From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
Utah’s sixth oldest city and a thriving community on the outskirts of the Salt Lake City metro, Lehi was originally settled by Mormon pioneers and maintains a thriving community of Latter Day Saints today. However, no matter your religious background or beliefs, this area is chock full of incredible things to do and places to explore, both indoor and outdoor — and in this guide, we’ll help get you oriented, no matter how long you’ve been in (or plan to stay in) Lehi.
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
You don’t have to go very far at all when you’re in Lehi to find some incredible outdoor spaces to explore. Here are some of the coolest state and national parks and preserves in the Lehi, UT area.
Just 22 miles outside of Lehi along State Route 73, Camp Floyd State Park offers visitors a view of what life was like in this short-lived U.S. Army post established back in the 1850s. The nearby Stagecoach Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and served as a stagecoach stop (as its name suggests), as well as a Pony Express stop between 1860-1861.
With the shimmering surface of the Deer Creek Reservoir in the foreground and the stunning slopes of Mount Timpanogos as a backdrop, Deer Creek State Park is a popular destination for folks throughout Utah (and beyond) — but it’s conveniently close by for those in Lehi. Fishing the reservoir’s waters and sun-tanning along its shore are common activities, as are sun tanning, boating, sailing, swimming and paddling.
This is a different kind of state recreation area! As its name implies, Flight Park State Recreation Area is built for flying — an area set aside by the Utah Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and Utah State Parks and Recreation to provide room for hang-gliders and paragliders to learn and perfect their craft. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take to the skies yourself?
Home to the largest freshwater lake in the western United States, Utah Lake State Park’s namesake boasts almost 150 square miles of water to swim, fish, boat, paddle, and sail, as well as miles of hiking and biking trails to tackle alongside its shores. The park also features a sailing school and rental equipment for those looking to learn the ropes for the first time!
Covering 21,000 acres of stunning Utah countryside and featuring a diverse range of plant and animal life (making it a prime spot for bird-watchers and other wildlife lovers), Wasatch Mountain State Park also offers visitors an 18-hole golf course and a variety of historical buildings and attractions. For instance, Tate Barn was restored over a century ago, and the nearby Huber Grove apple orchard is perfect for a fall stroll. The park is also popular for winter activities such as cross-country skiing.
From moderate, mid-length adventures to easy strolls to more serious outdoor undertakings, there are all sorts of incredible treks to take on in this part of Utah. Here are some of the best hiking trails we’ve found around Lehi!
A short drive away in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Bridal Veil Falls Trail run less than a mile and a half and sees only about a hundred feet of elevation gain… but boy, is the view rewarding for such a small amount of effort! The waterfalls cascade over a rippled rock face, lined with local foliage. Of course, given how lovely and relatively easy this hike is, it’s almost always crowded, so be sure to go early!
One of the most popular trails in Rock Canyon Park, Rock Canyon Trail runs just over five miles and sees about 1,700 feet in elevation gain, making it a moderate-to-challenging hike. (AllTrails calls it “moderate,” but we’ll say that’s moderate by rugged Utah standards!) This trail offers beautiful views of the red canyon walls with glowing blue western skies behind them. This is also a dog-friendly hike!
Just under six miles and seeing about 1,600 feet in elevation gain, Lake Mary via Catherine Pass Trail is another moderately challenging hike, this time nestled into Wasatch Mountain State Park. Along with its namesake lake, the park also offers beautiful wildflowers in the spring and summer seasons, and is also a good spot for the chance to see some wildlife.
If you’re headed down to Utah Lake State Park, but you’re not sure you want to get your feet wet, get your feet busy instead wandering around the Utah Lake Shoreline Trail. About 10 miles all told but relatively flat, it’s easy to section this trail down into a less-daunting day hike… or go ahead and take on the entire thing if you’re feeling adventurous and leisurely!
One of the biggest destination hikes in the state of Utah — and a serious undertaking — climbing Mount Timpanogos via the Timpooneke Trail takes you about 15 miles and more than 4,400 feet in elevation gain, which is to say: this is a very challenging hike, indeed. But those who make it to the top are rewarded with one of the most epic views this side of the Mississippi, and you’re apt to enjoy plenty of beautiful wildflowers and maybe even a mountain goat or two along the way.
