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Brigham City & Around/USA

Introducing Brigham City & Around

Drive north on I-15 from Salt Lake City, past Ogden – the gateway to the Wasatch Mountains ski resorts – and after 50 miles you'll get to the turnoff for Brigham City. The town is pretty small, with a few natural attractions, and one famous restaurant. The stretch of Hwy 89 south of town is known as the 'Golden Spike Fruitway' – from July through September it's crowded with fruit stands vending the abundant local harvest. One week in September Brigham City celebrates 'Peach Days.' Contact Box Elder County Tourism for area information.

West of town, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge engulfs almost 74,000 acres of marshes on the northeastern shores of the Great Salt Lake. The best time for bird-watchers is during fall (September to November) and spring (March to May) migrations. Birds banded here have been recovered as far away as Siberia and Colombia. Cruising along the 12-mile, barely elevated touring road feels like you're driving on water. You can hear the replicated migratory calls and find out more year round at the Wildlife Education Center. The center is just after the I-15 intersection; the driving tour is 16 miles west. Free bird-watching tours leave from here twice daily; reserve ahead.

Get into hot water year-round at Crystal Hot Springs, 10 miles north in Honeyville. Adults float in different-temperature soaking pools while kids zip down the water slides, which are open shorter hours than the pools from September through May. The log lodge and pools are well taken care of. There's also a small campground.

Brigham City is an easy day trip from Salt Lake, and there are a few motels, including a decent Days Inn.

Utahans have been known to travel for hours to eat at Maddox Ranch House, where they've been cutting thick beef steaks from locally raised livestock since 1949. You can still see the ranch out back where they originally started in the cattle business. Fried chicken and bison steaks are popular here, too. Don't expect anything fancy – this is a family-owned place, accustomed to serving families. No reservations accepted; expect to wait even if you go early. Out back at Maddox Drive-In, carhop waiters deliver the famous fried chicken and bison burgers to your car window. Don't miss the homemade sarsaparilla soda.