When I first moved to Provo, I only associated Provo with BYU... which most people do. I get asked all of the time... "why do you still live in Provo, aren't you too old to be living there? There is not a lot to do there if you don't go to BYU". I used to agree with that... but that was before I became more educated about what was around me. As it turns out there are a lot of things I love about living in Provo.
Whenever I have had couch surfers stay with me, if I have time, I show them around Provo and take them to a few local spots. I always wondered why out of towners would want to stop and stay in Provo, but when I have take them around... they all LOVE Provo. It has some hipster qualities to it for sure... that is all the rage these days. It's more than that though.
Let's start with the fact that it is beautiful here. There is very little traffic compared to Salt Lake... I mean, I'm extremely lucky to have a 5 minute commute to work. And yes, living next to BYU does bring more opportunities of activities to do here because there is so much talent at that school... you could go to concerts, plays, sports events, education week, time out for women, comedy shows, dance competitions... the list goes on, but this post isn't about that. I wanted to list 10 things that I love about living in Provo that have NOTHING to do with BYU.
*Note, all of these photo's were taken from Google Images - except the Disney Shake it off pic is mine*
#1 - We have the Freedom Festival. It's kind of a big deal. Just Stadium of Fire gets people from all over to Provo to go to the big show and see the headliner in concert. Along with the Stadium of Fire, we have quite the firework show, a 5k & 10k race, a parade and even a hot air balloon festival that all goes along with the event. It's a party.
#2 - We are the only city that now has 2 temples! Crazy right? They even have a race that starts at one temple and ends at the other temple. They are a few miles away from each other. Pretty cool.
#3 - Something that a lot of people don't know about is something called Creative Collaborative. It is a meeting once a month where they invite artists, musicians, successful business owners and other creative successful people to come speak to whoever wants to listen... in hopes to uplift and inspire the people that have come to listen. It's the second Tuesday of every month at the Provo Rec Center (Used to be at the Startup Building) and the best part? It's free!
#4 - YouTube Hopefuls. That is what my friend and I call them. There is a lot of talent in Provo. Everyone is trying to make it big with their own YouTube Channels. If you ever want a chance to be in a YouTube video that will probably go Viral... you will most likely find it in Provo. I can't tell you how many people I know that have YouTube video's that have gone viral. I have been in one! Shake it off - Disney Style. Stewart Edge is another big one in town. He lives near me and we have hung out in groups a couple of times. Studio C... one of them is a good friend of mine. The list goes on... I'm not even surprised anymore when I know someone else who makes a video that goes viral. It's normal here... and not hard to get in on.
#5 - Every summer for the entire month of August, Monday night's after dark you can go to Rock Canyon Park to see free outdoor movies. It's one of my favorite things to do in summer. Something about watching movies outdoors on a blanket in the grass under the stars with a ton of people. It's great...and even more great that it is free.
#6 - The Food Truck Roundup! It's a huge hit here. It goes almost the entire year every Thursday night at the Startup Building. Not only is it fun to go and try new food from the 20 trucks that are lined up there, but it's a fun social event as well. I always run into people that I know. Some Thursday's they even have live music as well. Obviously it is more hoppin in the warmer months, but people love their food trucks enough to go all year.
#7 - Speaking of all year long... I go to Utah Lake all year. It's so close, so I drive over there ALL the time just to watch the sunset. It's one of the best places to watch the sunset in my opinion. I never get tired of it.
#8 - Not all activities are in the Summer. They go all out for the New Year as well. They have a couple different parties. One big one is on Center Street and the Other at the Provo Towne Center. Either way... there is a big party (concerts, games, performers) and there are fireworks.
#9 - All Summer they have the Rooftop Concert Series. It's the first Friday of every month. It used to be on the roof of a parking garage, which was a pretty awesome setting.... but it got too big and they had to block off all of Center Street for the Concert/Party. It is getting big enough that they are getting better headliners too. Last summer's Rooftop Concert Series ended with Kaskade... which was a HUGE party. Have I mentioned how much I love Provo Center Street? It's so charming. Sorry, side note. The Rooftop Concerts have become a huge event that people come from all over for.
#10 - I saved the best for last. My favorite part of living in Provo is being close to Provo Canyon. I could create another list just of fun things to do IN Provo canyon... but I will just name a few. We have 2 beautiful waterfalls, Deer Creek, great fishing, you can go rafting down Provo River, go on some great hikes, it has skiing/snow boarding, at Sundance they have have the Full Moon Ski Lift Ride that you can take during every full moon in summer & fall) they even have a zip line. All in Provo Canyon.
So you see.... when people ask me why I live in Provo... or they tell me there is nothing to do here or Provo isn't that great. I laugh. They just don't know.... but I do. Provo is pretty cool.