Quick Summer Retreat In Utah

heber utah

On the last weekend of summer, right before school started for the kids, we traveled to Heber, Utah for a quick summer retreat.  Heber is only a 45 minute drive from our house {and a beautiful one at that} and we had yet to spend a weekend away there.

Sad, but true.

provo canyon, utah

Heber is next to another little town called Midway, right by the mountains on the back side of Mount Timpanogos.  It’s such a gorgeous place.  It’s meant to look like the Swiss Alps.  It’s as close of a replacement as you can get in Utah, but it kind of doesn’t come close to the real Alps.

Which is neither here nor there.

jordanelle reservoir, utah

Anyway, on our drive up the canyon we stopped at Jordanelle Reservoir to do some jet skiing.  Both kids piped up at once that they wanted to go on a jet ski with Viktor because, and I quote, “He will drive crazy, and mom is boring.”.

Little did they know, Viktor is worried about safety {buzz-kill} and mama has a need, a need for speed.  After I did a couple of Evel Knievel laps around the reservoir, both kids wanted to stay with Viktor, in fear for their lives.  They were right to worry.  I can’t seem to slow down on jet skis.  I want to go 100 mph and never come home.  I did my best.  I nearly had to be pried off mine when it was time to leave.  Sun, water, speed?  What’s not to love?  You tell me.


We meandered into Midway to check into our hotel, the Zermatt Resort which is a world class Swiss themed resort nestled right in the mountains.  They even have goats on the hills behind the property.  Seriously.  If you ever have a hankering to go to Europe, but no funding, this place might scratch the itch.  It’s beautiful, properly themed, and did I mention beautiful?  It is.  Very.

resort hotel

We stayed in a villa, which is roughly the size of an enormous apartment.  Huge.  Giant.  Swimming in space, with a full sized kitchen and living room.  And the tub.  Have I mentioned how much I love any kind of tub: hot tub, bathtub, tin tub, tub?  Tubs are what it’s all about and the one at Zermatt had room enough for several people.  Completely fabulous, and you’d better believe I took full advantage.

resort hotel in the mountains swiss restaurant

Over the course of the three day weekend we ate at several astonishingly good restaurants in Heber and Midway.  Breakfast at Shneitter’s at Zermatt was over the top insanely delicious.  Dinner at Tarahumara, an unexpected delicious Mexican restaurant so popular it was standing room only, breakfast at The Blue Boar Inn, an inn I hope to stay in one day, rich with European heritage, made me yearn to travel to Western Europe.  The proprietor of the chateau was an adorable old man rightly proud of the history of Blue Boar, greeting every guest of the hotel personally to extend his welcome.

French toast and sausage

Bear Dance Cafe, small & filled with deliciousness tolerated us when Charming got sick and threw up all over their parking lot.  I want to eat there again when I can eat uninterrupted by a sick kid.   The Lodge Pole Grill at Daniel’s Summit had the most ridiculously delicious pork sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my life.  Huge and delicious, and don’t worry, I ate the whole thing.  Dairy Keen on main street in Heber has the only drink machine in Utah that can make a variation of 200-some odd drinks.  Fill your own.  You can only imagine how I felt about that.  And, their shakes are the best ones in town.  Beat that.

grill and restaurant
We ATV’d at Daniel’s Summit in a Razor, and I want to go back in the winter and snowmobile.  I drove the Razor most of the way {natch}, and again I was reprimanded by Mister Safety Patrol for going too fast around corners.  I had flashbacks of my teenaged-braces-years with my dad in the passenger seat telling me how to drive.  And despite Viktor’s protests, and my white jeans {bad, bad choice}, we made it back in one piece happily covered in dirt.  I highly recommend riding/driving in a Razor.  You know, if you feel the need, the need for speed.



We spent the rest of the weekend adventuring to the best of our ability.  And we can adventure with the best of them.  My family seems to have no fear of anything.  Not surfing in Huntington Beach, watching sharks above the tanks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or taking trains across Europe where we didn’t speak the language.

I’m not as fearless as the rest of them, but I pretend for Viktor’s sake.


Which is how I found myself taking the Heber Creeper train to Provo Canyon to zip line down the mountain.  It wasn’t your average zip line either, this thing was hardcore, and I was a little afraid.


My kids didn’t hesitate, even a second, so I cowboy-ed up and put on my helmet.

zip lining

And the views were unbelievable.  Even for a born and bred Utahn who isn’t super impressed with mountains.  At all.

But look how pretty!

provo canyon, utah

We had an amazing time, even though Charming puked his way down the mountain.  He couldn’t be stopped, even puking his guts out.

mount timpanogos
The only time I chickened out the whole weekend, was at the Homestead Crater.

crater diving

That place just freaks me out.  It’s literally a crater with a door on the side leading into the dark hole.  I’m a little claustrophobic {read: a lot claustrophobic} and I kind of have a fear of water.  A little.  Even though I love it, anything but a pool freaks me out.  It’s on my Life List to overcome my fear of open water and learn how to scuba dive.

I’ll get there eventually.

homestead resort

My kids, of course, loved it and didn’t want to leave.  The water is warm and clear, and they went nuts watching all the scuba divers 20 feet below them in the water.

I sat on the dock and took pictures and tried not to hyperventilate in front of my children.


I’m a giver like that.

If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway, you don’t have to jaunt to Europe, just head up Provo Canyon and hang out at Zermatt.

It’s almost the same thing.



This trip was compensated.  All opinions are nothing but my own.  Always.–






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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Kate :

    We just went to the Dairy Keen for the first time a few weeks ago. My son who loves all things trains thought he had died and gone to heaven. There were, needless to say, many tears shed when I finally forced him to leave. I will also never be talked into the Homestead Crater. FREAKY.

  2. Captain Buzz-kill :

    Last time you went balls-to-the-wall without Captain Buzz Kill to slow you down you ended up looking like this. Just sayn’ http://bit.ly/neO2k4

  3. Bek :

    That’s my hometown!! It’s wonderful there. I grew up working at the homestead ( before the other resorts came in). You used to be able to walk up the crater. It’s so cool.

    Dairy Keen, Granny’s are a given. Chicks fir breakfast is a local favorite. The Bowling Alley still makes the best burger in town. I miss Heber and Midway. This made ms happy and homesick.

  4. the emily :

    When my dad retired my parents moved from New Mexico to Midway and I LOVE it there. It was a happy few years that they lived there, but then they got sick of the canyon drive and moved to Draper. Still a neat town but not nearly as great as Midway. I just LOVE it there.

  5. kelleyn :

    Looks like you had a great time. So beautiful! Allison, I know you have mentioned a few times on the blog that you have lupus. I am curious how did you discover you had lupus. I am sure you don’t want to be a poster child for lupus, but love your insight. I think I might have lupus and am waiting for my appointment with a Rheumatologist.

  6. Heather :

    How does one get a trip compensated…no really!!!

  7. Alicia W. :

    I had no idea there was a zipline in Provo Canyon…I went ziplining in Honduras and very much enjoyed it. I’ll have to tuck this little tidbit of info away for next summer when I am not pregnant :)

    • Allison :

      It was SO. much. fun. And next year they’re adding another line higher up the mountain. You’ll love it!