If you are looking for a weekend getaway, or even a day trip, pack your bag for beautiful Cache Valley. Far more than only the home of Utah State University, Logan and the surrounding areas offer big-town adventures with a small-town feel. Grab your camera (or, more likely, phone) and capture the charm of this northern Utah town.
7 a.m.: Breakfast at Herm’s Inn
Start your day off with a hearty breakfast at Herm’s Inn. According to hermsinn.com, Herman and Elizabeth Johnson built Herman’s Inn in the early 1900s. Before U.S. Highway 89 was built, Canyon Road was the only route into Logan Canyon, and Herm’s Inn was travelers' first or last chance to stop for lunch.
These days, diners will find a sociable staff, Mason jars filled with ice-cold water and fresh, homemade fare. Menu items include French toast, biscuits and gravy, omelettes and skillet meals, delicious cinnamon rolls (served on the weekend) and the pizza-size cinnamon swirl buttermilk pancake topped with cinnamon, caramel and cream cheese frosting. There are no reservations, so arrive early to avoid the wait. Patio seating is coming soon. Open Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., 1435 E. Canyon Road, Logan.
8 a.m. Hike the Wind Caves or Stokes Nature Center
LocatedLocated just six miles up Logan Canyon, the trailhead to the Wind Caves is across from the Guinavah-Malibu Campground. The hike to the limestone outcropping is about 1,000 feet above the highway, according to utah.com. Listed as moderate, the hike takes anywhere from two to three hours round trip. Dogs and kids on leashes can be seen along the well-marked trail to the caverns that were created by wind and erosion. Don’t forget good hiking shoes and water.
If you’re not up for the Wind Caves hike, enjoy a stroll along the beautiful Logan River with a stop at the Stokes Nature Center near the entrance of Logan Canyon. Admission to this rustic center is free and includes fun interactive and educational activities for the family. Open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day, 2696 E. U.S. Highway 89, Logan.
11 a.m. Lunch at Angie's
If you’ve seen the bumper sticker “I Cleaned the Sink at Angie’s” and know it does not mean actual cleaning, then you've likely been to Angie's, home of “The Kitchen Sink”: two bananas, huge scoops of vanilla ice cream and lots of toppings. The menu offers anytime breakfast and features a great variety of food to fit any taste. Angie's really is “where the locals eat” as family and friends meet and wisdom is doled out at the counter. The friendly staff adds to the hometown feel. Open daily from 6 a.m., 690 North Main St., Logan.
Noon: Farmers market and walking tour of downtown Logan
After lunch — if you can still walk — head over to the Cache Valley Gardener’s Market. This small-town, intimate market is open Saturday mornings 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Oct. 21. This is Cache Valley, after all, so expect gorgeous fruits and veggies with a perhaps surprising side of music and food. 199 North Main St., Logan.
Once you've loaded up on local produce, head along Main Street to the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, where you can pick up brochures of things to do in the area. As you walk south on Main, be sure to stop at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum, St. John’s Episcopal Church, the historic Thatcher-Young Mansion and the LDS Tabernacle, which has a family history center and offers free noon concerts on weekdays during the summer.
3 p.m. American West Heritage Center
The American West Heritage Center is a great place to take the kids. Here, visitors can tour historic structures, work wood, milk a cow, ride a train and even a pony. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., through Aug. 19, 4025 S. U.S. Highway 89-91, Wellsville.
6 p.m.: Dinner at the Bluebird
AA neon blue bird graces the entryway of the Bluebird, which has been a staple in the community for more than 100 years. A walk inside is like a step back in time with an old-fashioned ice cream and soda fountain counter. Enjoy the homemade rolls and the namesake Bluebird chicken or try local favorites like the steak oscar, breaded shrimp and cherry ironport. Open Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., 19 N. Main, Logan
7 p.m.: Ellen Eccles Theatre
End your day out at the theater. Home to the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, the Ellen Eccles Theatre also features special performances and concerts. The UFOMT season begins in July, but you'll want to get your tickets early before they sell out. If you miss the opera, walk around the corner to the beautiful Art Deco Utah Theatre at 18 W. Center. In 2006, the old movie theater was purchased by Michael Ballam, founding general director of the UFOMT, and renovated as a multipurpose venue.
Bonus! Cache Valley food tour
Those who want to see a little more of the valley — and have a stomach of steel — may want to indulge in this Cache Valley food tour.
Start by heading north out of Logan about 20 minutes to the Pepperidge Farm Thrift Store. Here at the factory, you can pick up fresh bags of cookies and crackers at a discount. Open Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 901 U.S. Highway 91, Richmond.
Pepperidge Farm isn't the only place in Richmond where you can satisfy your sweet tooth for less. Just short drive away is Casper’s Ice Cream where you can stock up on seconds of Fat Boys and Casco Sundaes at the malt shop. Open Monday-Saturday, 11 am.-10 p.m., 11805 N. 200 East, Richmond.
If a food coma hasn't hit you yet, stop at the family-run Gossner Foods for more dairy delights as you head back to Logan. Inside the quaint Swiss chalet, you'll find cheese curds, spreads, ice cream, shelf stable milk and, bless them, samples. Open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 1051 N. 1000 West, Logan.
Continue south on 10th West and turn left when you get to U.S. Highway 89/91. Just down the road on the east is Cox Honeyland. The specialty store offers several flavors of honey and other local jams and treats. Open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 1780 S. U.S. Highway 89, Logan.
If you can possibly indulge in more ice cream, stop at Aggie Ice Cream on the campus of Utah State University, home of the signature Aggie Blue Mint ice cream. During the summer, the store is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 750 N. 1200 East, Logan.
There is no doubt you'll need the walk following your food tour, so enjoy a stroll through USU campus and view the various art pieces and beautiful views from Old Main Hill.