Editors' Picks: 20 of the Best Things to do in Utah!
Utah is perhaps best known for its Great Salt Lake, the Mormon faith and its numerous gorgeous state parks. But it's also where both the Frisbee and that staple of comedy -the rubber chicken - was invented. Ever since 1924, its unique landscape has made it a popular place for filming movies and TV shows like "Gunsmoke" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales."
Some of thefamous folk from Utah include Robert Redford, Roseanne Barr and the Osmonds; the state is home to the biggest consumption of Jell-O in the country. When you're done chowing down on the sweet stuff, check out 20 other cool things to do.
Standing 65 feet tall, this freestanding sandstone arch is one of the most recognized landmarks in the state. It makes for some cool photo ops, especially at sunset. (Arches National Park)
The railroads forever changed America, and this site marks an important landmark: the point at which the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads joined up in May of 1869. (Brigham City)
This little public park is packed with quirky sculptures and offbeat art pieces. It's considered a "hidden gem" in Salt Lake City.
It's one of the best places in the country for dinosaur fans. There are plenty of interactive exhibits, which makes it great for kids. (Vernal)
The University of Utah operates these lovely gardens, which represent a wide variety of plant life in the Wasatch Range. There are also ponds and trails that give the space a truly serene quality. (Salt Lake City)
Of course you want to see this massive lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western hemisphere. It's seven times saltier than the ocean, so swimming isn't too popular; but seeing it by boat also provides some stunning views of the nearby mountains.
It's one of the most popular parks in the state, with astounding red rock formations and a variety of hiking options. The landscape is totally surreal.
8. The Narrows
Hiking this 16-mile stretch in Zion National Park is on many a bucket list. You're surrounded by high sandstone formations, hanging gardens and more - but be warned, you have to wade through the Virgin River at many points.
This 152-acre nature preserve offers excellent opportunities for bird watching, as well as an exhibit of live birds of prey. There are also plenty of serene trails for walking. (Ogden)
This historic railroad offers rides through some of the prettiest country in the state. They even stage a "train robbery" on occasion. (Heber)
The "goblins" are actually some of the strangest rock formations on Earth. Spend some time hiking, camping or just taking pictures of this oddly beautiful place. (Hanksville)
It's not as crowded as many of the state parks, and the views are amazing. The enormous stretch of land is perfect for hiking, camping and birdwatching. Or just drive the wide-open spaces on an ATV.
Three beautiful natural bridges, important to Native American culture, can be accessed via an easy hike. The views from the top are spectacular, but be sure to stand beneath them too to get a true sense of their size and scope.
Utah seems to have a "salt" thing. These barren flats are astounding, stretching out endlessly into the distance. The more daring types use them to set land speed records; but just driving across them at normal speed is an adventure.
It's one of the most acclaimed animal sanctuaries in the country, with about 1,700 critters calling it home on any given day. They welcome visitors, many who opt to stay a couple of days to help out in their tireless mission. (Kanab)
16. Beehive House
Brigham Young was an early leader of the Mormon faith. This home of Young's was built in 1854, and is an excellent example of what life was like for he and his family as they worked to establish their fledgling faith. The "beehive" was their motto for being "diligent and productive" in their mission. (Salt Lake City)
The Mormons are known for their dedication to genealogical research. If you're interested in your own roots, you're welcome to stop into this amazing library and take advantage of their amazing resources. (Salt Lake City)
18. Feed The Elk
During the winter months, about 600 magnificent elk migrate to "Hardware Ranch" to eat the fresh hay that's put out for them. Their December return is all part of the celebration. (Hyrum)
19. Park City
There are several places in Utah to indulge in winter sports, but Park City stands out. Besides the excellent skiing and snowboarding, it's known as a hotspot for cultural and hipster activities. So even if you don't do the snow thing, you're guaranteed something cool to do.
With a collection approaching 3,000 pieces, it's considered one of the top museums in the state - and is the oldest in the visual arts category. Come in from the cold and have a look around, especially at the fascinating special exhibits that they mount during the winter months. (Springville)