Utah is a beautiful state to visit, with so many diverse geographical regions to explore. Here is a little guide to planning your Utah getaway and some inspiration for fun, family-friendly activities.
Salt Lake City
The capital of Utah, this metropolis is home to some great places of interest, notably the downtown Temple Square where you can find the Mormon Church headquarters. The Capitol building is a great landmark and has tours for those interested, and the Natural History Museum of Utah has a large collection of dinosaur skeletons. Consider visiting the Red Butte botanical gardens or Hogle Zoo if the weather is suitable, both of which are great places to enjoy a relaxing day with the family.
Utah is not short on National Parks, so you should visit at least one of them.
- Hiking through Arches in Moab will let you discover the iconic Delicate Arch. There are actually over 4,000 name arches in the park so lots of stunning curvature to be amazed at. The unique formations in the sandstone are what draws in so many tourists and make Arches National Park perhaps one of the most iconic of the 5.
- The most-visited park, Zion National Park has a landscape dotted with pine trees and you have tremendous views of the Virgin River.
- Capitol Reef is often missed out due to its location, being further out from the big cities, but it still has plenty to offer, such as the historic orchards where you can pick your own fruit.
- Canyonlands is great for accessibility, as you can drive through the various viewpoints and get sweeping views across the landscape.
- Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its unique rock formations, which cast brilliant shadows and were given the name “hoodoos”.
All of the National Parks offer great views over the stunning landscape, with brilliant red rock formations and plenty of trails to adventure on. Some of the parks can be driven through or offer shuttle tours, so non-hikers will not have to worry about missing out on the views!
Park City, east of Salt Lake City, is a popular destination for skiing fans. Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort are both really popular and offer great access to ski slopes galore. If you’re looking for family vacation rental options, companies like Wyndham offer some ideal Park City vacation home rentals with plenty of space for all. Offering great amenities, including outdoor hot tubs, they are a good choice when looking for suitable accommodation. Park City is your home for skiing, hiking, and the notable Sundance Film Festival every January.
One of the main draws to Utah is the skiing potential. The Park City and Deer Valley resorts are popular choices, offering classes for all levels of skill, making it an excellent option for both beginners and well-seasoned skiers alike. You also have other winter sporting activities, including snow-boarding. Because of the vast and stunning landscape, hiking is incredibly popular. This popularity means that hiking is much easier, with guides and different trails well-mapped out. Utah is famous for its colorful expanses of desert and the Wasatch Range mountains which surround it, so the views are incredible. You also have the arches and the Great Salt Lake itself, the largest Salt Lake in the Western hemisphere.
If hiking and skiing aren’t of interest, you can simply enjoy entertainment options, from the museums and the gardens to the architectural features and the zoo. There is plenty to do and see for all ages, and it will be a memorable experience no matter what interest you and your kids.
Some great places for kids to visit that are both entertaining and educational include the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park, the Museum of Natural Curiosity, The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, Clark Planetarium, and Wheeler Historic Farm. Here is the full list for more ideas and info.
Planning Your Visit
To get the most from your trip, make sure you plan sufficiently. Making the trip as stress-free as possible means doing your research and figuring out the places you all want to go to. Plan your transportation routes, book your accommodation and make an itinerary to plan what you’d like to do each day. Make sure your itinerary includes relaxation time, so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
The time of year you plan visit will greatly affect the trip. Utah experiences all of the seasons, so make sure you pack accordingly. Even in summer, it is advised that you pack a light jacket, and fall and winter bring snowfall, so consider packing extra layers. Overall, however, Utah is relatively mild in comparison to other states, with neither extremely hot nor cold conditions it’s a pleasant place to visit all-year-round.
Whenever you choose to visit Utah, there is plenty to do and see. Utah is filled with tourist spots and has plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. From hiking the trails and admiring the stunning landscape to skiing the snowy slopes and warming up in your hot-tub or browsing the city streets and finding museums to explore – you won’t run out of things to do!