22 Best Things to Do in Utah | 2024 (with Photos)

Ata Ahmadi

Ata Ahmadi - Travel Writer

Published: July 27, 2023

Hey there! I'm Ata, and I'm excited to share with you my top picks for the best things to do in Utah. From stunning natural landscapes to thrilling outdoor adventures, Utah has it all. Get ready for an incredible trip filled with unforgettable experiences!

Unusual and Fun Things to Do in Utah

Welcome to Utah, a state known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures.

While Utah is famous for its national parks and skiing destinations, there is a hidden world of unusual and fun activities waiting to be discovered.

From national parks and natural hot springs to great museums and salt flats, Utah offers a diverse range of experiences beyond the ordinary.

Whether you're a thrill-seeker, nature enthusiast, or history buff, this list of 22 unusual and fun things to do in Utah will take you on an extraordinary journey through the unexpected treasures of the Beehive State.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Zion National Park

Top Choice Hotel

The Grand America Hotel

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Red Iguana

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Whiskey Street

Best Time to Visit

Peak fall colors, mild weather, outdoor adventure paradise.

Average Temperature

Varies greatly depending on the time of year.

Transportation Options

Trains, buses, cars, bikes - plenty of choices.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

CITY, the heart of Utah, is a must-visit destination that promises a remarkable and personalized travel experience. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the city, where towering mountains encircle a vibrant urban center, creating a unique and captivating blend of nature and city life.

Discover the charm of CITY as you explore the picturesque streets lined with boutique shops and charming cafes, offering a true taste of local life. Embark on an unforgettable adventure in the nearby national parks, where you can hike through stunning canyons or witness mesmerizing sunsets over the iconic landmarks that make Utah so legendary. From serene moments of solitude in the mountains to lively cultural festivals, CITY is a place where you can write your own travel story and create memories that will last a lifetime.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Water bottle
  4. Camera
  5. Map or GPS device
  6. Light jacket or sweater
  7. Hat or cap
  8. Snacks or trail mix
  9. Portable phone charger
  10. Cash or credit card for purchases.

What Not to Miss

  1. Zion National Park
  2. Bryce Canyon National Park
  3. Arches National Park
  4. Salt Lake City
  5. Canyonlands National Park
  6. Monument Valley
  7. Capitol Reef National Park
  8. Park City
  9. Antelope Island State Park
  10. Dead Horse Point State Park

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist areas
  2. Rush hour traffic
  3. Overpriced tourist traps
  4. Scams and pickpocketing
  5. Ignoring safety guidelines and warning signs
  6. Disregarding local customs and traditions
  7. Trespassing on private property or restricted areas
  8. Careless driving and speeding
  9. Leaving valuables unattended
  10. Engaging in illegal or unethical activities.

1. Discover the Charms of Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, is a vibrant and dynamic city nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty and friendly atmosphere, Salt Lake City offers a unique blend of outdoor adventures and urban charm.

Visitors of Salt Lake City can explore the picturesque Temple Square, home to the iconic Salt Lake Temple, or indulge in outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, and mountain biking in the nearby Wasatch Mountains.

Salt Lake City also boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters to explore.

From its rich history to its scenic surroundings, Salt Lake City offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

2. Immerse Yourself in Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

When making a list of things to do in Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park should be the first stop. Bryce Canyon is a geological wonderland that will leave you awe-inspired.

Famous for its unique and otherworldly rock formations called hoodoos, and its hot springs, this national park offers a surreal and breathtaking landscape.

As you explore Bryce Canyon National Park, you'll be treated to panoramic vistas, vibrant colors, and an intricate maze of canyons carved by nature over millions of years.

Hiking trails wind through the park, allowing visitors to venture into the heart of the hoodoos and witness the park's beauty up close.

Bryce Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photographers seeking unforgettable views and an extraordinary experience in the great outdoors.

3. Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit in Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Zion National Park, located in southwestern Utah, is a true natural wonder that never fails to awe visitors. Zion National Park is renowned for its dramatic red rock cliffs, deep canyons, and stunning landscapes.

The centerpiece of Zion National Park is Zion Canyon, a majestic gorge carved by the Virgin River, where towering sandstone walls rise to dizzying heights.

