© Courtesy of kojihirano - Fotolia.com
From awesome skiing in the winter to fun outdoor adventures in the spring, summer and fall, Utah makes it easy to plan a family or a romantic weekend getaway full of natural beauty and relaxation. Check into one of these amazing places that made our list and let rejuvenation begin. Here are some of the best family vacations and romantic getaways in Utah.
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» Sundance Resort - 1 hour from Salt Lake City
© Sundance Resort
Sundance Resort in Utah is a ski vacation destination offering 40+ runs on 450 acres to skiers and snowboarders. If you are new to skiing or want to work on your style, take lessons from PSIA Certified Instructors at the Ski/Snowboard School. There is a dedicated Children's School, which makes it a great family getaway. If like to to plan your vacation around a special event, at Sundance you can choose from Full Moon Cross Country Skiing, Ladies Day Clinics, Demo Days and other unique programs.
The resort offers a collection of rooms, suites, mountain lofts and homes. Accommodations feature natural touches inspired by the mountain surroundings, such as rough-hewn wood and Native American accents. The in-room amenities are formulated from certified organic extracts of rooibos, cardamom seed, yarrow and ginseng. Each room has wireless Internet access and iPod/mp3 player docking stations.
Families can book a Moutain Loft which has a full kitchen, living and dining area, plus an additional loft space that you can access via a ladder. Each loft has a fireplace, deck or patio and a master bedroom. Kids will probably want to sleep and play in the loft. Families needing even more space can rent one of the private Mountain Homes.
8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, UT 84604, Phone: 800-892-1600
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» The Grand America Hotel
© The Grand America Hotel
The Grand America Hotel is a spa weekend getaway in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, located near the city's cultural attractions, shopping, restaurants and sporting events. Utah is famous for its scenic outdoors and you won't have to go far out of the city to reach national parks, forests, rivers and canyons. In winter, ski at one of the major ski resorts in the area, a 40-minute drive away. The property features chandeliers from Murano, cherry-wood furniture from France, English wool carpets and Italian marble bathrooms. At the end of the day, lounge next to the outdoor swimming pool surrounded by the gardens, and visit the luxurious European-style spa which offers a selection of massages, facials and body treatments, as well as a full-service salon. There is also an indoor lap pool, whirlpool, saunas and a fitness center where you can work out.
There are 380 premier rooms, 395 suites and three Presidential Suites, with Italian marble bathrooms, bathrobes, and 24-hour room service. True to the hotel's name, even the smallest rooms are spacious, measuring at least 700 square feet in size.
Restaurants and lounges offer an array of dining options, whether you want to have a light lunch by the pool, taste contemporary American cuisine at the Garden Cafe, nibble on jumbo shrimp while having cocktails at the Gibson Lounge, or indulge in freshly baked pastries in the Lobby Lounge. Room packages start at $269 per night on weekdays, depending on the season. Things to Do in Salt Lake City
555 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, Phone: 800-304-8696
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» Stein Eriksen Lodge - 40 minutes from Salt Lake City
© Stein Eriksen Lodge
Stein Eriksen Lodge, founded by a Norwegian Olympic gold medalist, is located in the Wasatch Mountains at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. The resort has ski-in, ski-out access, a full-service European-style spa, year-round outdoor heated pool, a fitness center, indoor hot tub and dry sauna, and other luxury amenities. The Ski Attendants are available to facilitate the handling of sports equipment, while the ski rental/repair shop provides overnight tuning and repair. The Spa offers a full range of treatments and services, including skin and body care using essential oils. The resort offers exciting packages incorporating treatments such as Shiatsu, herbal baths, deep tissue massage, sports massage, reflexology, and facials.
Winter activities in the area include downhill skiing, cross-country, back-country, heli-skiing, and snowshoeing. If you are looking for things to do in the summer, there is hiking, mountain biking, hot-air ballooning, horseback riding, fly fishing, rock climbing and white-water rafting.
The resort offers 111 deluxe rooms and 59 suites, decorated in warm Scandinavian colors. Deluxe guest rooms have window seats or balconies, and a jetted bathtub. Luxury suites at the lodge feature a spacious living room with fireplace, and a fireplace in master bedroom. There are two fine dining restaurants: Glitretind serves New American cuisine with a European flair and offers a wide selection of international and domestic wines. During the winter season, a Skiers' Buffet is offered at lunchtime.
