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Published on : Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Fodor’s Travel, a leading name in travel recommendations for almost 80 years, for the first time ever has selected a top destination for the year: Utah. Fodor’s annual Go List highlights 25 can’t-miss spots around the world that should be on every traveler’s radar for the next year, and places Utah on top.”It has been a big year for the state with record numbers visiting our Mighty Five national parks and the opening of the largest ski resort in the nation, Park City, and 2016 is looking to be even bigger,” said Vicki Varela, Managing Director of Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding.
While there are hundreds of reasons to visit Utah year-round, in honor of this exciting distinction, here are 25 must-do 2016 activities in Utah.
Find Out Why The Bird Is The Word In Box Elder County – Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge’s 74,000 acres of marsh and upland habitats offers some of the most phenomenal waterbird watching in the United States, with mind-boggling numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds from March to November.
Go See Goblins – Located along the San Rafael Reef, Goblin Valley State Park, a place that captures and stretches the imagination, with its landscape covered with sandstone “goblins” and fascinating formations often compared to Mars.
Explore the Cosmos of Utah’s Dark Skies – Utah is home to five officially designated Dark Sky Parks, meaning that it’s one of the best places for stargazing – and beyond. At Cedar Breaks National Monument, observe swirling nebulae, twinkling star clusters, and distant galaxies through powerful telescopes.
Reel in the Big One at Trophy Lake Trout Paradise – Flaming Gorge Reservoir is legendary for its trophy lake trout with huge fish caught regularly every year, including the Utah record – a trout weighing in at a whopping 51 lb, 8 oz!
Get Your Zoom On at Utah Motorsports Campus – Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) recently announced plans for a driving school and racing series featuring the new Formula 4 racecar, promising high speed thrills year-round.
Discover the Real Big Chill at Midway’s Ice Castle – Built by hand from more than 20,000,000 pounds of ice, the gotta-see-it-to-believe-it Utah Ice Castle in Midway is started by “growing” more than 5,000 icicles each day that are then harvested and sculpted together to create large towers, tunnels, archways, caves, caverns and safe pathways for pedestrian exploration.
Welcome the Bard to Utah – The Emmy- and Tony-award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival (June 27 through October 22, 2016) attracts more than 100,000 theater lovers to Cedar City’s Southern Utah University campus each year, for three months of world-class works by Shakespeare.
Say “Prost!” in Snowbird – Snowbird hosts one of the most authentic – not to mention longest – Oktoberfest events in the nation, taking place every Saturday and Sunday from mid-August through mid–October (yes, three months!), including over Labor Day Weekend.
Walk With Dinosaurs – Jurassic Park for real? Well, this is safer. Northeastern Utah’s dinosaur legacy comes to life at Dinosaur National Monument, where geological and climatic forces have tilted, warped, and eroded the earth’s crust to reveal a treasure trove of fossils.
Feast Your Eyes on an Island in the Sky – Resting on sheer sandstone cliffs over 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain, the Island in the Sky mesa in Canyonlands National Park offers spectacular views along a paved scenic drive.
Take a Jeep Tour of Monument Valley – It’s not a covered wagon, but it’ll do. A Jeep Tour of the iconic Monument Valley will take you amidst the towering rock formations that have captivated visitors (and Hollywood filmmakers) for decades.
Soak in the Sights on Scenic Byway Highway 12 – Scenic Byway Highway 12, Utah’s nationally-designated All-American Road, offers motorists twisting canyons, red rock towers, pine forests, and pioneer towns, not to mention breathtaking panoramas, national parks and monuments, recreation areas, and state parks.
Hike Bryce Canyon’s Rim Trail – This popular trail above Bryce Canyon connects all the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point, offering hikers the opportunity to see Bryce, encompassing the main amphitheater, from “on top.” In the winter, the Rim Trail is a great snowshoeing and cross country skiing destination.
Navigate Through The Narrows of Zion National Park – This day trek takes you to where the North Fork Virgin River runs beneath thousand-foot walls of Navajo sandstone, where centuries of erosion have been sculpted into some of the most beautiful rock forms in all of the American Southwest.
See A Whole Lotta Lava Tubes in Snow Canyon State Park – Utah was once filled with violent, erupting volcanoes. Don’t worry, they’re all dormant now – and what they left behind is truly spectacular. Snow Canyon State Park’s unique lava tubes, created centuries ago by cooling lava, are amazing geologic formations that hikers can take in amidst towering red sandstone monuments.