October 1, 2011

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It’s time to get outside and have an adventure! In Utah, spring and ...Read More

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The Ultimate Base Camp for Spring and Summer Fun

Tom Haraldsen

October 1, 2011

It’s time to get outside and have an adventure! In Utah, spring and summer bring a bursting array of festivals and cultural offerings. And the city of Sandy is the perfect starting point for amazing outdoor activities, delectable dining and a world of entertainment options.

Whether you want to spend your time mountain biking, hiking, picnicking, camping, catching a movie or shopping, it’s all happening around you in Sandy, the ultimate base camp for your summertime stay in Utah.

Sandy is conveniently located close to both downtown Salt Lake City and northern Utah County—offering quick access to attractions like Hogle Zoo and Thanksgiving Point. By staying in Sandy City, visitors have a breadth of activities to choose from, ranging from world-class museums and cultural venues to world-famous resorts.

And Sandy is easy to get to from other parts of the state, located along I-15 and near three major interchanges. The city is a quick 30 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport, making it a sought-after destination for national and international travelers. Public transportation, too, brings visitors right into the heart of the city. The state’s TRAX light-rail system carries visitors from the University of Utah, Salt Lake, West Valley and Daybreak communities, and drops them off at Sandy’s three TRAX stations—providing stress-free access to Jordan Commons, the South Towne Expo Center and the Rio Tinto Stadium.

Summer Recreation and Activities
No stay in Sandy would be complete without enjoying the great outdoors. Within 15 minutes driving distance from Sandy are both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, home of amazing camping, hiking, rock climbing and more.

Little Cottonwood Canyon is also the setting for Snowbird Ski Resort, which offers thrilling summertime activities for the whole family to enjoy, including an alpine slide, ZipRider, an aerial tram and ski lift rides. The resort is also the starting point for horseback tours, guided rafting adventures and ATV tours. Visitors can hit the trails for hiking or mountain biking on steep mountain paths.

The crisp mountain air provides the perfect setting for music—and Snowbird hosts a weekly Cool Air concert series throughout the summer. In July, the resort draws thousands of people to its Mountain Music Festival, a free festival with two days of performances, workshops and classes. Weekend visitors will hear exuberant polka music during the annual Oktoberfest, which runs through September into early October.

The Wildflower Festival, held at Snowbird and its sister resort, Alta, is a perfect opportunity to explore the natural environment. The festival is a series of walks and hikes of various durations and intensities. From kid’s walks to backcountry hikes, the festival lets families get a first-hand glimpse of the beauty of Utah’s wildflowers and mountain terrain.

Picnics are a low-key way to enjoy the outdoors, and Sandy offers a tremendous range of picnic options. Most of Sandy’s parks have playgrounds, picnic tables and pavilions. Dimple Dell Park in the middle of Sandy offers 650 acres of open space with trails and an amphitheater. The nearby canyons also have several picnic areas. For example, the Silver Lake area in Big Cottonwood Canyon is near a small lake that is frequented by beavers and moose.

Throughout the summer, Sandy City presents Movies in the Park at a different city park each week. Shown on a 30-foot blow-up movie screen, the family-friendly films are free of charge. Families can bring coolers, blankets and chairs and enjoy a fun activity with the entire community.

The city is also the place to be for high-quality cultural productions. The Sandy Amphitheater, located on a foothill that provides a stunning view of the Salt Lake Valley, hosts musical theater, dance performances and concerts. Mountain West Ballet, the Utah Symphony and the American West Symphony are among the stellar ensembles that regularly perform at the venue. Summer concerts include an eclectic mix of renowned performers such as Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Howard Jones and Billy Dean.

What summer would be complete without a festival or two? Sandy is home to several unique events, such as the Balloon Festival, which features sunrise hot-air balloon launches and glowing balloons at dusk. The Balloon Festival is held in August at Storm Mountain Park and the South Towne Promenade in front of City Hall.

Sandy City draws a large, enthusiastic crowd with its yearly Fourth of July festival. The celebrations include a parade, games and activities, entertainment, a 5k and 10k run, food vendors and a spectacular fireworks display—one of the largest fireworks shows in the Salt Lake Valley.

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