Utah’s Top 18 Must-Visit Attractions

Photo: Shiva Prasad Gaddameedi | Unsplash

Utah has experienced a major boom in tourism in the last couple of years. In fact, in 2020, the state was one of only 6 to report higher tax revenues from tourism.

When you stop and think about all Utah has to offer, it’s no wonder people are flocking here from all over the globe. With a huge collection of national parks, state parks, and national monuments, Utah provides tons of options for travelers who want to enjoy the great outdoors and take in one-of-a-kind cultural opportunities.

Listed below are the top 18 attractions in Utah that tourists flock to all year-round:

1. Antelope Island State Park (Syracuse)

Photo: ParaUndNoia | Pixabay

Antelope Island State Park is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake in northern Utah. It’s a great place to go for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping. Tourists can also see a variety of wildlife, including buffalo, antelope, and bighorn sheep, while they’re here.

2. Temple Square (Salt Lake City)

Temple Square spans five blocks in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. It is home to several historic sites, exciting exhibits, and stunning outdoor gardens, as well as wholesome activities run by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

3. This is the Place Heritage Park (Salt Lake City)

This is the Place Heritage Park is a 450-acre park lying at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. It’s located 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages, such as horseback trail rides, museum tours, and a summer splash pad.

4. Foothill Cultural District (Salt Lake City)

The Foothill Cultural District is made up of eight unique destinations on Salt Lake City’s impressive Foothill Boulevard. It includes hiking trails, a zoo, pristine gardens, an aviary, and dinosaur and natural history museums.

5. Wasatch Mountain State Park (Midway)

Wasatch Mountain State Park is a beautiful state park open year-round. It’s a great place to go for camping, golfing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

6. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (Northeastern Utah)

Located about 3 hours from Salt Lake City, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is an exciting outdoor Utah attraction. It features a massive reservoir that is perfect for boating, water skiing, jet skiing, house boating, fishing, and more. It also offers three full-service marinas for easy access.

7. Dinosaur National Monument (Vernal Area)

To see thousands of dinosaur fossils, go river rafting, hike, and camp, Dinosaur National Monument provides everything you and your travel companions need. Located on the border of Utah and Colorado, this exciting monument is a great place for the whole family.

8. Goblin Valley State Park (Green River)

Photo: Julian Fong | Flickr

Located in southern Utah, Goblin Valley State Park is home to thousands of hoodoos, also referred to by locals as goblins. These are large rock formations shaped like mushrooms, some of which stand several yards high.

9. Arches National Park (Southeastern Utah)

Photo: Ken Cheung | Unsplash

For those who want to take in Utah’s famous rock formations, Arches National Park is the place to go. It is home to more than 2,000 natural stone arches, as well as other formations like soaring pinnacles, rock fins, and giant balancing rocks.

10. Canyonlands National Park (Southeastern Utah)

The Indomitable Juniper – Canyonlands National Park, Photo: MikeGoad | Pixabay

Canyonlands National Park is another amazing place to visit if you want to see incredible rock formations. Over time, rivers have divided the park into four districts, known as Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze — the rivers themselves make up the 4th district.

11. Capitol Reef National Park (South-central Utah)

Photo: Lala0615 | Pixabay

Capitol Reef National Park is located in south-central Utah and is filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges. These sites are all located in the Waterpocket Fold, which is a geologic monocline (or wrinkle on the earth) that extends for almost 100 miles.

12. Cedar Breaks National Monument (Cedar City)

At over 10,000 feet above sea level, Cedar Breaks National Monument is home to a subalpine forest filled with bristlecone pines and wildflower meadows. It is the perfect place to view crystal-clear skies when nighttime rolls around.

13. Bryce Canyon National Park (Southwestern Utah)

Photo: Ellis Dieperink | Unsplash

Bryce Canyon National Park is another great place to go to see hoodoos in Utah. This park is located at the top of the Grand Staircase, another famous monument, and features a variety of fascinating natural phenomena.

14. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (South-central Utah)

Lower Calf Creek Falls – Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument covers more than 1 million acres of land and was created to protect several famous Utah landmarks. This includes the Grand Staircase, Southern Utah’s Canyons of Escalante, and the Kaiparowits Plateau.

15. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (Southeastern Utah)

Photo: PhilPix | Pixabay

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the Utah/Arizona border is one of the most photographed places on earth. It is home to a series of sandstone monuments that range from 400 to 1,000 feet high.

16. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area & Lake Powell (South-central Utah)

The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area spans more than 1.25 million acres and is home to the gorgeous Lake Powell. It is a fun place for all kinds of water-based and backcountry activities, from boating and waterskiing to hiking.

17. Zion National Park (Southwestern Utah)

Photo: Jamie Hagan | Unsplash

A trip through Zion National Park gives you a chance to witness firsthand the paths walked by indigenous nations and pioneers. It is filled with massive sandstone cliffs and is home to a variety of fascinating plant and animal life.

18. Snow Canyon State Park (Ivins)

Snow Canyon State Park in southwestern Utah is home to peaceful campgrounds, scenic desert views, and red Navajo sandstone. It’s a great place to camp, hike, go horseback riding and more.