Alyssa has been writing about exciting travel topics for Trips to Discover since 2013. After living the big city life in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Alyssa sold the bulk of her possessions and became a digital nomad, living full-time in her camper and working from wherever she could find an outlet and an internet connection for her laptop.
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Weekend getaways in Utah introduce you to otherworldly landscapes, maximize your time in the great outdoors, and embody a sense of adventure. This Mountain West destination is a favorite playground for people all across the region and a wonderful place to disconnect from the stresses of life and soak up the beauty that surrounds you. To see for yourself what we mean, plan to take some of these weekend getaways in Utah this year.
The small city of Kanab sits in the heart of Southern Utah’s red rock country and is an awesome place to call your home base for the weekend. You’ll be just south of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon here and also near other epic outdoor areas like The Wave and Buckskin Gulch. Meanwhile, you can learn about local history over your weekend at the Hovenweep National Monument and see the film sites of some of the Western movies that were filmed here. Other top outdoor destinations in the area include Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and Paria River Canyon. Meanwhile, animal-lovers will enjoy taking a tour of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab.
Utah’s capital city of Salt Lake City is a hub for adventure with skiing, arts and culture, and family-friendly entertainment on offer. The city is always busy with lots going on, yet not too crowded or stressful to navigate. Spend your weekend here touring Temple Square, watching a Broadway show at the Eccles Theater, or watching a football game of the Utah Utes. Come here to learn about local Mormon history, study your own genealogy, and enjoy the nature of all four seasons. The nearby Wasatch Mountains are an ideal place for weekend recreation via hiking, boating, and fishing.
Moab is a top destination in Utah for weekenders who love adventure sports. This is a hot spot for Jeeping, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. It’s a small town that offers a lot for weekend tourists in terms of restaurants, camping, and lodging. Moab is famous for the Delicate Arch formation nearby, but there are lots of other trails to explore here too, as well as rock climbing and whitewater rafting opportunities.
The growing town of St. George is a fun and friendly place to visit in Utah, with lots of sunshine and exciting attractions for your weekend trip. The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is a hot spot for local hiking, and the Tuacahn Amphitheater is a great place to catch a musical performance. Spend some time in the downtown area to try some of the local restaurants, and take a short drive to the nearby Kayenta Art Village to see the galleries. St. George is a great place for a weekend golf getaway, and the Red Hills Desert Garden is worth visiting too.
Zion is a very popular national park in Southern Utah that has plenty of red rocks, lush greenery, and stunning waterways. The Narrows and Angel’s Landing are famous hikes here, but you can also go canyoneering with a guide in Zion and go biking along the Pa’rus Trail and Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. To make a full weekend out of this adventure, plan to camp at South Campground or Watchman Campground near the south entrance at Springdale. For more solitude from the usual crowds, plan to check out Kolob Canyons at the northwest corner of the park.
If you’re craving some water-focused recreation, consider taking a trip to the Ogden area in Northern Utah. In the winter, you can also take a weekend trip to Ogden as your home base for skiing at the Snowbasin, Wolf Mountain, and Powder Mountain resorts. While you’re in Ogden, check out the Hill Aerospace Museum, George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park, and the Utah State Railroad Museum. With attractions like these, this is a great weekend getaway for families with kids.
It doesn’t get much more impressive as far as landscapes go than Bryce Canyon. The hoodoos and other bizarre red, pink, and white rock formations will leave you in awe as you hike the trails of this national park. Make sure to bring your best camera and lenses for this ultra-photogenic place. For a weekend trip to Bryce Canyon, hike the trails in the main Bryce Amphitheater, drive to Rainbow Point, and consider taking a guided two to four-hour horseback ride through the park.
Park City is a lovely mountain town that offers weekenders an alpine and upscale vibe. This is a top spot for snow sport enthusiasts but also fun throughout the year to explore the restaurants and galleries along Main Street. This is also the place to be for the Sundance Film Festival and fun arts and culture events throughout the year. The High West Distillery & Saloon is a great place to grab a drink in town.
To learn about dinosaurs that once roamed through what is now Utah and get a bit off the grid, head to Eastern Utah near the town of Vernal. At Dinosaur National Monument, you can see some of the best-preserved dinosaur bones in the world, as well as petroglyphs, hiking trails, and scenic drives. You can camp here over the weekend at six front-country campgrounds or in the backcountry for a more remote experience.
Provo is another great city in the Utah Valley for a weekend trip and one that deserves a weekend all to itself, despite its proximity to Salt Lake City. On a weekend in Provo, you can visit the Provo Canyon, Museum of People and Cultures, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, and take the kids to the Splash Summit Waterpark to cool off on a hot day.
In addition to the epic national parks, Utah also has some excellent state parks for your weekend trips. Antelope Island State Park offers spectacular views, starry night skies, and lots of recreation. You may see the free-ranging bison and bighorn sheep here, camp at a primitive campsite, and view the millions of birds that gather around the island’s shores.