Bear Lake Utah / Bear Lake Idaho
Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake on the Utah-Idaho border famous for its turquoise hues and fresh raspberry shakes.
It goes without saying that you go to Bear Lake to play in the water - boating, water skiing, wake surfing, tubing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, sailing, you name it! It even has some great sandy beaches, so check out this post on the best Bear Lake Beaches. But if you're wondering what else there is to do besides play on the water, scroll down for our favorite things to do at Bear Lake with kids plus some bonus tips on where to stay.
Top 10 Best Things To Do At Bear Lake
10. Go golfing with hilltop lake views
Bear Lake Golf Course is very casual and affordable, so you're totally fine playing a round in flip-flops and tank top. And who cares what your score is when you're driving a golf cart around with good company and great lake views.
9. Rent a bike at the Bike Barn
Bike Barn next to the KOA has everything you could want from e-bikes to mountain bikes to kid trailers and surreys. And there's a paved biking/running trail that follows Bear Lake Blvd up and down the lake.
8. Ropes course & zip lines
Bridgerland Adventure Park has a ton of activities to choose from, including a ropes course, zip line, ax throwing, disc golf, mini golf, and more.
Photo credit: BearLake.org
7. Race go-karts
Renegade Raceway located in Garden City near all the restaurants
Photo credit: Renegade Raceway
6. Tour a cave
The Minnetonka Cave is about a 45-minute drive from Garden City and offers tours of its vast caverns with fascinating stalagmites and stalactites. It stays under 40 degrees even in the summer, so bring a jacket.
Photo credit: BearLake.org
5. Take a quick jaunt to Paris
4. Nature trail hike
Take a short drive up towards Logan Canyon and less than 10 minutes from Garden City is an easy 1.3 mile hike/walk called Limber Pine Trail.
3. See fireflies at night
Surprisingly, yes, there are fireflies in Utah! Go to Garden City Park and walk to beach and you'll see some fireflies in the wetlands along the shore.
2. See a play
The Pickleville Playhouse is a family-friendly musical theater in Garden City near Ideal Beach. They perform all summer long and almost always sell out on weekends.
1. Eat a fresh raspberry shake
You didn't think I'd leave this off the list, did you? Bear Lake is famous for growing raspberries and even has an annual festival called Raspberry Days. So make sure to try one of the famous Bear Lake raspberry shakes at one of the many shake shops in Garden City.
LaBeau's will have the longest lines and I'll let you decide if you think that means they're the best or if the shakes from one of the other shops are equally good. OK fine, I'll admit - I can't tell the difference.
Lodging at Bear Lake, Utah
Bear Lake is an incredibly popular summer destination for families but not many people visit year round. Because of that, there are no hotels. But there are tons of hotel-like options including condos, cabins, and lakefront houses you can rent.
I prefer the cabin option to really get that Bear Lake vibe.
KOA Campground (mini cabins, RV hookups, or tent camping).
Ideal Beach Resort or private vacation rental
Best cabin rental options
Closest to the marina
Worldmark Harbor Village (this is a timeshare resort but occasionally you can find bookings through Expedia)
Whatever you decide to do when you go to Bear Lake, you're sure to have a great time! It's a Utah summer classic. Go check it off your bucket list if you haven't already. And if you've been many times before, go discover something new.
For more inspiration for your next family road trip, be sure to download a free copy of The Ultimate Family-Friendly Utah Bucket List!
And if your drive to Bear Lake takes you through Utah County, make sure to stop by JJ's to rent an inflatable paddleboard or two.