Tuesday, July 17

Bear Lake Adventures

     Well hi again! Right now I'm sitting in a blue canvas chair on the shore of Bear Lake in Utah for the very first time. My toes are buried in the warm sand, there's a bottle of ice water to my right, and after spending a really long day playing here with our good friends, to be calmly typing now today in this serene spot brings a whole lot of much-needed peace.
     Evie is happily digging away in the sand under the shade of a pop-up tent, seagulls are flying overhead (and trying their best to snatch Sophie's chips), and their caws easily remind me of so many different and fun memories from since I was a little girl. I might be lucky to only have really great memories associated with seagulls and waves, sand underfoot and the smell of sunscreen haha, but I think many of you are probably the same.

    Last May, once we realized the kids only had a week or so left before Summer break, we all sat down and started forming the ultimate activity list of things that we'd love to do at least once before school started again. We laid down on our stomachs in a circle, a pad in front of me, adding to the bullet list whatever anyone could come up with that seemed possible from simply making a wish on a dandelion to flying on a plane together. We reach nearly 400 items I think? haha With their eyes and their smiles getting bigger with each suggestion, and with some cheers and even jumping up and down at the best or them:) Our biggest goal was to reach the end of our Summer knowing that we had put our family in that circle first before all else, and to feel satisfied with the experiences and adventures we'd had whether they were on the list or not.

     Today, I felt that satisfaction for the first time, like if school started tomorrow I'd be semi-okay with it.haha It hit me before right before we left after I bought our first sand toys that this would be the first proper sandy beach visit most of the kids had had or would remember, and I couldn't wait to see them see it. Our Oregon coast trip in February was the first time most of the kids had ever seen waves and walked on sand, but here at Bear Lake they didn't have to wear coats and they could play in the warm water and dig for little shells, and it's been even better than I hoped for!

     Visiting here was something that Richard had done often when he went to school in Logan and bought his house, so we added it to the list and hoped for the best. We've accomplished so many little and big things on our list (maybe I should share it here sometime and mark off what we've done?), but it took some great new friends inviting us to join them on their family trip for us to jump in the car and head for the hills.haha We ate a yummy dinner with Amber and Drew and their sweet family the night we arrived, and have spent the last couple of days on the beach watching our kids all play together, enjoying some treats and some frisbee, and just lots of good conversation in the calmest and quietest atmosphere. Also, you can see in the photos that the water closest to the shore is cloudy from being stirred up, but even still I'll never get over how beautifully turquoise the water is on a clear day. Really though! Amber and I laughed about how I should put a disclaimer in here to say no, the color in the pictures isn't an exaggeration or an over-edit, but that it's actually that dreamy much of the time.haha

     So I guess I could wrap up by saying we're officially hooked! Growing up on the east coast, Bear Lake was never really an option as a family vacation spot, but I'm really happy about making this a new favorite spot for our family to visit. It's only a few hours to drive here, but it feels like something we'd have to travel far to get to, so I know we'll be counting down the days till we can come back again! Life has been pretty up and down lately, but it's been all up after we added fresh mountain air, a campfire, sandy shores, and a bunch of peace and quiet.

     Well today I'm so grateful for good friends who let us share in their fun even on their birthdays, who encourage and uplift, who treat our kiddos like their own, and who show us where the yummiest fries and shakes come from!

     Have you ever been to Bear Lake? If so, do you have any recommendations of places to visit or foods to try or things to do? Does your family or friend group have a special spot they visit annually? I really love hearing details like that from you guys so please pass it on!


P.S. to those of you that have stopped us to say hi, I just need/want to say thank you once again! It means so much to put beautiful faces and personalities and voices behind some of the numbers and handles and tiny profile photos here on the blog and my social media. Some of the things you've said have been incredibly encouraging and will stay with me. That goes for the rest of you friends out there too, even if we never run into eachother. ♡♡♡


  1. I've never been there but it looks gorgeous. So many incredible views!

  2. Bear lake �� is awesome! My grandparents where camp host in beaver and we would go down there for shakes at the drive in! The best shakes ever. Looks and sounds like a great time, enjoy the rest of summer! As always it went too fast for our little family

  3. Most people get a “Famous” Raspberry Shake but a Raspberry Lime shake is better. Chevron has the best shakes because they use hard ice cream. Most of the burgerplaces are the same but Quick N Tasty has homemade fries and La Beaus has better burgers and awesome Lime Ricky’s. Cafe Sabor has really good Mexican food. Fun things: Bloomington Lake, Minnetonka Cave, Pickleville Playhouse, and riding bikes along the walking path. KOA has really fun buggy bikes for the whole family.

  4. Most people get a “Famous” Raspberry Shake but a Raspberry Lime shake is better. Chevron has the best shakes because they use hard ice cream. Most of the burgerplaces are the same but Quick N Tasty has homemade fries and La Beaus has better burgers and awesome Lime Ricky’s. Cafe Sabor has really good Mexican food. Fun things: Bloomington Lake, Minnetonka Cave, Pickleville Playhouse, and riding bikes along the walking path. KOA has really fun buggy bikes for the whole family.

  5. Bear Lake is my absolutely favorite place. My Grandparents had a beachfront cabin and I spent all of my childhood summers playing in that beautiful, COLD water. Make sure you get your rasberry shakes at LeBeaus and the kids always like visiting Minnetonka Cave. This is the first year I get to share Bear Lake with my children since moving from Dover last year. We can hardly wait until our planned trip in August!