There’s so much to see, do, and enjoy in Lehi — so you’re going to need to be well-fed to do the project justice. Here are some of the best restaurants in Lehi, no matter what kind of cuisine you’re craving.
A Great Salt Lake does not an ocean make… but you can still enjoy some delicious Asian seafood at Tsunami Restaurant and Sushi Bar. With a number of locations to choose from throughout the area, this spot is a go-to for rolls, sashimi, hot Japanese dishes, and sake — and it also focuses on fresh and, whenever possible, local ingredients. (Plus, they make their own ice cream in-house, so save some room while you’re eating!)
A small but thriving Utah chain, Taqueria 27 is known as one of the best Mexican restaurants in the Salt Lake City metro, not to mention its location in Lehi specifically. Along with its namesake tacos (obviously), this place also dishes up delicious queso fundido, hearty enchiladas, and a special dessert that blends donuts with churros. Sign us up!!
Casual but homey and welcoming, Bona Vita Italian Bistro is a Lehi go-to for Italian eats, including pasta dishes like al pomodoro and quattro formaggi as well as a wide range of delicious, freshly-made pizzas (gluten-free crust available). The restaurant also offers a noteworthy wine list as well as some delectable-looking desserts.
Fast-casual doesn’t have to mean subpar — and at Cafe Namasthe, it’s a downright cultural experience, all with the convenience and comfort of quick (but still delicious) dining. Considered one of the best Indian restaurants in Lehi, this place specializes in customized dishes inspired by traditional favorites, and offers a range of vegetarian-friendly options as well.
This is my absolute favorite place to go for something quick and healthy. In the market for something light and quick? Get the Brazilian açaí bowl or the "nice cream" as a snack. If you're stopping for lunch, try the Very Berry Salad (the sweet, spicy dressing it comes with is unexpected but delicious); all of their salads are extremely dense, so you most likely won't finish in one sitting. If you happen to be there for dinner, get one of their bowls. My favorite is their cauliflower rice bowl with chicken, and my husband likes their chicken caprese melt. Don’t miss the complimentary Brazilian cheese bread that comes with your meal! Locally owned and operated, the quality of their ingredients is evident and unsurpassed.
Sabaidee: the best Thai food in Lehi. I grab takeout or dine in here at least once a month. Their massaman, green, and panang curries are all to die for. Their pineapple fried rice is also a favorite. You could always order pad thai and have a great meal, but if you're wanting something a little spicier, try their pad kee mao for a hot noodle entree. It doesn't disappoint!
The great outdoors and great dining are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun things to do and places to explore in Lehi. Here are some of our top options for things to get into in Lehi this weekend… or whenever the mood strikes.
The Salt Lake City metro is a great place to raise a family. Here are some kid-friendly activities and must-dos in the vicinity of Lehi.
Thanksgiving Point is kind of a family fun one-stop shop, offering an array of museums, activities, and attractions. Flutter around the Butterfly Biosphere or get hands on at the Museum of Natural Curiosity. Or, become friends with your favorite barnyard critters at Farm Country. There’s also a Golf Club for the grown-ups, movies offered on the big screen, and educational summer day camp programming. In short, you can’t go wrong, no matter your age!
With three locations in the area to choose from (the closest of which being in Lindon), Airborne Trampoline Arena offers a family-friendly option that’s sure to leave your kids satisfied, smiling… and exhausted. Hey, we can all use a good night’s sleep every once in a while, right? Along with bouncing themselves into oblivion, the kids can also participate in extreme dodgeball or try their hands (and feet) at the climbing wall. Heck, grown-ups can get in on the fun, too!
With all the natural surrounding beauty, chances are you know what to do with yourself in Lehi during the daytime — but there are plenty of great after-hours activities, too! Here are some of our favorite things to do in Lehi at night.
Another attraction up at Thanksgiving Point, Megaplex Theatres is a great option to take into consideration after the sun goes down. Playing both new, popular releases and the occasional interesting indie film, this spot is known for its comfortable seating and delicious popcorn.
Bowling is the perfect nighttime activity for families: a fun and approachable sport where you can eat nachos at the same time and participate in arcade games if you get bored with the main event? Sounds like the perfect Friday or Saturday evening to us! Jack & Jill Bowling Lanes offers two options in the area — one in Lehi and one in the neighboring town of American Fork — and is a great spot for families or couples looking for things to do in Lehi.
