By the middle of July, everyone in the family suffers from summer boredom. Sometimes you just need to get away for a day of fun – hop in the car and find a change of scenery. These day trips offer a variety of activities for the whole family.
1) Ride the Tram at Snowbird
Head up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird where you’ll find plenty of summer recreation. Take the tram to Hidden Peak, then mountain bike or hike (you can also hike from Snowbird Center). Ride the mountain coaster or alpine slide. Snowbird also has a climbing wall, ropes course, bungee trampoline and inflatables for kids. Enjoy lunch, dinner or a snack before heading home. The resort also offers special summer rates if you decide to stay overnight.
2) Mountain Bike on Antelope Island
Whether you cross the causeway on your bike or start at the island, you’ll find tons of mountain bike-friendly trails for riders of all ages and abilities. Frary Peak and Dooley Knob are not accessible for mountain-bikes; bike any of the other trails. The island has restrooms and water; make sure to bring your water bottle and fill up often.
3) Take a Ride on the Heber Valley Railroad
Heber is a short 45-mile drive from Salt Lake City. The railroad, with its three steam locomotives, offers a variety of trips along 16 miles of track. Excursions run from 1 ½ hours to 3 hours roundtrip. Stop in at the Heber Valley Creamery in nearby Midway for some delicious local cheese before you head home. If you’re visiting on a Thursday, you can take a tour.
4) Scuba Dive at Bear Lake
You can boat, fish, hike and ride your ATV or horse at Bear Lake. It’s also a popular summer dive spot. Right off Cisco beach, scuba divers find volcanic rock formations and an artificial reef made from submerged cars. Whatever you do for fun while you’re at Bear Lake, don’t forget to grab a raspberry shake before you leave.
5) See Some Shakespeare in Cedar City
June to October, visit the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City for the Shakespeare Festival. Catch a play or two, take a backstage tour and learn a little more at a literary seminar. Arrive early for your evening play to see the free Greenshow and grab a Renaissance snack.
6) Explore Ogden Valley
Just 8 miles up Ogden canyon, you can spend a whole day playing in Pineview reservoir and exploring Huntsville and Eden. Visit the Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity monastery in Huntsville. The gift shop, open every day except Sunday, offers local jams, chocolates and hand-crafted wood items including rosaries, jewelry boxes and mantel clocks created by resident monks. Enjoy fishing, boating, jet-skiing in the reservoir.
7) Shop at the Park Silly Sunday Market in Park City
Every Sunday from June to September, Park City’s Main Street fills with entertainment, produce and local artists. There’s something new every week, with different vendors and live entertainment. Bring sunscreen and a hat -- it’s cooler in Park City, but you’ll be out in the sun all day. Make sure you have cash if you plan to shop; not all vendors accept credit cards.
8) Zip Over Sundance
Sundance resort, located in Provo Canyon, has one of the longest zip lines in the U.S., with 2100 feet of vertical drop. You can control your speed on this zip line, speeding from 65 miles per hour to a complete stop. Riders must be at least 10 years old.
9) Visit Dinosaurs in Vernal
See real dinosaur bones at Dinosaur National Monument Quarry. Check out the exhibits, murals and life-size replica dinosaurs at the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum. Other local attractions include the John Jarvie Ranch Historic Site, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum and petroglyphs at Dry Fork.
10) Visit the Old West in Wellsville
The American West Heritage Center is located in Wellsville, 6 miles south of Logan. The 160-acre living history center offers interactive exhibits and activities. Talk to tour guides dressed as Native Americans, pioneers, trappers and mountain men to learn what life was like in Utah between 1820 and 1920.
Have you ever been to any of these great attractions? Are there any other amazing day trips you would add to this list? Share with me in the comments below.