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Along the trail to Provo for BYU Football’s home games

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Liberty at BYU Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Half of BYU Football’s six home games are coming up in the next three weeks — against Utah on Saturday, Arizona State on Sept. 18, then South Florida on Sept. 25 BYU fans travel well, and to LaVell Edwards Stadium is no exception.

If you’ll be in Provo for any of the upcoming games, chances are high that you’ve spent time in there before, but Jess and Mary wanted to give some ideas to those who haven’t visited for awhile, or maybe to those who have, but are looking to try something new. As always, feel free to leave additional suggestions in the comments, and please let us know/tweet us pics if you do any of these things!

Things to do:

Mary:

Cascade Springs/Drive the Alpine Loop — Provo in the fall is a magical thing. Driving the Alpine Loop is a pretty basic suggestion, but it’s just such a perfect time of year to be up the canyon, with the leaves changing colors and the temperature being cooler. As part of your drive or maybe as your destination, stop and check out Cascade Springs. It’s more of a walk than a hike and is paved/has a boardwalk all around it. It’s great for families and is absolutely gorgeous. As the name implies, its a natural spring, with crystal clear water, terraced waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife and vegetation to look out for and learn about. It’s $6 for a three day pass to park anywhere past the fee station up in the canyon, or if you have a National Parks Pass, it’s free!

Dreamscapes — This is not something we’ve personally done, but Mary’s cool Gen Z cousin recommended it. Dreamscapes is up in Salt Lake and here’s the description: “A world of dream realms, where immersive physical and digital artworks take you on an ethereal journey. Dreamscapes manifests the surreal nature of the subconscious labyrinth suitable for all ages and abilities to play, explore and of course, dream. Don’t miss this opportunity to dream with your eyes open as you move through the colorful vignettes that change the way you experience art.” Looks like general admission is $15 while it’s $12 for children, students, and seniors. You do need to book a time/tickets in advance for this one.

Provo River Trail — If you don’t have the time to get up the canyon, or just want an additional way to enjoy Provo’s Magical Fall, walk along the river trail! It’s very well-kept, there are parks along the way, and it’s just scenic and beautiful! Anywhere you want to start or get on is great. Mary recommends starting at Exchange Park. Walk any which way. Or jog, bike, fish... You can’t lose.

Jess:

Scout Falls — Scout Falls is about a 3 mile hike on the Mount Timpanogos trail. It is absolutely beautiful, with a meadow and stream partway into the hike that is great for a picnic, and an awesome waterfall at the end. It’s my favorite hike we have done in Utah Valley.

Bean Life Science Museum — This is a BYU campus visit with kids must do! It is free and has impressive nature and animal exhibits, as well as a toddler play area.

Springville Art Museum - This is a hidden gem of a museum in Utah. It has an impressive collection of art from Utah artists, as well as the largest collection of 20th century Russian/Soviet art in the west. And don’t miss the sculpture garden, which includes works by Mahonri M. Young, the grandson of Brigham Young (and the artist who did the sculpture of Brigham Young on BYU’s campus). Fun fact — Jess did a semester-long internship here during her undergraduate degree in Art History and Curatorial Studies.

Places to eat:

Mary:

Bam Bam’s BBQ — You’ve probably had it. If you haven’t, you need to. The Brisket Swachos might just change your life.

Guru’s Cafe — Mary has loved this place since moving to Provo in 2010, as her sister before her taught her to. Has not had anything she hasn’t liked on their menu, and she’s honestly tried a lot of it. GET THE SWEET POTATO FRIES. Mary didn’t even like sweet potato fries till she had these. Great little local spot. Cool atmosphere, plus you can have a view of the Provo City Center Temple while you eat. Also a good excuse to walk around Provo’s downtown, which is lively and charming these days.

MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes — Sorry (not sorry) to mention a chain restaurant here, but the burgers are real good. Also, Mary saw Gunner Romney here a couple of weeks ago, so it’s approved by some legit people. It’s a good, central location, on what used to be Bulldog Blvd. and has plenty of other options nearby (like Raising Cane’s). But if you get a burger and fries here, you won’t regret it.

Honorable mention: Macs A La Mode. It goes without saying that Utah County has an excellent dessert scene. Try these macaron ice cream sandwiches. Fruity Pebbles is one of their staples and Mary can testify that it’s delicious. How did Mary learn of this place, you ask? Utah Grubs. Check out their Instagram page for more ideas then you will have time to eat.

Jess:

In case people are staying up in Salt Lake County, here are Jess’s recommendations for SL County:

Zaferan Cafe — One of those under the radar places that you probably haven’t heard of unless you know someone who has been there. Absolutely delicious Persian dishes. Jess highly recommends the kabobs (either chicken or beef barg or the beef soltani, with half rice and half salad). Jess dream about this place, it’s so good. However, don’t go if you are in a rush. Definitely a place to take your time.

Roc Taco — Cool spot in downtown SLC with “Freestyle tacos punched by the world’s street food flavors...Mexican or not.” Try a variety of flavors and styles and get Elotes or Pomegranate Guacamole on the side. And if you bring little kids, they can choose from a menu of “I don’t know”, “That’s gross”, or “I’m not eating”.

The Garage Grill — Really cool atmosphere with racing cars and memorabilia all around. Garage Grill serves sandwiches, burgers, and, surprisingly, sushi! If you’re feeling adventurous, try the sushi nachos.

Honorable mention: Art City Trolley in Springville