Provo, a city in the Wasatch Range region of the state of Utah in the United States of America, is known as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside and national parks. Provo is located in Utah County, which is often considered the most conservative county in the most conservative state in the country.
Chic outdoor shopping center in north Provo. Home to a number of restaurants, including Bajio, Happy Sumo, La Jolla Groves, [http://www.malawispizza.com/ Malawi's Pizza], [http://www.macaronigrill.com/Home/Home.aspx Romano's Macaroni Grill], Tucano's Brazilian Grill, Shoots, and Subway. Other stores include [http://www.3byoga.com/ 3B Yoga] (yoga studio with a cafe and boutique), Bath & Body Works, Called to Surf (a surfing store), [http://soelboutique.blogspot.com/ Soel Boutique], and [http://blickenstaffs.com/ Blickenstaff's] (a toy store). Next door are the [http://www.carmike.com/showtimes.aspx?fct=5&tid=164 Carmike Wynnsong movie theater] and the [http://www.provobeachresort.com/ Provo Beach Resort] (featuring bowling, simulated golf, a ropes course, and the Flowrider, a simulated wave for surfing and boogeyboarding).
BYU is a member of the West Coast Conference (WCC) for most sports. A few of its teams have affiliations outside the WCC. Most notably, the football team is "independent" (i.e., not affiliated with any conference), and the men's soccer team is actually a semi-professional team competing in the USL Premier Development League. There's always a sports team playing. Check the website for scheduling and tickets. Home basketball games are played at the Marriott Center (1497 N 450 E); home football games are played at LaVell Edwards Stadium (1700 N Canyon Rd). The [http://byucougars.com/athletics/byu-legacy-hall BYU Legacy Hall] (athletics museum and hall of fame) is housed in the Student Athlete Building (1060 N 150 E, M-Sa 7AM-9PM, 801 422-2118, free).
Located directly west of Provo, Utah Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Utah. Popular fishing, boating, parasailing, and camping destination. The Utah Lake Marina is a lovely place at sunset and borders on a marsh with wild birds. Two long jetties reach out into the lake, giving a spectacular view of the valley. Caution: Utah Lake is shallow and very biologically active, meaning that it can sometimes be smelly and algae heavy and often washes up dead fish. Boaters should be wary of windy conditions, as wind can stir up high waves due to the shallow waters. Entrance to the state park is supposedly $9/vehicle or $2/person or bike, but the entrance booth is often closed and sightseers can usually walk in free, particularly during the off season.
Visit Brigham Young University campus. (Map of campus available [http://map.byu.edu/].) Begin at the [http://alumni.byu.edu/s/1085/03-provo-Alumni/index.aspx?sid=1085&gid=7&pgid=351 Visitor's Center in the Hinckley Center] (North Campus Drive) for an overview and for a guided golfcart tour, if desired. Art galleries at the [http://moa.byu.edu/ Museum of Art] and Harris Fine Arts Center. Education in Zion exhibit at the [http://lib.byu.edu/sites/educationinzion/ Joseph Fielding Smith Building], and other exhibits and events at the [http://lib.byu.edu Harold B. Lee Library]. Food and venues at the [https://wilk.byu.edu/ Wilkinson Student Center], where the [http://byubookstore.com/ BYU Bookstore] is located.
Indoor shopping mall in south Provo. Home to more than 100 retailers and a Cinemark 16 movie theater [http://www.cinemark.com/theatre-detail.aspx?node_id=1564]. Department stores are Dillard's, JC Penney, and Sears. Smaller retailers include clothes and shoe stores, jewelers, and cosmetics. Food court hosts Panda Express, Osaka Japan, Villa Pizza, Subway, McDonald's, Pretzel Maker, Hot Dog on a Stick, Orange Julius, and Sub Zero Ice Cream. [http://www.wingers.info/ Wingers] and [http://www.redrobin.com/ Red Robin] restaurants also located on the outside of the mall. Play areas for children are available.
The Mormon temple, dedicated in 1969, is located on top of a hill overlooking Provo. Because of its unique shape, the temple is sometimes called a "rocket ship." The spire was painted white (it was formerly a golden color) and the statue of Moroni added in the 2000s. Only Mormons who hold a permit known as a "temple recommend" are allowed inside the temple, but the beautifully tended grounds with their seasonal flowers and fountains are open to all. Make sure to walk around the back side of the temple for more flowers and a lovely view of Utah Valley.
