10 Fun Things to Do in Northern Utah in the Winter

Big Cottonwood Canyon (home to two world-class ski resorts, Solitude and Brighton), in northern Utah – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

Every year, millions of people flock to Utah to explore national parks, ski or snowboard at its myriad resorts, and take in the state’s stunning scenery.

Southern Utah regularly ranks among the top places to visit during the summer because of all the national parks and hiking opportunities it has to offer. However, there’s also plenty to do in northern Utah, particularly during the winter months.

If you’re thinking about visiting northern Utah while the weather’s cold, here are ten exciting winter activities that you should add to your itinerary.

1. Stay at an Adorable Airbnb in Brighton

Cottonwood Chalet Airbnb in Brighton, Utah – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

Brighton is a popular destination for Utah tourists who want to be close to the winter action (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.).

There are plenty of resorts and hotels in the area, but for those who prefer a more unique, quaint option, there are also lots of adorable Airbnbs to consider. For example, Cottonwood Chalet is a highly rated Airbnb and one of the most coveted places to stay in northern Utah during the winter.

2. Hit the Slops at 7 Different Ski Resorts

Brighton Resort in Utah

If skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports are your passion, northern Utah is one of the best places to visit. The following are seven of the most popular resorts in the northern part of the state:
Park City Mountain Resort
Deer Valley Resort
Sundance Mountain Resort
Brighton Resort
Alta Ski Area
Solitude Mountain Resort

3. Visit the Temple Square

Northern Utah is home to Salt Lake City, the state’s capital and the location of the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (colloquially known as the Mormon Church). For those who want to learn more about the church, Temple Square is the place to go.

Temple Square spans five city blocks in downtown Salt Lake and is home to a variety of stunning historical monuments. This is a great place for families to explore and enjoy a series of fun and wholesome activities and tours.

4. Enjoy Great Views in the East Bench Neighborhood

View to Salt Lake City, Utah, from East Best neighborhood – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

Northern Utah is famous for its impressive mountains and gorgeous valley views. There are plenty of places to go for sightseeing opportunities. However, the East Bench neighborhood (an affluent area located at the base of Salt Lake City’s Wasatch mountain range) is one of the best. While you’re here, you’ll also get to see some beautifully designed houses during your drive.

5. Try Something Sweet at Hatch Family Chocolates

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth during your stay in northern Utah, Hatch Family Chocolates is the place to go. Since 2003, this decadent chocolate shop has been providing tasty treats to Salt Lake City residents and visitors. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at Hatch Family Chocolates, but some of the best options include the chocolate-covered pretzels and the French-style steamed chocolate custard.

6. Visit a Rare Bookstore

For those who like to branch out beyond Barnes and Noble, downtown Salt Lake City is home to several local, independent bookstores. One of the best places to visit for a unique shopping experience is Ken Sanders Rare Books. Since it opened in 1997, Ken Sanders has been offering a wide selection of rare and collectible books. The store often hosts events like readings and book signings for enthusiasts of all kinds,

7. Enjoy Delicious Food

The Viking Yurt at Park City Mountain Resort

Northern Utah has no shortage of delicious restaurants. For tasty comfort food, Pig and a Jelly Jar and Hub and Spoke Diner are both great choices with delicious, all-American menus.

Laziz Kitchen is a modern cafe serving delicious Lebanese shareable plates and pastries.

For those who prefer a cute Italian destination, Caffé Molise features Northern Italian dishes and a unique wine list.

If you’re looking for something more unique, The Viking Yurt in Park City is a Norwegian restaurant that offers dinner and a sleigh ride!

8. Explore Contemporary Fine Art. But First, Coffee 

Park City, Utah – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

It may be home to millions of members of the Mormon church, but northern Utah still boasts plenty of excellent coffee shops. One of the best places to go for a relaxing afternoon caffeine boost is Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse in Park City. Not only can you sip a delicious cup of coffee while you’re here, but you can also take it to go and explore some of the area’s most famous art galleries.

9. Explore Midway

Cafe Galleria in Midway, Utah

Midway, Utah, is perhaps best known for its award-winning ice castles, which open to the public every year in mid-January. There’s plenty more to do here during the winter, though, including enjoying a meal at Café Galleria.

This rustic Italian restaurant was built in 1898 and went through a thorough yet thoughtful restoration in 2020. It’s open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For those who prefer a more private and unique dining experience, you can also book a reservation for one of the restaurants’ eight alpenglobes, each of which offers built-in heating, lighting, audio, and air circulation.

10. Explore Ogden’s Historic 25th Street

Most of the attractions on this list are located in or around Salt Lake City or Park City, Utah. If you venture about 40 miles north, though, you’ll arrive in Ogden, which is home to Historic 25th Street.

Formerly home to a series of Prohibition-era speakeasies, Ogden’s 25th street is now an impressive shopping and dining hub filled with restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and boutiques. There’s a lovely park with an amphitheater (which regularly hosts concerts and performances) here, too.