Located 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, Provo is known for its abundance of natural beauty, wedding venues, restaurants, a prestigious university and fast-growing economy. Provo is the third largest city in Utah and it is consistently recognized as one of the best places to live, work and play in the United States. Provo is framed by the picturesque Wasatch Mountain Range and the placid waters of Utah Lake.
1.Bridal Veil Falls
© Courtesy of Alysta - Fotolia.com
Bridal Veil Falls is a 600-foot-tall waterfall nestled in the southern end of Provo Canyon. Easily reached by car, the mulch-tiered falls are visible from US Route 189. The falls have a rich history due to their association with an aerial tramway that was constructed in 1961. The tram was once lauded as the "world's steepest tramway," but an avalanche destroyed the machinery in 1996.
The best way to see Bridal Veil Falls is going to Bridal Veil Falls State Park. This spacious recreational area sits about 3.5 miles away from the entrance to Provo Canyon and has picnic tables, a paved pathway, and barbecue grills. There is a scenic walkway that passes in front of the waterfall. In the winter the falls attract experienced ice climbers from all around the world. M
© Courtesy of Matt W - Fotolia.com
Tucked in the Wasatch Mountains, Provo Canyon is known for its abundance of rock climbing, hiking, and biking trails. The canyon's main attractions are Bridal Veil Falls, the Sundance Mountain Resort and ski area, the Provo River, and Deer Creek Reservoir, a 2700-acre body of water that is used throughout the year for boating, swimming, fishing, and ice fishing. Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park, which was the venue for cross-country skiing and biathlon events during the 2002 Winter Olympics, is also located in Provo Canyon.
Visitors who are short on time can view the canyon by following the Provo Canyon Scenic Drive route. The highway runs from Provo into the idyllic and picturesque Heber Valley. Overnight visitors can find plenty of spots in the canyon for tent and RV camping throughout the year.
3.Museum of Peoples and Cultures, Provo, UT
© Museum of Peoples and Cultures
The Museum of Peoples and Cultures at Brigham Young University houses anthropological, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts from past and present times. Located on BYU campus, the goal of the museum is to inspire BYU students and the public toward an understanding of and appreciation for people from around the world. The museum achieves this goal through exhibitions, field activities, and research. The BYU Museum of Peoples and Cultures also hosts events and programs throughout the year. These events are open to everyone, although some events are specifically geared toward families, couples, and scouting groups.
2201 N Canyon Road, Provo, UT 84604, Phone: 801-422-0022
4.Brigham Young University Museum of Art
© Brigham Young University Museum of Art
Also known as the MOA, the Brigham Young University Museum of Art is a four-story facility framed by the dramatic Wasatch Mountain Range. The museum is home to ten exhibition galleries, classrooms, an auditorium, a gift shop, and a theater. There is also a cafe on the top floor of the building.
As part of BYU campus, the museum offers extensive resources for art students and aspiring art teachers. The museum also arranges student internships and runs a volunteer program for people who want to become museum docents. The volunteer program gives docents the opportunity to organize and participate in symposiums, lectures, and other special events.Best Things to Do in Utah
BYU MOA, North Campus Drive, Provo, UT 84602, Phone: 801-422-8287
5.The Covey Center for The Arts, Provo, UT
© The Covey Center for The Arts
The Covey Center for the Arts is located on historic Center Street in downtown Provo. The center offers live performances, art exhibits, dance classes, and more. There are three art galleries within the building that house works from prominent Utah artists. A 90-seat theater inside the Covey Center is used for special performances and events. The main performance hall can be rented in half-day, full-day, and full-week increments. Rentals may include custodial service, stage staffing, stage setup and other services for an additional fee. People can also rent studio space in the Covey Center for dance classes and workshops.
425 W Center Street, Provo, UT 84601, Phone: 801-852-7007
6.Things to Do in Provo: BYU Museum of Paleontology
© BYU Museum of Paleontology
Built in 1976, the BYU Museum of Paleontology was designed as a repository for the rock and dinosaur fossils collected by Dr. James A. Jensen. Dr. Jensen and his crews gathered rare and unique artifacts from various parts of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana over the course of several decades. Aside from housing Dr. Jensen's findings, the museum is used for hands-on research and lab work at Brigham Young University. Individual visitors as well as school groups are welcomed at the museum. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. More than 25,000 people pass through the museum each year.
