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Attagirl! Women’s History & Highlights

In honor of 2020's women's suffrage anniversaries.

2020 is a complicated, heartbreaking year, but it's important not to lose sight of one of its important anniversaries. The United States is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which forbade gender-based voting discrimination in the United States. In Utah, we’re also celebrating another important anniversary — 150 years since the first woman to vote in the country cast her ballot in Salt Lake City. This is perfect timing to consider how you might honor the past and current struggles and achievements of women, including Utah’s notable women’s history. 

According to Better Days 2020, a Salt Lake City-based group working to popularize women’s history in the state, Salt Lake City has more standing suffrage sites than Seneca Falls, New York — home of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. 

This itinerary is perfect for a girls’ trip, a solo-adventure or a family vacation focused on educational experiences. It pairs history and time for reflection with active adventure, beautiful scenery and Instagrammable locations. 

Experience our mantra video and more stories of Utah women

Day 1 8 Miles
  • Suffrage Walking Tour
  • Suffrage Exhibits and Events
  • Woman-owned restaurants

Spend the day in Salt Lake City educating yourself on the history of women’s suffrage efforts in Utah and across the country. In Salt Lake City, a 23 year-old school teacher named Seraph Young cast the first vote by a woman under an equal suffrage law in the United States. In Salt Lake City, you can visit the building where this historic vote took place, and an abundance of additional historical sites, as well as exhibits, performances and community events, which have been planned to celebrate these important voting rights anniversaries. Enhance your journey with local women-owned businesses and restaurants.

Overnight in Salt Lake City at a hotel or Airbnb.

Suffrage Walking Tour

Follow this walking tour for notable suffrage sites around Salt Lake City. National suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke at the tabernacle on Temple Square. From state and city buildings to the still-standing homes of local women’s rights activists, many Salt Lake City locations call visitors to consider this area’s rich women’s history. For more ideas, check out 10 Places to Honor Women's History on Your Utah Trip.

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Suffrage Exhibits and Events

Most of Utah’s landmark museums are honoring women’s history throughout the year in 2020. Learn more about the suffrage story, see the artifacts, and meet the artists and advocates bringing these stories to life at various museums and locations around Salt Lake City.

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Woman-owned restaurants

From traditional family mole recipes to Alpine-style cheese artisans up north, Utah’s female tastemakers are leading the charge for great eating and drinking in the state and beyond. Pick a woman-owned restaurant in the Salt Lake area for your meal — or meals — this day, or get inspiration for other restaurants around the state.

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Day 2 240 Miles
  • Tracing Naturalist Writers
  • Arches National Park
  • Moab Made

After your time in Salt Lake City, you’ll have gleaned some new insights and thoughts on the powerful women who came before you, and the difference-makers still at work today. Now it’s time to take to the outdoors where Utah’s wild lands will help you resolve or refocus what’s important to you. Setting out towards Moab, find a friend, an adventure guide or go it alone on hiking trails, rivers and scenic byways.

Overnight in Devils Garden Campground or in Moab at a hotel, Airbnb or glamping location.

Tracing Naturalist Writers

Stop by a local Moab bookstore and acquaint yourself with the writings of Ellen Meloy and Amy Irvine. Irvine’s new collection of essays Desert Cabal, is in direct conversation with famous Utah writer Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire. Arches National Park is where both Abbey and Irvine worked as National Park Service Rangers, making it the perfect location to visit if you want to dive into the landscapes that informed the writing of both books, and their differing conclusions.

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Arches National Park

Spend the day experiencing Arches National Park, whether on the scenic drive or on the hiking trail. There’s no shortage of great hikes to fit your schedule and skill level. For a unique experience, reserve a tour through the Fiery Furnace. This twisting labyrinth of brilliant red rock fissures and spines is so intricate it is highly recommended to find your way through with a guide. With a permit from the visitor center, experienced explorers can enter without a guide.

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Moab Made

In Moab, stop by woman-owned business Moab Made. Started by Rebecca McAllister in 2016, this shop is dedicated to distributing products created by the local artisan community. Products include art, jewelry, apparel, body products and more. Situated right on Moab's Main Street, stop in to pick up a token from your time in Moab, or a souvenir for one of your galentines back home. 

Day 3 150 Miles
  • Estrogen on Adrenaline
  • Filmed in Utah: Dead Horse Point
  • Sweet Cravings

Explore the lesser-visited gems outside of the Moab-area national parks. This is a great day to book a guided excursion such as a mountain biking adventure or a river rafting trip on the Green River (Read: Bridesmaids Gone Boating). For views that rival the Grand Canyon and excellent mountain bike trails, stop at Dead Horse Point State Park. Also, make a point to experience Moab's Main Street, which features great local restaurants, artisan shops, bookstores and outfitters. 

