On Utah Lake (the state's largest body of fresh water) and just 40 mi/65 km south of Salt Lake City, Provo is a good base from which to explore a number of scenic attractions and recreation areas, though not necessarily your best choice if a wild time on the town is what you're seeking. History and scenery are abundant in Provo, but nightlife is scarce.

Provo is home to Brigham Young University (, which has a huge campus at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. The Museum of Peoples and Cultures on the university campus contains exhibits of Native American artifacts and recounts the human presence in this beautiful and challenging landscape. The museum has good collections of artifacts from other parts of the world, too ( The campus also is home to a life-science museum and the Harris Fine Arts Center, which has galleries of European and American paintings and several theaters for live performances ( The nearby Springville Museum of Art features more than 2,000 paintings and sculpture by Utah's pioneers and Native Peoples.

North of town is 11,750-ft/3,580-m Mount Timpanogos and the Timpanogos Cave National Monument ( The monument, containing interesting limestone caverns laden with crystal formations, is high on our list of Utah attractions. The paved trail to the cave entrance climbs 1,000 ft/300 m over the course of 1.5 mi/2.4 km. Be sure to call ahead because tours are limited in size. The mountain and cave can be reached via the Alpine Scenic Loop, a highway that winds around Mount Timpanogos. The drive is particularly scenic in autumn.

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