Have you ever heard of Spring City, Utah? I'm not talking about Springville, but Spring City (totally different place). If you haven't heard of this charming historic town (one of the only towns in the USA registered in its entirety on the National Historic Register), you MUST put it on your bucket list of places to visit in Utah. Located in Sanpete County, just north of the city of Manti, Spring City is utterly enchanting. It's full of gorgeously preserved pioneer homes and other buildings from the mid-1800's, and is also home to a vibrant artist community.
One of the best times of the year to visit Spring City is during its annual Heritage Day Celebration, which occurs every year on the Saturday before Memorial Day. This year's Heritage Day Celebration happens on Saturday, May 28, 2016, from 10 am - 4 pm. My husband, children, and I have been making a yearly pilgrimage to Spring City for this very event for the past 4 or 5 years. It's that good. Activities include the historic homes tour; antiques sale; and an art auction at the Old Spring City School, which has been undergoing restoration for the past three years and is a lovely building at the heart of the town.
A trek to Spring City makes a great little day trip. From Salt Lake City, the drive takes about 1 hour 45 minutes. Pack some snacks and hit the road with the kids for a scenic drive to Sanpete County and this little gem of a town. You'll want to leave early enough to get there by 10 am to enjoy all of the day's activities.
When you arrive at Spring City for the Heritage Day Celebration, you will want to first purchase your tickets for the historic homes tour. You can either order the tickets online and pick them up in Will Call at the Main Street Historic Firehouse, or purchase them in person from 9am to 2pm at the Old School or the Main Street Firehouse. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and all of the funds support the preservation and restoration efforts in town. The historic homes tour is definitely one of the highlights of the day's events. My kids and husband and I love walking around the pretty little town and visiting the different homes that the owners generously open up to the public. The great thing about Spring City is that it is fairly small and very walkable. If you get tired of walking, you can hop on a free wagon tour of parts of the town. When your kids need a break from touring homes, there's a great park next to the Old Spring City School at which the kids can play to their hearts' content.
A few sights you don't want to miss while you're in town (besides all of the great historic homes on the tour):
- Spring City LDS Chapel (gorgeous, inside and out, and unlike any LDS chapel you've ever seen before)
- the Judge's home (originally owned by a judge who worked in Spring City - this home is usually not on the historic homes tour, but you can walk by it and marvel at its historic grandeur)
- the Old Spring City School
- the spring for which Spring City is named (feel free to fill up some water bottles with this natural water goodness - it's right next to the gas station on the north end of Main Street)
If you're into antiques and arts and crafts, the Old Spring City School offers a great local antiques/arts/crafts market during Heritage Day. Plus, there are several art galleries around town that offer some terrific local art. Also, there's a silent art auction at the Old School, featuring well-known local artists' work (Lee Bennion, Susan Gallacher, M’Lisa Paulsen, Doug Fryer, Kathleen Peterson, Cassandria Parsons, Lynn Farrar, Ken Baxter, among others). And you don't want to pass by Horseshoe Mountain Pottery, owned by talented potter Joe Bennion. He makes some incredible pots and ceramic goods that make awesome gifts. (Side note: I own one of his bread bakers and it's my favorite thing to bake bread in!) Plus, Joe's wife Lee Bennion is a well-known Utah artist who also happens to make the awesome Mom's Stuff Salve, which you can buy at a booth in front of Horseshoe Mountain Pottery, which is right on Main Street.
If you get hungry while you're in Spring City, check out the local eateries.
Two great restaurants we've tried are Das Cafe (amazing and delicious authentic German food) and Zona Barrio Grill (really great Mexican food). You can't go wrong with either of those eating establishments. These places are both packed during Heritage Day, so if you don't feel like waiting in line for food, you can also purchase a meal at the local fundraisers that take place next to the Old Spring City School. The locals serve up breakfast and lunch for reasonable prices, and the money goes towards good causes.
If you want to extend your stay beyond Heritage Day, Spring City offers some really great bed & breakfasts. My husband and I stayed at the Osbourne Inn once and it was fabulous! It even included bikes to ride around town. And there's this amazing drive-in movie theater in the town just north of Spring City (Mt. Pleasant), which is really worth stopping by on your way home, if you feel like making a late evening of your day trip.
I could keep going on and on about Spring City because I love it so much, but I'll let you make the trip and decide. Who knows? Maybe you'll fall for this place like so many others have.
- Arrive early in the day to get the full experience of all of the activities offered.
- Bring a stroller for the little ones.
- Pack a lunch and snacks if you don't want to purchase food at any of the local eateries.
- Visit as many historic homes as you can.
- Have an awesome time!