, and having fun.

Water’s Edge Resort began Phase I with fresh new condominiums and Cody’s Gastro Garage; the first year-round restaurant featuring three meals a day, seven days a week. Debbie Batt notes, “It’s a fun dining experience. In the summer we open up the garage doors for outdoor dining. But, in the winter it feels like you’re eating in a fancy cool garage.” A second Cody’s Gastro Garage will open this summer in Paris, Idaho – just up the road. As the Water’s Edge Resort expands, guests will enjoy a luxury hotel resort that includes bowling, pickleball courts, scenic views, conference rooms, fine dining, outdoor concerts, and an indoor water park along with the spa.

Each July, the Bear Lake community hosts a hometown Fourth of July celebration and the annual Bear Lake Salmon Barbecue. Then, the first weekend in August is Raspberry Days featuring continuous entertainment, music, a rodeo, a 5K run, a pancake breakfast,fireworks on the beach and, of course, raspberries.

Local author and television personality, Krista Numbers explains, “We take an annual trip to sit in the sand, visit the Pickleville Theatre and hike in the Minnetonka Caves with our kids.”

Featuring a wide variety of glamping opportunities, the Conestoga Ranch remains a rustic place filled with romance, family fun, adventure and more. Th is year, packages include, Girls Getaway, Adventure and Wellness. The Conestoga Ranch is an intimate spot that is ideal for reunions, weddings and groups of all sizes. Located at the Conestoga Ranch is Th e Campfi re Grill – a timber framed, open-air restaurant with fine dining under the direction of Chef Vincent Lieberato. Th e perks of Conestoga Ranch include on-site games and playgrounds, complimentary cruiser bicycles and their famous s’mores served around the campfire.

Northwest of Bear Lake in the St. Charles Canyon, the Minnetonka Cave off ers guided tours of stalactites, stalagmites and banded travertine. Because the cave is only 40 degrees, pack a jacket. Bear Lake is renowned for having a “funky feel” with an eclectic mix of lodging and activities.

If you’re looking for a location that is both beautiful and budget-friendly, travel just outside Garden City, to Beaver Mountain
For over 70 years, the Seeholzer family has been making memories and building traditions. Locals call it “The Beav” and it offers hiking, biking, fishing and spectacular views in the summer. Marge Seeholzer makes the mountain feel like home. When she and her husband took over the family business, she worked full-time in the ticket office. Now, she smiles and greets guests year-round.

As Marge says, “We are a little closer to heaven up here at Beaver Mountain.”

The Beaver Mountain Lodge is available for weddings, conferences and reunions all summer long. In addition, RV travelers enjoy full hook-ups, picnic tables and fi re pits at the park. Th ere is also a campground.

On August 17th and 18th, Beaver Mountain and Smile Productions host the annual Beaver Mountain Music Festival. Featuring 31 artists with 13 nationally touring bands, attendees will be treated to a wide variety of performances on two stages. Th is is a family friendly event that provides plenty of opportunities for adult fun.

Right on the Utah/Idaho border in Logan Canyon, Beaver Creek Lodge has become another favorite year-round destination. Nestled in the mountains with elevations between 7,200 to 9,600 feet, the nights are cool and perfect for sitting by the fire.

Beaver Creek Lodge is surrounded by hundreds of miles of off -road trails. Off ering mountain horseback rides and ATV rentals, Beaver Creek Lodge is the ideal place for business retreats or family reunions. Guests can rent the entire lodge or a room. During hot summer months, Beaver Creek Lodge off ers a variety of lodging and outdoor adventure packages. Packages include guided tours and breakfast. Horseback rides are suitable to riders of all levels. The 1 1/2 hour and 3-hour rides have scenic mountain views and are, typically, filled with wild flowers in the summer. Guests can also spend the day exploring the mountain renting side-by-side vehicles that seat 2-6 passengers.

Mimi’s Lodges hosts three cabins at Bear Lake in the heart of Garden City. With the Papa Bear Lodge, the Mama Bear Cabin and the Baby Bear Cottage, there is a size that is just right for any group.

With beds for 48 people in 15 bedrooms, the Papa Bear Lodge is designed for family reunions. Th is lodge includes a hot tub, gas fi re pit, pool table, and volleyball. Th ere is something for everyone. Th e Mama Bear Cabin sleeps 16 people in four bedrooms. It also has a hot tub, picnic tables and a propane grill. Finally, a charming little house built in the early 1900s is the Baby Bear Cottage. With three bedrooms and a sofa sleeper, this house can sleep eight.

All of the properties are close. They can be rented together with a total occupancy of 74. Th e houses sit fi ve minutes from the lake. It is an easy stroll back from the water. Each house has a fully equipped kitchen. But, guests can saunter into town for raspberry shakes, pizza and local food.

As you will find, Bear Lake’s natural beauty extends far beyond its shores. With outdoor recreation opportunities and a cozy small-town feel, explore your options and own a piece of thisyear-round, all-season destination by visiting with Bear Lake Realty. Fractional ownerships and year-round custom homes round out the market. Beachfront condominiums with full and fractional owner-ships allow owners to adopt this lifestyle.

Visit Bear Lake Fun at before your trip to rent everything from boats to paddle boards. Bear Lake Fun off ers guided activities including fi shing, water sports and lake tours. For fun off the water, try a side-by-side UTV.

In Park City, they say, “Come for the winter, stay for the summer.” But, the reverse is true for Bear Lake – come for the summer and stay for the winter.

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