1. Brigham City: A refuge for the birds.
Look past Brigham City’s adorable Main Street, and you’ll find something unexpected: a bird refuge.
The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge includes 80,000 acres of protected habitat for many species of birds. You’ll find many species here, including eagles, hawks, ducks, egrets, swans and more.
2. Ephraim: A large gathering of Scandinavians.
Ephraim is the home of Snow College. It’s also home to the Scandinavian Festival every spring.
Many of Utah’s residents are of Scandinavian heritage (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland). The festival celebrates this great culture with music, dancing, food and storytelling. This year, is the festival’s 40th! Go check it out on May 27th and 28th.
3. Escalante: An assortment of talented artists.
When you think of Escalante, the scenery certainly comes to mind. Perhaps that beauty is what draws the artists to this tiny town every fall.
The festival is a “working arts festival,” which means that several competitions require that artists complete works during the course of the festival. For instance, the Celebrate Public Lands Paint-Out requires the artist to paint a work of art in just one day.
4. Heber: Cowboys and poetry.
Heber hosts the Heber Valley Western Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering every summer. You’ll hear poetry from some talented poets who offer up something a little different than the Robert Frost you had to read in high school.
The festival also includes plenty of great music.
5. Kanab: Awesome animals.
Everyone knows that Kanab is “Little Hollywood,” but did you also know that it’s home to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary?
The sanctuary is home to around 1,700 animals, including cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and more. Many of the animals are available for adoptions; others will make the sanctuary their homes for life.
6. Logan: One-of-a-kind ice cream.
Logan is home to Utah State University, which has an excellent agricultural and food sciences program.
The creamery, located at 750 N. 1200 E. in Logan, serves up some delicious ice cream. The most popular flavor? Aggie Blue Mint - a minty ice cream with pieces of Oreo cookie and white chocolate.
7. Midway: A geothermal pool.
The Crater(The Homestead Crater)/Facebook
The Homestead Crater in Midway offers the only warm scuba diving in the continental U.S.. From the outside, the 55-foot-tall limestone rock doesn’t look that impressive, but inside is a geothermal spring.
You can swim, soak, scuba dive or just relax on the deck next to the crater. The temperature inside is between 90 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Panguitch: Hot air balloons and a really cool lake.
You know all about Panguitch because of its proximity to Bryce Canyon National Park, but it has even more to offer. The Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally takes place June 23rd-26th this year. It includes morning ascensions, tailgate parties, food, live entertainment, a 5k and other fun events.
Panguitch Lake is a beautiful spot for fishing, photography and boating.
9. Price: A picturesque canyon filled with Native American art.
You know that Price is a town with a rich mining history, right? It’s also the gateway to one of Utah’s most beautiful scenic drives.
Nine Mile Canyon is NOT nine miles long -- it’s 50. Which is lucky for you, because it offers that much more to see. The canyon has some of the best, Native American rock art in the state.
10. Spanish Fork: A Hindu temple.
Deep in the heart of Utah County, where more than 80 percent of the population is Mormon, a Hindu temple hosts the world’s largest Holi Festival of Colors.
Tens of thousands of people attend the festival each year.
11. Vernal: The homestead of one of Utah’s most independent women.
You know that Vernal has dinosaurs, but did you know that it was home to one of Utah’s most spirited, independent women? Josie Barrett Morris homesteaded on Cub Creek from 1913 until her death (at age 90!) in 1963.
Tricia Simpson/CC BY-SA 3.0
Josie was an interesting character. She married five times and divorced four of her husbands. She was arrested, but later acquitted, for rustling cattle and was a friend of Butch Cassidy.
12. Veyo: Best pies in the state.
The tiny town of Veyo has less than 500 residents, but Veyo Pies sells an average of 100 pies a day during their busy season.
The week of Thanksgiving, Veyo sells 400 pies EVERY DAY. Why? Because they’re the best pies in the state! To get one during that week, you’ll need to reserve it by the middle of November.