Think you have to spend a fortune to really get acquainted with town? Think again! Here are some things to do in Lehi that are easy on the wallet.
Even if you’re not quite feeling up to the challenge of climbing Mount Timpanogos, you can still revel in the natural beauty of this area with a visit to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. When you take a guided cave tour, you can explore spectacular, hidden underground rooms and learn about unique and otherworldly cave decorations. Cave tour fees start at just $12 for adults, and discounts are available for seniors, youths, and select others.
There’s nothing quite like wandering through a farmers market to make your weekend seem complete, and the Lehi Farmers Market really brings the event up to the next level. Along with vendors selling produce and local crafts, this market also hosts food trucks, live entertainment, and even pony rides!
It’s true: there are some pretty amazing things to do in the Lehi area that are 100% free of charge! Here are some options for those wanting to get out and explore without spending a single cent.
Okay, you do have to pay for the gas to get around it… but the Mount Nebo Scenic Loop Byway is an incredible experience that’s otherwise free of charge. Offering breathtaking, sweeping views of the Utah Valley and Wasatch Mountain Range, the journey winds 38 miles and climbs to more than 9,000 feet in elevation, taking about an hour and a half to complete. (That said, you’ll want to leave yourself ample time to stop and take photos!)
If you make the drive up to Provo, you can enjoy a range of free attractions courtesy of BYU: the Museum of Paleontology, the Museum of Art, and the Botany Pond and Grounds, for starters. The campus itself is also lovely to wander around, and since it’s a college, chances are there’s some cool cultural exhibit or event going on — keep an eye out for posters!
An oasis in the Utah desert, Ashton Gardens is a beautiful place to take a relaxing walk on some winding trails. It has an entry fee, but the landscaping, flowers, waterfalls, and water features make it worth it. There are 15 themed gardens to enjoy: find gorgeous fountains in the Italian Gardens, get a bird’s eye view from the Vista Garden, feed the fish at Koi View Pier, and don’t leave without a visit to the Secret Garden. They even have golf carts you can rent if you'd rather drive than walk.
In need of some TLC and pampering? Treat yourself to services at one of the following day spas and salons in Lehi.
If you’re looking for a luxurious experience that’s also eminently affordable, Massage Green Spa has you covered. Offering massage therapy in a wide range of styles as well as facials and an infrared sauna, this chain has become popular and widespread for a reason!
Whether you’re looking or a massage, need your roots touched up, or are hoping to do some retail therapy, Amara Day Spa, Salon, and Boutique is the perfect spot. From skincare to body work to eyelash extensions and everything in between, you’re sure to leave this spot both looking and feeling significantly better than you did when you came in.
Hitting the gym is about more than looking good… it’s about how you feel, your strength, and your confidence. Here are some of the best spots in Lehi for those looking to sweat it out.
Wouldn’t getting in shape feel a lot more fun if you thought of it as play? And even more fun if you thought of it as ninja play? At The Ninja Playground, fitness professionals have adopted this fun-loving philosophy to working out, offering a unique obstacle-course style open-air gym that will challenge both your body and mind. And if you’re a total newbie, don’t feel intimidated: classes are available to help you get started.
Evolve Fitness is one part yoga studio… and also one part barre studio, one part strength training studio, one part HIIT circuit, one part — well, you get the idea. Focused on helping women become strong and confident in a motivating and fun group class environment, this spot can feel like your zen oasis or a nightclub, depending on which activity you’re interested in. (We recommend trying them all!)
This part of the country is blessed with an incredible diversity of landscapes and geological features to see and explore. Here are some of the best day trips for those calling Lehi, Utah home base.
A surreal expanse of over 30,000 acres of undulating, salt-covered land, the Bonneville Salt Flats were once a great, salty lake much like the other that Utah is so well-known for. It evaporated during the Pleistocene era, leaving this marvel available to see and experience on dry land. Be sure to bring your camera; this spot is a highly sought-after Instagram post or framed photo!
The nearby town of Honeyville, Utah, just an hour and a half north of Lehi, is home to Crystal Hot Springs — which boast the highest mineral content of any hot spring in not just North America, but the entire world. Enjoy a relaxing and grounding soak while also spending some time meandering around the quaint streets of this hidden gem of a city. Great for a day trip or a whole weekend!
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Lehi that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Lehi? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal!