Salt Lake City is the hub of Utah—it houses the airport, and most famously the Great Salt Lake. Having its own long list of interesting attractions, it serves as a great starting point for more than a handful of fantastic day trips. Amazing places that can be reached in as little as 30 minutes are at your disposal when staying in this perfect home base town. Here are our favorite day trip destinations from Salt Lake City.
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Only a 30-minute drive away, Ogden is a stunning historic town enveloped by three quite diverse ski resorts. Serving as downtown’s backdrop are the Wasatch Mountains, which are so close they almost look painted against the sky. Locally infused restaurants like Slackwater (hint, they have awesome Utah beer), and vegan cafe Cuppa are within the quite walkable city—you’ve got to try the coconut tortilla breakfast tacos. Walk historic 25th street down to Union Station, or hop onboard the ski bus for an inexpensive ride to Snowbasin or Powder Mountain—you can drive to Nordic Valley which has skiing and snow tubing.
Very small but with a lot to offer, Eden can be seen from Nordic Valley Ski Resort. Their major shopping hub is this quaint cluster of tiny cabins offering everything from ice cream to handmade body products from Simply Eden. New World Distillery is a gem in this picturesque nook, and their distilling methods are revolutionizing the purity and creativity in the craft spirits industry. Only using wholesome methods to cultivate smooth, unique tequilas, vodka, gin and their amazing local tart cherry infused liquor, Wasatch Blossom, the tour at this rustic, cozy joint is a must.
Midway houses some of Utah’s most fascinating natural wonders, like the Homestead Crater, a striking opening in the earth with a swimming hole beneath—stay at the Homestead Resort and you’ll have access to it. In the winter, visitors can see elaborate ice castles that put on amazing shows, complete with princesses. Only around 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, it’s an amazing winter or summer getaway with all the perks of being by the Wasatch Mountains.
Best known for housing Crystal Hot Springs, the mineral water of Honeyville has been alluring visitors for ages. Native Americans once regularly convened here, while workers for the beginning of railroad construction would come here to relax. Today, it’s a full-blown playground with health benefits, large pools, jetted hot tubs and even water slides that add to the excitement of visiting the springs. A cold water portion of the underground fed water feature allows for natural temperature adjustment of the hot portion, so it’s always perfection.
When one thinks of Provo, Brigham Young University likey comes to mind, but it’s also a fabulous outdoor playground, so this might affect your school choice! Lakes and rivers offer supreme fishing opportunities, while an extensive trail system is a hiker’s and mountain biker’s dream. With a range in difficulty levels, anyone can get out and soak in the pristine nature of the mountainous location of lovely Provo. Only 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, you can trek down for a day in the woods, while grabbing candy, ice-cream and mouthwatering meals in historic downtown.
Antelope Island is surrounded by the Great Salt Lake, and offers sites of wildlife, like birds, buffalo and antelope, of course, amongst Utah’s gorgeous desert mountain terrain. The ride out there offers views of the salty water and mountains to the left and right. Picnic areas, bathrooms, designated campsites and the water itself are at your disposal when on the island for the day. It’s quiet and peaceful if you go on an uncrowded day, and sunsets and rises are simply breathtaking when the skies are clear.
They weren’t selected to host the 2002 Winter Olympics for no reason, and it’s only about a half hour away. Park City has a lively town center vibrant with shops and eats, while two predominant ski resorts are at your disposal. Stop by to see Utah Olympic Park for the bobsled experience, or to relish in a bit of Olympic history. A downtown trolley system makes it extremely easy to navigate downtown, and the summer offers a different, just as exciting part of the city. Park City can get crowded, as it is pretty famous, also hosting Sundance. If you hate crowds, you can find similar experiences in lower key Ogden.
Mirror Lake sets just off a scenic Byway in Hanna, where there’s also a campground if the sites spark a future overnight visit. Surrounded by the Uinta Mountains, nature and scenery is everything here, creating the perfect place to totally disconnect, if even for a few hours. Bring a picnic, capture mental pictures of the summer wildflowers, kayak, canoe, fish, bike surrounding loops—Mirror Lake lives up to its name and is an amazing home base for a day of adventure. The drive to this haven should take about two hours.