The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive offers a captivating journey through Zion National Park, showcasing panoramic views, picturesque stops, and access to popular trailheads.

Hiking trails like Angels Landing and the Narrows provide thrilling adventures, while peaceful meadows and cascading waterfalls offer serene moments of tranquility.

Whether hiking, canyoneering or simply marveling at the awe-inspiring scenery, Zion National Park promises an unforgettable and immersive experience if you are looking for things to do in Utah.

4. Embark on an Unforgettable Journey to Park City

Park City

Park City, nestled in the scenic Wasatch Mountains of Utah, is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends natural beauty with a vibrant mountain town atmosphere.

Known worldwide for its exceptional ski slopes and the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, Park City, home to the renowned Park City Mountain Resort, offers year-round adventures for outdoor enthusiasts and cultural aficionados alike.

From exhilarating winter sports to thrilling mountain biking and hiking trails in the summer, Park City caters to every adventurer's passion.

The charming historic Main Street boasts an array of eclectic shops, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants, making it a delightful place to explore and indulge.

Whether you seek outdoor thrills, artistic experiences, or simply a serene mountain getaway, Park City is a destination that promises to captivate and delight.

5. Embark on an Extraordinary Expedition to Escalante National Monument

Escalante National Monument

Escalante National Monument, located in southern Utah, is a pristine and rugged wilderness area that captivates visitors with its breathtaking beauty and natural wonders.

Spanning vast expanses of canyons, plateaus, and desert landscapes, the monument offers a true escape into the heart of nature.

Hiking through canyons, discovering ancient petroglyphs, and exploring remote backcountry areas are just a few of the many adventures that await.

The national monument is also home to stunning features like the Escalante River, Calf Creek Falls, and the colorful formations of the Grand Staircase.

With its untouched landscapes and remote tranquility, Escalante National Monument is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a connection with the natural world.

6. Embark on an Epic Journey to Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park, located in southeastern Utah, is a vast and rugged wilderness expanse that showcases the power and beauty of natural erosion.

With its expansive canyons, towering mesas, and breathtaking vistas, Canyonlands National Park offers a dramatic and awe-inspiring landscape.

Divided into four districts—Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the Rivers—the park provides a variety of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hiking, backpacking, and off-road adventures allow visitors to explore its remote corners and discover hidden treasures.

From the iconic Mesa Arch to the serenity of the Green and Colorado Rivers, Canyonlands National Park is a sanctuary for those seeking adventurous things to do in Utah.

7. Unleash Your Need for Speed at Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats, located in northwestern Utah, is a mesmerizing natural wonder that stretches for miles. Formed from the remnants of the ancient Lake Bonneville, it showcases vast, flat expanses of gleaming white salt crystals.

This vast expanse of salt deposits creates a surreal and otherworldly landscape. The flats are best known for their flatness, making them an ideal location for land-speed racing events.

Speed enthusiasts from around the world gather here to push the limits of their vehicles on the expansive salt surface.

The unique reflective properties of the salt flats also create stunning visual illusions, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Whether you're a racing enthusiast or simply seeking unique and awe-inspiring things to do in Utah, the Bonneville Salt Flats will leave you captivated by its vastness and ethereal beauty.

8. Embark on an Adventure to the Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake

Experience the unique allure of the Great Salt Lake, a mesmerizing natural wonder in Utah. As the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, it offers a surreal landscape that is both captivating and mysterious.

Visitors can take in breathtaking panoramic views, witness stunning sunsets that paint the sky in vibrant hues, and even float effortlessly on its buoyant waters, indulging in a truly unforgettable sensation.

The lake's expansive shoreline, encompassing diverse habitats, serves as a haven for birdwatchers, as it attracts numerous migratory birds.

Nature lovers can explore the surrounding wetlands, marshes, and wildlife refuges, immersing themselves in a thriving ecosystem teeming with a diverse range of plant and animal species.

A trip to the Great Salt Lake promises a one-of-a-kind adventure, brimming with natural beauty, serenity, and unique experiences that will leave a lasting impression.

9. Explore the Wonders of the Natural History Museum of Utah

Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, is a captivating institution that offers a deep dive into the state's rich natural heritage.