The Mormon temple, dedicated in March 2016, is located in downtown Provo. The site originally housed the Provo Tabernacle, a combined meeting house and community center built in 1898, but a 2010 fire destroyed the interior and roof, with only the outer walls left standing. The LDS Church chose to preserve the outer walls, restore the original exterior, and convert the interior into the city's second temple. As with all LDS temples, only church members with "temple recommends" are allowed inside the temple, but the surrounding grounds are open to all.
A giant concrete Y towers over Provo from "Y Mountain." The zigzagging hike to the Y is relatively easy and takes most people about 45 minutes each way (although if those recently at lower elevations may wish to plan on more time). Once at the Y, you have a lovely view over Utah Valley and Utah Lake. (Another trail leads south from the Y to the peak of Y Mountain.) The hike itself is exposed with little shade, so plan accordingly when hot. The trail is particularly popular with BYU students. Facilities available at trailhead.
BYU's famous ice cream. The main location has a burger grill (11AM-9PM). The creamery has an outlet in the CougerEat cafeteria in the Wilkinson Student Center on BYU campus called '''Sugar & Spice'''. Other notable outlets include the '''Wyview Creamery''' (1990 W 400 N, M-Sa 7AM-midnight) and the '''CSC''' (just south of the BYU Conference Center and slightly northeast of the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, M-F 8AM-7PM, Sa 9AM-7PM). Many vending machines on campus also sell cups of BYU Creamery cookies & cream ice cream.
There are a number of interesting historical buildings, including the County Courthouse (151 S University Ave) and the Provo City Center Temple (50 S University Ave), a restoration of the old Provo Tabernacle which burned down in December 2010. A self-guided tour booklet our historical houses and other buildings is available at the [http://www.provolibrary.com/ Provo City Library] (550 N University Ave; ask at the first-floor reference desk) or at the Utah Valley Visitors Center  (111 S University Ave).
Life science museum featuring taxodermied animals in their natural habitats. Very large collection of animals from all over the world, including unusual ones such as a liger (cross between a tiger and a lion), a giant grizzly bear, and a huge elephant named Humphrey. Public shows, which usually include live animals, offered weekdays at 7:30 in the atrium. Children's classes for ages 5-12 ("Saturday Safari") offered on Saturdays in the summer. Closed until Fall of 2013 for construction and renovation.
Small extension of the [http://www.museomormonmx.com/ Museo de Historia del Mormonismo en Mexico]. Covers history of the Mormons in Mexico, mostly through replicas of period newspapers in Spanish and English, but a few relics are included. Worth it to se the old church relics and original copies of the Book of Mormon in Spanish, but otherwise probably only interesting for those particularly interested in Mormons and Mexico. Not recommended for children.
Museum of art featuring rotating, world-class exhibits, in addition to a permanent collection. Audioguides and docent-led tours available. The Museum Cafe offers lunch onsite (11:30AM-2PM). Next door is the Harris Fine Arts Center, which features galleries of student art. Close by is also the [http://lib.byu.edu/ Harold B. Lee Library], which features art and historical exhibits on the 1st and 3rd floors.
Small museum that chronicles the history and methods of the Utah State Hospital (a mental health hospital operating since 1885). The buildings elsewhere on the hospital campus are notable for their architecture, including a "castle" built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration (you must receive permission to visit the castle; ask at the museum for information about how to do that).
A rugged canyon popular with students, families, hikers, and rock climbers alike. The main trail is very easy, but leads off to other more difficult trails, such as one to the top of Squaw Peak. The mouth of the canyon also connects to '''[http://www.bonnevilleshorelinetrail.org/ Bonneville Shore Trail]''', which follows the base of the Wasatch Mountains.
Hiking, camping, and skiing are just some of the popular activities in the beautiful Wasatch Range located just east of the city. There is also a popular scenic drive called the '''[http://www.utah.com/byways/alpine_loop.htm Alpine Loop]''' (May-Oct, free) that circles Mount Timpanogos via Provo Canyon (US-189) and American Fork Canyon (Highway 94).
Located to the north of Provo, Mount Timpanogos is a very prominent and well-known landmark across the Wasatch Range. It rises to an impressive elevation of 11,752 ft (3,582 m). It is the location of one of the few permanent snowfields in Utah, and is also the location of several breathtaking, scenic, and popular hikes.