7700 Stein Way, Park City, UT 84060, Phone: 435-649-3700
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» Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City
© Hotel Monaco Salt
Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City is a stylish getaway located in a 14-story refurbished landmark building. Luxury services include evening wine reception, complimentary chair massage, 24-hour fitness area, in-room spa treatments, and complimentary wireless Internet access. The property is located downtown near the Salt Palace Convention Center.
225 guest accommodations are decorated with bold colors, big mirrors, oversized beds and bathrooms with marble accents.
Pets are registered in the VIP Pet Register and receive a number of amenities, such as a welcoming toy along with souvenir food and water bowls.
Bambara Restaurant serves New-American cuisine.
15 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 800-805-1801
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» Hotel Park City - 40 minutes from Salt Lake City
© Hotel Park City
Hotel Park City is a luxury spa and ski getaway offering spacious all-suite accommodations with private patios. Located in the heart of Park City, Utah, the hotel has a heated outdoor pool with a hot tub perfect for relaxing on your weekend getaway, and two restaurants. The spa has eight treatment rooms and offers an array of relaxing treatments. You will have access to great ski trails on three different mountains, including ski in/ski out Nordic course. Look for ski and spa specials to save on your vacation. he hotel offers daily fitness classes including Yoga, Zumba and Pilates, included with your stay. In the summer, play a round of golf on the 18 Hole Championship rated Golf Course.
Guests are accommodated in spacious suites with stone fireplaces, elegant furnishings and full kitchens. Each of the 100 suites has a jetted tub and scenic views of the surrounding mountains, golf course and heated outdoor pool. Guest amenities include wireless Internet access and an in-room washer and dryer. Specialty suites offer private six-person Jacuzzis, extra fireplaces and spacious layouts.
2001 Park Avenue, Park City, UT 84060, Phone: 435-200-2000
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» The Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa - 3 hours 50 minutes
© The Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa
The Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa in Moab is an absolutely gorgeous western escape in the red rock wilderness next to the Colorado River. The 240-acre ranch has four different suite types as well as a 2,000 square foot ranch home. Every room has Wi-Fi access, private porches with swings or panoramic windows, beautiful river or mountain views, high quality bedding, and kitchenettes with a dining area. Guests can visit the full-service spa, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, and the gift shop. The ranch also offers outdoor activities including hiking, horseback riding, and a fitness trail. The River Grill Restaurant offers fine dining with Utah inspired cuisine that complements American traditions. Dining on the go is also an option as the resort provides boxed breakfasts or lunches for those ready to go on the road, trail, or river. Guests can even just dine and relax in the hotel room with the in-room dining service.
Mile 17 Highway, 128 Moab, UT 84532, Phone: 435-259-4642
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» Best Western Plus Abbey Inn and Suites - 4 hours 30 minutes
© Best Western Plus Abbey Inn and Suites
Situated in the heart of St. George, the Best Western Plus Abbey Inn and Suites is located near many of Southern Utah's main attractions. The complex has 154 guest rooms that each come with a private bathroom, free WiFi and cable TV. Shared amenities at the hotel include a large outdoor pool and a state-of-the-art workout facility.
The hotel also has an on-site meeting hall with space for 350 guests. All of the thrilling outdoor activities that St. George has to offer are just a stone's throw away from the Best Western Plus Abbey Inn and Suites, a romantic choice for couples planning a Utah weekend trip.
1129 S Bluff Street, St George, UT 84770, Phone: 888-222-3946
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» Romantic Getaways in Utah: Hines Mansion - 45 minutes
© Hines Mansion
Hines Mansion is a luxury bed and breakfast in Provo, Utah. The building contains nine guest rooms and a beautifully-furnished Victorian parlor. Private bathrooms, Jacuzzi tubs and a delicious breakfast are part of the Hines Mansion experience. The mansion itself sits near Utah Lake, a popular destination for fishing, boating, horseback riding, hiking and more.