With interactive exhibits, engaging displays, and immersive experiences, the Natural History Museum of Utah brings to life the wonders of Utah's diverse ecosystems, ancient fossils, and fascinating geological formations.

Visitors of all ages can marvel at towering dinosaur skeletons, learn about the region's unique geological history through interactive simulations, and explore the intricacies of local flora and fauna in meticulously recreated habitats.

From the breathtaking landscapes of the mighty Wasatch Range to the mysterious depths of Lake Bonneville, the museum provides an educational and entertaining experience that showcases the remarkable natural world that surrounds us, fostering a sense of appreciation and stewardship for Utah's natural treasures.

10. Embark on an Enchanting Journey to Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Nestled in southern Utah, the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a mesmerizing desert playground that unveils a unique natural phenomenon.

Vibrant coral-colored sand dunes, sculpted by wind and time, create a surreal landscape that is both stunning and captivating.

Visitors can hike, slide, or even ride dune buggies across the shifting sands, immersing themselves in an exhilarating outdoor experience.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park also offers opportunities for camping, stargazing, and wildlife spotting, providing a serene escape into nature.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a hidden gem that promises adventure, tranquility, and unforgettable memories amidst its picturesque sandy oasis.

11. Explore the Wonders of Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument in Utah is a captivating and expansive destination where visitors can journey back in time to the prehistoric era.

Home to an incredible collection of dinosaur fossils and ancient rock art, this national monument offers a truly immersive experience that allows us to glimpse into the world that existed millions of years ago.

The Quarry Exhibit Hall stands as a testament to the monument's significance, providing an awe-inspiring opportunity for visitors to observe an extensive wall of dinosaur fossils, including the remains of the mighty Allosaurus and Stegosaurus.

Beyond the remarkable paleontological wonders, outdoor enthusiasts can explore the monument's picturesque landscapes, hike through scenic trails that reveal hidden natural treasures, and even embark on exhilarating whitewater rafting adventures along the Green and Yampa Rivers, surrounded by towering canyon walls.

With its rich paleontological heritage, fascinating rock art sites, and diverse recreational opportunities, Dinosaur National Monument is a true paradise for paleontology enthusiasts, history buffs, and nature lovers alike, offering an unforgettable experience that bridges the gap between the ancient and the present.

12. Embark on an Adventure to Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park, located in southwestern Utah, is a hidden gem that offers a stunning display of natural beauty. With its striking red sandstone cliffs, ancient lava flows, and vibrant desert flora, the park creates a picturesque and otherworldly landscape that will leave visitors in awe.

Exploring the park's diverse trails reveals hidden canyons, towering arches, and panoramic vistas that showcase the area's unique geological history.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also indulge in thrilling activities such as rock climbing on the sandstone walls, horseback riding through the rugged terrain, or camping under the starry night sky, immersing themselves in the tranquility and solitude of this captivating sanctuary.

Whether seeking adventure or peaceful things to do in Utah, Snow Canyon State Park offers an abundance of recreational opportunities and a true connection with the wonders that define Utah's extraordinary landscapes.

13. Unleash Your Inner Adventurer at Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park, located in central Utah, is a whimsical and otherworldly destination that feels straight out of a fantasy realm.

Renowned for its unique formations known as "hoodoos" or "goblins," which are mushroom-shaped rock formations scattered across the sandy landscape, the park presents an extraordinary playground of nature's artistic prowess.

Exploring the park feels like stepping onto an alien planet, where an enchanting maze of twisting canyons and bizarre rock sculptures captivates the senses at every turn.

Visitors can embark on exhilarating hikes among the goblins, discovering hidden nooks and crannies that add to the park's mysterious allure.

Alternatively, they can simply find themselves lost in the moment, marveling at the surreal beauty and intricate details of this geological wonderland.

Goblin Valley State Park offers a one-of-a-kind experience that sparks the imagination, awakens a childlike sense of wonder, and leaves an indelible impression that lingers long after leaving its extraordinary embrace.

14. Explore the Wonders of the Colorado Plateau

Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau, an expansive region spanning parts of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, is a geological wonderland filled with breathtaking landscapes and natural marvels.