Incredible collection of historic architecture, and an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops. Downtown Provo is also home to several major employers, including NuSkin International. The LDS Church has converted a historic burned-out Tabernacle to a LDS Temple (see separate listing below).
Large collection of pioneer artifacts and history. Museum run by Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) [http://www.dupinternational.org/]. Recreated Pioneer Village next door run by the [http://www.sonsofutahpioneers.org/ Sons of Utah Pioneers] (Jun-Aug: M 5-8PM, T-F 4-7PM, Sa 1-4PM).
607-foot waterfall in Provo Canyon that is popular with cyclers and hikers. The waterfall is viewable from the road and a viewing station. A short bike/walking trail leads to the bottom of the falls. The middle level of the falls can be reached via a short but steep trail.
The ultimate thrift store. You can buy anything here: clothes, kitchenware, books, knickknacks, electronics... The place is a ginormus gold mine. The store is also a vocational rehabilitation facility and donates some items to humanitarian causes around the world.
Is one of Provo's gems. The venue is a mandatory stop for artists from Utah's (surprisingly healthy) local-music scene, and touring artists often sidestep Salt Lake City clubs to play here. A full calendar of shows is available on the venue's website.
Utah Valley's symphony since 1959. Usually gives concerts on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Covey Center for the Arts. Check the website for scheduling; tickets can be purchased through the [http://www.coveycenter.org/ Covey Center].
Ice cream made with cryogenics right in front of your eyes. Very cool to watch and pretty tasty to eat, too. Sub Zero also has an outlet inside the Provo Towne Centre food court (1200 Towne Centre Blvd, 801 494-0988, open until 9PM).
Shows foreign and classic films four days per week in a large auditorium. Tickets not required. See website for weekly schedule (showing times usually provided two weeks in advance). Map of BYU campus available [http://map.byu.edu/].
BYU hosts a ton of plays, concerts, and other performances each year. There's something going on most nights of the week. Performances are generally held at the Harris Fine Arts Center. Check the website for scheduling and tickets.
Large campus bookstore also offering sweets, art, and BYU/Provo souvenirs. Particularly significant for its large collection of foreign language children's books (located downstairs). Also an outlet for LDS Distribution Services.
Isolated public campground up Rock Canyon (between Squaw Peak and Y Mountain). Access road is only partially paved; used 4-wheel drive. No water. Vault toilets. Gate closes at 10PM. Excellent access to rock climbing and hiking.
Large festival held every year around the 4th of July. Features the Stadium of Fire, Grand Parade, Balloon Fest, Freedom Days (vendor stalls and carnival rides), Colonial Days, and other activities and events.
Although Macey's is a grocery store, they serve huge soft-serve cones for a very cheap price. When you walk in, head back to the right towards the bakery/deli and order your ice cream at the counter.
Originally a hotdog stand on the corner, J-Dawgs has expanded to its own restaurant and offers gourmet hotdogs. Known for its Polish hotdogs and "special sauce." Very popular with BYU students.
Small but well-kept museum featuring dinosaur fossils, including a top-rated Jurassic Period exhibit. The fossils in this museum were previously kept in storage beneath the football stadium.
Impressive museum featuring a replica of the Gutenburg Press, other historical presses, a model 5 Linotype, and old publications. Individual and group tours are available by appointment.
Several campgrounds along the shore of Deer Creek Reservoir in Provo Canyon. Open Jun-Oct, but off-season camping allowed. Concessions, drinking water, modern restrooms and hot showers.
Brazilian grill famous for its quantity and quality of meats, both mundane and unusual. Skewers are brought directly to the table where sizzling portions are sliced onto diners' plates.
Currently in the process of being revitalized. Nevertheless, there are still a few interesting and unique shops downtown, made more attractive by their 1880-1910 architecture.
Near Utah Lake, tucked into a curve of the Provo River. Walking distance to Utah Lake State Park Marina. Convenience store, laundry room, game room, summer pool, hot showers.
A locally owned burger restaurant that offers more than just burgers. They also have all sorts of sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and sides like "Zucchini Stix" and taquitos.
Very small but award-winning museum focusing on cultural anthropology. Regularly features exhibits about Native American cultures, but also features other cultures.
Interactive live comedy show downtown since 1999. Schedule of shows and tickets available at their website. Some shows not open for reservation. Family appropriate.
