Salt Lake City — home of murky salt lakes, vast salt flats and towering mountain peaks – isn’t the first place you think of when conjuring up images of lush gardens. But Thanksgiving Point Gardens, just 30 minutes south in Lehi, is a beautiful respite that leaves you gaping in awe as you stroll the grounds.
Perfectly manicured with 15 theme gardens covering 50 acres, the center is an explosion of color and water, letting you explore a walled secret garden, koi pond, lakes, waterfall, stone (well, faux stone) bridge, butterfly habitats and more.
HI Travel Tales spent about two hours sauntering, smiling and enjoying – this is not a place to hurry through. In fact, the expanses of grass beg for you to have a seat and just breathe – perhaps even with a picnic.
The day we visited a thunder and lightening storm with accompanying deluge of rain sheeting down in waves rolled in, leaving visitors running for cover. But quick as a flash staff circulated in golf carts to whisk those who wanted a lift back the visitor center. With lawns becoming lakes, sitting and smelling the roses was no longer part of our day. What was part was spending a quarter for fish food and watching the Koi turn the pond into a boiling pot of reds, oranges and silvers as they fought for their share (watch our short video at the end of this story).
We were lucky to happen in on “Two Dollar Tuesdays,” an August special at Thanksgiving Point Gardens that put extra big smiles on our faces and meant our shortened visit of two hours felt pretty fine. Normally, adults are $15 with discounts for seniors, families, students and youth. If you have more time, have a seat in the Trellis Café with a beautiful patio overlooking the gardens – also offering two-dollar specials on these Tuesdays.
The actual gardens are in fact part of a larger complex with museums and farm centers, including the new Museum of Natural Curiosity full of interactive experiences. Check out the website to find out more before you go.