Tag Archives: Travel SkyWest Country

Hays: Small-Town Charm and Big-Time Fun!

Hays, Kansas is known as a place with small-town charm and big-time fun! And the friendliness of those who call Hays home is evident to travelers who are enjoying a family vacation, business trip, sporting event or even just passing through.

In town, there is always something exciting and interesting happening throughout the year, including the “Great Planes on the Plains” fly-in, which will be held June 7-12 at Hays Regional Airport. This year, Universal Helicopter, Kansas State University-Salina, the Civil Air Patrol and the Arizona Commemorative Air Force, among others, will be in attendance. The Commemorative Air Force will also be offering tours and rides in a B-25 Mitchell Bomber that flew combat missions in World War II. This yearly event is sure to provide an educational, fun-filled weekend for all those who attend.

Those making their first visit to this historic frontier town will definitely appreciate the many low- or no-cost attractions that are available, including the chance to learn about Hays’ often dangerous early days when the town was filled with railroad workers, desperados and other notorious characters. The city also offers historic downtown tours and shopping, a look into frontier military history, annual festivals and sporting events, art studios and performing art, and much more!

In its early days, Hays developed a reputation for lawlessness and as a tough “end of the tracks” town. During several months in 1869, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok served as an interim sheriff to quell the almost constant homicides, bloodshed and feuds. Visitors can experience some of this history with a trip through time on a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Twenty-five bronze plaques mark the route where some of the most famous and notorious characters lived and walked.

The Fort Hays Historic Site offers a glimpse into a soldier’s frontier life in this unique location that was founded to protect settlers from native resistance. Today, visitors can see the original blockhouse, guardhouse and officers’ quarters, and the information center provides exhibits and artifacts about the fort and military history.

Get started on an historical adventure to Hays aboard one of the two daily SkyWest Airlines flights, operating as United Express from Denver. The best fares can be found at united.com.

Cedar City: Southern Utah’s Hidden Gem

Cedar City is a surprisingly charming town hidden away in Southern Utah. As a vibrant college town, a gateway to multiple national parks, and home to a variety of entertaining festivals, Cedar City holds something for everyone.

Uniquely nestled between some of the most incredible national parks Utah has to offer, Cedar City is a nature lover’s destination. Only 23 miles from town is Cedar Breaks National Monument, a place anciently called “Circle of Painted Cliffs.” This enormous natural amphitheater has cliffs that climb 2,000 feet and is filled with stone spires, arches and intricate canyons that exemplify red rock landscape. The area makes for a great day trip of sightseeing, photography, hiking, picnicking and camping among world-class views.

Also nearby is Kolob Canyon, a lesser known section of Zion National Park. Kolob – which gets its name from early Mormon settlers and means “residence closest to heaven” – is off the beaten trail of Zion’s main park section, but is just as spectacular as the the canyons of main park itself.

Those visiting Cedar City (aka Festival City USA) during the summer will find a number of opportunities to check out one of the town’s vibrant festivals. Most famously, Cedar City is known for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. This Tony Award winning regional theater puts on events throughout the summer including performances of Shakespeare’s classics in their recreation of the Globe Theater and contemporary plays, as well as seminars, classes, tours and free nightly “Greenshow” performances providing entertainment from the outdoor stage. Six shows run from July 25 to October 31 each summer.

In addition to the Shakespeare Festival, it’s worth checking out other summer favorites like the Groovefest Americana Music Festival, Wildflower Festival and The Utah Midsummer Renaissance Faire.

If winter travel is more appealing, Cedar City still belongs on the destination list. The town is a launching pad for southern Utah’s premiere winter playground – Brian Head Resort. Receiving more than 400 inches of powder annually, it is Utah’s highest base elevation resort at 9,600 feet. With over 650 acres, eight chairlifts and 71 runs, it has something for all skill levels. And during the summer, Brian Head transforms into a mountain biker’s paradise, offering even more adventurous options.

Fly into Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC) on one of the daily Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, from Salt Lake City (SLC) and start enjoying this charming town today. The best fares can be found at delta.com.

Explore Winter Fun in Hibbing, Minnesota!

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Hibbing is the largest city located within Minnesota’s Iron Range, an informally named area of the Northeastern part of the state known for rich, iron ore deposits. Hibbing itself boomed as a center for mining and was even relocated in its early days when a vein of iron ore was discovered immediately beneath downtown, which carried more value that the town itself! Today, the original streets, street lamps and foundations can still be seen in a park straddling the open-pit mine.

While Hibbing holds its position as an early 20th century economic hot bed, today it is also a center for recreation, especially when it comes to the treasure trove of winter sports available to visitors and residents alike.

Hibbing is home to the largest curling club in Minnesota, and a great place to view and to try this Olympic winter sport, which involves sliding stones along a sheet of ice towards a target area. A great deal of teamwork, skill and strategy go into curling and is why the sport is often referred to as “chess on ice.” The Hibbing Curling Club hosts the largest curling tournament in the United States with more than 120 teams competing annually.

