Even in Utah’s cities and towns, you’re never far from nature.
In fact Utah’s top urban draws – from the capital, Salt Lake City; to quirky, fun-loving Ogden; to Provo within Utah Valley; to the red rocks of St. George – all offer postcard-worthy skylines complete with spectacular mountain ranges and rock formations for backdrops.
A day of hiking with gorgeous views can be topped with great dining and a luxurious hotel stay downtown. Or shop ’til you drop in the city, then watch the sun set from a perfect mountain vantage point.
Utah’s urban experiences include …
SALT LAKE CITY: For many first-time visitors Salt Lake City is best known for its star turn as host of the 2002 Winter Olympics (where both the Canadian men’s and women’s hockey teams took home Olympic gold!). Head 20 minutes into the mountains for Utah Olympic Park to experince Extreme Tubing, the Alpine Slide or even the Summer Bobsled. Back downtown, there are restaurants and microbreweries galore, with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. Favourite SLC neighbourhoods include the 9th and 9th District with its espresso bars and bakeries, the University of Utah campus district (home to Red Butte Garden and the state’s Natural History Museum), the historic Sugar House neighbourhood, The Avenues and Capitol Hill. Best Salt Lake area hiking spots: Ensign Peak and Neff’s Canyon.
OGDEN: ‘Ogdenites’ love their city, and it shows. Ogden’s youthful, artistic vibe has made it a draw for creatives, who infuse the city with a unique spark. There’s history here too, most evident in the lovingly preserved Art Deco architecture. Back in the late 1800s, in the days of the First Transcontinental Railroad, Ogden was a boom town with speakeasies aplenty. Now live music and brew pubs are the big draw, along with mountain biking, skiing and hiking trails right on the city’s doorstep (try Birdsong Trail, Bonneville Shoreline Trail or for the truly fit, Ben Lomond Peak).
PROVO: Provo is a museum lover’s dream, with several major venues including the BYU Museum of Paleontology, with its extensive collection of dinosaur fossils, and the BYU Museum of Art. Meanwhile downtown Provo is known for its Farmers Market, murals and global artisan restaurant scene. For outdoor pursuits, Provo Canyon is home to Bridal Veil Falls and the Provo River Parkway, plus a long list of adventure outfits offering everything from zip lining to horseback riding and more.
ST. GEORGE: St. George has plenty of charms in its own right, from superb dining to top destination spas like Red Mountain Resort and Spa. Family-friendly attractions include the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site and the St. George Children’s Museum. St. George also happens to be the gateway to Zion National Park, one of Utah’s ‘Mighty 5’. The city’s beautiful red rock plateaus are just the start of the spectacular scenery waiting for visitors at Zion, just over a 30-minute drive away.
For more information check out VisitUtah.com.