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Utah is primarily known for two things – Mormons and skiing, but The Beehive State has a lot to offer visitors. Salt Lake City, or its suburbs, is a superb base while exploring Utah. When you’re ready to head to the southern part of the state, also known as Color Country, plan on staying in Cedar City. However, the state is small enough that one can easily arrive in almost any area of Utah within a few hours.


Blackcomb Powder by Tucker Sherman (TuckerSherman)) on
Blackcomb Powder by Tucker Sherman

Winter Sports

With the low humidity, Utah’s snow is often champagne powder. Light, fluffy, and it doesn’t stick together well. Not fun for making snowmen, but if you love to ski or snowboard, you can’t go wrong here. While the Salt Lake City area boasts the majority of resorts, southern Utah has some great ones as well, and they’re usually less expensive and less crowded.

Scuba diving

I know what you’re thinking. You think perhaps I’ve either lost my mind or you have. Utah is landlocked! There’s no ocean anywhere nearby. Of course, you would be correct. Utah isn’t what some might consider prime scuba territory; however, many of the lakes are diveable, and if you happen to be there during cold weather and find yourself sorely in need of some time underwater, all you have to do is head to Homestead Crater. It is a short drive from Salt Lake City, and the water is about 35 Celsius year round.


From day hikes to back country treks, there is something for every skill level. You will find wonderful national and state parks throughout the state. Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon are two of my favorite areas for camping, hiking, or even just doing a scenic drive. If Utah isn’t your only planned stop while touring the USA, you may want to consider getting an annual parks pass. This will give you free entrance to all federal parks, as well as roads that are managed by the department.


On the Edge by eDDie Tk (eDDie_TK)) on
On the Edge by eDDie Tk

Mountain Biking

Southern Utah is perhaps world famous for this adrenaline-inducing sport, with Moab wearing the crown. There are trails for every skill level, including beginner to full-grown nutjob. Make sure to bring plenty of water and some snacks so you don’t run out of energy.

Historical Sites

Because of the exodus of early Mormons to Utah in the 1800s, this state has an interesting history. The Latter Day Saints Church loves keeping history alive, which means many historical sites throughout the state are well preserved. In Salt Lake City, a visit to Temple Square is an enjoyable time. Not only are the grounds beautiful, but the area was key in the regional development. The Mormon Tabernacle tour is quite fascinating, and you’ll be amazed by the demonstration of the famous building’s acoustics. Tours are free and mostly focus on the historical nature of the square. During the holidays, the square is extremely festive with gorgeous lighting and caroling.


Salt Lake City is home to the Hogle Zoo. It’s a very nice attraction, especially if you have younger ones in your party, and is located in the hills above the city, adjacent to some great hiking in Emigration Canyon.


What child doesn’t enjoy dinosaurs? They can be pretty enjoyable for adults as well. Utah has been the site of many paleontologic discoveries. The city of Vernal, located in the northeast, close to the Colorado border, is the place to visit in Utah. There are even active digs you may be able to witness.

Professional Sports

If you want to catch a game while you’re in Utah, the state is home to the Utah Jazz (basketball), the Utah Grizzlies (ice hockey), and Real Salt Lake (soccer). If you like college teams, BYU is located in Provo, Utah, which is about 1 hour away from Salt Lake City.

Getting Around

Larger cities have decent public transportation, but really you’d do better renting a car. Make sure to check aggregate sites like Kayak for the best prices. Also, sign up for Hertz newsletters before your trip since they often have amazing deals that are only available through their newsletter.

No matter how long you plan on spending in Utah, there is more than enough to keep you busy. Especially if you’re an outdoors aficionado.


About the Author

Talon Windwalker is the editor/publisher of He is a single parent who has been traveling the world slowly with his young son since May 2011. They have an adventurous spirit, and you’re never just quite sure what they’ll do next.

You can also connect with them via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.




Images sourced under creative commons license. Cover image Walking on the Wave by Jacky CW on

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Showing 6 comments
  • Living Outside of the Box

    Utah does have an amazing bus and trax system…if you’re in the right area 🙂
    You have to admit…the National Parks in Utah are downright amazing.

    • Bethaney

      I think Utah sounds like a great corner of the US to explore. The more I read about it, the more it sounds like I’d enjoy it.

  • Tiffany Fite

    Zion is one of our favorite National Parks in the US. It’s really beautiful.
    If you love animals (pet types), you may also want to add the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to your Utah itinerary. It’s near Kanab, UT…a cute little town. Anyway, this is such an incredible animal sanctuary on many, many acres of beautiful land. It’s run, very efficiently, completely on private grants and donations. We volunteered there as a family for two days, but you can stay much longer or just stop by for a tour. They care for dogs, cats, birds, pot-bellied pigs, horses, and rabbits. They work to rehabilitate animals and adopt them out when possible, if that is not possible, the animals will stay and be loved/cared for until they pass away. It’s a really wonderful place to visit, in a very beautiful part of the country.

    • Bethaney

      Thanks for the tip Tiffany! We were “this” close to going to Zion last year on our road trip around the South West but it was just too cold. Another time!

  • Bethaney

    Thanks Tiana. Utah is definitely on our bucket list. From the research that I’ve done, ski passes and accommodation are much cheaper in Utah than in neighbouring Colorado. We were planning to go this Winter but had a change of plans.

  • Reply

    I knew very little about Utah. I admit that I knew about the mormons 🙂 It seems to be an interesting place and that there are lots of things to do there.

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