Public campground in Provo Canyon along Provo River. Close to Bridal Veil Falls. Open April to October. No reservation required. Flush toilets and drinking water.
Located within walking distance of Brigham Young University. Wireless, laundry, fitness center, pool. Denny's and Magleby's restaurants in the same complex.
Brick Oven has been a staple of BYU students and Utah County residents for decades. Known for their pizza and homemade rootbeer. Located near BYU campus.
Chic and creative cafe serving breakfast, sandwiches, salads, wraps, pasta, and much more. Often offers live music in the evenings. Located in downtown.
The only coffee house near BYU campus. You can also get hot chocolate and Italian sodas, or pick up breakfast or a light lunch. Free wifi is available.
Store that features stalls for local crafters and vendors to sell their home décor items and handmade crafts. One of the unique gems of northern Utah.
An eccentric gift and keepsake boutique housed in the historic BYU Women's Gymnasium, across from the Provo Library (formerly Brigham Young Academy).
Hotel and conference facility downtown, close to Novell, Inc. Wireless, laundry, copy center, fitness center & pool, and onsite restaurants.
Bowling alley and game center, including traditional arcade games and billiards. Attached to the alley is Costa Vida, a Mexican restaurant.
Planetarium offering shows for the public. Reservations may be made online. Map of BYU campus available online [http://map.byu.edu/].
Extended stay furnished apartments. Free wireless, flatscreen TV and DVD player, fully equipped kitchens, laundry, and housekeeping.
One of the many pizzerias in Provo. Owned by a guy from Arlington, MA (you can ask him to call out your order in his Boston accent).
Largest waterpark in Utah with waterslides, a wave pool, and other water attractions. Charge for parking ($5/day or $3 after 4PM).
Located within walking distance of BYU. Wireless, fitness enter, pool. Denny's and Magleby's restaurants within the same complex.
Authentic Indian restaurant in downtown Provo, started by a BYU student from India. Well known for its naan and lassis.
Bakery offering sandwiches and treats. Known for its all-you-can eat cinnamon French toast and sourdough pancakes.
Really big slices of really great pizza. Just south of BYU campus. Popular with BYU students and locals alike.
Provo's only B&B, with themed rooms. Gourmet breakfast and treats in the kitchen included. Wireless internet.
Hawaiian grill. Feels commercialized but has a Hawaiian-themed interior and actually has pretty decent food.
Located in south Provo near the Provo Towne Centre. Laundry, outdoor pool, fitness center. Pets welcome.
Plays, concerts, events, and an art gallery downtown. Check the website for the schedule and tickets.
Family-owned Italian restaurant operating in Provo since 1984. Featuring Napoli (Naples) cuisine.
Located along the Provo River trail. Free shuttle service. Laundry, fitness center, indoor pool.
Standard rooms, studios, suites, and 2-4 bedroom homes at Sundance Ski Resort up Provo Canyon.
As the name implies, gourmet cupcakes. Schedule of cupcake flavors available on the website.
Located in south Provo near the Provo Towne Centre. Free wireless. Pets allowed with fee.
Fresh juice and espresso bar. You can also get hot chocolate, Italian sodas, and tea.
A good place is at Nunn's Park right across from Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.
Public golf course in the wetlands of south Provo close to Utah Lake. Open Sundays.
Self-serve frozen yogurt just south of BYU campus and part of South End Market.
Ice cream and malt shakes. A retro classic, but a little on the grubby side.
Gourmet bake shop featuring cookies, cakes, brownies, cupcakes, and more.
At Sundance or alternatively just look at the various art on display.
Free wireless. Fitness center, pool, laundry. Pets allowed with fee.
Mexican chain started in Utah and popular with students.
Chinese restaurant located in the Shops at Riverwoods.
Well-known local Mexican restaurant in downtown.
Located along Provo River. Outdoor pool.
The LDS (Mormon) church dominates here, and many businesses (including some gas stations) are closed on Sunday. Provo is also considered one of the most right-leaning, politically "conservative" communities in the USA, although BYU and UVU students add some political variety. If visiting BYU campus, be aware that nearly all campus services are closed Tuesdays between 11AM and noon due to weekly campus devotionals and forums. The main area code in Provo is 801, but because the area served by 801 is also served by a second area code (385), the area code must be dialed along with the local number.