Labor Day means an extra-long weekend for many, so here are some suggestions on how to take advantage of the additional time off this weekend. From near to far, Park City to Disneyland, we’ve got you covered.
What other destinations would you add? Let us know in the comments.
Just shy of three hours from the heart of Utah County is a fantastic getaway spot: Bear Lake. Sporting beautiful blue waters perfect for summer wading and water activities, the scenery is just one great reason to go. Pamper yourself at a local bed and breakfast, go camping at one of the local campgrounds or step up the luxury at a nice hotel. Once you’ve found your accommodations, there’s plenty to keep you occupied, both on the lake itself and in the surrounding community.
With ATV trails, hiking, local festivals, great shopping and even better dining, you won’t want to miss this chance to make your escape from day-to-day life.
Though the farthest away by far, a quick vacation to the ever popular Disneyland in Anaheim, California, is definitely worth the nine-hour drive. Check out Costco or online retailers to snag yourself some discount tickets and get ready to enjoy everything you love about Disney, from “Star Wars” to Disney Princesses, classic characters to rides like Splash Mountain, Hyperspace Mountain, the Indiana Jones adventure and the Matterhorn.
Park hop between Disney parks or plan a second day at Disney’s California Adventure for access to Cars Land, Soarin’ Over California and Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout! ride. Disney comes with ample shows and parades to keep you entertained, as well as fantastic food, from churros and Dole Whips to themed dining and character dining across the park. Where else is better to travel than the Happiest Place on Earth?
There’s nothing quite as magical as witnessing Goblin Valley’s unique sandstone formations against the canvas of a starry night sky, making a three-hour drive a small price to pay. Named because of the state park’s interestingly shaped rock formations that somewhat resemble goblins, the location is a great one for an extended weekend getaway.
With hiking trails, a maze of incredible, eroded sandstone shapes and adventure around every corner, it’s a great place to escape for breathtaking views. As an added bonus, Capital Reef National Park is just over an hour down the road, offering a double dose of outdoor adventure.
If you’ve never seen the Grand Canyon, maybe it’s time to change that. Just seven hours from the heart of Utah County and across the Arizona border, the Grand Canyon is a destination you can’t miss … literally. At 277 river miles long, a mile deep and 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon is immense and beautiful. Explore the Canyon by helicopter, on a river trip or, if you’re brave enough, on the back of a mule. You can also rent a bike, check out the local visitors centers and museums and enjoy the local dining and accommodations. If you want to experience it, odds are that at the Grand Canyon, there’s a way.
Let’s be honest, there’s nowhere quite like Fabulous Las Vegas when it comes to glitz, glam, entertainment and dining.
And clocking in at just over five hours from central Utah County, it’s not even that far away. Center yourself in the fun with a hotel on the strip, or take a step back at one of the many other great hotels in the city. Head to the top of the Stratosphere tower for a thrill, tour the M&M and Coca-Cola stores, head to the falling balcony at Caesar’s Palace, or stack up the fun at the Adventuredome at Circus Circus, following up with some free circus shows at the hotel. You can even cheer for your favorite knights in an all-out jousting battle at Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings, or catch some incredible acrobatics at one of Cirque de Soleil’s outstanding performances. Stuff your face at buffets, catch incredible concerts, magic shows and non-stop entertainment, just by traveling down the strip.
As an added bonus, Hoover Dam is within an hour’s drive for even more local adventure. It all depends on what you want to do!
Tapping in at just around three hours from central Utah County, Moab is an outdoor adventurist’s dream. With easy access to two national parks (Arches and Canyonlands), the Colorado River, three scenic byways and miles after miles of beautiful red rock formations, you won’t regret taking a trip to see the stunning views the area has to offer.
Add on some great options for lodging, from camping to high class hotels, and you’ll definitely be able to rest easy while you’re away from home. Take time during your visit to drive through the parks, get out and hike, or even rent a mountain bike or four-wheeler. Depending on when you visit, check local listings for festivals and community events to make your stay even more enjoyable.
No matter the time of year, there’s plenty to do in Park City, and it’s not even far away. Find a great deal on one of the area’s many outstanding hotels, and you’ll be treated to spas and swimming, excellent food and access to some great entertainment.
