Bryce Canyon, one of the great Utah destinations

5 Utah Destinations to Visit Before Summer Ends

In the 1966 cult classic surfing documentary Endless Summer, a couple of surfers travel both sides of the equator for one year searching for the perfect wave, enjoying an “endless summer”. Salt Lake Express does not have a travel route that expansive, so by necessity, summer must end for us. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t time to check out the many great Utah destinations at your fingertips.

The Beehive State is famous for its national parks, opportunities for hiking, and breathtaking scenery. From the majesty of the Wasatch Range to the red-hued geology of southern Utah, the landscape provides plenty of diversions. If this gorgeous part of the country doesn’t provide an endless summer, it certainly encourages endless summer fun. And now in the month of August, the pressure is on to take advantage of what remains of the season.

Here are a five Utah destinations you’ll want to make sure you visit this month.


Zion National Park

Zion, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Staudt, via Flickr

Zion National Park is not only one of the most beautiful Utah destinations, it is also extremely inviting. Scores of hiking trails weave through this national park, including the popular Narrows, a hike down and in the Virgin River through the narrowest gorges of Zion Canyon.

Fascinating wild and plant life also swarm the lovely sandstone cliffs and wilderness, adding to the camping and hiking allure. Learn more about park fees, permits, and other things to do at Zion’s by visiting their official website.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Garrett, via Flickr

Some of the best that Utah has to offer can be found in the sights, sounds, and culture of its capital. Salt Lake City keeps the summer party going even going into September. The ongoing Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Festival entertains with events through mid-September, the Real Madrid schedule begins this month, and City Creek is all the more enjoyable in warm weather.

From concerts to festivals to dining, Salt Lake attracts thousands upon thousands of visitors each year. And as our namesake, Salt Lake Express is proud to help sustain that exodus. Join us in Salt Lake City this summer before the cool weather moves in.

Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, via Wikimedia.

Home to the Bonneville Speedway and numerous land speed records, the Bonneville Salt Flats are a mere two hours west of Salt Lake City. The dense salt pan is a natural phenomenon and definitely worth checking out for its own sake. Not to mention there are several places to camp nearby — though not on the flats!

And when we say flats, we mean flat. You can practically see the curvature of the earth, and there is no vegetation to decorate the landscape. This truly otherworldy part of the state is one of the most impressive Utah destinations.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of PiConsti, via Flickr

Just 72 miles from Zion is yet another national park — Bryce Canyon National Park, which includes more sandstone features, huge, breathtaking amphitheaters, and a dazzling array of color. Summer is a great time to visit Bryce Canyon, but late August and September are especially timely; at this point, the summer rains have subsided and temperatures are still pleasant. In fact, while other popular outdoor areas in southern Utah experience fairly scorching heat, Bryce Canyon remains more temperate.

If you are looking to visit Utah destinations off the beaten path, Bryce is several hours from any major airport and over 100 miles from the I-15. We’re happy to take you as close as we can!

Bear Lake

Bear Lake, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Andrew Kalat, via Flickr

On the other end of the state, straddling the Utah-Idaho border, Bear Lake boasts just about all the summer fun you can imagine. Swimming, boating, camping, and fishing are all available from both states’ sides.

You can also enjoy summer events at Bear Lake, such as the Bear Lake County Fair and coinciding Rodeo Days.


Our summer days may be numbered, but in Utah, there are plenty of attractions to fill them up. From the diverse cultural experience of the city to the beauty and wonder of the parks, these Utah destinations are ideal during this time of year.

Book your trip to your next destination with Salt Lake Express and we will take you there or to the nearest drop-off point. This state is vast and open for adventure, so make good use of the summer and explore its endless majesty.

Globe Theater at the Shakespeare Festival

Visit the 2018 Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City

To go or not to go — is that even really a question?

The world-renowned Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City is ready to kick off another fantastic season this summer with a great lineup of plays and events, including Henry VI, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and more. Whether you are a Shakespeare buff or not, these performances will have you swooning in your chair at the sweet sound of declarations of love, laughing out loud as Shakespeare’s wordplay tests your wit and awe and humble you as you witness the tragic downfalls of heroes pitted with human foibles. Stunning reproductions and performances are sure to leave you inspired, uplifted, and of course, entertained.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival street signs

A Festival Rich with History

The Utah Shakespeare Festival was founded with the mission of presenting life-affirming classic and contemporary plays, with Shakespeare’s work as the cornerstone. They hope these performances will entertain, enrich, and educate. And they have done just that, for over fifty years. Today, the festival attracts attention all around the country every year, as people come from far and wide to act in or watch the plays. Since its formation, the Festival has received multiple awards including the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the 2001 National Governors Association Award, a 2011 Emmy award, and many others, including Best of State in arts and entertainment.