The mansion is also close to Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, Rock Canyon and the Provo Municipal Airport. In addition to its luxurious rooms, Hines Mansion also has beautiful spaces that can be rented out for wedding receptions, corporate events and parties. Read more
383 West 100 South, Provo, UT 84601, Phone: 801-374-8400
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» Castle Creek Inn - 25 minutes
© Castle Creek Inn
Although Castle Creek Inn is close to Utah's state capital, it doesn't have a big-city feel. The inn's ten romantic rooms are housed in a beautiful castle that is surrounded by landscaped gardens. Each room has high-end amenities, new furnishings and a private bathroom. The garden, with its small waterfalls, streams and flowers, is the perfect area for relaxation.
International guests will feel right at home since six languages are spoken among the Castle Creek Inn staff. In addition to being close to the city, Castle Creek Inn is also near most of Utah's major ski areas and the Wasatch Mountains. If you are looking for weekend trips from Salt Lake City, Castle Creek Inn is a beautiful choice for couples.
7391 S Creek Road, Sandy, UT 84093, Phone: 801-567-9437
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» SkyRidege Inn
© SkyRidege Inn
SkyRidge Inn has been recognized as one of the best bed and breakfasts in the Capitol Reef area. Aside from enjoying SkyRidge's beautiful, comfortable rooms, guests are treated to spectacular views of the red rock canyons that make up Capitol Reef National Park. Each room in the Inn has its own attached bathroom, and some of the rooms even have their own hot tub or a private balcony.
Guests can enjoy a delicious home-cooked breakfast prepared by the staff. Kim and Irene Langton, the owners of SkyRidge, can also provide guests with plenty of information about things to do and see at Capitol Reef National Park.
1012 E Highway 24, Torrey, UT 84775, Phone: 435-425-3222
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» Red River Ranch
© Red River Ranch
The Lodge at Red River Ranch is a stunning combination of luxury and history. The lodge's most eye-catching feature is its three-story great room, which is decorated in beautiful Navajo rugs and sleek leather furniture. A wagon wheel chandelier and a large Anasazi stone fireplace add to the lodge's classy ambiance.
Fifteen guest suites, all complete with rustic furniture, a balcony or patio and a fireplace, are available at Red River Ranch. The 2,000 acre ranch is a prime destination for hunters and fishers. Guests can enjoy catch-and-release fly fishing trips with Red Rock's fishing guides, and seasonal hunting is also permitted on a nearby private reserve.
2900 West Highway 24, Teasdale, UT 84773, Phone: 800-205-6343
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» Old Town Guest House
© Old Town Guest House
Located in picturesque Park City, Old Town Guest House is the area's only bed and breakfast. It is open year-round and caters to the masses of visitors who come to ski Park City's slopes in the winter as well the mountain bikers and hikers who flock to Park City in the summer. Old Town Guest House has five guest bedrooms that vary in size.
Each room has high-end amenities, including a fireplace and a spacious private bathroom. Guests can also use the B&B's outdoor hot tub at their leisure. Additionally, items like backpacks, boot dryers and bike racks are available at the Old Town Guest House by request.
1011 Empire Avenue, Park City, UT 84060, Phone: 435-649-2642
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» Romantic Getaways in Utah: Crescent Moon Inn
© Crescent Moon Inn
The Crescent Moon Inn sits outside of the quiet town of Kayenta in Southern Utah. Deep red-rock canyons, high bluffs and endless blue skies surround the property. The Inn is a self-serve property, which means that guests check-in at their leisure. There are eight rooms that can be reserved on a nightly or monthly basis. Pets are permitted in some of the rooms and each room has a kitchen stocked with utensils as well as a comfortable living space.
Maids tend to the property on a weekly basis. In nearby Kayenta, guests can visit locally-owned art galleries, cozy cafes and the Coyote Gulch Art Village. Several well-known state parks, national parks and ski resorts are within driving distance of the Crescent Moon Inn.
1504 Crescent Moon Trail, Ivins, UT 84738, Phone: 435-879-9076
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» Dream Katchers Lake Powell
© Dream Katchers Lake Powell
Dream Katchers Lake Powell is a bed and breakfast situated near some of the area's most famous natural attractions. Antelope Canyon, the Colorado River, Horseshoe Bend Overlook and the Glen Canyon Dam are all within close driving distance of this tranquil desert retreat. Lake Powell, famous for its steep sandstone canyons and bright blue water, is also nearby.
