Discover the Beehive State: Best Things to Do in Utah

A man excitedly standing in front of a welcome to Utah sign, looking forward to discovering all the things to do in Utah.

From snow-capped mountains to red rocks that look otherworldly, Utah is a kaleidoscope of landscapes begging to be explored. Come discover this unique state, where natural beauty, adrenaline-pumping adventure, rich history, and cultural heritage collide.

Utah is a state that thrives on captivating contrasts. It’s a land where desert landscapes meet majestic mountain ranges, where the spiritual meets the adventurous, and where the past meets the present. Whether you’re a thrill seeker looking to conquer the next summit or a history buff eager to explore impressive landmarks, Utah beckons you to immerse yourself in an array of unforgettable experiences.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Utah, from awe-inspiring national parks to hidden gems that make this state a treasure trove of experiences. Buckle up, it’s going to be an amazing ride!

Discover the ultimate Utah bucket list, featuring the best things to do in the state. Explore what to do in Utah and uncover unforgettable experiences.


Have You Visited Utah?

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Arches National Park in Utah offers an abundance of breathtaking natural arch formations for visitors to explore and admire.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Visit Arches National Park

Arches National Park is like stepping into a surreal painting. With over 2,000 natural stone arches, this park is a playground for photographers and hikers, and one of the things Utah is most famous for. (Yes, it’s a long list!)

Don’t miss the iconic Delicate Arch, which you might recognize from Utah’s license plates. See the sights at your speed with this self-guided driving audio tour. Or, book this 4WD tour of Arches National Park from Moabfor a “behind the scenes” experience.

What to do in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Wander Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is a geological wonderland known for its unique hoodoos—spire-shaped rock formations. The park offers a range of hiking trails that take you up close to these natural sculptures. Sunrise and sunset are magical times to capture the hoodoos glowing in vibrant colors.

Sage Advice: This site has a long list of free US travel guides, including several travel brochures for the Beehive State.

The Virgin River winding through Zion National Park at sunset.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Hike in Zion National Park

Zion National Park offers some of the most scenic hikes in the country. The Narrows, a trek through a narrow canyon with towering walls, is a must-do. But if heights are more your thing, try the vertigo-inducing but utterly breathtaking Angels Landing. Or enjoy the park from the comfort of your car by following the 57-mile Zion Canyon scenic drive. As it winds through the park, you’ll find several pull-offs that allow you to stretch your legs and drink in the scenery.

Couple Downhill Skiing
Photo Credit: Canva.

Hit the Slopes in Park City

Park City is a winter wonderland that offers world-class skiing opportunities. Known for its luxurious ski resorts and vibrant après-ski scene, this mountain town is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. And if you’re not into skiing, there’s always snowboarding, snowshoeing, or simply enjoying a cup of hot cocoa by the fire.

The Salt Lake Temple is the crown jewel of Temple Square
Photo Credit: Sage Scott.

Tour Temple Square

Temple Square in Salt Lake City is a spiritual and architectural marvel. Home to the Salt Lake Temple and the Tabernacle, you can learn about the history and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all while enjoying beautiful gardens and historic buildings.

Related Article: How to Navigate Salt Lake City Street Addresses

A sign commemorating the land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Photograph the Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats are like another planet. This vast expanse of flat, white salt crust is famous for land speed records and offers a unique backdrop for photography. Just be sure to check the conditions before you go, because it can get muddy after it rains.

"I first visited Salt Lake City on a work trip and couldn't wait to go back. As much as I love skiing, there's so much else to do. There is fantastic hiking with trails great for beginners and those looking for something more challenging. But if you do only one thing while you're there, be sure to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats. It's a phenomenon unlike anything else you'll see, and it's fun to slip and slide along the flats."

A group of people in a blue raft on the Colorado River surrounded by beautiful Utah scenery.
Photo Credit: Austen Diamond Photography via Visit Utah

Go White-Water River Rafting on the Colorado River

For adrenaline junkies, white-water river rafting on the Colorado River is a must. The river offers various levels of rapids, making it suitable for both beginners and experts. Plus, the surrounding red rock canyons provide a stunning backdrop for your adventure.

