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Cache Valley: The Cornucopia of Harvest Festivities

By Karli Davis
September 08, 2023

The best fall activities Utah has to look forward to — bountiful harvests, copious food and nature stuffs.

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By November, the leaves of quaking aspens will have come and gone. The deciduous remnants remind us that life comes and goes with the seasons. So you may as well stuff yourself to the brim with food, festivities and other fall time things to do in Cache Valley. You never know how long the next winter will be.  

Logan in a Handbasket

An hour north of Salt Lake City and away from the hubbub, is Logan — a treasure trove of talents and tranquility at the tippy top of the state. Every direction you look there are natural attractions, community gatherings and fall activities Utah couldn’t stand to live without. 

Perhaps there’s such a strong affection for this place because it’s considered Utah’s Heart of the Arts. Performing arts groups and live performances are as common as cookie and soda shops. The historic theaters immerse you in operatic arias, Broadway musicals and classic movies. 

Of all the things to do in Logan, Utah, days or weeks of food tours might not have crossed your mind. But downtown Logan overfloweth with cutesy cafes and specialty shops. There’s so much to eat. So much. Take the Foodie Trek and Signature Products Tour to see for yourself. We petitioned to rename this tour the Land of Milk and Honey Tour, since you’ll be stopping at literal milk and honey shops — like Aggie Ice Cream and Cox Honeyland — among other tasty places.

Leaf It to Nature

Ring, ring. Yell-ow? Autumn is calling, they’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty. Kidding! They’re just letting you know that Logan Canyon will soon be bursting with fluorescent foliage. Yes, put those fuzzy sweaters on. Pick up those Pumpkin Spice Lattes. It’s time for photo shoots in a sea of yellows, oranges and reds. 

Downtown Logan is just 10 minutes from Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Picture-perfect spots can be found all along Logan Canyon Scenic Byway with tons of spots for hiking, biking, camping or birding. Beaver Creek Lodge has horseback riding where you can pose for a pic in your thrifted Pendleton sweater while riding a noble steed. Or rent an off-road vehicle to explore the backcountry. Good luck getting a non-blurry pic on that wild ride! 

Gardeners’ Market, Saturdays Through October 21

The Gardeners’ Market at the Old Historic Courthouse is one of best all-season things to do in Logan, Utah. Maybe you want to switch to local vendors for your fruits and veg, or maybe you’re looking for some unique Cache Valley date ideas. For the latter, meeting at the market is a great way to test the waters on whether the seeds of love can be planted. 

What kind of fresh produce does your date pick out? Are they a beets kind of person? Do they wash the dirt off the produce before eating it? Compatibility is at stake here. Maybe you and your longtime partner love date nights dancing together at the live music events. Or maybe you take turns ditching each other in the giant corn mazes, because you’ve realized that distance makes the heart grow fonder. 

Either way, top off your date with a leisurely stroll through the other vendor booths. What heart-eyed person isn’t looking to get their significant other some artisan soap, a bracelet from a local jeweler, a fresh-squeezed lemonade or some fresh baked sourdough bread? It’s the little things, after all. 

Harvest Festivals

The reaper is here and it’s not grim at all. It’s time to gather the fruits of our labors at some festivals to celebrate the harvest. So gather the grains, gather your loved ones and gather for  more Cache Valley date ideas and fall activities Utah has to offer.

Giant Pumpkin Festival, September 23

You’re going to luffa this festival, swear to gourd. Head to Center Street in Downtown Logan where you’ll get a taste of live music, free movies at the Utah Theatre, food truck roundups and decadent pumpkin treats. But the cream of the crop, the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie, is the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. 

This festival happens to be on the autumnal equinox, and seems fitting that spectators get to behold one of nature’s biggest bounties — 1,000-pound pumpkins! And don’t forget to participate in some pumpkin carving or painting, since embracing your inner artist is one of the best things to do in Logan, Utah.  

Cache Valley Cheese and Dairy Festival, September 29-30

One of life’s greatest gifts is being granted permission to loiter around free snack stations. Costco samplers can take a back seat because this festival in Cache Valley, Utah, gives you two days straight of the ultimate free-snack-frenzy — cheese sampling. You’ll become a Muenster mercenary, a Havarti hunter, a curd crusader. 

Not only that, contests, workshops and ice cream stops give you plenty of ways to spend your hard earned cheddar. Whose macaroni is hottest in the pot? Whose cheesecake is moistest of the lot? Who wants their cone with sprinkles on top? And who’s ready for some Swiss cowbell beats to drop? 

We are! After ascending mountains of Swiss cheese, you can listen to a master yodeler and alpenhorn master serenade the valley. And don’t leave without leveling up your snacking skills. Attend workshops that teach you how to properly taste-test cheese (who knew it had a method?!) or build the best charcuterie boards for your next book club. 

American West Heritage Center’s Fall Harvest Festival, October 13-14

Take a ride — via pony or wagon — back in time. This festival teaches you how the west was fun. We’re not talking the Mary Kate and Ashley version. We’re talking the version with hay bales of history and stories of settlers of the American West. Mingle with full-costumed pioneers, farmers and mountain men who teach you skills needed during harvest season. 

Bonnie in her bonnet teaches you candlestick making, because someone’s gotta watch over the bread at night. Sammy in suspenders shows off his steam engine threshing machine, because someone’s gotta get the wheat for the bread. And Fannie in her hunting frock shows you how to make the best pressed cider out west. 

For a few extra silver dollars, take the Bison Tour tractor ride or visit the ghouls and ghosts of the west at the Haunted Hollow. And don’t forget to feast on some old-timey treats like sarsaparilla or smoked BBQ, fresh off the grill.

North Logan Pumpkin Walk, October 19-21 and 23-24

It’s been a whole month since your last pumpkin-themed festival. Let’s reignite that tea-light candle and take a walk down memory lane. This Cache Valley, Utah, tradition was started in 1983 when it began as a small display of pumpkins on a family farm. A neighborly kerfuffle spurred its transition into a famous festival of carved and painted gourds, now drawing upwards of 30,000 people.   

Gourds of all kinds are artfully carved or painted and put into real life situations. A pumpkin family may be having a picnic or a butternut squash might be reading a storybook. And don’t forget to put on your best jack-o-lantern grin for the photo-op at the end! 

As you can see, lots of things to do in Logan or Cache Valley, Utah, have to do with art, creativity, generosity, and bounteous gatherings. The list of things to do is a lot longer, but these are a good starting point — or gouda starting point, if you’re still thinking about all that cheese. Mmm.

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