1683 N. Canyon Road, Provo, UT 84602, Phone: 801-422-3680
7.Rock Canyon, Provo, Utah
Rock Canyon is a highly popular urban forest that draws thousands of visitors each year. Located less than 10 minutes away from central Provo, the canyon is filled with hiking trails, interesting geographical formations, deep caves, and unique plant and animal life. Rock Canyon is also home to the Squaw Peak Trail, a challenging and enjoyable hike that leads to the 7,876-foot summit of Squaw Peak. Lastly, the canyon is extremely popular among novice and experienced rock climbers. Information on established climbing routes, canyon conditions, and safety hazards is easy to find online. In the winter, visitors come to Rock Canyon to enjoy ice climbing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
8.Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum
© Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum
The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum is located on the campus of Brigham Young University. Opened in 1978, the museum contains a vast collection of plants and taxidermied animals. Each exhibit aims to educate the public about the bodies and behaviors of animals as well as ways for humans to protect the environment.
Guests can participate in the museum's special programs, which include live animal shows, drawing and reading activities for kids, group tours, scavenger hunts, and more. Teachers and school administrators can take advantage of educational materials that are based on the museum's extensive research into natural history.
9.Things to Do in Provo: Seven Peaks Waterpark
© Seven Peaks Waterpark
Seven Peaks Waterpark is a family-friendly waterpark located minutes away from Brigham Young University. The park has a large collection of waterslides as well as a lazy river, a high-capacity wave pool, and hot tubs. Toddlers can splash and play in the park's "Tadpole Pond," which features four short slides, floating toys, and fountains. Guests can purchase food inside the park and lounge on grass near the waterslides. Seven Peaks also offers group packages that include discounts on admission, tube rentals, meals, and treats. The park is open throughout the summer months.
1330 300 North, Provo, UT 84606, Phone: 801-377-4386
10.Provo River Parkway Trail, Provo, Utah
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The Provo River Parkway Trail is part of a trail system that begins in Utah Lake State Park and terminates at Vivian Park in Provo Canyon. The 15-mile-long trail is built to accommodate walkers, bikers, joggers, hikers, and rollerbladers. The trail winds through quiet wooded areas, safe neighborhoods, and county parks. For the most part, the path hugs the Provo River, a picturesque river that zig-zags down Provo Canyon. There are many access points to the Provo River Trail in the parks found along US 89 in Provo Canyon. The paved path is available for recreational use throughout the year.
11.Crandall Historical Printing Museum
© Crandall Historical Printing Museum
The Crandall Historical Printing Museum seeks to educate guests about all aspects of the printing process. Visitors learn about how Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, impacted free speech, dissemination of news, and the spread of knowledge with his revolutionary invention. The museum also takes an in-depth look at the events that occurred in Grandin's Print Shop, a store in Upstate New York where the first copy of the Book of Mormon—a text central to the Mormon faith—was printed. The museum houses a fully-functional Gutenburg Press, an English Common Press, and an Acorn Press. Visitors can purchase gifts at the onsite souvenir shop.
Provo Beach is a family-friendly adventure park near the Shops at the Riverwoods. Its principal attraction is the Flowrider, an indoor wave machine that replicates a realistic surfing experience in a climate controlled setting. Provo Beach guests can also play games at the arcade, ride the carousel, play laser tag, or explore the Mega Playground. There is also a bowling alley and a ropes course at Provo Beach. This adventure park is an ideal setting for family get-togethers, corporate events and birthday parties. Food and snacks are available at Pier Cafe and at Ike's Creamery, a popular ice cream shop.
4801 N. University Avenue, #210, Provo, UT 84604, Phone: 801-224-5001
13.Utah Lake State Park
© Utah Lake State Park
As home to one of the largest freshwater lakes in the Western United States, Utah Lake State Park is a popular destination for watersport lovers, fishing enthusiasts, and others. Historical records show that early Utah settlers lived along the shore of the lake because of its strategic position in the valley. Now the lake is mainly frequented by boaters, wakeboarders and fishermen. Guests can rent equipment such as stand-up paddleboards, wave runners, and kayaks from the park office. Bonneville Sailing School offers sailing lessons on Utah Lake that are open to the public, as well.
14.Things to Do in Provo: The Shops at Riverwoods
© The Shops at Riverwoods
Situated near the mouth of Provo Canyon, the Shops at Riverwoods is one of Utah's leading destinations for shopping, entertainment, and dining. The complex opened in 1998 and has served residents of Utah Valley ever since. This outdoor mall boasts specialty shops, boutiques, well-known brand stores and a 50,000-square-foot event space. The Shops at Riverwoods is open year-round. In the summer months, the cobblestone walkway gives visitors easy access a variety of splash pads and fountains. During the winter, there are bonfires and outdoor heaters set up throughout the complex.