A group of people leaving the Natural History Museum of Utah.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Experience the Natural History Museum of Utah

If you’re a history or science buff, the Natural History Museum of Utah is a must-visit. Located in Salt Lake City, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the natural history of the region, from prehistoric times to the present.

View of the Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island
Photo Credit: Sage Scott.

Discover the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is one of Utah’s most iconic landmarks. The salty waters of the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere offer several unique recreational activities. Antelope Island State Park, located on the lake’s biggest island, provides a unique vantage point to appreciate the lake’s vastness. And, you can hunt for the island’s free-roaming bison and antelope herds. It’s easy to experience both, the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island, on a day trip from Salt Lake City.

Discover the thrilling adventure of swimming in a cave at the Homestead Crater, one of the best things to do in Utah.
Photo Credit: Paula Gaston.

Take a Dip in the Homestead Crater

The Homestead Crater is a geothermal spring inside a limestone dome. It’s a unique place to swim, snorkel, or even scuba dive. The mineral-rich waters are said to have therapeutic properties, making it a relaxing experience.

Utah's red rock canyons, framed by a picturesque cloudy sky.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Conquer Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is a maze of canyons carved by the Colorado River. It’s divided into four districts, each offering unique landscapes and activities. Whether you’re into hiking, off-roading, or simply enjoying the view, Canyonlands has something for you.

A river runs through a red rock canyon at Dead Horse National Park in Moab, Utah.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Climb Red Rocks in Moab

Moab is a rock climber’s paradise. Known for its red rock formations that look like the surface of Mars, it offers a range of climbing experiences, from beginner routes to challenging ascents. And if climbing isn’t your thing, there’s always mountain biking or off-roading to enjoy.

Olympic medals on display in Park City, Utah
Photo Credit: Sage Scott.

Relive Olympic Glory at the Utah Olympic Park

The Utah Olympic Park in Park City is a living legacy of the 2002 Winter Olympics. You can try various Olympic sports, tour the museum, or even watch athletes in training. It’s a unique way to experience the Olympic spirit without leaving the country.

The road into Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Roam Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is known for the Waterpocket Fold, a nearly 100-mile-long warp in the Earth’s crust. The park is less crowded than Utah’s other national parks, making it a peaceful place for hiking and enjoying nature.

A U.S. Air Force craft parked outside the Hill Aerospace Museum in Ogden, Utah.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Gaze Skyward at the Hill Aerospace Museum

Located near Ogden, the Hill Aerospace Museum offers a fascinating look at aviation history. With a range of aircraft on display, from vintage planes to modern fighters, it’s a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts.

Bike the Slickrock Trail

The Slickrock Trail in Moab is a mecca for mountain bikers. The trail offers a unique riding experience on a smooth, petrified sand dune. It’s challenging but incredibly rewarding, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

A group of hoodoos, unique rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Roam the Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park looks like a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie. Known for its mushroom-shaped rock formations, it’s an excellent place for hiking and photography. Just be careful – the goblins (rock formations) are known to play tricks on your sense of direction!

A waterfall at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City

Stroll through the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

Located in Salt Lake City, the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum offers a peaceful escape from the city. With themed gardens and a range of plant species, it’s a lovely place for a leisurely stroll or photography.

A van driving along the Fishlake Scenic Byway in Utah.
Photo Credit: Andrew Burr via Visit Utah.

Drive Scenic Routes

With jaw-dropping vistas and unforgettable panoramic views, Utah offers some of the most scenic drives in the country. Whether it’s the iconic Monument Valley, the mountainous Alpine Loop, the stunning Highway 12, or the serene Mirror Lake Highway, each route offers a unique glimpse at the natural beauty of Utah.

The Logan River winds through the Wasatch-Cache National Forest surrounded by beautiful fall colors.
Photo Credit: Mike Norton via Visit Utah.