In the evening, get on the road to Capitol Reef National Park and overnight in Torrey or try glamping at Capitol Reef Resort.

Estrogen on Adrenaline

Read this account of one writer’s active day on Moab’s slickrock trails. If you’d like to try a guided mountain biking experience, give a woman-owned business a try, such as Ashley Kornblatt’s Western Spirit Cycling or Kirstin Peterson’s Rim Tours. (Read: Supporting Women Entrepreneurs While Traveling in Utah)

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Filmed in Utah: Dead Horse Point

Many visitors find Dead Horse Point State Park to be even more captivating than the views at the Grand Canyon. A visitor center and art gallery provide a wonderful introduction to the park’s geology and key features visible from the overlooks. There are also mountain biking trails and reservable yurts.

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Sweet Cravings

Cinda Culton set out to make an ideal place for a girlfriends’ lunch featuring scratch-made products. Thus, Sweet Cravings Bakery and Bistro was born. Located on Moab’s Main Street, customer favorites include tres leche, macaroons and raspberry white chocolate scones. Culton’s team makes all pies, cakes and other baked goods from scratch. Looking for something more savory? Try the Kokopelli sandwich or the strawberry chicken salad and wrap.

Day 4 20 Miles
  • Hickman Bridge + Navajo Knobs
  • Etta Place Hard Cider
  • Glamping at Capitol Reef Resort

Capitol Reef National Park splashes color for a hundred miles from its northern to southern boundaries. Though Capitol Reef has some stunning backcountry, this quick trip stays closer to the main roads. Explore rock art petroglyphs in the midst of Capitol Reef's red rocks that tell the story of the early indigenous people, the Fremont culture. After a day exploring, return to town to try out one of the newest woman-owned businesses in Utah, Etta Place Hard Cider.

Overnight at hotel or Airbnb in Torrey or glamp at Capitol Reef Resort for a charming Instagram shot.

Hickman Bridge + Navajo Knobs

These front country hikes in Capitol Reef National Park lead to amazing rock formations and panoramic views of Southeastern Utah. Hickman Bridge is a short out-and-back (about 2 miles). The Rim Overlook and/or Navajo Knobs add 2.3 and 4.7 miles (one-way), respectively, for an elevated 360º panoramic view of Capitol Reef’s tilted landscapes.

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Etta Place Hard Cider

Etta Place Cider (anticipated opening in Spring 2020) is named after legendary partner to Hole-in-the-Wall gang leader Sundance the Kid, Etta Place. It’s owned and operated by Anne Torrence, who has been growing heritage apple varieties in her Torrey orchard since 2012. Stop by for a drink!

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Glamping at Capitol Reef Resort

If you have ever dreamed of glamping in a teepee, you’ll be happy to know that you can make that dream a reality by staying at Capitol Reef Resort. Located in Torrey, about seven miles from the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center, Capitol Reef Resort offers a wide variety of stays from glamping in teepees and Conestoga wagons to hotel rooms and cabins.

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Day 5 215 Miles
  • Gifford Homestead
  • Fruita and U-Pick Orchards
  • Das Cafe and Spring City

After several days of outdoor exploration, this day invites you to connect with the historical and current inhabitants of a couple small Utah towns. Before leaving Capitol Reef National Park, venture in and experience the remnants of early pioneer homesteading in Fruita, and read up about the lives of Capitol Reef’s early female residents. Afterwards, take the scenic route back to Salt Lake City along Utah’s Heritage Highway 89. In Sanpete Valley you can stop in Ephraim to see the historic buildings Utah artists once fought to preserve (Read: Gleaning a Small Town’s Harvest) and eat lunch at a one-of-a-kind sister-owned eatery in Spring City, Das Cafe.

Overnight in Sanpete Valley (try The Osborne Inn in Spring City) or continue on to Salt Lake City.

Gifford Homestead

Take a walk back in time and learn about Capitol Reef’s early pioneer life at the Gifford Homestead Museum and store. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a freshly-baked piece of pie — your taste buds will thank you. Open March through November.

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Fruita and U-Pick Orchards

In the spring, the blooming historic orchards of Capitol Reef splash mesmerizing colors against the sandstone backdrops. Come harvest, happy visitors wander unlocked orchards and sample ripe fruit in season. There’s a self-pay and bagging station to carry out ripe fruit for a nominal fee.

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Das Cafe and Spring City

In Ephraim, stop by Granary Arts for rotating exhibits by Utah artists. The gallery is housed in an old granary once managed by early pioneer women. Then continue on to nearby Spring City for lunch at Das Café (Read: Utah’s Taste of Germany), located on Spring City’s quaint and artsy main street. Pop into Horseshoe Mountain Pottery to meet potter Joe Bennion, where he sells his goods and his wife’s, Lee Udall Bennion, Mom’s Stuff natural piñon salves.

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