4801 N. University Avenue, Suite 480, Provo, UT 84604, Phone: 801-802-8430
15.Provo Pioneer Village, Provo, Utah
© Provo Pioneer Village
Provo Pioneer Village gives visitors a taste of early life in the city. Founded in 1849, Provo began as a small, isolated outpost occupied by Mormon pioneers. The pioneers learned to rely on the harsh land for all their physical needs. At Provo Pioneer Village, guests can see a collection of preserved buildings and exhibitions, including several pioneer homes, a granary, a school, a working blacksmith shop, a general store, and more. The village also houses some handcarts and covered wagons. Provo Pioneer Village is open throughout the summer to guests of all ages. Winter visits must be made by appointment. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.
600 North 500 West, Provo, UT 84601
© Adventure Zipline
Adventure Zipline is located less than 20 minutes from downtown Provo. The zip line is actually a collection of five different zip lines that crisscross their way across the Wasatch Mountains. Situated high above the forest, the zip line system gives visitors stunning views of Mount Timpanogos, Utah Lake, and the Provo River. Guests work with trained guides to ensure their safety and comfort, and the company provides all the necessary gear, including helmets and gloves. In addition to zip lining, visitors can enjoy stand-up paddle boarding on the Provo River, horseback riding, or a variety of off-roading trips.
17.Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center
© Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center
As one of the most well-known buildings on the Brigham Young University campus, the Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center (HFAC) sees thousands of visitors each year. The building was completed in 1964. Its namesake, Franklin S. Harris, was the president of BYU at the time. He was known for his consistent support of the fine arts and fine arts education. The HFAC houses classrooms, theaters, rehearsal rooms, and office space. Student-run theater performances, music programs and art exhibits are regularly hosted at the HFAC.
18.High Country Adventure, Provo, Utah
© High Country Adventure
High Country Adventure is a tour operator in the Provo area that runs a variety of adventure trips. Its main offerings include rafting, tubing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding on the Provo River. All of the activities, aside from tubing, can be done as part of a guided group or as a self-guided trip. High Country Adventure also offers "combo trips" that include activities like zip lining, fly fishing, horseback riding, off-roading, and a historic train ride. The company also offers raft and RZR vehicle rentals. All of the tours can be reserved online, in-person, or over the phone.
19.East Bay Golf Course, Provo, Utah
© East Bay Golf Course
Located south of downtown Provo, the East Bay Golf Course contains a Championship Golf Course, an Executive Par 3 Golf Course, a driving range, and a clubhouse. The golf course also has instructors on-hand for private lessons, group lessons, and youth lessons. East Bay Golf Course hosts regular events such as tournaments and workshops throughout the summer months. It is also used for high school golf classes, league meetings, and special events. More information about tee times, the courses and equipment rentals is available online.
1860 S. East Bay Boulevard, Provo, UT 84606, Phone: 801-852-7529
20.Utah Valley Symphony
© Utah Valley Symphony
The Utah Valley Symphony began in 1959 as a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts. Originally composed of 30 members, the symphony now has 70 to 80 members at any given time. Members range in age from college students to retirees and auditions occur twice each year. The symphony puts on a handful of performances each season at the Covey Center for the Arts. The Utah Valley Symphony also performs at local churches as well as other public venues. Supported by donations, sponsors, and volunteers, the Utah Valley Symphony regularly reaches out to the community to raise awareness for its performances and events.
25 Fun Things to Do in Provo, UT
- Bridal Veil Falls, Photo: Courtesy of Alysta - Fotolia.com
- Provo Canyon, Photo: Courtesy of Matt W - Fotolia.com
- Museum of Peoples and Cultures, Provo, UT, Photo: Museum of Peoples and Cultures
- Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Photo: Brigham Young University Museum of Art
- The Covey Center for The Arts, Provo, UT, Photo: The Covey Center for The Arts
- Things to Do in Provo: BYU Museum of Paleontology, Photo: BYU Museum of Paleontology
- Rock Canyon, Provo, Utah, Photo: rockcanyonutah.com
- Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Photo: Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum
- Things to Do in Provo: Seven Peaks Waterpark, Photo: Seven Peaks Waterpark
- Provo River Parkway Trail, Provo, Utah, Photo: Courtesy of bulashenko - Fotolia.com
- Crandall Historical Printing Museum, Photo: Crandall Historical Printing Museum
- Provo Beach, Photo: utahvalley.com
- Utah Lake State Park, Photo: Utah Lake State Park
- Things to Do in Provo: The Shops at Riverwoods, Photo: The Shops at Riverwoods
- Provo Pioneer Village, Provo, Utah, Photo: Provo Pioneer Village
- Adventure Zipline, Photo: Adventure Zipline
- Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center, Photo: Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center
- High Country Adventure, Provo, Utah, Photo: High Country Adventure
- East Bay Golf Course, Provo, Utah, Photo: East Bay Golf Course
- Utah Valley Symphony, Photo: Utah Valley Symphony
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Utah Valley CVB