Why You Should Be Heading To Utah This Summer

By Matt Gibson,

Although it’s often sadly overlooked by vacation planners looking for geographically stunning national parks (who often opt for the nearby Grand Canyon), for mountain adventures (who usually first consider Colorado), or for shopping and spa pampering (who often visit large urban centers), Utah’s family-friendly national parks and cities–and wallet-friendly prices–make it an excellent summer vacation destination.

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An Outdoor Playground
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Utah is home to the “Mighty Five,” a group of majestic national parks that include Zion, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches and Bryce Canyon. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky searching for vertigo-inducing hikes, a family looking for a beautiful and accommodating place to camp, you’ll find them all across the state–but especially in the south.

Utah’s national parks aren’t the only places to run wild in the outdoors. The state’s numerous ski resorts, from Eagle Point to Snowbird, are also very accessible and open for hiking, mountain biking, gondola rides, zip-line tours, and even disc golf.

Zion National Park

Photo By: Matt Gibson

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Summer Concerts and Festivals
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Utahns like nothing more than mixing serene outdoors settings with live music, art, family activities, and great food. The state hosts numerous summer festivals ranging from the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival to the massive Utah Arts Festival and the Groovefest American Music Festival.

The best directory of events in the state can be found at VisitUtah.com.

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Family Fun
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While there’s no doubt your kids will fall in love with the outdoors in the “Mighty 5” National Parks, Utah also has some great child-focused activities. The Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington gives families a place to get their thrills on roller coasters and cool off on water slides. The Seven Peaks Water Park–not far from Salt Lake City and Provo–has everything from waterslides to wave pools for cooling off on hot days.

For a more historic trip through the countryside, there is the Heber Creeper, an old-fashioned locomotive that provides picturesque train rides through the Provo Canyon. From zoos and museums to fishing adventures and family white-water rafting, Utah has both natural and man-made playgrounds for children.

Photo By: Matt Gibson

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Utah is Within Reach
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The easiest way to reach Utah is through Salt Lake City International Airport, which is one of Delta’s largest hubs, meaning that direct flights are frequent and often quite affordable

Utah is also bordered by six states. Road trips from Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho are a breeze. Even many cities in California are less than a 12-hour drive away. Travelers also have the option of traveling to (or throughout) Utah via the California Zephyr–an Amtrak train that travels daily from Chicago to San Francisco with four stops in Utah.

Salt Lake City Sunset

Photo By: Matt Gibson

Have you been to Utah? What’s your favorite thing to do there?

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trivago hotel pick
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If you’re staying in the city, why not try a stylish hotel like the Salt Lake Plaza. This elegantly modern hotel prides itself on being a favorite among business travelers, but it’s western-themed gift shop, hearty family-style restaurant, and pool facilities make it a great place for families too. The location couldn’t be more central– located at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, just steps away from historic Temple Square, the world renowned Family History Library, and great shopping at the City Creek Center. Get more hotel info here.

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