A unique museum exhibit will inspire contemplation, ideas, and appreciation for individuals who contributed to history. Museums are public gems in many cities and towns and often score high in tourist visits.
Utah is rich in history, art, and fun things to do, whether indoors or out. Visiting the various Utah museums is one of the finest ways to experience all these things. Unknown to many, some of the best museums in Utah offer a plethora of high-quality exhibits, from prehistoric paleontology to pioneer pride. And the best part is—they’re found all across the state.
Northern Utah Museums
For international visual arts, head to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. The UMFA galleries display the richness and breadth of human history and creativity, ranging from prehistoric artifacts to the most recent modern pieces. The museum has the region’s most diverse collection, with nearly 20,000 original art pieces. The UMFA serves as the state’s and the university’s fine arts museum, functioning as a thriving center for cultural interchange between visitors from the university and the outlying areas.
The Bountiful Historic is one of the Utah museums that encourages academic research and all-around education through its museum collection. Visitors to the Museum can see exhibits, attend events, and access educational programs. The museum supports itself through ticket sales, membership, fundraisers, and donations.
3. Brigham City
The Brigham City Museum debuted in 1970. Since then, there has been a continuous history section and an ever-changing gallery of art and historical exhibitions. The museum hosts an art quilt show every summer and at least one national touring exhibition annually. The permanent history display features an interactive section with enjoyable activities for kids of all ages.
The Kaysville – Fruit Heights Museum of History and Art institution is among the many Utah museums that preserve and share the rich history of Utah. Through stories told in many mediums, the power to convey critical historical and cultural memory is ignited. Through exhibits and working with other museums across the county in creative programming, the K-FH museum engages both young and old.
The Butterfly Biosphere at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi is one of the best museums in Utah, and it exhibits a variety of exotic butterflies in a lush indoor setting that mimics the resident species’ native surroundings.
Over 1,000 live butterflies and other insects, including praying mantises and stick bugs. Get close to friendly insects and discover how they contribute to Earth’s ecosystem. Occasionally, visitors can even participate in releasing newly emerged butterflies from the on-site lab before touring the facility.
The American West History Center is one of the must-see museums in Utah in Logan, Utah. There’s more to the historical center than merely a museum. This Utah history museum is a must-visit if you only go to one in Logan.
The American West History Center is dedicated to magnificently portraying early pioneer life. In period-appropriate clothing, participants portray how life was for the first brave souls who traveled far into the West. This heritage center is a great family attraction with farm animals, ranches, miniature trains, and everything else representing the Wild West.
The Treehouse Children’s Museum specializes in engaging hands-on displays that your children will enjoy while placing a specific focus on the importance of reading and writing. It’s among the best museums in Utah for Kids, as they will have access to activities like riding the Treehouse Train, playing in the “Science Circus” section, and climbing the enormous Treehouse Tree in the heart of the museum. Various events are put together daily so kids always have something fresh to do.
8. Park City
Park City is an excellent destination for outdoor activities, hearty cuisine, and a mountainside ambiance. The Park City Museum honors the community and its history by offering educational and enjoyable exhibits. The museum is housed in a historic red-brick structure on Main Street. It main showcases are on local history, the mining industry, and the city’s former dungeon-style jail.
The Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum is situated in Payson’s Pioneer Square. Inside is an authentic-looking log cabin, fully furnished with pioneer antiquities. The museum has a collection of pioneer relics dating back around 150 years. Travel back in time and see and feel what it was like to be a Pioneer.
Central Utah Museums
The UVU Museum of Art offers free exhibitions and activities to academic and community groups. Opened in 2002, the museum has presented the visual arts through showcasing the Permanent Collection and changing exhibitions. Since launching, the museum has amassed more than 600 works of art.
11. Brigham Young University/Provo
If you live near Brigham Young University or are planning a trip to Provo, visit the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. Every room you enter will be diverse, from the yearly photography exhibits and evolution theories to the exhibitions of endangered animals and the live planet atrium.
Weekly live animal performances are another option for visitors to this vibrant Utah museum, where they can enjoy a close-up view of snakes, lizards, bearded dragons, turtles, frogs, and more.
12. Salt Lake City
Are you one of those individuals that constantly has their head in the clouds? With its incredible exhibits, the Clark Planetarium can take you even higher. Being one of the most interesting Salt Lake City museums, tourists can watch movies in the IMAX Cinema, go faster than light in the Hansen Dome Theatre, or see one of the cosmic light shows.
