The holidays are coming up fast, and that means tons of family get-togethers, holiday parties and other obligations. Schedule a little weekend trip now so that you’ll be well-rested for all the upcoming festivities. Here are eight places in or near Utah where you can play all weekend.
1. See the Slickrock and Arches
Moab is simply gorgeous this time of year. You'll find plenty of hiking and biking trails throughout Arches National Park, and the charming town of Moab has some cute cafes, restaurants and shops.
2. Win in Wendover
Hop on I-80 West and head for Wendover. This little town on the border has plenty of casinos, and they offer much more than just gambling. It's a popular spot for some decent concerts, and those all-you-can-eat buffets are legendary.
3. Visit Utah's Most Popular Park
Zion National Park is crazy busy year-round, but winter months are less crowded. The weather is mild and the hiking trails are calling your name. From Zion, head to Kanab where you can spend an afternoon hanging out at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
4. Make Some Memories in Midway
When the weather's chilly, the Homestead Crater will warm you right up. Stay at Zermatt Resort where you'll be pampered with the in-house spa, and hop over to Heber for a ride on the Heber Valley Railroad. Once cold weather is here to stay, you can also visit the Midway Ice Castles.
5. Stay in Salt Lake City
Whether you live in the Salt Lake Valley, or you're traveling from other parts of the state, Utah's capitol city has plenty to offer. Visit Hogle Zoo, see a production at Pioneer Theater Company or the new Eccles Theater, or catch a Jazz game. Dine in one of Salt Lake's best restaurants, then stay in a downtown hotel and let someone else make the bed for a change.
6. Visit Vernal
Head to Vernal to visit the remains of Utah's first residents. The Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall are operating on off-season hours now, daily from 9 AM to 5 PM (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Cross the border into Colorado for the rest of Dinosaur National Monument, where you'll find the Canyon Visitor Center and some incredible canyons to explore.
7. Explore Ogden
Ogden's Historic 25th Street has so much to offer - quaint cafes, cool breweries and a fabulous comedy club. During the day, visit George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park and take a drive up Ogden Canyon to see the scenic Ogden Valley. Stay in Ogden's haunted Ben Lomond Suites, or snag a cozy cabin in Ogden Canyon at Alaskan Inn.
8. Soak Up the Sun in St. George
There's a reason the snowbirds head to St. George every winter - its mild climate and sunny skies make everything better during the cold, gray winter. This thriving city has everything you need, from great restaurants to excellent golfing to some gorgeous hiking trails. Make a little side trip across the border to Mesquite for casinos and even more gorgeous golf courses.
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