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things to do in Utah

20 Fab Things to Do in Utah - A helpful Video Guide

Best Things to See and Do in Utah

Utah may not be the first state to come to your mind when you think about holidays and vacations, but one trip to this state may knock your favorite travel destination off the top of your list.

Utah, the 45th state admitted to the U.S.A, is located in the western part of America and has a population of more than three million. It is popular for its natural diversity and it houses a range of terrains from arid deserts with astounding sand dunes to thriving pine forests in plateaus and mountain valleys.

When visiting this state, guests will find a handful of spectacular national parks, state parks, monuments, mountains , landmarks, lakes, and other natural areas to discover and explore. Utah’s towns and cities have arts and museums, home cooking and culinary surprises, charming wedding venues, drive-in theaters, and universities to see.

Free Things to See in Utah

1.Arches National Park

Things to See in Utah - Arches National Park

Arches National Park is located in the northern part of Moab in Utah. This national park is bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast. It is known as the site of more than two thousand natural sandstone arches, like the huge red colored Delicate Arch that lies in the eastern part of the site. Long and thin Landscape Arch is located in Devils Garden to the North. Other natural geological formations include Balanced Rock that towers over the desert landscape in the middle of the national park. This is one of the most famous and iconic natural structures that made Utah a top destination for hikers.

Educational Things to See and Do in Utah

2. Natural History Museum of Utah

Things to See and Do in Utah - Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah houses over than 1.5 million artifacts and relics. In the paleontology area, visitors can see exhibits with an emphasis on the Intermountain West, while the anthropology section is a home to specimens dating back to 11,500 BC. The vertebrate zoology section presents mammal, amphibian, bird, and reptile samples, while in the botany section, visitors can see frozen swatches preserved for DNA research.

Furthermore, the malacology area holds specimens from the six classes of marine mollusks, while the minerology department presents stunning minerals from all over the globe. Aside from exhibits, the Natural History Museum of Utah holds educational and recreational events for all ages.

Unique Things to See in Utah

3. Hill Aerospace Museum

Things to See in Utah - Hill Aerospace Museum

The Hill Aerospace Museum's one-of-a-kind layout is shaped like an aircraft, which is fitting for a structure that operates as a field museum for the United States Air Force. Hill Aerospace Museum houses more than four thousand historical objects and artifacts from five eras, though at any given time only about twenty percent of the collection is on display.

The exhibit includes artworks, most of which is situated in the Lindquist Art Gallery, and the museum also conducts a Plane Talk lecture series, where speakers cover topics related to aerospace and defense. The iconic Utah Aviation Hall of Fame is also on site.

Adorable Things to See in Utah

4. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Things to See in Utah - Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

The country’s biggest no-kill center, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary  houses an estimated 1,700 animals up for adoption. Stray animals like dogs and cats, bunnies and birds, horses and barn animals are sent here from all over America. Best Friends is likewise home to recovering wildlife and special needs animals.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary shelters animals in groups (Dogtown, Cat World, Horse Haven, Bunny House, Marshall’s Piggy Paradise, and Parrot Garden) to encourage exercise and socialization among the same species. In the visitors center, visitors can sign up for tours, learn more about the animals, and join in unique events such as bunny yoga, Paint Your Pet’s Portrait, and Thanksgiving dinner.

Things to See and Do with Kids in Utah

5. Bean Life Science Museum

Things to See and Do in Utah - Bean Life Science Museum

Situated on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum focuses in the science behind life forms on our planet. Presentations cover subjects such as how Earth's characteristics give life and how all life is interlinked, the factors on underlying extinction, the conceptual view that humanity is the planet's steward, and the predator-prey connection.

The Bean Life Science Museum also has a play station for toddlers, and two galleries, one with a collection of more than 100 bird species and one with astonishing wildlife art. Bean Life Science Museum’s schedule includes popular attractions such as in-house live shows (animal or reptile), Night at the Museum events, and lectures.

Stellar Things to See in Utah

6. Clark Planetarium

Things to See in Utah - Clark Planetarium

Clark Planetarium now is a far cry from the light and space shows of yesteryears and while the planetarium does hold cosmic light shows in the evenings from Thursday to Saturday, they utilize the latest technology. The planetarium’s Hansen Dome Theatre is similarly of the moment, taking advantage of 3D computer animations and digital projection to provide a 360-degree interactive experience.

The IMAX theatre shows 3D films on a humongous, five-story screen together with 14,000 watts of digital sound. Clark Planetarium also provides community programs to the public and conducts free astronomy presentations with models of the solar system and authentic NASA equipment as well as interactive elements.

Historic Things to See in Utah

7. Bluff Fort Historic Site

Things to See in Utah - Bluff Fort Historic Site

The Bluff Fort Historic Site gives guests the opportunity to learn about both the fort itself and the perilous Hole-in-the-Rock adventure. Cabins were constructed with their windows and doors facing inwards toward the fort’s square to provide protection from invading forces.