Unwind in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest offers a range of outdoor adventures, from hiking and camping to fishing and horseback riding. It’s a great place to disconnect and immerse yourself in nature.

Birdwatch at the Tracy Aviary

Located in Salt Lake City, the Tracy Aviary offers a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of bird species. From eagles and hawks to more exotic birds like toucans, it’s a fun and educational experience for all ages.

A houseboat docked along the bank of Lake Powell surrounded by people out in the calm, clear water.
Photo Credit: Visit Utah.

Float on Lake Powell

Despite its name, Lake Powell isn’t a lake but a man-made reservoir in Southern Utah. With its calm waters surrounded by stunning red rock cliffs, it’s a kayaker’s and paddleboarder’s dream. Plus, you can explore some of the lake’s hidden canyons and coves.

A red dirt hiking trail winding through Snow Canyon State Park in Utah.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Trek through Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park offers a range of landscapes, from red rock formations to lava tubes. It’s a great place for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and even horseback riding. Despite its name, it’s a year-round destination.

Go Wild at the Hogle Zoo

Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo is a family-friendly attraction home to a range of animals from African elephants to Arctic polar bears. It’s a great way to spend a day, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Experience Farm Life at the Wheeler Historic Farm

The Wheeler Historic Farm offers a glimpse into Utah’s agricultural past. With historic buildings, farm animals, and even a farmer’s market, it’s a fun and educational experience.

A scientist looking at a dinosaur fossil lodged in a rock wall.
Photo Credit: Visit Utah.

Uncover Fossils at Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument offers a unique opportunity to see real dinosaur fossils embedded in the rock. This national monument isn’t just a museum, it’s an active paleontological site where scientists continue to make new discoveries.

A beehive statue on the steps of the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City.
Photo Credit: Sage Scott.

Tour the State Capitol

The Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City is not just a hub of government — it’s a piece of architectural beauty. With its neoclassical design and amazing views of the surrounding area, it’s worth a visit whether you’re into politics or not.

Have You Explored Utah?

Which of these things to do in Utah have you experienced? Is there anything I should add to my list? Share your insider tips and favorite things to do in Utah in the comments section below. Your adventure could be someone else’s inspiration!


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14 thoughts on “Discover the Beehive State: Best Things to Do in Utah”

  1. Had no idea there were so many amazing things to do in Utah! This will be so helpful for planning outdoor adventures on our upcoming trip. Thanks for this great list!

  2. Informative article. I pinned this information for next summer. We’re planning on a month out west. Really looking for to using some of your suggestions.

  3. I am coming to Utah for a conference next year and as it is a long flight from Australia I have booked a full 2 weeks for a 4 day conference, so I am excited to explore the state.
    I’ve pinned this so I can plan some beautiful trips while I am there. It looks a gorgeous state

  4. Guess what? I’ll be visiting next month, and I am beyond thrilled to embark on an adventure that includes wandering through the awe-inspiring Bryce Canyon National Park, touring the iconic Temple Square, capturing the mesmerizing beauty of the Bonneville Salt Flats through my camera lens, and discovering the wonders of the Great Salt Lake. I can’t wait to create cherished memories!

  5. We’re planning to drive through Utah on a trip to the east coast this summer. Looking forward to checking out some of these great places!

  6. So beautiful!! From the Salt Lake to Red Rock and all the other beautiful places in Utah, this is a great place to come and visit. Thank you for all of the amazing pictures and great information about Utah.

  7. Yes, I have been to Utah twice now and I love it! Most recently just hiked The Wave in October. So gorgeous. I haven’t seen the Olympic museum though or many of the National Parks (only Zion so far) and so I’m definitely going back!

  8. Utah is one of my favorite states to have visited many times. We’re seriously considering it for a retirement location. Hiking the Narrows in Zion is my most memorable hike ever but all the parks: Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches, etc are gorgeous. I thought the salt flats was such a sight as well! Can’t wait to go back and do some more of the things on this list.

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