As the school year comes to an end and the outside temperatures begin to warm up, you get started planning your summer vacation. It’s time to reconnect with your family and make some memories to last a lifetime. While you might think of Utah as a winter paradise with all the ski areas, the state has some great opportunities for hiking, sightseeing, and boating. A Utah vacation rental gives your family space and privacy to enjoy your trip. Here’s a look at the 10 best places to take a summer vacation in Utah.
1. Cedar City
The charming small town of Cedar City provides the chance to spend time together and explore Kanarraville Falls, a great hiking location. To reach these gorgeous falls, you make your way through a slot canyon and find ropes and ladders along the way to make it easier. At the falls, enjoy the natural waterslide to cool off. After a day of hiking, spice up your life with dinner at Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant or pick up a pie from the Pizza Cart to enjoy at your vacation rental.
2. St. George
Another quaint town, St. George sits within easy driving distance of Sand Hollow State Park. Soak up the sun on one of the park’s beaches while your little ones play in the water, or bring your kayaks to get out on the water and explore the shoreline. The park has a shop at the beach that rents ATV’s, UTV’s, kayaks, and paddle boards along with a place to grab a bite to eat. Contact Utah Horseback Riding Guides to schedule a day of riding for your group. There are several state and national parks in the area for a day of hiking and exploring. On a rainy afternoon, take the kids to the St. George Children’s Museum to try out the hands-on exhibits, then have dinner at Cappelettis Restaurant for your favorite Italian dishes.
Select a vacation rental close to the beautiful downtown Springdale area so you can wander the streets in the evening and explore Zion National Park during the day. For the climbers in your family, Angels Landing provides a challenge, or get your feet wet as you splash along the Narrows. The scenery contrasts red rocks with lush foliage. Kids love looking around the nearby Grafton Ghost Town or tubing on the Virgin River with Zion Adventure. Check out the art and eat your fill at the Spotted Dog, or choose the Whiptail Grill in a converted gas station for dinner.
Relax and unwind in the small town of Monroe. Make sure to visit the Mystic Hot Springs on your first day. These naturally warmed springs help you let go of your stress and start your trip off the right way. While in town, step back in time with a tour of the Joseph William Parker Farm, built in the late 1800s, and learn more about life at the beginning of the 20th century. There are also plenty of local hiking trails. Break your rule of no eating in the car with a meal at Bullies Drive-In, where you can choose from a selection of your favorite burgers and comfort foods.
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5. Park City
While you might think of Park City as a skiing destination, the summer months offer the chance to escape to a town that looks like it fell out of the Old West. Kids love riding down the Alpine Slide. During the summer season, the ski resort has many events, including the Kids Adventure Games with ziplining and other fun activities. Grab a bite to eat at Purple Sage in a building that dates back to the 1890s.
6. Salt Lake City
Enjoy the city life with a week in the state’s capital, Salt Lake City. You can take a tour of the Utah State Capitol to explore this historic building and see where laws are made, or opt for a walk on the wild side at the Hogle Zoo. Here, you can take a ride on the train and pick your favorite animal for a ride on the carousel. Temple Square has tours, or you can wander this gorgeous plaza owned by the Mormon Church.
Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Moab is the place to make your home base for a week of hiking and viewing natural arches. Arches National Park is within easy driving distance of this quaint town. Stop by the Visitor’s Center to sign the kids up for the Junior Ranger Program. While in the center, check the schedule for guided hikes. Popular hiking trails include the Balanced Rock, Park Avenue, and Tower Arch. After dark, head to the Balanced Rock Picnic Area for a little stargazing on a clear night. Cool off in the air conditioning and learn a little local history at the Museum of Moab. Adventure Park Moab has an obstacle and ropes course that tests your courage off the ground.
9. Garden City
Close to the border with Idaho, Garden City sits near Bear Lake, which lies within both states. Your family can boat, swim, and soak up the sun. Bear Lake Rentals can provide your group with a boat for an afternoon to go tubing, or consider renting one for your entire stay. There are a few beaches to play in the sand and take a dip to cool off. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Chocolate Bear as you treat the kids to chocolate-covered marshmallows. Bear Lake Pizza Co can have a pizza ready for you to carry out, or grab a table and dine in.
10. Bryce Canyon
Bryce is your place to call home while you explore the Bryce Canyon National Park with its other-worldly feel. Hoodoos tower above the canyon floors, while the lush green trees contrast the red rocks. In the evenings, do some stargazing or take a guided moonlight hike. At the Visitor’s Center, sign up for one of the Ranger Programs that include things such as guided hikes, lectures, and demonstrations. Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill provides both good food and a live show, or stop by Cowboy’s Buffet and Steak Room for your favorite comfort foods.
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