Dream Katchers Lake Powell has three beautifully decorated guest bedrooms. Each room has an en suite bathroom with a bathtub and shower. The B&B's rooftop Jacuzzi and outdoor dining areas give guests incredible views of red rock country. Tours for all of the major attractions in the area can be organized with help from the Dream Katchers Lake Powell staff.
1055 South American Way, Big Water, UT 84741, Phone: 435-675-5828
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» Alaskan Inn
© Alaskan Inn
The Alaskan Inn Bed & Breakfast is located just north of Salt Lake City in Ogden Canyon. This adults-only inn features more than 20 Alaskan inspired rooms and cabins. The inn sits on the banks of the Ogden River, a solitary location that lends itself to romance and escape. Each of the rooms and cabins come with Jacuzzi tubs and some of the suites have a built-in fireplace.
Guests can enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast as well as chilled cider and chocolates. Special extras include couples massages, dessert room service and riverside picnics organized by the staff.
435 Ogden Canyon, Ogden, UT 84401, Phone: 801-621-8600
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» Castle Valley Inn
© Castle Valley Inn
Castle Valley Inn is located in Moab, one of Utah's most spectacular natural areas. With Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park close by, guests can hike, bike, river-raft or rock climb to their heart's content. Castle Valley Inn has an assortment of cozy rooms and bungalows.
Each space has a private bathroom, high-end amenities, free WiFi and expansive views of the canyons and the Colorado River. Guests can also enjoy the large outdoor hot tub and the five acres of orchards, lawns and fields that surround the property. Castle Valley Inn is also close to two fine restaurants. Things to Do in Moab
424 Amber Lane, Moab, UT 84532, Phone: 435-259-6012
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» Romantic Getaways in Utah: Sunflower Hill Inn
© Sunflower Hill Inn
Sunflower Hill Inn consists of a restored ranch house and a large garden cottage. Located in Utah's adventure capital, Moab, Sunflower Hill Inn caters to guests who are looking for a luxurious and adventurous getaway. It has been rated the top choice for lodging in Moab since 1997. Each romantic room is elegantly decorated and fitted with all the latest amenities.
A pool, beautifully-landscaped gardens and comfortable lounging areas are also available for guests to enjoy at their leisure. Visitors can easily reach all of downtown Moab's attractions, and Arches National Park is just a five minute drive from the property.
185 N 300 E, Moab, UT 84532, Phone: 435-259-2974
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» Seven Wives Inn
© Seven Wives Inn
The Seven Wives Inn is located in the heart of St. George near Ancestor Square and Main Street. The inn is comprised of two Victorian homes that sit on a neatly landscaped acre of land. The inn has 13 cozy rooms, each with WiFi, a private bathroom and cable television. Guests are treated to a homemade breakfast every morning and they can enjoy a spacious swimming pool that is open from sunrise to sunset.
For entertainment, visitors can spend time at the two national parks and five state parks that are within driving distance from Seven Wives Inn. Golf courses, historical attractions and spas are also nearby.
217 N 100 W, St. George, UT 84770, Phone: 435-628-3737
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» Cali Cochitta B&B
© Cali Cochitta B&B
The Cali Cochitta Bed and Breakfast is housed in one of the first homes ever built in Moab. The property is conveniently located near all of the town's main attractions, including Arches National Park. The inn's three guest rooms, one suite and two cottages offer guests luxury, comfort and privacy.
Each accommodation option includes an en suite bathroom, fast WiFi and cable TV. Guests also get to enjoy free access to a bicycle for exploring the town. The inn also has space for hosting weddings and receptions and catering is available for all on-site events.
110 South 200 East, Moab, UT 84532, Phone: 435-259-4961
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» Ellerbeck Bed & Breakfast
© Ellerbeck Bed & Breakfast
Ellerbeck Bed & Breakfast is housed in the Ellerbeck mansion, a sophisticated Victorian-era home in the heart of Salt Lake City. The B&B has nine themed rooms that come with an assortment of amenities, including free WiFi, access to laundry facilities, secure parking and a deluxe continental breakfast (served on-site or taken to-go).