From the star-studded Sundance Film Festival in January to the excellent skiing and snowboarding, you’re just scratching the surface of all that Park City has to offer. Relive the glory days of the Salt Lake Winter Olympics at the Utah Olympic Park, or try your hand at fly fishing or hot air ballooning. Go shopping down Historic Main Street or hit the nearby outlets for some excellent deals, or take advantage of local entertainment with year round concerts, festivals and more.
Three days might not even be enough time to see all there is to see!
Salt Lake City
Less than an hour up Interstate 15 lies a great opportunity for some more local-centric adventure. Book a night at Salt Lake’s Anniversary Inn for a romantic getaway, or snag a spot at any one of the hotels to create a central landing point for your adventure.
Though many hotels can help connect you to great entertainment in the area, you can also fly solo by snagging yourself a Salt Lake Connect Pass for an all-in-one ticket to fun. The Connect Pass allows its holders one, two, three or 365 days to visit 14 different local attractions, saving them between 50 and 80 percent on regular admission. Passes include access to the Dome Theatre and 3D IMAX at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake, admission to Discovery Gateway, The Leonardo, This is the Place Heritage Park, Tracy Aviary, Utah’s Hogle Zoo, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Utah Olympic Park, the Natural History Museum of Utah and Red Butte Gardens, all in Salt Lake, as well as a Tram Ride at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, access to the Thanksgiving Point Gardens and Museum of Ancient Life and a free lunch or dinner at the Lion House Pantry. Combine all that with Temple Square, great dining and ample access to arts and theater, and you’re sure to have plenty of ways to spend your time.
Stay inside or go out to play: St. George offers options for all types of vacationers. With just a 3.5 to 4 hour drive, you can watch the landscape morph from dusty brown to a rich orange-red, before settling in at a local hotel, motel or bed and breakfast. Want to live on the wild side? Rent an RV or bring a tent for a true outdoors experience.
Visit neighboring Zion National Park and, if you dare, visit the Narrows slot canyons or hike the delicate trail up to Angel’s Landing. Other outdoor adventures just waiting to be had include aerial tours of the area, skydiving, jeep tours, horseback riding, biking, rock climbing, golfing and fishing.
You can also keep the fun more basic, if that’s your style. The area offers a variety of museums, arts centers, and, of course, the acclaimed Tuacahn Amphitheatre, along with other theater venues. Stroll the historic downtown, check out The Outlets at Zion or satisfy your taste buds with top rated local restaurants and eateries.
Sundance Mountain Resort
Just heading up the road in Provo Canyon can equate to some great adventure over a three-day weekend. Snag yourself a room or suite at Sundance Mountain Resort (or an Airbnb) and you have the perfect starting point for a weekend of spas, entertainment and the beautiful outdoors. Nearby attractions include Bridal Veil Falls, Cascade Springs, and a variety of activities on the summer ski slopes, including mountain biking and taking the ski lift for a round trip. You can also book a ZipTour on the Resort’s nationally acclaimed zipline, or enjoy food at the local, classy restaurants. As a bonus, in both winter and summer the resort has a variety of activities, classes and concerts to keep its guests entertained.
If you’re looking for some extended weekend fun and wanting to skip out on the extended time in the car, consider snagging yourself a hotel room near Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. Not only do they have a variety of museums you can check out, but there’s also an opportunity for shopping at the Outlets at Traverse Mountain nearby. Not piquing your interest yet? Thanksgiving Point also offers golfing, beautiful gardens, Farm Country, a plethora of seasonal activities and classes and the new Butterfly Biosphere that recently opened. To top it off, you can also spend your evening relaxing in the hotel pool or spa and eating at some new restaurants.
Yellowstone National Park
Though we’ve already listed a lot of outdoor fun, Yellowstone National Park is an adventure of its own kind. Beautiful in both summer and winter, you can expect to catch a variety of wildlife, breathtaking geysers and natural wonders, all in one location. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to see a bear by heading to Bear World or pack your weekend with adventure by going boating, biking, fishing, horseback riding or llama packing, camping, hiking or wildlife viewing. Just don’t forget to bring your camera!