  6. One of my favorite places on earth! I live in Logan and love being close to the lake. I will miss it dearly when we move. Bloomington Lake is a nice hike to a beautiful little lake.

  7. It’s a special place for me. When I was growing up, my family went to Bear Lake EVERY Saturday for the day. We always went to Blue Water Beach and sometimes my Uncke brought his boat up hug we had just as much fun playing with siblings s. We’d pick my grandma up in Logan and she would bring carrots, peas, raspberries etc. from her garden to eat on the drive up. I liked stopping at Rich’s Soribgs in the way up and ice cream was a must gircthe drive home. My whole childhood is filled with memories of Bear Lake.

  8. Pickleville Playhouse is a must! The kids will be in fits of giggles, the adults will laugh too! Catch the Bandito show, it won’t disappoint!

  9. We were there on a Sunday �� My kids Love it there. I always forget to apply sunscreen more often because the sand rubs it off. We are still a little fried over here in some spots ����‍♀️ We love Bear Lake. The Chevron on the way out of town (into Logan’s canyon) has the best raspberry shakes! They use hard ice cream and are legit amazing! And huge. My family of 4 splits 2 of them. My kids play for hours in the sand and waves at Bear Lake. Always a fun time! Where did you go? We went to North Shore for the first time last year. We always go to Rendezvous. North shore is beautiful as well.

  10. I don't know how we've lived in utah this long, and still have never been to Bear Lake! We'll need to do a day trip this year before the summer is over!


  11. Your pictures are beautiful. I'd love to visit. Never been.

  12. I live so close to Bear Lake! My husband and I love to go there! :) Looks like you had so much fun! Also, you look great Emily!

  13. Looks like fun! Have you considered getting rash guards for your fair brood? With a melanoma in their family history plus the fair skin/red hair, I'd highly recommend keeping them shielded from the sun as much as possible. My husband also had a melanoma (luckily it was caught early and he's fine), and my kids are read-heads w blue eyes, too. So now we all suit up in long sleeved rash guards whenever we're at the beach or pool. Coolibar and Tuga brands are my favorites but they sell cute ones for kids even at target (and I get mine from Athleta!).

  14. Bear Lake is legitimately my favorite place in all the world. Nothing else I’ve done in my life is comparable to the memories or experiences I’ve had and made in Bear Lake. Our cabin is about a mile or so east (via beach) of Rendezvous Beach. We get to spend a lot of time there each summer and I’m so grateful; I grew up spending summers at Bear Lake, as did my Mother, as did my Grandpa. It may sound so cheesy but Bear Lake is a sacred place to me. My absolute favorite thing to do in Bear Lake is actually nothing...just relax and take it all in; but if you’re looking for adventure, here’s a list of our “things to do” in no particular order:
    1. Go tour the Paris Tabernacle in Paris, Idaho. It is beautiful and the story is lovely.
    2. Hike into Bloomington Lake. Crystal Clear snow fed Lake. It is so beautiful but so cold, obviously. Beware of the rope swing; it has wreaked havoc on many. (Not me, thankfully)
    3. Visit the bird refuge at the north end of the Lake. There are often many different birds to see.
    4. Minnetonka Cave is wonderful in the heat of summer; it is 40 degrees inside year round and feels fantastic. Really cool cave, plus you get to see Kevin Bacon ;)
    5. Go see a play at Pickleville Playhouse. I don’t recommend younger children though; they sometimes lose interest.
    6. I don’t know if it is still a thing or not; but when I was younger we would get up really early and go pick raspberries at a raspberry patch and the owners would pay you for doing it. The raspberries would be used for shakes at the restaurants and we’d even get to bring some home.
    7. Go Mario Kart racing! The go carts heading into Logan Canyon are always so fun and large groups can go at a time.
    8. A drive around the lake is so relaxing and beautiful...if you want your kids to nap or have a sleeping child that you don’t want to wake yet, do this!
    9. Go to the Marina, (if you don’t have a membership you have to pay, $5 or $10 per carload...I can’t remember) sit on the dock and put your toes in the water. The carp will come and suck your toes.
    10. Take the Round Valley drive, so beautiful! There is a house on that drive that has peacocks and wild turkeys, they roam freely and are often right on the road for you to see.
    11. Go to Raspberry Days. Parade, craft fair, fireworks, rodeo. Seriously so much stuff to do that weekend. It is on August 2nd this year.
    12. Shop all the cute little shops in Garden City. There are so many little stores to check out.

    There is so much more to do and see there, these are the ones off the top of my head. I love to drive and look at the scenery.

    For places to eat and what to try:
    1. Always La Beau’s. Their burgers and fries are delish and I love their Lime Rickey’s. Just a side note, their fries come in one size and it’s a huge order. It will EASILY feed 2 people, maybe 3.
    2. Cafe Sabor. You can’t go wrong with their shrimp ceviche or mango shrimp. If you don’t like shrimp then I don’t recommend it ;)
    3. Get Dole Whipz at Zipz, their shivers are tasty too! You can also buy one of their cute hoodies. It is the cutest place.
    4. Firehouse Pizzeria. Really good pizza and their Focaccia is fantastic.
    5. Cody’s Gastro Garage. This is a new place that opened last year. Good food and fun place.

    With all of this said, we really avoid Garden City on the weekends. (except for raspberry days) We try and do Garden City on the weekdays when it’s not so crazy busy.

    I’m curious, please share where your yummiest shakes and fries were from.