Travel Series – Utah: Part 4

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By Kiara Bean, Editor-in-Chief

            After spending a wonderful time in St. George, Cedar City, and their vicinity, we are traveling more north, where our next stop is Midway, a little city located in the lovely Heber Valley in the Wasatch Mountains.

            Midway has a population of around 5,300 people and sits at 5,584 feet above sea level. Known for its Swiss-style architecture, it’s a quaint little town surrounded by miles of breathtaking nature and gorgeous greenery. Midway is located about thirty minutes from Park City, where part of the 2002 Winter Olympics took place, and about ten minutes from Soldier Hollow, where the cross country, biathlon, and Nordic combined events played out.

            The city has a very homey and traditional feel. All the buildings are very charming to look at because of the Alpine-themed architectural design. Many buildings in Midway are very unusually decorated: instead of having just basic stucco or brick, they have murals painted on them depicting various Alpine scenes.

The town hall is an especially unique building. It’s not particularly large, imposing, or gaudy like the town halls in other cities I have visited. However, it does have something that most town halls don’t have: a musical clock. This clock features a rotating platform that comes out of a small set of doors at the top of the building. On this platform are rotating dolls dressed in traditional Swiss clothing. The clock plays different songs on the top of the hour and at the half hour, with a special, longer performance at noon. It’s very interesting to watch and listen to, and a definite must-see.

If you are looking for Swiss architecture at its finest, look no further than the Zermatt Hotel. This is definitely an upscale hotel decorated in the Alpine style, not only from outside, but also from inside. There are also many bed-and-breakfasts in the area that are decorated in the Swiss style. Several of them have not only walls decorated with murals, but they also set up their yards like some European village in the Swiss Alps. It was truly a sight to see.

Midway is also known for its hot springs. The city is home to Homestead Crater, where visitors can swim in a hot spring year-round. They also offer snorkeling and various yoga sessions inside of the cave, so feel free to check those out. I was happy to simply climb to the top of the crater and stand on the bridge, where you can look down into the cave through heavy steel netting. There is also a beautiful view of Midway and the surrounding area from the top of the crater.

Speaking of beautiful views, Memorial Hill offers an amazing 360-degree view of all the beauty Midway has to offer. Memorial Hill was built as a veterans’ memorial for the Wasatch County veterans who fought in all the wars from the War of 1812 to today. At the top of the hill, there are several large black stones engraved with the names of the veterans who fought in each war. There are also flags for each branch of the US military. “The Final Salute” is a statue of military boots, helmet, and a rifle. It’s meant as a tribute to everyone who gave their lives in service. You can either walk or drive up the hill; just keep in mind to bring water with you if you choose to walk, especially if you’re there in the middle of summer, because there are no trees to hide under. It is an over 1-mile winding dirt road to get to the top of Memorial Hill, so plan accordingly.

That wraps up this part of the travel series. In my next article, I will talk about places in Midway to satisfy your appetite. I will also talk about the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on (and I have been on a lot of hikes), and the most spectacular view we saw on one of the hikes. Stay tuned to continue our trip in Northern Utah!

Captions:

1. The Town Hall, Midway

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2. Town Hall Musical Clock, Midway

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3. Zermatt Hotel, Midway

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4. Simons Chalet, Midway

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5. Mural on a Building in Midway

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6. Homestead Crater, Midway

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7. Top of Homestead Crater, Midway

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8. Ski Jumping Hill in Park City

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9. Flags on Memorial Hill, Midway

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10. The Final Salute on Memorial Hill, Midway

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11. Sign at the Entrance to Memorial Hill, Midway

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12. Sign at the Entrance to Memorial Hill, Midway

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