Shake off any preconceptions about cultural life in Utah by visiting these sites.
- • Spiral Jetty: Best seen from the air, artist Robert Smithson's stunning 1,500-foot-long earthen coil juts into Great Salt Lake in drought years.
- • ATK Missile Display: What goes on in Utah's desert doesn't always stay in Utah's desert. But just east of the Golden Spike site, you can see Patriot and Trident missiles as well as a space shuttle booster.
- • Bonneville Salt Flats: The miles of blinding white sand along I-80 at Utah''s western edge are strange enough, but the cars seen racing here during Speed Week are really crazy! There's art here, too — you won't miss spotting "Metaphor: The Tree of Utah" while driving I-80 east of Wendover.
- • Gilgal Gardens : If you were to carve a sphinx, whose face would you put on it? The creator of these Salt Lake City monuments and gardens chose to depict Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS Church. The gardens and carvings provide a surprisingly moving glimpse into one man's spiritual journey.
- • The Crater at Homestead Resort : Homestead Resort is just a few miles from trendy Park City, but it feels like your grandma's favorite Utah getaway. The going gets weird at the Crater, where you walk through a cool, damp tunnel into the bowels of a 55-foot-high cone-shaped limestone hill and enter a cavern dominated by a 60-foot-deep warm springs pond. Truly curious travelers will join the phalanx of scuba divers exploring the depths.
- • Best Friends Animal Sanctuary : Angel Canyon, a beautiful site at the northern edge of Kanab, is home to about 2,000 animals, most with special physical or behavioral needs. Visitors here often have a sense of making a pilgrimage. Come on a guided tour or sign up in advance to volunteer for a week or two.
- • Hole n' the Rock : In the "one man's vision" category, we have Albert Christensen's 5,000-square-foot dream home hollowed out from the base of a sandstone monolith south of Moab. It's a full-blown roadside attraction, simultaneously tacky and touching.