The Bluff City meeting house worked for all communal purposes and was once a school, church, and public meeting place, while the Bluff co-op vended food and staple supplies to residents. The fort was disassembled in 1883, but the entire community continued and switched from farming to ranching. In the 1890s, residents built Victorian-style houses, which have been renovated together with the fort. The site also includes a visitors’ center and a gift shop.

Musical Things to Do in Utah

8. Listen to Utah Symphony

Things to Do in Utah - Listen to Utah Symphony

The Utah Symphony is a huge internationally acclaimed American symphony and an essential part of the American West’s cultural identity. The symphony promotes and provides educational programming and holds tours all throughout the region to support the arts, especially music.

Along with stellar performances at Abravanel Hall, the Utah Symphony conducts summer concerts at Park City’s Deer Valley Music Festival. Utah Symphony records intensively and has been nominated for Grammy Awards a lot of times. Most of their concerts start at 8:00 pm, while pre-concert lectures for MasterWorks performances begin at 6:45 pm. Utah Symphony concerts run for 90 to 120 minutes.

Cultural Things to See in Utah

9. Gifford Homestead

Things to See in Utah - Gifford Homestead

The Gifford Homestead is situated right in the heart of the Fruita Valley and allows visitors to experience a Mormon community as it existed in the valley at the start of the 20th century. The homestead presents rock walls and includes a farmhouse as well as a smokehouse, garden, barn, and even a pasture.

The farmhouse is a simulation of the favored rugged austere design and has a front room where the kitchen is situated as well as two small bedrooms on the ground floor, while the two bedrooms in the upper floor are only accessible by an outdoor ladder. The homestead has a sales outlet, too, where guests can buy locally made goodies and replica pioneer artifacts.

Things to See on a Rainy Day in Utah

10. Beehive House

Things to See in Utah - Beehive House

The Beehive House in Utah was once the home of the early Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints leader Brigham Young. The home’s overall design accommodated the large Young family, with Brigham’s wife, Mary Ann, choosing to live in the property’s White House while Lucy Ann, the first wife, acted as hostess in the Beehive House, where she also lived alongside her nine children.
A suite of rooms in the Lion House, where Brigham Young’s offices and bedroom were situated, was connected to the Beehive House. The property likewise includes the Brigham Young Historic Park. The building underwent renovation between 1959 and 1960 and now operates as a museum and provides 30-minute tours.

Relaxing Things to See in Utah

11. Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

things to See in Utah - Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Utah's Red Butte Garden welcomes visitors all year round and provides different plants and events for each season. While summer and spring are the crowd’s favorite times to see the garden to enjoy flowers and trees blooming to life in a tapestry of vivid colors, autumn offers dazzling fall foliage and winter presents red buds against a sheer white background, ideal for hiking or snowshoeing. In the summer, the garden conducts performances and shows in the amphitheater.

Red Butte Garden includes themed gardens and private or group tours are available. The garden also has quiet resting areas and guests can use the chairs, tables, and umbrellas available in the Four Seasons Courtyard.

Things to See and Do with the Family in Utah

12. Utah's Hogle Zoo

Things to See and Do in Utah - Utah's Hogle Zoo

Hogle Zoo covers an estimated 42 acres and houses more than 800 animals. The zoo’s animal residents represent different animal life from all over the globe and include species from every ecosphere on  Earth. As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Hogle Zoo guarantees that animals have a species survival plan to uphold genetic diversity.

Guests can buy one-on-one animal encounter tours with a personal tour guide, and group tours are also available. Groups can opt from feedings (birds, rhinos, or tortoises), orangutan training sessions, bringing daily food to apes, or having an up-close and personal meeting with a giraffe through the VIP observation deck.

Luxurious Things to Do in Utah

13. Ski at Deer Valley Resort

Things to Do in Utah - Ski at Deer Valley Resort

A luxurious activity in Utah is definitely a posh skiing experience in Deer Valley. It is renowned for catering to wealthy customers, with premium services like ski valets as well as parking valets at no cost, and fine dining and designer shopping boutiques on site.

Apart from conducting International Ski Federation competitions and FIS World Cup events regularly, Deer Valley Resort was a 2002 Winter Olympics host for freestyle aerial, mogul, and alpine slalom events. Moreover, it has consistently ranked in the top three ski resorts in North America and also held the top spot every year from 2007 through 2011.

Things to Do with Marine Lovers in Utah

14. Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

Things to Do in Utah - Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Utah has various wildlife species from all over the world situated in its 136,000 square feet, including areas on the Antarctic, Utah, the ocean, South America, birds, fish, invertebrates, and mammals. Visitors get to have an eye-to-eye contact with different sharks in the aquarium’s forty-foot underwater shark tunnel, see rainforest animals in the two-story rainforest gallery, or get to touch aquatic life in one of the aquarium’s two touch pools.

