Need to De-Stress? Romantic Escapes Are Easy to Find in the Desert State
Red rock cliffs, deep canyons, endless sandstone desert and picturesque hiking trails: Whatever backdrop you want for a romantic escape, Utah has it, and so much more. Whether it’s fine food in five-star urban restaurants, the lush, pine-forested peaks of the Wasatch Mountains or the surreal red rocks of the south, we've got your evening or weekend getaway covered. Here are five romantic escapes in Utah that truly will feel out of this world.
Looking for a walking adventure? Ensign Peak (1002 N. Ensign Vista Dr., Salt Lake City, UT) is the perfect choice. In the foothills just north of downtown Salt Lake City, this is a quick (approximately 25-minute), moderately challenging hike that starts on the outskirts of a residential neighborhood and takes you up a very clear-cut path surrounded by gorgeous mountain views. Once you reach the peak, enjoy spectacular views of the entire Salt Lake Valley. Bring a picnic and some wine and enjoy sunset over Great Salt Lake. This is one of the best budget date options for nature lovers in Utah.
Crescent Moon Inn
Located in the heart of southern Utah’s red rock country, in the desert community of Kayenta, Crescent Moon Inn (504 Crescent Moon Trail, Ivins, UT) is the ideal place to get away from it all. Off the beaten path, beyond quiet, and set against the spectacular backdrop of imposing red rock cliffs, this is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The Inn offers large, industrial-style, self-contained apartments with kitchens and balconies off both the bedroom and dining areas that open up to never-ending desert views. Upstairs rooms have rooftop access where you can enjoy unobstructed, 360-degree views of the starry night sky. A pool and an excellent Mexican restaurant are on the premises. If you tire of the silence and solitude, head to Coyote Gulch Art Village (875 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins, UT), just a short walk away, where you can explore a quaint desert village full of art galleries, spas, restaurants and cafés.
For the foodies, an afternoon with Gourmand Tours (Main St., Park City, UT) in Park City is an absolute must. This unique food history tour is not only delicious and fun, it also offers excellent insight into the history of Park City. Your guide will take you on a three-hour multi-restaurant tour along Main Street where you will sample the best Park City has to offer, and you can meet the chefs who prepared it. A visit to the Park City Museum is incorporated into the tour, and your guide will describe various historic buildings and points of interest as you walk to each restaurant.
Homestead Crater Soak and Swim
A 25-minute drive outside Park City, Homestead Crater (700 Homestead Dr., Midway, UT ) is perfect for water lovers looking for an intimate, immersive experience in the only warm scuba-diving destination in the continental United States. The geothermal spring is hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock that is more than 10,000 years old. You can snorkel, scuba dive or simply float in crystal-clear mineral water, while a hole at the top of the dome lets in the sunlight and a fresh air stream. To get into the spring, walk through a tunnel through the rock wall at ground level, which also gives access to custom-built decks and a soaking area. This is a very popular attraction, and as such, please note that reservations are required. You can make reservations through the Homestead Resort (700 North Homestead Dr., Midway, UT).
Sundance Mountain Resort
Looking for the ultimate romantic weekend? Look no further. The secluded Sundance Mountain Resort (8841 N. Alpine Loop Rd., Sundance, UT) is beautifully situated on 5,000 pristine acres in the shadow of incredible Mount Timpanogos, and the views are spectacular in every season. Expect understated, rustic elegance in wooden cabins that integrate seamlessly with the nature around them, including decks that jut out into the forest, stone fireplaces and lots of windows and skylights for natural light. Cabins are surrounded by hiking and ski trails and a zip line with a 2,100-foot vertical drop. For a more relaxed weekend, check out their art classes, fly fishing or the nature-inspired eco-spa for a mountain stone massage or reflexology treatment. For a romantic nightcap, don’t miss the Owl Bar, a restored 1890s bar with inventive cocktails, beer, wine and a seasonal menu featuring creative eats such as the delicious crab waffle served with sambal aioli and apple fennel slaw.