Hibbing Curling

Hibbing is also the perfect epicenter to begin outdoor winter fun with several resorts nearby. Ski Magazine named Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort the number one Minnesota ski resort and is a top five pick in the American Midwest. Located a convenient 45 minute drive from Hibbing’s Range Regional Airport, Giants Ridge offers 35 downhill runs, more than 37 miles of Nordic trails, show shoe trails and a fantastic snow tubing park that’s appropriate for the whole family. Plus, all of this is offered in breathtaking scenery adjacent to the Superior National Forrest.

Giants Ridge Ski

Winter Frolic is an extremely popular scholarship/pageant event for young women that has expanded into an area-wide winter festival spanning two weeks in late January and early February. Activities include a sliding party with the scholarship candidates, a city-wide treasure hunt, an illuminated ski night and fishing contest. All of these activities finally culminate in the crowing of the new Winter Frolic Queen.

Find out first-hand what the area’s winter wonderland is like by booking a convenient SkyWest flight, operating as Delta Connection, with non-stop service between Hibbing and Minneapolis. The best fares can be found at www.Delta.com.

 

Eau Claire – More Than Meets the Eye!

While Wisconsin is widely known for being the land of cheese, communities like Eau Claire also provide visitors with a huge variety of recreational activities and unique adventures that will make any trip unforgettable.

Located on the western side of Wisconsin, Eau Claire (pronounced O’Claire) is the Kubb Capital of North America. Kubb is thought to have originated with the Vikings and is often described as a combination of bowling and horseshoes. During the last several years the sport has seen a spike in popularity in the U.S., and in Eau Claire in particular where every summer they host the U.S. National Kubb Championship. This multi-day competition draws hundreds of people to several local parks where they have the chance to go head to head in an effort to earn a spot in the championship match.

For those interested in less organized sport, Eau Claire offers many more activities for vacationers. During the summer, there are trails a plenty for hikers, bikers and even inline skaters. They city actually maintains more than 21 miles of trails, including a section of the popular Chippewa River Recreation Trail that stretches more than 30 miles in total.

For music fans, Eau Claire is the perfect home base for anyone looking to enjoy the nearby Country Fest or Rock Fest held in Cadott, Wisconsin – just 24 miles away. The area is home to a natural 380-acre amphitheater, making it the perfect venue for musician lovers to see some of the biggest names in the music industry.

Of course, no trip would be complete without the chance to check out some of Eau Claire’s fine wineries, microbreweries and distilleries. The Lazy Monk Brewery offers tours and a tasting of their traditional Czech and German Lagers on several days throughout the week. For a more refined palette, check out the urban winery and distillery at Infinity Beverages in downtown Eau Claire to enjoy a great atmosphere and even a chance to see how they create some of their incredible spirits.

Whether joining the Kubb National Championship, enjoying the outdoor beauty the area has to offer or rocking out to your favorite band, come see everything Eau Claire has to offer! Daily United Express flights operated by SkyWest Airlines from Chicago to Eau Claire make it more convenient than ever. Book today at united.com.

Explore “Dinosaurland” in Vernal, Utah!

Where in the world is Vernal, Utah? While it may appear to be just a small community in northeastern Utah, Vernal is home to stunning scenery, unparalleled recreation areas and even some prehistoric remains. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the adventure and excitement this community offers!

First-time visitors should not miss the chance to step back in time at Dinosaur National Monument. With more than 1,500 dinosaur bones – including some 149-million-year-old fossils that can be touched – and the legendary “Wall of Bones,” the facility is beyond impressive. Presentations and exhibits are also available to explain more about the quarry and the dinosaurs that it contains. After exploring the Jurassic world, don’t forget to take advantage of the whitewater rafting, hiking and camping that’s available within the Dinosaur National Monument.

Just north of Vernal lies the High Uinta Wilderness. The area was established in 1984 and is the largest wilderness in Utah at more than 460,000 acres! Here, visitors discover the peaceful backdrop of beautiful, pristine mountains with areas that are perfect for everything from hiking, fishing and horseback riding, to backpacking and hunting. For those with a less rugged constitution, the splendor of the Uinta mountains can be enjoyed by driving along Highway 150, formerly known as Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. This route stretches 42 miles through the mountains and forest from Kamas, Utah to Evanston, Wyoming and affords some of the most stunning high-mountain driving views anywhere in the nation.

Vernal is also proud to be a gateway for Flaming Gorge National Recreation Center; which attracts more than two million visitors per year. Flaming Gorge consists of more than 207,000 acres of water and land with the Flaming Gorge Reservoir being one of the top attractions as it provides outstanding opportunities for houseboating, fishing, skiing and other water sports. Fishing enthusiasts in particular may be challenged to find a better locale outside of Flaming Gorge where it’s not uncommon to haul in 30-pound lake trout, along with rainbows, brown trout, kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass.