Aside from renting individual rooms, the entire mansion is available for rent on a nightly basis. The Ellerbeck Bed & Breakfast also has a meeting hall that is ideal for weddings, corporate events and other special gatherings.
140 North B Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103, Phone: 801-699-0480
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» Woodland Farmhouse Inn
© Woodland Farmhouse Inn
Woodland Farmhouse Inn is a cozy guesthouse located in Kamas, a quiet town an hour east of Salt Lake City. Set against the base of the Uintah Mountains, the Woodland Farmhouse Inn is the perfect place for a mountain retreat. The Inn has five comfortable guest suites as well as a bunkhouse.
The suites offer plenty of room for couples and small families, and the bunkhouse can comfortably sleep eight. Pets are also allowed to stay with bunkhouse guests for a small additional charge. Woodland Farmhouse Inn is located close to Park City and near to some of Utah's best outdoor recreational areas.
2602 E State Highway 35, Kamas, UT 84036, Phone: 435-783-2903
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» Romantic Getaways in Utah: The Iron Gate Inn
© The Iron Gate Inn
The Iron Gate Inn is located between two of Utah's most well-known tourist attractions: Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. The inn is also minutes away from one of Cedar City's main attractions, the yearly Utah Shakespeare Festival. Each of the Inn's rooms are equipped with fast WiFi and all the comforts of home.
Beautiful gardens surround the property and offer plenty of room for guests to relax and enjoy the scenery. There is also a winery connected to the inn that regularly hosts wine tastings and tours. Guests at the Iron Gate Inn are treated to a complimentary glass of handcrafted wine or lemonade on each day of their stay. Read more
100 N 200 W, Cedar City, UT 84720, Phone: 435-867-0603
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» Arrowhead Country Inn & Cabins
© Arrowhead Country Inn & Cabins
The Arrowhead Country Inn & Cabins is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring Southern Utah. The property has a variety of spacious rooms, cabins, suites and cottages to choose from. Amenities include cable TV, a pool and Jacuzzi, a game area and fresh breakfast. Guests at Arrowhead can find hikes just steps away from the property or take a tour of the nearby Best Friend's Animal Sanctuary.
Guided ATV rides and horseback tours are also popular among Arrowhead visitors. Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon are all easily accessible as well.
2155 South State Street, Mt. Carmel, UT 84755, Phone: 435-648-2569
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25 Best Weekend Getaways in Utah
- Sundance Resort - 1 hour from Salt Lake City , Photo: Sundance Resort
- The Grand America Hotel, Photo: The Grand America Hotel
- Stein Eriksen Lodge - 40 minutes from Salt Lake City , Photo: Stein Eriksen Lodge
- Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, Photo: Hotel Monaco Salt
- Hotel Park City - 40 minutes from Salt Lake City , Photo: Hotel Park City
- The Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa - 3 hours 50 minutes, Photo: The Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa
- Best Western Plus Abbey Inn and Suites - 4 hours 30 minutes, Photo: Best Western Plus Abbey Inn and Suites
- Romantic Getaways in Utah: Hines Mansion - 45 minutes, Photo: Hines Mansion
- Castle Creek Inn - 25 minutes, Photo: Castle Creek Inn
- SkyRidege Inn, Photo: SkyRidege Inn
- Red River Ranch, Photo: Red River Ranch
- Old Town Guest House, Photo: Old Town Guest House
- Romantic Getaways in Utah: Crescent Moon Inn, Photo: Crescent Moon Inn
- Dream Katchers Lake Powell, Photo: Dream Katchers Lake Powell
- Alaskan Inn, Photo: Alaskan Inn
- Castle Valley Inn, Photo: Castle Valley Inn
- Romantic Getaways in Utah: Sunflower Hill Inn, Photo: Sunflower Hill Inn
- Seven Wives Inn, Photo: Seven Wives Inn
- Cali Cochitta B&B, Photo: Cali Cochitta B&B
- Ellerbeck Bed & Breakfast, Photo: Ellerbeck Bed & Breakfast
- Woodland Farmhouse Inn, Photo: Woodland Farmhouse Inn
- Romantic Getaways in Utah: The Iron Gate Inn, Photo: The Iron Gate Inn
- Arrowhead Country Inn & Cabins, Photo: Arrowhead Country Inn & Cabins
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of kojihirano - Fotolia.com
Top Utah Vacation Destinations
Spend an active outdoor weekend in Moab where you can walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and have the time of your life enjoying every outdoor activity you can imagine. You can explore the fascinating desert scenery on foot, bike, horse-back or 4X4 in several different locations. Dead Horse Point State Park in the Canyonlands National Park will introduce you to the huge red and white stone pillars called The Needles, and many other fascinating rock formations and canyons. There are several hiking trails and a scenic 4X4 trail, as well as picnicking and camping. Other great hiking trails include the very scenic Corona Arch Trail alongside the winding Colorado River.
