A Whole Calendar Year of Activities in Utah
January 3, 2018
A whole calendar year of activities in Utah Perhaps one of your resolutions for 2018 has to do with getting some more exercise or enjoying the outdoors a little more. Whether you live in Utah or you’re thinking of making your new home along what we lovingly call ‘The Wasatch Front’, here are some great places to visit within this great state. They aren’t ordered in ranked order, but instead in a suggested order that would allow you to see each location in one year at a great time and season. Get out your map and pull out your calendar, there are lots of cool things to do for all ages. Park City (January/February) Less than an hour away from the Salt Lake International airport, start your outdoor tour of Utah in Park City. It used to be that Park City was one of the state’s best-kept secrets. Turns out the secret hasn’t been kept a secret at all. Lots of people flock to Park City from all over the world for world-class skiing, and world-class accommodations. The town is an eclectic mixture of arts, architecture, fashion, and ideas. Celebrity sightings are highly likely to occur in January when they come and visit for the annual Sundance Film Festival. It was started in 1978 by Robert Redford and is the largest independent film festival in the United States. Just a stone’s throw away from Park City is Midway, Utah. Midway is home to some spectacular Ice Castles in the winter months as well as the Homestead Crater. This geothermal spring lives within a 55-foot tall beehive-shaped limestone rock and touts the only naturally warm scuba diving destination in the US. Moab (March) Moab is the place to go when you’d like to visit Arches National Park. It is home to Utah’s famous delicate arch as well as hundreds of other less-famous arches and other breathtaking red-rock features. You can see lots of these rockscapes in famous movies like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Literally, come and walk where Indy walked. When you get tired of walking, rent a bike an ATV, or some climbing ropes and see the scenery from different speeds and elevations. March is a great time to visit before temperatures get too toasty, and while you’re there you can run or watch the popular half marathon that runs into the town. Antelope Island (April) Antelope Island connects visitors to a unique landscape of wild buffalo-populated meadows, hiking trails, and spectacular views of the Great Salt Lake. The bugs out by the lake can get pretty fierce in the heat of the summer, but the cooler the temperature in April, you’re less likely to be bothered. Take the time to dip your toe in the salty water of the lake. While it’s true that you’ll float if you attempt to swim in the water, you’ll also have to wade really, really, really far out into the non-shallow water to try it and really, ain’t nobody got time for that. Time is better spent touring the nature and the old homestead on the island itself. Timpanogos Cave (May) The month of May is the perfect time to schedule a time to hike the 1.5 mile accent to Timpanogos Cave. It’s a steep but family friendly hike with a super cool tour of a chilly cave at the top. The hike will make you sweat, but you’ll want a jacket for the actual cave tour, which lasts about an 45 minutes. It’s located in beautiful American Fork Canyon. Stop by the sites at Thanksgiving Point either before or after your hike to for dining, movies, shopping, or museums. Lake Powell (June) Lake Powell is a large reservoir on the Colorado river all the way down in Southern Utah. It’s a popular vacation spot for many known as a great location for water skiing and boating. The landscape within and around the lake offer several different boat tours and hiking trails. The summer months offer long days and beautiful sunsets. The warm waters this time of year make for good water skiing, wave running, swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding. There are lots of accommodation options here for families and large groups. Bear Lake (July) Straddling the border of Idaho and Utah, Bear Lake is a fantastic place for more water fun and the water is fantastically blue. If you travel through Garden City to get to the Lake, you must try the varieties of the ‘worlds best raspberry shakes’ from the competing shake shacks that line the main street. Our favorite shake comes from Zipps who cleverly tout the ‘worlds worst raspberry shake’. You just have to love a good dose of reverse psychology. Don’t leave the area without going to see a show at the Pickleville playhouse. It’s a quaint little theater that you just might miss if you’re not looking for it, but the productions there are first rate. Take in a well-known musical or laugh for an entire evening viewing a Juanito Bandito melodrama. Dinosaur National Monument (August) Head over to Vernal, Utah to go dinosaur hunting over hundreds of acres of beautiful terrain. As far as the eye can see, there are places to see real dinosaur fossils including Allosaurus, Deinonychus, Abydosaurus. Fish, hike, camp, raft or boat while you’re there. Zion’s National Park (September) This park has some of the most incredible hikes and sites in the world. Pronounced by the locals as ZAI-un (as opposed to ZAI-AWN), this is a family friendly site with adventure ranging from easy to difficult depending on age and experience. Self and guided tours are available for some of the picturesque trails. Test your skills hiking to Angels Landing or relax at The Grotto. There is something for everyone in Zion. The surrounding areas offer great lodging and places to eat. Bryce Canyon (October) The rock formations in Bryce Canyon are out of this world. Not only are there interesting shapes and formations to be found, but the color of the rocks attract a world-wide audience. Hiking options range from family friendly to expert. You can bike, hike, or tour upon a horse. The Brian Head ski resort is nearby and is a great place to visit while you’re in the neighborhood.
Salt Lake City (November/December)
The last place on our list is a holiday visit in Salt Lake City. There is so much going on during the Christmas season. Start with a visit to temple square to view the Christmas lights, see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing live in the Tabernacle or Conference Center, do your family history in the adjacent genealogy library, head over to the Vivint Smart Home Arena for a professional basketball experience with the Utah Jazz, travel up the hill to see an athletic event at the University of Utah, see a concert with the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall, do some shopping at City Creek, and you’re only getting started. Throughout Salt Lake there are restaurants for every budget and of nearly every flavor. It’s a friendly city and you can easily get around on foot, rented bike, or for free within the TRAX railway ride free zone.