From the high mountains to desert scenery and everything in between, Vernal is a virtual paradise and center for adventure and excitement in the great outdoors! Book a convenient flight right into the heart of the action on a SkyWest-operated Delta Connection flight at www.Delta.com today!

Experience Colorado’s Unique Melting Pot – Pueblo!

Pueblo, Colorado is a unique community that has been shaped by a variety of races and cultures as it has grown into the fascinating city it is today. In the early 20th century, Pueblo was one of the largest steel producing cities in the nation, earning it the title “Steel City.” Today, it’s a popular destination for tourists, food lovers and many more looking for an unforgettable experience at any time of the year!

Pueblo has been named one of the nation’s Top 10 Foodie Cities by Livability.com and it’s no surprise with mouth-watering events like the Chile & Frijole Festival paying homage to two of the Pueblo area’s best loved crops! Don’t miss out on sampling the region’s famously favorite comfort food by trying a Green Chile Slopper, which consists of a hamburger or cheeseburger smothered in chili sauce. These creations are then topped with chopped onions and oyster crackers or French fries for an unbelievable result. Discover this taste sensation at a number of local eateries including Papa Jose’s Union Café, Jorge’s Sombrero, and the Riverwalk Restaurant and Lounge!

Visitors looking for inspiration should look no farther than Pueblo’s unique cultural offerings available at First Friday Art Walk. Here, tourists and shoppers are able to explore an area packed with art galleries, independent cafes, street sculptures and theatrical performers. At any time of the month a visit to Pueblo is incomplete without a stroll down the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project where a large concentration of independent businesses wind through the city center.

One of Colorado’s most popular state parks, Pueblo State Park, is just 15 miles from Pueblo Memorial Airport and offers an array of outdoors recreational pursuits for those wanting to really get out into the wild west of the region. Located on nearly 10,000 acres of land the park boasts a year-round mild climate and is an ideal place for visitors to spend a few days enjoying this natural gem. Get wet with activities like sailing, boating around the lake, tubing on the river and fishing. Land lubbers can enjoy miles of trails that are perfect for hiking, biking and just exploring nature. Those looking for a more refined outdoor experience can also play a round at the Pueblo Country Club or the Walking Stick Golf Course in town.

This dynamic community continues to grow and change ensuring the need for a return visit! Start an adventure in Pueblo by booking a convenient SkyWest-operated United Express flight today at united.com.

Stunning Scenery Sets St. George, Utah Apart

Few places in the world can compare to the stunning scenery in Southern Utah, making it a must-see destination for travelers who are looking for gorgeous landscapes, relaxation, solitude, adventure and inspiration.

St. George, Utah (SGU) is the perfect starting point to begin the scenic adventure of a lifetime. The city is conveniently located near three National Parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon, as well as Cedar Breaks National Monument. There are also numerous State Parks including, Snow Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Gunlock, Quail Lake and Sand Hollow. In any other state these areas would be National Parks but here natural beauty seems to be everywhere.

One of the gems of Southern Utah and the most popular destination in the area is Zion National Park. Zion is about an hour drive northeast of St. George and welcomes approximately three million visitors a year. For those visiting the park, the little town of Springdale right at the entrance can be used as a convenient base when exploring everything Zion has to offer. It’s also home to some of the best restaurants in Southern Utah! So while a packed lunch can help ensure visitors don’t miss out on anything in the park, the breakfast and dinner options in Springdale are exceptional and shouldn’t be missed! Oscar’s Cafe is the all-around local favorite for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is known for their hiker’s granola, ribs, sandwiches, burgers, southwest dishes and incredible sweet potato fries. For some additional variety, the Bit and Spur Restaurant and Saloon or The Spotted Dog are both fantastic dining options.

When accessing the park, it’s simple to hop on one of the complimentary shuttles that run up the canyon from April through October, or just driving in during the winter months. Once inside, the two must-do hikes are Angels Landing and the Narrows. Angels Landing is about five miles roundtrip and usually takes four to five hours to complete. The trail starts at the bottom of the canyon, and climbs 1,500 feet to a point on top of a pinnacle in the middle of the canyon. The views from the top can’t be replicated, but note that anyone who is nervous about heights should proceed with caution as it’s a bird’s eye view! The Narrows starts at the Riverside Walk trail and continues up the Virgin River where the canyon continually becomes more narrow – at times only 20 feet wide. The hike is literally in the river, so those making their way up should be prepared to get wet! This is a great hike to do at virtually any pace, trekking up along the river and turning back whenever needed.