If you are not up to hiking you can still enjoy all the magnificent scenery on one of several scenic drives; The Potash Road drive will take you to see ancient rock art and dinosaur tracks, and the Utah Scenic Byway 279 is another excellent option.
Adventure seekers can choose from rafting trips, rock and ice climbing, stand-up paddling, kayaking and canyoneering with Red River Adventures or Moab Adventure Center, while 4X4 drivers, hikers and cyclists can take on the Hell's Revenge slick rock trail. Kids will love the Moab Giants Dinosaur Park which has a 3D cinema and life-size dinosaur replicas, and Adventure Park Moab which offers a variety of high-rope adventures. Grab some genuine fossils to take home from the Moab Rock Shop.
Utah Vacation Destinations: Salt Lake City
Come and spend an interesting and active weekend in Salt Lake City, combining outdoor activities with art, history, culture and family fun. You can learn all about pioneer history at the Pioneer Memorial Museum, while the Natural History Museum of Utah offers an insight into the unique geology, history and native cultures of Utah. If you would like to trace your ancestry the Family History Library has all the resources you need.
You can get some exercise and fresh air at the Red Butte Garden (a botanical garden and arboretum with miles of walking trails). Sugar House Park has year round trails for hiking, cycling and snowshoeing, and you can also enjoy these activities and more at Big Cottonwood Canyon and Lake Blanche. If you fancy a sunset walk you can hike to Ensign Peak to watch the sunset over Great Salt Lake.
To get a great overview of the town you can take a Salt Lake Trolley Tour which includes most of the city highlights including Temple Square (epicenter of the Mormon religion), the State Capitol Building and the Historic District. Family activities include Utah's Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary in Liberty Park, Wheeler Historic Farm and the fascinating Clark Planetarium. Art patrons can attend the Ballet West or listen to the famous Salt Lake City Tabernacle Choir.
Park City, UT
Conveniently situated just 32 miles from Salt Lake City, Park City offers excellent skiing and winter sports as well as good summer activities for your weekend getaway. Park City's skiing areas were the setting for the 2002 Winter Olympics and consequently infrastructure and facilities are exceptional. Park City Mountain Resort is linked by gondola to Canyon's Resort, forming the largest skiing area in the U.S.A., and together with Deer Valley and the Utah Olympic Park offer you endless snow activities including skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, snowshoeing and more. At Gorgoza Park you can try snow-tubing or you could visit Red Pines Adventures to experience their 2-hour snowmobile tours.
In summer the emphasis changes to hiking, biking, and water adventures; Utah Outdoor Adventures offer guided kayaking and rafting trips or you can get Exclusive Excursions to tailor-make a kayaking, white-water rafting or other excursion to suit your ability. You can hike or cycle through Swaner Preserve and Eco Center or make your way along the Union Pacific Rail Trail. If you would like to explore by car you can drive the Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway (part of Utah State Route 190) to see the beautiful landscape.
Park City Main Street Historic District is a must-see attraction comprising 47 historic buildings that now house boutiques and restaurants, and the Park City Museum will educate you about the region's history and mining legacy.
Utah Destinations: Ogden
Ogden is situated just 30 inutes North of Salt Lake City, nestled between the mountains and Great Salt Lake, offering year-round outdoor fun combined with historic, cultural and family attractions. Ogden is best known as a winter-sport destination and you can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, tubing and snowboarding at Nordic Valley, Snowbasin Ski Resort and Powder Mountain, all less than 20mins from downtown Ogden. In the summer, you can explore over 210 miles of hiking and biking trails - a few of the most popular are situated in Taylor Canyon and Hidden ValleyWaterfall Canyon, where a 3 mile loop trail will bring you to a beautiful 200ft waterfall. The area boasts several golf courses and a myriad of lakes and streams for fishing and boating.
