Blessed with thrilling landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty, Utah is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. From the fantastic cultural scene in Salt Lake City to the stark red rock formations in Moab, this picturesque state provides a wealth of weekend getaway options. Browse through numerous vacation rentals in Utah and look forward to enjoying a diverse range of activities, all within an easy drive from Salt Lake City or Las Vegas, Nevada. Take a look at the most exciting cities and towns in Utah.

1. Salt Lake City

Experience Utah’s only urban center on a weekend in Salt Lake City. The city’s compact central core is packed with attractions, including Temple Square, the City Creek Center shopping mall, and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. Catch a touring Broadway show at Eccles Theater or bring your little ones to the Clark Planetarium. Sports fans can watch a Utah Utes football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium or catch a Salt Lake Bees baseball game at Smith’s Ballpark. Downtown vacation rentals in Salt Lake City put you within walking distance of local foodie hot spots such as Takashi and the Copper Onion.

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2. Park City

Just 30 miles from Salt Lake City, Park City offers spectacular alpine scenery and an upscale mountain-town vibe. Everything you need lies within minutes of Main Street, so you don’t have to waste your weekend in the car. Catch the Town Lift downtown for a day of skiing at Park City Mountain, or hop on the free Park City bus to the Utah Olympic Park to try bobsledding. For a cozy getaway, kick back with a cocktail at High West Distillery and saloon before browsing popular galleries such as Gallery MAR and Trove Gallery. Main Street also offers a huge variety of world-class restaurants, including Firewood and Riverhorse on Main.

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3. Springdale

Lose yourself in spectacular red-rock canyons in Springdale, one of Utah’s most beautiful vacation destinations. This tiny hamlet is located less than three hours from Las Vegas at the entrance to Zion National Park. Hop on the park’s free shuttle and spend a day enjoying the sun by the Virgin River or hiking the Watchman Trail. In the village, browse local art at the Sorella Gallery or the David J. West Gallery, or rent a bike from Zion Cycles and pedal along the river. A slew of popular restaurants lies within a few minutes’ walk of the town center; try the huge burritos at Oscar’s Cafe or the charcuterie at King’s Landing Bistro.

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4. Moab

Pack in a weekend of adventure sports in beautiful Moab, which lies less than four hours from Salt Lake City or two hours from Grand Junction, Colorado. Hike through the red rocks in Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park, or go mountain biking on the Slickrock Bike Trail. In town, learn about local paleontology at the Museum of Moab, check out the stunning photos at the Tom Till Gallery, or cool off in the pool at Swanny City Park. For a tiny town, Moab offers fantastic eateries, including the Asian fusion-focused 98 Center and the Moab Spitfire Smokehouse.

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5. St. George

Enjoy a sunny getaway any time of year in St. George, a friendly town located about two hours from Las Vegas. St. George offers something for everyone in the family. Try hiking through the red-rock waterfall in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, learn about Mormon pioneer history at the Brigham Young Winter Home and Office, or see a professional musical at the outdoor Tuacahn amphitheater. A short drive away, the Kayenta Art Village offers a fantastic collection of galleries in a beautiful desert setting. A wide range of restaurants awaits downtown, from the elegant Painted Pony to the vegan-friendly Twisted Noodle Cafe.

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6. Midway

Source: Flickr/Michael Jolley

Midway, a lovely mountain town about an hour from Salt Lake City offers year-round family fun. In the winter, wander through illuminated ice sculptures at Ice Castles, experience Swiss Christmas, or take a sleigh ride with Rocky Mountain Outfitters. Summer brings golfing and hiking in Wasatch Mountain State Park. If you’re in the mood to relax, head straight for The Spa at Zermatt for mud wraps and coffee scrubs. When it comes to restaurants, locals love the Mexican food at Tarahumara; for fantastic burgers, drive a few minutes to Main Street Social in Heber City.

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7. Garden City

Source: Flickr/Todd Petrie

Escape to the shores of stunning Bear Lake in Garden City, which lies just over two hours from Salt Lake City. Outdoor adventure is the name of the game in Garden City. On hot days, rent a boat from Epic Recreation to explore the huge lake, or swim in the shallow, aqua-colored waters near the shore. Bike through Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, catch a show at the beloved Pickleville Playhouse or ski Beaver Mountain in the winter. The restaurant scene in Bear Lake is decidedly casual and indulgent; try a corn dog or a Dole whip at Zipz, and don’t miss the famous raspberry shakes at LaBeau’s Restaurant.

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8. Morgan

Escape the daily grind in Morgan, a peaceful town tucked away in the Wasatch Mountains just 45 miles from Salt Lake City. Enjoy views of the snow-covered peaks as you play 18 holes at the Round Valley Golf Course or raft down the Weber River with Park City Rafting. In the winter, head to Snowbasin Resort for skiing, or get a high-speed thrill at the Monte Cristo Snowmobiling Area. Downtown, a family-friendly community welcomes visitors, and eateries such as River Burger and Deb’s Spicy Pie provide hearty comfort food.

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