When the Festival first began in 1962, it attracted a little over 3,000 visitors. Today, it brings in over 120,000 each season. They now have four different theaters, including the famous Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, a beautiful reconstruction based on Elizabethan-era theaters, similar to The Globe,  the theater in London Shakespeare worked in and then part-owned. Of course, some adjustments have been made to make the Engelstad Shakespearean Theatre comfortable and accessible to modern audiences. Overall, however, it is still a unique opportunity to see Shakespeare’s work in a near-authentic setting.

To learn the whole story of the festival’s formation and growth, check out this article on their website.

Performers at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City

Your Quick Guide to this Season’s Lineup

Not sure which play you should attend? That’s okay — we have got you covered. Here is a quick and easy guide to each play that will be performed this season.

The Greenshow – Ashton Family Greenshow Commons

June 28 – September 8, 2018

The Greenshow is Utah Shakespeare Festival’s free nightly entertainment. Lighthearted song and dance serve as the festival’s nightly welcome to help guests get in the spirit of theater before they enter the play. There are three different shows, which are presented on alternating nights. The show often includes singing, magic, dance, and lots of fun.

Henry VI Part One

June 29 – September 6, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Henry V has died, leaving his son to be crowned king. With war raging in France, various factions vying for power in England, and approaching civil war, Shakespeare weaves together this seldom-told piece of history into a stunning tale of political intrigue.

Othello

June 28 – October 13, 2018 – Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

Shakespeare’s Othello is a powerfully tragic story of passion and anguish. It is a fast-paced, devastating tale of how jealousy and fear can unravel the most intelligent minds and purest loves. It’s the story of a Venetian general who secretly marries the beautiful Desdemona. Iago, spiteful and jealous of Othello, is led to believe that Othello has had an affair with his wife. Iago’s anger transforms into a nefarious plot to get revenge on Othello.

Crowd at the Shakespeare Festival

The Merry Wives of Windsor

June 28 – September 8, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

The Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known comedies. It is the story of a quirky old man, Falstaff, who has his lusty eyes on a couple of middle-class housewives. These women, however, will not easily let Falstaff get the better of them, and their wit ultimately gets the better of him. This play is lighthearted and fun.

The Foreigner

June 29 – October 13, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

Written by Larry Shue, the Foreigner is a comedy about Charlie, a vacationer seeking solitude at a Georgia hunting lodge. To avoid having to interact with the other guests, he pretends to be a foreigner who doesn’t understand English. However, he soon witnesses bizarre schemes by people who think he can’t understand a word they say, leading to confusion and non-stop hilarity that set up one of the funniest endings in all of theater.

Big River

June 30 – September 1, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

From a book by William Hauptman, adapted from a novel by Mark Twain, gives us another look into the adventures of the beloved classic-American character Huck Finn as he tries to help his friend Jim escape slavery. Featuring original lyrics and music by Roger Miller, audience members describe this play as hilarious, suspenseful, and heartwarming.

Dancers at the Shakespeare Festival

The Merchant of Venice

June 30 – September 7, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

This play is often described as a comedy, and yet, throughout the years, we have begun to call attention to many of the deep-rooted themes Shakespeare wove throughout this play.  When Antonio, a wealthy Venetian merchant, borrows money to help his dear friend Bassanio pursue love, things turn south when the moneylender learns that Antonio may not be able to make good on his bond. The Merchant of Venice is as much a suspenseful tragedy as it is a heartwarming romance-comedy. It is a story of racism, revenge, love, humor, greed, justice and mercy.

An Iliad

July 12 – October 9, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

This play is a modern retelling of the ancient classic, written by By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare. An Iliad is the tale of the events following the Trojan war, sung by the Poet, who witnessed it all.

Pearl’s in the House

August 23 – October 13, 2018 – Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

Workshopped at the Festival in 2017, this musical play focuses on Pearl Bailey, performer and special delegate to the United Nations in a racially-charged mid-twentieth century America. Bailey was a trailblazer for African-American women, yet a talk-show host in 1987 questions many of her motives. So Bailey responds the only way she knows how—through her music.

The Liar

September 14 – October 13, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

In this play by David Ives, the charming Dorante cannot tell the truth, and his manservant Cliton cannot tell a lie. From this simple premise springs one of the Western world’s greatest comedies, a spirited seventeenth-century French farce brilliantly adapted for today, complete with mistaken lovers, suspicious fathers, sparkling romance, frothy comedy, and an abundance of breathtakingly intricate “alternative facts.”

Crowd shot at Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah

Plan your trip to Cedar City

With so many different plays to choose from, from a variety of Shakespearean classics to modern comedies and dramas, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has something for anyone to enjoy. Tickets fill up fast, so now is the time to plan your trip to Cedar City!