It is characterized by its striking canyons, towering mesas, and colorful rock formations. From the majestic Grand Canyon to the mesmerizing Monument Valley, the plateau is home to iconic landmarks that captivate the imagination.

Hiking, rafting, and exploring ancient Native American ruins are just a few of the countless activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Colorado Plateau.

15. Embrace the Majestic Abyss of Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park, located near Moab, Utah, is a captivating desert destination that offers breathtaking views and an array of natural wonders.

Perched atop a 2,000-foot-high mesa, the park sits majestically, providing stunning panoramic vistas of the Colorado River winding its way through deep canyons, creating a mesmerizing sight that seems straight out of a postcard.

The park's most iconic viewpoint, Dead Horse Point, offers an awe-inspiring overlook where visitors can witness the majestic beauty of the surrounding landscape, with sheer cliffs, and an endless horizon stretching as far as the eye can see.

Hiking and mountain biking trails crisscross the rugged terrain, allowing exploration of the park's hidden treasures, including hidden arches, ancient petroglyphs, and unique desert flora.

Whether it's admiring the crimson-hued cliffs glowing under the golden sun or gazing at the vast expanse of the desert, Dead Horse Point State Park is a must-visit destination. 

It offers an immersive experience in the raw and untamed beauty of Utah's desert landscapes, captivating nature lovers, and adventure seekers with its timeless allure.

16. Discover the Timeless Majesty of Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley, an iconic destination straddling the Utah-Arizona border, is a land of majestic beauty and timeless wonder.

Dramatic sandstone buttes, towering mesas, and vast desert landscapes of Monument Valley have served as the backdrop for countless movies and photographs, capturing the imagination of people worldwide.

As you explore Monument Valley, you'll be immersed in a sense of awe and serenity, surrounded by the sheer magnitude and grandeur of the rock formations. The striking red earth contrasts with the clear blue skies, creating a mesmerizing tableau.

Visitors can take guided jeep tours or hike through Monument Valley, witnessing the mesmerizing play of light and shadow across the monoliths.

Monument Valley is a place where nature's artistry is on full display, leaving a lasting impression on all who venture into its captivating embrace while searching for things to do in Utah.

17. Embark on an Unforgettable Journey to Antelope Island

Antelope Island

Antelope Island, nestled in the Great Salt Lake, is a natural gem and home to Antelope Island State Park.

This scenic destination offers a diverse array of attractions and activities. Explore the island's stunning landscapes through hiking and biking trails, or embark on an unforgettable horseback riding adventure, immersing yourself in the island's beauty.

Visit the Visitor Center and Natural History Museum to delve into the island's unique ecology, cultural history, and wildlife.

With its panoramic vistas, sandy beaches, and abundant wildlife, Antelope Island captures the hearts of nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and outdoor adventurers seeking a memorable experience in the heart of Utah.

18. Embrace Thrilling Adventures at Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Lake Powell, situated in the stunning red rock country of Utah and Arizona, is a captivating oasis in the desert.

Created by the Glen Canyon Dam, this vast reservoir stretches for miles, offering endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and relaxation.

Boating, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding are popular activities on the crystal-clear waters, while the surrounding cliffs provide a breathtaking backdrop for hiking and camping.

Exploring the narrow slot canyons and hidden coves adds an element of discovery to the experience.

With its azure waters, dramatic landscapes, and abundant recreational options, Lake Powell invites visitors to immerse themselves in its natural splendor and create unforgettable memories.

19. Immerse Yourself in the Sacred Beauty of Temple Square

Temple Square

Temple Square, located in the heart of Salt Lake City, is a cherished landmark and the spiritual center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This iconic square encompasses beautifully manicured gardens, historic buildings, and the awe-inspiring Salt Lake Temple.

Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history and significance of Temple Square, explore the Tabernacle's remarkable acoustics, and even attend a live performance by the renowned Tabernacle Choir.

This enriching experience allows visitors to appreciate the cultural and spiritual importance that the Church of Jesus Christ holds within the community and beyond.

With its tranquil ambiance, stunning architecture, and cultural significance, Temple Square offers a profound experience that resonates with visitors of all backgrounds.

20. Discover the Hidden Treasures of Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park, situated in south-central Utah, is a hidden gem that offers a captivating blend of rugged canyons, colorful cliffs, and rearing rock formations.