Those with time for just one of these two iconic hikes should choose the Narrows in the summer and Angels Landing in the winter. The Narrows is great for the summer when temperatures are often over 100 degrees, because hiking in the water makes it easy to stay nice and cool. Angels Landing, on the other hand, can get very busy in the summer and is more enjoyable in the winter when crowds and temperatures are down. While these are the two most popular hikes in the canyon, there are dozens of other hikes to keep even the most advanced adventure seekers busy for days.

After exploring Zion National Park, visitors should plan to spend some time enjoying the scores of other entertaining activities in the area. Within the St. George area, there are more than 50 mountain biking trails, the most popular of which are the Gooseberry Mesa trails, Zen Trail, Bear Claw Poppy, Barrel Roll, J.E.M. and Little Creek. For hiking outside of Zion or the state parks, the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve offers more than 60,000 acres of desert that is just waiting to be explored. For fun in the water, Gunlock, Sand Hollow and Quail Lake State Parks each offer areas to swim, boat, fish, cliff dive or just relax. And with more than 300 days of sunshine a year and mild temperatures, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of all the different outdoor activities.

Of course after spending so much time outside, many travelers will turn to serenity through pampering at one of two world-class spas: Red Mountain and Green Valley. Each offers a full selection of treatments that can help guest rejuvenate while surrounded by beautiful desert landscapes.

With such stunning scenery and so many diverse activities, be sure to get here quick! Delta Connection flights from Salt Lake City, Utah, and United Express flights from Denver, Colorado – all operated by SkyWest Airlines – are available daily. Book today at www.Delta.com or united.com.

West Yellowstone – The Gateway to Adventure!

Hearing the words “West Yellowstone” immediately brings to mind Yellowstone National Park and all the beauty that it holds. West Yellowstone was incorporated in 1966 but has existed as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park since the early 1900s welcoming 3.5 million people each year. And, it’s no surprise! Yellowstone National Park spans approximately 2.2 million acres, and offers more than 300 thermal features and 200 waterfalls. It is truly a captivating place where the surroundings seem larger than life and shape a huge outdoor playground waiting to be conquered.

The early summer is a fabulous time around West Yellowstone. Visitors can take advantage of the trails in the Gallatin National Forests, as well as, scenic drives, wildlife watching and unmatched photographic opportunities. Caution is suggested as grizzly bears are common in the Greater Yellowstone area.

Of course, a trip to Yellowstone National park wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Old Faithful. Imagine sitting on a bench watching Old Faithful erupt and taking in the awe-inspiring beauty of the snow-covered mountains in the background. The iconic geyser spews anywhere from 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of water into the air each time it erupts, reaching heights of 106-184 feet. Each blast lasts between 1.5 to 5 minutes. But don’t get too close. The water temperature at the vent has been measured at 204 degrees Fahrenheit and the steam temperature can top more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit!

Don’t forget about the variety of other geysers and mud pots, forests and lakes, historic cabins and prehistoric sites, along with the enormous bison that seem to be everywhere. With so much to see and do, be sure to spend a few days to take it all in. If possible, start the day early in the morning, which is the best time to see all the wildlife on the move near the rivers and streams. Outdoor enthusiast’s high expectations will be met at every bend.

For those wanting something a little less adventurous, be sure to visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. This unique facility provides a grand opportunity to experience the world of grizzly bears and gray wolves up close and personal in a safe environment. In town, visitors can also take the Historic Walking Tour by following the green Bear Paw Trail that’s painted on the sidewalk. It’s a great way to relive the early years of West Yellowstone.

After a day of exploring the park and surrounding area, an amazing place to stay is one of the new, unique Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone. Families, couples and groups will have a one-of-a-kind vacation experience in a casual setting.  Unlike a typical hotel, guests will enjoy sitting by a cozy fireplace and relishing in all the comforts of home in a private cabin. For dinner, the Branch Restaurant is a great open-range cuisine restaurant where beef and game dishes are infused with local flavor and served alongside a selection of regional microbrews and hand-crafted premium cocktails. And to finish it all off, enjoy some good old-fashioned S’mores provided free of charge to all Explorer Cabin guests.

Seasonal SkyWest flights, operating as Delta Connection, are available every day from Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone (WYS) making it incredibly easy to fill the need for the great outdoors. Book an exciting vacation today by visiting www.Delta.com.

Welcome to the Team, E175!

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SkyWest Airlines reached a new milestone this past week with the official launch of its first Embraer E175 aircraft into commercial service! The inaugural flight, operating as United Express, from Chicago O’Hare to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 17 represented a tremendous amount of preparation and hard work by many SkyWest employees during the last 15 months. Within the next two years, SkyWest will take delivery of 40 new E175s that will operate under an agreement with United Airlines.

The E175 is the fifth aircraft type in SkyWest’s current fleet, and from full-sized cargo-bins to larger aisles and seats, it’s filled with enhanced features that will help ensure every passenger enjoys a comfortable, convenient flight.

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