With the upscale ‘glamping’ and dining at Bear Lake,
you might need to remind yourself you’re roughing it
The Utah town of Garden City is often called the gateway to Bear Lake—famous for raspberry shakes and gorgeous turquoise-blue water. As the destination has matured over the years, Bear Lake has come to offer vacationers whatever their wanderlust demands.
With the addition of glamorous camping (glamping) at Conestoga Ranch Glamping Resort (427 N. Paradise Parkway, Garden City, 385-626-7395, ConestogaRanch.com), travelers can experience adventure, culinary surprises and cozy gatherings with friends and family without leaving the resort.
From now through Sept. 28, glamping guests can rent covered wagon bunkhouses or grand tent accommodations that feature unexpected services such as a fire valet and a complimentary s’mores kit. This luxury hotel-meets-summer campout appeals to both families and couples, allowing guests to commune with nature while still enjoying indoor plumbing and fine dining. Onsite yoga classes help guests to recharge mentally and physically.
Aside from the spectacular views and unique living spaces, Conestoga Ranch also has another not-to-miss offering: Campfire Grill (844-464-5267, CampfireGrillRestaurant.com). Housed in a large timber-framed, open-air tent structure, Campfire Grill features a menu built around a 700-degree wood-fired oven at the heart of the restaurant. Serving up gourmet fare for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, the eatery provides stunning views of the Caribbean of the West.
For breakfast, get your day on the water off to a great start with a hearty breakfast enjoyed in the open-air restaurant. Whether housemade granola floats your boat or you’re angling for the Conestoga Ranch scramble served with home fries, most appetites can be satisfied.
Grab lunch to go and wow your taste buds with the farm-fresh Garden City salad featuring arugula, local raspberries, sunflower seeds, a chunk of honeycomb dripping with Slide Ridge honey and a tantalizing raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Or sit down with the Campfire Grill burger showcasing Bear Lake-raised beef (a cross of wagyu and Angus breeds).
Dinnertime is when Campfire Grill really shines. Start out with barbecue chicken wings and truffled French fries that, after a day of sun and fun on the lake, pair nicely with the craft beer offerings. Or watch the sun set behind the covered wagons with a glass of rosé and a wood-fired pizza of prosciutto and arugula layered over roasted garlic cream and mozzarella and cooked to a bubbling crisp. Don’t miss the sesame seared ahi tuna steak with peanut sauce, perfect to share around the table or devour as a light meal. Finally, the luscious duck breast with a black pepper citrus glaze had our mouths watering for more.
End your evening with a warm and gooey cast-iron skillet cookie topped with vanilla-bean ice cream before retiring back to your campsite to take in Mother Nature’s own visual show as you roast marshmallows over the fire.
At Conestoga Ranch, camping has never been so delicious—or glamorous!
Go Ahead, Crepe My Day
Just down the road from Conestoga Ranch, you’ll find a charming respite serving up—you guessed it—crepes and coffee. But wine and beer are on the menu, too. Sit down under the trees in one of the many patio seating areas as you plot your next adventure at Bear Lake. To start the day, enjoy breakfast crepes such as the Popeye filled with spinach, ham, tomatoes, eggs and cheese. If sweet crepes are more your style, try the citrusy lemon soufflé with lemon and whipped cream or a Garden City special—the Bear Lake raspberry crepe filled with raspberries, drizzled with raspberry sauce and topped with whipped cream. Finally, you’ll find a significant selection of savory crepes rounding out the delectable offerings here.
Crepes and Coffee
235 N. Bear Lake Blvd., Garden City
Bear Lake Raspberry Shakes
No trip to Bear Lake is complete without consuming at least one raspberry shake. There are half a dozen drive-ins and eateries along Bear Lake Boulevard at which to order Garden City’s favorite summertime treat, a cup overflowing with ice cream and local raspberries, as well as many other flavors. Longtime favorites are Merlin’s and Hometown Drive Inn, but, based on what your ideal shake thickness and size is, LaBeau’s and Zipz also have their fan base. No matter your choice, expect long lines and sticky surfaces, but the summertime trip is much sweeter because of it!