Apart from seeing marine animals during an aquarium visit, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is likewise available for corporate as well as private events. The facility can also hold both formal and informal functions, with a max of 450 guests for seated dinners and even up to a thousand guests for receptions.

Adventurous Things to Do in Utah

15. Monument Valley Safari

Things to Do in Utah - Monument Valley Safari

Monument Valley has safari adventures of 1.5 to 7 hours in length throughout different sections of Monument Valley. Both Lower Monument Valley and Mystery Valley safaris are dubbed scenic and cultural, while the company’s award-winning combo safaris offer visitors a chance to explore two areas in just one tour: Lower Monument Valley (three hours)/Mystery Valley (three hours) or Tear Drop Arch (two hours)/Mystery Valley (four hours).

Monument Valley’s specialty tours contain a seven-hour Sunset Photography Tour of Hunts Mesa (ideal for adventurers looking for an off-the-grid experience) and the three-hour Starlight or Full Moon tours of Monument Valley. There are also private tours available.

Things to See and Do with the Locals in Utah

16. Park Silly Sunday Market

Things to See and Do in Utah - Park Silly Sunday Market

Park Silly Sunday Market in Utah is an eco-friendly open air market in Park City, Utah, held for fourteen Sundays every year between early June and mid-September. The market, which was initially founded in 2006, is free for all to attend, drawing nearly 200,000 yearly guests and approximately 2,000 vendor booths all throughout the season.

Visitors can explore farmer's market stalls and choose from a variety of delectable pantry goods or browse antique and regional arts and crafts vendors for rare finds. A range of regional food trucks and vendors are on site for local dining choices. Live music performances are also presented throughout the season, together with strolling performers such as magicians, balloon artists, and stilt walkers.

Historic Things to See in Utah

17. Park City Museum

things to See in Utah - Park City Museum

Park City Museum features the colorful history of Park City and its significant role in developing the West. In addition to exhibits in the Tozer Gallery, the Park City Museum also provides lectures, historical walking tours, and other living history presentations and events. There are also guided tours, exhibits, and historical presentations available on a reservation-only basis.

Walking tours are held Monday to Friday from Memorial Day through Labor Day (ages 13+). The yearly Historic Home Tour allows visitors explore a highlighted historic home, while the Hal Compton Research Library is utilized as an additional resource of knowledge about Park City’s history and its role in the city’s regional industry.

One-of-a-Kind Things to See in Utah

18. Utah Field House of Natural History State Park

Things to See in Utah - Utah Field House of Natural History State Park

The Utah Field House offers interactive exhibits and attractions mainly about prehistoric geological objects. Recent exhibits include the Uinta Fossil Journey, presenting a ninety-foot diplodocus skeleton and the Stories in Stone film. Meanwhile, at the Morrison Dig Site and Fossil Lab, visitors can uncover whether an article is an authentic fossil or just a debris on a simulated dig site before fully exploring the lab.

The Jurassic Hall exhibit presents three skeletons from 145 million years ago, shile the Eocene Gallery features objects and relics from that era, and the Rocks Revealed exhibit covers the four major eras in the planet’s history through fossils. Utah Field House also conducts programming and contains a children’s lab to entertain young guests, and a dinosaur garden with models.

Things to Do with Literature Fans in Utah

19. Utah Shakespeare Festival

Things to Do in Utah - Utah Shakespeare Festival

Utah Shakespeare Festival is held annually at the Beverly Center for the Arts, from June 29 to October 21. The plays and events vary per season, but this season features nine plays as well as multiple events. Festival-goers can review about the performances in play seminars, which are always held in the morning.

Repertory Magic, where guests can ask questions, however, happens during Mondays and Fridays. Guests can also enjoy other privileges like backstage tours to see the props and other elements used in the amazing plays. Utah Shakespeare Festival also conducts free events: one of the three free Greenshows are conducted every night from June 29th to September, while costumes, props, and actor seminars are held on different days of the week.

Historical Things to See in Utah

20. Cove Fort

Things to See in Utah - Cove Fort

Cove Fort Historic Site in Utah is the only remaining fortress constructed in the 1800s by the Latter-Day Saints and was built to provide water, food, and shelter to Latter-Day Saints traversing between Idaho and California. Cove Fort tours allow visitors to experience fort life in the 1800s.

In this site guests can see the kitchen or “big room”, where visitors were often fed and residents conducted religious services and meetings; the washing and weaving room, where all washing and bathing was done; and family and guest rooms, as well as the telegraph office, which also served as an overflow eating hall. Guests can likewise tour the stage and post office, prairie wagon, bunkhouse, blacksmith shop, and replica barn.

Eventhough Utah is not the top destination for holidays and vacations, the Beehive State certainly doesn’t disappoint and doesn’t fall short with millions of postcard-worthy things to explore there. From museums, to art centers, to natural wonders, Utah will have you coming back for more as it is nearly impossible to enjoy all the marvels it offers in just a few days of vacation.

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