A vacation does not have to include an elaborate plan, thousands of dollars or two weeks away for an international excursion. Sometimes the best way to truly “vacate your life” is by booking a spontaneous weekend to explore all the wonders in your own backyard. So pack the car, put some snacks in the cooler, and head off to these close-by gems for a great weekend trip.
For the Adventure-Lover
Bear Lake: Garden City, Utah
A mere two hours from downtown Salt Lake City, Bear Lake is an idyllic spot to swim, jet ski, fish, four-wheel and lots more. There are great facilities for campers all along the lake and hikes in the surrounding hillsides. Anyone wanting to reconnect with nature and get much-needed sunshine should spend some time here. Also, you won’t want to miss their famous raspberry shakes.
For the Quirky Hobbyist
Union Station: Ogden, Utah
Formerly the junction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads, the Ogden Union Train Station is now a fascinating museum with relics and information covering a broad range of interests. The museum’s now housed in the old station include the Utah State Railroad Museum, the Spencer S. Eccles Rail Center, the John M. Browning Firearms Museum, Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Browning-Kimball Classic Car Museum. Take a few days to learn a wealth of knowledge about the history of the Old West and find some great souvenirs that are both beautiful and educational. In the station itself and the surrounding neighborhood, you’ll find great shops selling everything from books and antiques to jewelry and clothing.
For the Stressed-Out Sally
Sundance Resort: Sundance, Utah
As a famous ski resort, Sundance may not be the first location that springs to mind when considering a summer vacay. The truth couldn’t be further from what you’d think as Sundance offers plenty of fun and relaxing activities including an exceptional spa, art classes, great restaurants and unique summer concerts. You can also take a scenic lift ride to hikes or to the top for lunch at Bearclaw Cabin.
For the Foodie
Staycation: Salt Lake City, Utah
With so many cultures represented in the greater Salt Lake area, you certainly won’t go wrong by having a cute and quiet “staycation.” There are several funky and up-and-coming neighborhoods that offer diverse and awesome fare for a good value to boot. Book yourself a sweet little Airbnb to feel like a home but away from home; and then check out our picks for the best food spots right now in SLC: Feldman’s Deli offers Jewish deli classics in the New York City tradition; Takashi has the best authentic Japanese cuisine and sushi around; Valter’s Osteria is traditional Italian including fresh pasta made right before your eyes; and Saffron Valley does delicious Indian dishes with a contemporary twist.
For the Thrifty Budgeter
National Park: Bryce Canyon, Utah
The canyons and ridges in this red rock area make this location a national treasure. By camping and sticking to activities like hiking or exploring, there are many clever ways to keep the cost of this trip very affordable. For example, get creative with food by packing lunches, grilling over an open fire (when allowed), and making breakfasts easy with items like fruit and oatmeal.