Rich cultural history, natural rock formations and enriching hiking terrain as well as countless mountain resorts, exciting cities and a variety of alluring parks, put Utah in the category of “Amazing Family Vacation Spots”. Different parts of the state offer vastly different vacation opportunities, but these are the top family vacation contenders in the state.
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Ogden (Nearby Hotels)
Ogden is blossoming into a world-class ski destination, as downtown sits at the base of diverse ski resorts. Snowbasin is a high-end versatile resort with amazing food while Powder Mountain offers rugged terrain for hardcore shredders and Nordic Valley is family-friendly. A bus runs from downtown to both Snowbasin and Powder Mountain, making for a scenic, easy ride up. Downtown is full of eclectic eateries and historic sites, as well as a top-notch fishing river.
Sundance (Nearby Hotels)
When not drawing in celebrities for the renowned Sundance Film Festival, this outdoor haven is a culturally, artistically and naturally enriching place to bring the kiddos. In the winter, Mount Timpanogos has many different levels of skiing, as well as Nordic trails and snowshoeing paths. In the summer, mountain biking and hiking fill in, and there’s something extra breathtaking about this magical part of Utah. Take a moonlight ride up one of the chair lifts, dine at mountain top cabin cafes, experience some of the state’s best fly fishing, saddle up on a horse to traverse the trails, zipline—the family will be immersed into the pristine nature. Luxurious cabins and lodges are surprisingly accommodating to young ones. For example, The Sundance Resort offers special spa treatments for kiddos.
Salt Lake City (Nearby Hotels)
Salt Lake City is an exciting city full of museums that center around animals and outer space, while they also have an extensive zoo as well as an amusement park with coasters and waterslides. The best part is that the Wasatch Mountains wrap around the tall buildings for a multidimensional background while offering outdoor activities galore, from summer hiking to winter skiing. Salt Lake has blossomed into a culinarily rich region with plenty of kid-friendly eats that adults would drool over too The Pie Pizzeria, Robin’s Nest tasty sandwiches and giant pancakes from Over the Counter Cafe are sure to be good “picky eater” selections.
Arches National Park (Nearby Hotels)
Arches National Park in Moab is filled with 2,000 stone arches that look as if they belong in an alien movie. From seasonal stunning flowers against the red rock, breathtaking starry skies, visually striking camping spots and fun ranger programs for kids, it’s a solid choice.
Park City (Nearby Hotels)
Park City is best known for its film roots and having hosted the Olympics. But it’s also an adventure wonderland with the most precious historic Main Street, where trollies putter up and down the roads. Of course, the skiing terrain is perfection, and the surrounding mountains give you gorgeous views, but families can find much more to do here than hit the slopes. While Utah Olympic Park is used as a training facility, visitors can fly via zip line and speed down hills on tubes along with other heart-racing thrills. Ride the mountain situated alpine coaster or explore nature preserves and diverse ecology.
Zion National Park (Nearby Hotels)
Zion National Park is one of the top visited parks in the United States thanks to dramatic cliffs carved by the virgin river and diverse ecology. Stunning sites are abundant, from cascading waterfalls and multi-hued rock to deep valleys. While hardcore climbers and hikers come for some serious terrain, easier trails to majestic pools and overlooks are a fit for families. Go on a safari, bike some of the easiest roads, ride horses or just take a scenic drive—numerous activities are friendly for all ages. Under Canvas Zion is a luxury clamping site, but there are plenty of refined lodges to rest your head.
Antelope Island (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Antelope Island isn’t too far from Ogden or Salt Lake City since it sits on the Salt Lake itself. The interesting little island can be reached via road, and has a desertous yet somewhat mountainous appearance. Wildlife roams the hills, and a drive around the park loop can be your family’s very own eco tour. Small pathways lead down to the salty waters and signage everywhere explains the native foliage and landscape. Families can camp on the island, and for the most part it can be a quite, serene experience within nature.
Dude Ranches (Nearby Hotels)
Want the kids to experience real life on the range? You can ride horses, learn how a real ranch works or stay in an authentic cabin. Meals provided are home-cooked and true to the old ways of the land. Tavaputs Ranch, Rockin’ R Ranch Near Bryce Canyon National Park and Defa’s Dude Ranch all offer immersive experiences on the range. With the perfect balance of outdoors and cozy accommodations, this might be a trip the kids will never stop talking about.