For a break from active pursuits you can explore 3 blocks of historic buildings in the 25th Street Historic District, now home to over 100 boutiques and restaurants, or visit the impressive Hill Aerospace Museum to see more than 90 aircraft which trace the history of military aviation from humble beginnings to the present day. You could also visit the Utah State Railroad Museum or take the children to have fun at Dinosaur Park, where there are over 100 life-size robotic dinosaurs to meet. Other activities for children include the Treehouse Children's Museum, Ogden Nature Center and Kangaroo Zoo, an indoor playground.
Arches National Park, UT
Arches National Park near Moab is an ideal weekend destination for outdoor enthusiasts, geologists and photographers, featuring some of the most unique landscape in the land. The park has the richest concentration of natural sandstone arches in the world (over 2000 of them), carved from the native sandstone by thousands of years of erosion. You can enjoy discovering them, together with hundreds of other fascinating rock formations on foot, by bicycle, on horseback or by taking an 18 mile scenic drive.
There is plenty to do in the park and you will need at least a full day to do it justice - spending a few nights camping in the park is even better. There are hiking trails to suit all abilities ranging from gentle family-friendly walks to strenuous 4-5 hour hikes. You can also cycle through the park providing you remain on the paths (to protect the sensitive environment). If you have a good head for heights you can try canyoneering or rock-climbing along several established routes.
Families can attend one of several ranger-led programs which include educational talks and guided hikes and walks presented during spring and summer. Watching the setting sun paint the landscape a thousand shades of red is a highlight of any visit to Arches National Park, and if you are camping overnight you can also experience excellent star-gazing once darkness sets in.
Zion National Park, UT
If you are looking for a place with sensational scenery for your next weekend getaway, Zion National Park in south-west Utah should be on your wish-list. The park covers 229 square miles of spectacular and diverse landscape composed of elevated plateaus, deep sandstone canyons, soaring 2000ft cliffs and the Virgin River and its tributaries.
You can explore this amazing natural wonderland on foot along 18 hiking trails of which The Narrows is by far the most popular hike and involves wadding up part of the Virgin River between steep towering cliffs. Mountain bikers can cycle the Pa'rus Trail or the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. A good place to start your exploration is at the Zion Canyon Visitors Center where you can attend a ranger-led introduction program at the Zion Human History Museum, and catch the Zion Shuttle, which runs between 9 scenic stops in the park (the shuttle is wheelchair accessible and has racks for bicycles). You can also attend day and evening ranger-led activities including talks and walks.
Other activities include horseback riding, wildlife watching, birding, rock climbing (the 2000ft sandstone cliffs are famous for big wall climbs, only suitable for experienced climbers), bouldering, canyoneering and seasonal rafting and kayaking on the Virgin River. You can sleep under the stars at 3 campsites inside the park or in the adjacent town of Springdale.
Monument Valley, UT
Spend a weekend getaway in the peace and serenity of beautiful Monument Valley in the south-eastern corner of Utah, where time and progress has stood still and the landscape looks just like it did thousands of years ago. As you explore the vast empty landscape you will discover wide blue skies, scorched red earth dissected by deep canyons and towering stone buttes, and some of the most memorable rock formations in Utah. You can try one of the 14 hiking trails, of which the Natural Bridges Owachomo Trail is the most popular family-friendly hike. If you are up for a more strenuous hike you can try the Mule Canyon Trail which will take you up to the ruins of a small ancient Anasazi Village, which dates back to the pre 1300's.
There can be no better way to explore this “wild west” area than on horseback, and the local Navajo wranglers can take you on guided horseback tours in the footsteps of countless western movie actors. Other enjoyable activities in Monument Valley include river rafting on the San Juan River with Holiday River Expeditions - the gentle nature of the rapids in this part of the river makes rafting and solo-kayaking ideal for families and younger visitors. For a fabulous birds-eye view of the impressive landscape you can take an aerial tour with Redtail Air Adventures.
