Are you coming to Salt Lake City but want to experience something other than downtown? We’ve got you covered! We will take a look at some of the best historic towns to visit on the outskirts of Salt Lake, and maybe even one or two that will give you a nice scenic drive. We will try to stay within a reasonable proximity to Salt Lake City, but there’s a couple of town that are worth the little extra travel.
#1 Park City, Utah
About 32.5 miles from SLC
Park City is probably the most well-known city in Utah other than Salt Lake City (if not more well-known); but that is for good reason. This town has much to offer during any season of the year. Main street is the main attraction with restored buildings where you can find food and drinks, as well as many chic shops and galleries. One of the main events of the year is the Sundance Film Festival held in late January. As much as Park City is known for their winter skiing - which lives up to the hype - there is also plenty to do in the summer. You can check out the Olympic Park (possible link) where you can zip-line, bob-sled, and check out the cool history. You also can go mountain biking or check out one of the lakes nearby for a day on the water.
#2 Midway, Utah
About 46 miles from SLC
Midway is one of the hidden gems of Utah. If you’ve already experienced Park City and don’t want to spend a lot of time there but still want to pass through, Midway is the perfect place to go. It is located about 17 miles south of Park City in the Wasatch mountains. One of the most popular times of year in Midway is in late August/early September for Swiss days. This tradition brings thousands into the town annually and has been going on since 1947, originally becoming popular because of the town’s natural hot springs called the Homestead Crater. Another huge attraction is the ice castles; these amazing sculptures are open to be toured every winter and draw in many visitors. All of this and we haven’t even mentioned that some of the 2002 Winter Olympic events happened in Midway at Soldier Hollow! This place is obviously a must see.
#3 Logan, Utah
About 82.5 miles from SLC
This town is a little further, but is definitely worth the drive if you’re wanting to experience a small town/college town vibe. Logan is home to Utah State University and unlike the University of Utah, which is mainly a commuter college, almost all of the students live very close to campus giving it a real college town feel. You can check out sporting events pretty much year-round since they have football, men’s/women’s basketball, gymnastics, track & field, and many others to keep visitors entertained. There is also an LDS temple in Logan to visit as well as many historical museums. Don’t forget to check out the amazing mountain scenery while you’re there!
#4 Ogden, Utah
About 38 miles from SLC
Ogden has that old-town feel to it. Ogden was a popular railroad hub back in the day, and a lot of the history from that time has been preserved. Ogden’s famous 25th street was known as a place of excitement and variety, full of saloons and bordellos. Now, you can find unique shops, antique stores, and restaurants on 25th street. Another must see venue in Ogden is the Egyptian Theatre on Washington Blvd. This theatre was originally built in 1924 and has since been renovated to be a state of the art performance center and conference center. Skiing/snowboarding is a huge part of Utah culture, and Ogden is home to a lesser known but super popular ski resort; Snowbasin. Snowbasin is a local favorite with many powder days throughout the year. Be sure to check it out if you get a chance.