Utah may have the “best snow on earth,” but what about indoor entertainment and culture? Unbeknownst to many, Utah also boasts a wide variety of high-quality museums ranging from prehistoric paleontology to pioneer pride. Here, we’ve rounded up the best 10 museums in Utah and what makes them worth your time.
Located at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the Natural History Museum of Utah is the perfect place for both nature enthusiasts and novices. Boasting expansive collections in paleontology, anthropology, entomology, mineralogy and nearly everything else under the Utah sun, this museum is equally entertaining and educational.
With a collection consisting of over 4,000 US Air Force related artifacts, the Hill Aerospace Museum is a World War II buff’s paradise. Parents and kids alike will admire this museum’s historic aircrafts in awe.
Although the Renaissance took place in Italy hundreds of years ago, the inspiring legend of Leonardo De Vinci lives on in downtown Salt Lake City at the Leonardo—a museum keen on asking questions exploring the world’s wonders. Current exhibits range from human perception and the five senses to water and the role it plays on earth. This interactive museum has something for everybody.
Looking for a well-rounded art museum with an impressive permanent collection? Look no further than the BYU Museum of Art in Provo. This museum is family-friendly and serious about its art which comes in a variety of genres: contemporary, traditional, installation, religious, etc. Before you leave, make sure to also stop by the university’s famous creamery for a cone of their renowned ice cream.
When we think of museums, we tend to think of paintings and ancient artifacts. If these types of museums don’t suit your fancy, however, the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum is probably a welcome respite. Spanning more than 100 acres, this “museum” is comprised of 11 themed gardens and nearly four miles of foot paths. Visit in the spring and you’ll be greeted by 300,000 blossoming tulips.
One of Utah’s top tourist destinations, Park City is a wonderful city for outdoor recreation, hearty grub and a mountainside ambience. Celebrating the city and its heritage, the Park City Museum makes for an interesting and relaxing afternoon off the slopes.
Another feature of Brigham Young University’s sprawling Provo campus, the Bean Life Science Museum is essentially your spot for zoological studies. Although most of the animals on display have undergone taxidermy, live animal shows are also available on request.
If abstract sculpture is your thing, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City is up your alley. Originally founded in 1931, the museum has grown especially popular in recent years. The museum features exhibits by international and local artists and also offers a host of workshops, lectures and other events.
Interested in learning more about Mormonism and its history but unsure of where to start? The Latter-Day Saint Church History Museum (just across the street from the LDS temple in Salt Lake City) is a great place to become more familiar with Utah’s religious heritage.
Located on the University of Utah’s beautiful campus, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts includes 18,000 pieces of art over 74,000 square feet. Sound overwhelming? Once you experience the beauty of their international collection, you’ll be too interested to turn back.