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Canyonlands National Park is situated right in the heart of south-east Utah's high desert region, providing outdoor enthusiasts with the opportunity indulge in their favorite activities against an amazing backdrop of rugged canyons, towering arches, fins and fast-flowing rivers. The park comprises four separate and distinct districts, namely Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze and the rivers which bisect the area.
Most weekend visitors come to Island in the Sky, the most accessible of the four. You can start by popping into the Visitor's Center to watch an overview video and pick up a map. Hikers can choose from about 15 hiking trails (there are walks suitable for all levels of fitness), all of which lead to overlooks with amazing views. Cyclists can explore the park along the 100mile White Rim Road which loops around and below Island in the Sky, (also accessible to high-clearance four wheel drive vehicles). You can also enjoy great views on the 34 mile paved scenic drive. Ranger-led programs are available for the whole family and children can pick up a Junior Ranger Booklet and rent a Discovery Pack (with binoculars, magnifying glass, etc) at the Visitors Center.
Other activities available in Canyonlands National Park include flat-water rafting and kayaking, white-water rafting, rock climbing, horseback riding, guided tours, back-packing and camping.
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Capitol Reef National Park is the perfect place to spend an adventure-filled weekend exploring a geological marvel. The Waterpocket Fold (a geologic monocline) is literally an enormous wrinkle on the surface of the earth, extending for almost 100 miles across south-central Utah. To get the most out of your visit you should start at the Visitors Center where you can watch the 18 minute orientation movie, pick up a map, a Family Fun Pack and a Junior Ranger booklet, (which will enable the kids to earn a badge).
You can learn about the colorful history of the area by visiting the Gifford House Store and Museum, the Blacksmith Shop and the Fruita Schoolhouse (all within a mile of the Visitors Center) before you set off to explore the park on one of the many hiking trails - there are over 150 miles of hiking and backpacking trails in the park. If you prefer to cycle you will need to stick to the paved roads - recommended routes are marked on the map. (No off-road biking is allowed inside the park).
Other park activities include ranger-led educational programs and walks, wildlife watching, fishing, horseback riding and, surprisingly, fruit picking in the Fruita Orchards in summer. You can pitch your tent at the Fruita Campground which has picnic tables, fire-pits and restrooms or try primitive camping at the Cedar Mesa and Cathedral Valley campsites.
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park in the high desert of south-west Utah offers visitors the opportunity to explore some of the country's most unique geological sights. The canyon comprises miles and miles of horse-shoe shaped amphitheaters which have been carved out of the colorful Utah limestone by centuries of erosion, leaving the world's largest collection of hoodoos (eroded stone spires). Explore them on foot as you hike a few of the many trails. If you prefer not to walk you can get to all the main viewing points using the Park Shuttle or book a 3.5 hour guided shuttle tour. You can drive around the park in your own vehicle, but the roads and parking areas can get very busy during peak times and the shuttle is a better option.
To see the park at its sensational best at Sunrise Point and Sunset Point, (and to do some excellent stargazing), you can pitch your tent or park your RV at North or Sunset Campgrounds, or check into the Bryce Canyon Lodge. The park offers several ranger-led programs including talks on geology and astronomy and guided walks and hikes, including the popular Full Moon Hike, and in winter you can go on a guided snow-shoe hike. Try to visit during the annual Geology Festival (July) or the Astronomy Festival in June.
Driving Distances from Salt Lake City
|From Salt Lake City To ||Driving Time|
|East Park City, UT||35 minutes|
|Sundance, UT||1 hour|
|Park City, UT||40 minutes|
|Moab, UT||3 hours 50 minutes|
|St George, UT||4 hours 30 minutes|
|Provo, UT||45 minutes|
|Sandy, UT||25 minutes|
|Torrey, UT||3 hours 20 minutes|
|Teasdale , UT||3 hours 40 minutes|
|Ivins, UT||4 hours 40 minutes|
|Big Water, UT||6 hours|
|Ogden, UT||36 minutes|
|Kamas, UT||44 minutes|
|Cedar City, UT||3 hours 45 minutes|
|Mt. Carmel, UT||4 hours 40 minutes|
|Fish Haven, ID||2 hours 30 minutes|