Some people go on vacation to relax. Others go to experience outdoor thrills, new cultures and new cuisine. Whatever reason(s) you have to go on vacation, Utah lets you do whatever it is you seek. From first-rate destinations to perfect powder and red rock adventures, Utah’s tourist attractions and scenic vistas provide more than enough reasons to make Utah your next vacation destination.
Reason 1: Utah has the “greatest snow on earth”.
Utah is one of the top skiing destinations in the United States, thanks mainly to the amount and quality of snow its ski resorts receive every year. And the locals aren’t shy to brag about the fluffy, deep snow providing the best conditions for skiers and snowboarders. In fact, Utah’s 14 ski resorts receive an average of 500 inches of fresh, soft powder annually, a lot of which is lake-effect snow the Great Salt Lake and mountains create. With 10 ski resorts located within an hour of the Salt Lake City International Airport, you can easily experience a different resort each day you’re in town or shred the slopes and enjoy other fun winter activities at one resort for the week.
Reason 2: There are thousands of miles of hiking trails.
Utah has landscapes unlike anything you’ve seen, and the only way to see and experience its various landscapes are hiking them. Spread throughout this western state are more than 4,000 hiking trails, ranging from hard, multi-day backpacking trips to easy, one-hour scenic trails. You can take guided hiking trips or go on a walking tour focused on the area’s geology or history. The Salt Lake area has a handful of hikes, but many tend to venture down to Southern Utah for red rock hikes in the St. George and Moab areas and at the different national parks.
Reason 3: Water adventures aren’t lacking in this desert.
Utah might have a desert climate, but the Beehive State doesn’t lack in its offerings of water adventures and nature spa-like treatments. There are alpine lakes for fun boating and kayaking outings, cool mountain streams for white-water rafting and fishing trips and natural hot springs to take a relaxing soak in hot spring water, which has been proven to help reduce stress and provide other health benefits.
Reason 4: Utah boasts some pretty sweet national monuments and landmarks.
Some underrated Utah tourist attractions are its seven national monuments and other landmarks—great for one-day or half-day outings. Are you an archeological enthusiast? Check out Dinosaur National Monument. Are you a history buff? Then Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35 million-acre area with sandstone canyons, wooded cliffs and Native American ruins and rock art, is calling your name. And if you just love breathing in nature’s fresh air, there are a handful of national forests worth visiting.
Reason 5: You can take your pick of exciting urban and nature destinations.
No state really has it all for vacationers, but Utah really does have almost something for every type of traveler. And here are just a few Utah vacation spots that offer a little something for everyone.
Park City is a wintertime playground with its handful of five-star ski resorts and Olympic Park. But it’s filled with so much more every season of the year. Ride down the 3,000-foot Alpine Slide or check out some of the local art galleries. Head to Main Street for shopping and a meal at a tasty cafe. Or if the timing is right, you can do some movie watching and celebrity spotting during the annual Sundance Film Festival.
The capital of Utah has something for outdoor thrillseekers, sightseers, culture seekers and foodies. There are scenic hikes and bike rides, museums and theaters, and one of the biggest downtown Salt Lake attractions is Temple Square, a 35-acre religious icon with beautiful landscapes, historic buildings and restaurants.
Utah is home to five national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. Each one has breathtaking sites and adventures for families, couples or single travelers. Whether you go on an early morning hike to see the sun rise from the top of a peak or raft the Colorado, Utah’s Mighty Five won’t disappoint. Plus, they make planning your trip itinerary a breeze—you just visit a national park each day, and if you’re taking more than a five-day trip, there’s plenty to see and do for two-day visits at some of these national parks.