Garden City sits on the Utah side of Bear Lake, which offers a quaint, small-town feel. Stroll down the historic street, exchange greetings with locals, and enjoy picturesque views. With plenty of lakefront Garden City vacation rentals available, you can have private access to the lake, while simultaneously being within driving distance of the most popular attractions. Check out the most popular points of interest in Garden City.
1. Go Boating
Bear Lake State Park Marina sits on the north side of Garden City. If your vacation rental doesn’t have direct lake access, park your boat at the marina or, better yet, rent one of the available boats. With a Marina Grill on site, you can grab a quick bite at lunch between boating excursions.
2. Try Paddle Boarding
Float around the shallows and glide effortlessly through the water on a paddle board. Bear Lake Water Adventures provides lessons, giving you a basic know-how of the paddling process, and it rents paddle boards too.
3. Race the Waves
If you want something more motorized than a paddle board and smaller than a boat, opt for a jet ski rental at Bear Lake Fun. Several of the jet ski models can hold two or three people. You get instructions on how to operate the machine, along with life jackets. If you have a Garden City vacation rental further inland, you can also rent a trailer to haul it.
4. Catch Some Fish
Bear Lake abounds in fish, especially cutthroat and lake trout. You need an Idaho or Utah fishing license and the necessary gear. Elk Country Sports can rent you all the tackle you need. Plus, you can pick up your fishing license there for one-stop shopping.
5. Go Swimming
Don’t worry about hauling all your swimming supplies to the lake — just get what you need at Pugstones Sporting. It carries all the little things you don’t know you need until you need them, such as beach toys for the kids, towels, hats, and sandals. Another swimming option is the Garden City Pool, where you can enroll your kids in summer swim lessons for some peace of mind.
6. See Some Historic Sites
Take a 20-minute drive up to Paris, Idaho, to tour the City of Paris Historical Museum and Tabernacle. Paris was settled by Mormons in the 19th century, and the museum’s exhibits illustrate the pioneers’ lives as they struggled to tame the land. The Paris Tabernacle was built by the settlers, a remarkable example of architecture for the time.
7. Explore Minnetonka Cave
Between Garden City and Paris lies Minnetonka Cave, featuring towering stalagmites and hanging stalactites. With nine caverns and stunning features, the cave attracts adventurers and geologic enthusiasts, although the hike through the caves is family-friendly. If you have a large group, you need to reserve a spot on the tour — otherwise, you can just show up with a ticket and enjoy.
8. Get a Shake at LaBeau’s
Bear Lake is known for its raspberries. If you’re visiting during the summer, stop at the Bear Lake Raspberry Days for fresh fruit and fun. Regardless of the season, you can always enjoy a delicious raspberry shake at LaBeau’s, a top attraction for visitors and locals.
9. Go Off-Roading
With low rolling hills and rocky slopes, Garden City and the surrounding area makes for some great off-roading. Rent an ATV at Epic Recreation. With a choice between two-seaters or larger vehicles, you can adventure with just your friends or bring the kids along. With truck rental also available, you can haul the ATVs to the best spots for fun.
10. Go on a Hike
See wildflowers in bloom, and frolic among 500-year-old trees on the Limber Pine Nature Trail. For little kids, try the Bear Trail, an easy paved path with lake views. Head for the Pickleville Country Store to stock up on hiking necessities, such as bug spray, food, hats, and backpacks.
11. Race Go-Karts
Garden City is home to Renegade Raceway, the perfect place to play if off-roading isn’t your thing. Challenge the kids to a race around the tracks. With double-seater go-karts available, you can buddy up for a two-on-two tournament.
12. Catch a Show at the Pickleville Playhouse
Spend your nights being entertained at the Pickleville Playhouse. This theater has been delighting guests since 1977, putting on shows while feeding guests. Past menus have included barbecue and Mexican food, so expect good food and fun.
13. Go Golfing
Bear Lake is home to three golf courses: Bear Lake Golf Course, Bear Lake West Golf Course, and Montpelier City Municipal Golf Course. Bear Lake Golf Course is the closest, located in Garden City within the rolling hills just feet from the lake. Golf the nine holes with time to spare for a swim.
14. Bike Around the Lake
Rent a bike from Epic Adventure Center, and explore Swan Creek Trail. It runs along the lake and then up through the hills, combining scenic views with a challenging ride. Bike Barn rents almost any type of bicycle from surreys with comfortable bench seats to big-wheel tricycles. Take the kids around town, or bike the paved trail around the lake.
15. Go Horseback Riding
Wheels and feet aren’t the only way to explore the land around Bear Lake. You can also move via hoof, thanks to Beaver Creek Lodge’s trail rides. Go for a quick one-hour ride, or indulge in a four-hour ride with lunch provided. Explore the land through established trails, or opt for a custom ride tailored to your skill level.
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