The centerpiece of Capitol Reef National Park is the Waterpocket Fold, a geologic wrinkle extending for nearly 100 miles.

Visitors can hike through narrow slot canyons, explore towering monoliths, and marvel at petroglyphs left by ancient civilizations.

With its striking landscapes and minimal crowds, Capitol Reef provides a serene and immersive experience.

Whether you're an avid hiker, a geology enthusiast, or simply seeking tranquility amidst nature's wonders, Capitol Reef National Park is a must-visit destination.

21. Explore the Enchanting Red Hills Desert Garden

Red Hills Desert Garden

Red Hills Desert Garden, located in St. George, Utah, is a desert oasis that showcases the beauty and resilience of desert plants.

This botanical garden offers a serene and captivating experience, with winding paths that lead visitors through a stunning collection of native flora.

From vibrant cacti to colorful desert wildflowers, the garden's diverse plant life delights the senses. Educational signage provides insights into the unique adaptations of desert plants and the importance of conservation.

With its tranquil atmosphere and striking beauty, Red Hills Desert Garden offers a peaceful escape and a chance to appreciate the remarkable diversity of desert ecosystems.

22. Embrace the Marvels of Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Arches National Park, located in southeastern Utah, is a mesmerizing landscape of extraordinary rock formations.

With over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, towering fins, and colossal balanced rocks, Arches National Park showcases nature's artistic prowess.

The iconic Delicate Arch, a symbol of Utah, stands majestically against the dramatic backdrop of red rocks, creating a sight that leaves visitors in awe.

Hiking trails wind through Arches National Park, leading to breathtaking viewpoints and allowing close encounters with these geological wonders.

As the sun casts its golden glow, Arches National Park transforms into a magical playground of light and shadows.

Arches National Park offers an unforgettable journey into a realm where nature's creativity knows no bounds.

FAQs About Things to Do in Utah

Let's answer some questions about things to do in Utah.

What do people go to Utah for?

Utah attracts visitors for diverse reasons. Salt Lake City is renowned for its cultural offerings and nature enthusiasts flock to Zion National Park. Skiing enthusiasts hit the slopes at Park City Mountain Resort. Adventure seekers raft the thrilling Colorado River. Utah's national parks and the historical influence of the Latter-Day Saints further enhance its allure.

Is there anything interesting in Utah?

Utah offers a plethora of captivating attractions. Salt Lake City boasts vibrant art and music scenes, while Zion National Park enthralls with its majestic canyons. Bryce Canyon captivates visitors, and Deer Valley is a haven for skiing enthusiasts. Cedar City hosts the renowned Utah Shakespeare Festival, adding cultural flair to this remarkable state.

What is Utah famous for?

Utah is famous for a myriad of attractions. Salt Lake City stands out with its iconic Salt Lake Temple. The state's five national parks, including Zion National Park, showcase stunning natural beauty. Adventurers enjoy the thrill of rock climbing and horseback riding, while winter enthusiasts flock to world-class ski resorts and terrain parks.

What is unique in Utah?

Utah boasts a range of unique features. Mirror Lake reflects pristine beauty, while Sunset Point offers breathtaking views. Snow-capped mountains provide a spectacular sight year-round. The state is also home to the largest ski resort. Mountain bikers explore trails, while Pioneer Park captivates with its charm. Utah's largest natural lake and towering sandstone formations further add to its distinctiveness.

Summing Up: The Best Things to Do in Utah

Utah offers an abundance of unusual and fun activities for visitors and locals to enjoy. Explore remnants of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville, witness the splendor of ski resorts, and embark on adventures in the rugged landscape.

Try cross-country skiing or visit unique parks nestled in the mountains. Marvel at the huge sandstone towers and catch a show at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City.

Engage in horseback riding while learning about the historical influence of the Latter-Day Saints. Raft down the Colorado River, immerse yourself in the beauty of national parks, and discover the cultural offerings of Salt Lake City.

Visiting Utah is an incredible journey where diverse adventures await. From the stunning natural landscapes and world-class mountain resorts to the vibrant arts scene and nearby parks, there are truly so many things to do in Utah.