More than 2,000 natural sandstone arches -- the greatest concentration in the world -- are located in Arches National Park. Children are fascinated by the gravity-defying Balanced Rock and other practically unbelievable formations.

Utah will surprise even the most skeptical vacationer with its variety of fun activities, scenic landscapes and unique attractions. Long considered a paradise for adventure seekers, offering everything from whitewater rafting to skiing and snowboarding on some of the greatest snow on Earth, Utah also appeals to serious animal lovers and history buffs alike.

Utah’s historic national parks, tranqui­l lakes, and friendly cities are just a few of the things that keep families coming back year after year.

In the following article, you’ll find profiles of some of the state’s most popular parks and activities. Included is contact information to help you plan your trip as well as photos of each destination. Here’s a preview:

Utah Olympic Park

Visitors to this Park City attraction can test their mettle in some of the sports from the 2002 Olympics, including luge, bobsled and ski jumping. They can also watch Olympic hopefuls train for the next winter games.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the United States, houses about 1,500 dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, rabbits, birds, goats and other animals. Visitors are welcome year-round, and free, guided tours are offered daily.

Temple Square

Mormons constructed the imposing Salt Lake Temple at the center of Temple Square by carving granite blocks from the walls of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Great Salt Lake

The remnant of a prehistoric land-bound sea, this lake is so salty that no fish live in it. Still, the Great Salt Lake attracts visitors from around the country for swimming, boating and sunbathing on the beach.

Lake Powell

A popular destination for people renting houseboats, Lake Powell is nestled among red rocks and spans both Arizona and Utah.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley in Utah and Arizona is a Navajo Nation Tribal Park offering some of the most enduring images in the West. The valley's striking formations have been photographed countless times for Hollywood Westerns, postcards and advertisements of all kinds.

In the next article, explore Utah's Olympic Park.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Salt Lake City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit The Holy City.
  • Utah State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Utah, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.