13. University of Utah/Salt Lake City
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts houses a modest but impressive collection of 5,000-year-old world art artifacts. The eclectic permanent collection on the University of Utah campus includes modern art, Hindu sculpture, and artworks from several periods in European art history. The museum also offers a range of exhibits on topics such as American landscape photography and quilt cartography.
The Springville Museum of Art houses nearly 2,600 works of art divided into three creative concentrations: Utah, Soviet Russian, and American art. Every year, the curatorial and education departments collaborate to arrange a multitude of exhibitions, including highlights from their permanent collection, yearly juried shows, and additional exhibits organized with artwork from local, national, and global artists.
The Tooele Pioneer Museum was set up to collect and showcase pioneer artifacts. It includes images of Tooele’s former existence, surroundings, activities, and preservation of such artifacts. It’s their goal to preserve and illustrate Tooele County’s progress in education, the arts, science, manufacturing, and agriculture.
The Historic Wendover Airfield is committed to preserving World War II Army Air Force history, educating current and future generations about this era, and allowing visitors to experience the thoughts and circumstances of WW II-era combatants. This Utah history museum is home to a collection of historical artifacts and photographs and a full-scale reproduction of the “Little Boy” atomic bomb.
Eastern Utah Museums
17. Castle Dale
Have you ever wondered what a kitchen from the late 1800s would have looked like? The answers can be found at the Pioneer Museum. The Pioneer Museum is a gold mine for history buffs and antique lovers. It’s loaded with furniture and artifacts that have been beautifully restored and maintained. This museum will capture your attention and return you to a hardly remembered era.
18. Green River
The John Wesley Powell River History Museum pays tribute to Powell and educates visitors about the region’s topography, the history of the West’s discovery, and Powell’s expeditions. The museum opened in 1990 and is one of the oldest museums in Utah. It continues to draw river enthusiasts and history fans alike. A visit to the John Wesley Powell River History Museum provides a deeper grasp of the area’s and its rivers’ history and a profound respect for those who were the first to discover it.
The Western Mining Railroad Museum showcases the region’s essential train system and coal mining history. It also depicts daily life in Helper throughout the century. With curators and docents sharing oral histories, it is a perfect destination to acquire knowledge not often available in history books.
The Quarry Visitor Center at Jensen’s Dinosaur National Monument is the only place where you can see dinosaur remains, and it’s quite a stunning sight with 1500 bones of several species embedded in a rock wall. Within this spectacular glass structure, visitors can view dinosaur fossils in the locations where nature placed them more than 150 million years ago. You may even touch these Jurassic-era fossils!
The Prehistoric Museum fosters appreciation and knowledge of the natural and human-made processes that produced the geology, fossil, and prehistoric human records discovered in eastern Utah. The fact that the artifacts on exhibit were genuinely found not far from the museum’s site is one factor that makes it so special. Dinosaurs and other discoveries from this area are well-known worldwide, but only here can you view them in their native surroundings.
The Uintah County History Museum in Vernal is an educational institution that collates and protects a collection of historical objects dating back to the time of the earliest peoples. It offers a fascinating family experience that recounts the actions of all of the peoples of the Uinta Basin, teaching guests the values of a varied and vibrant population. With a series of tours, seminars, thematic art displays, and exhibitions, the Utah Museum educates the community and promotes cultural heritage activities.
Southwestern Utah Museums
23. Cedar City
Cedar City Artisans Art Gallery is a community arts organization in Southern Utah committed to exhibiting and selling the work of local artists and craftspeople. As one of the Utah art museums, they offer extensive artwork, including paintings, pastels, lino prints, jewelry, sculptures, stained glass, pottery, photographs, digital art, and more. Artisans Art Gallery also sells lovely handcrafted soaps and stunning wearable tote bags!
24. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park in southwestern Utah isn’t just a single canyon but a succession of natural amphitheaters or bowls cut onto the edge of a high plateau. It’s recognized for having the world’s biggest collection of hoodoos (unique rock formations). Bryce Canyon also has horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters formed from the eastern border of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The Bryce Amphitheater is the most well-known of them.
25. St George
The Saint George Art Museum is among the city’s largest Utah art museums and includes several international art exhibitions and some local artists’ work. This lets you see the best from throughout the world. In addition to the art displayed at the museum, there are numerous intriguing activities and events throughout the year.
Southeastern Utah Museums
The Dinosaur Museum is a top museum in Utah that showcases the complete history of the dinosaur world. There are displays at the museum that depict dinosaurs from various places and how they were dispersed over the world. You will also see the most recent dinosaur skin study, which reveals shocking new traits of certain well-known dinosaurs.
The Moab Museum has been committed to conserving and preserving the histories of Moab, Utah, and the surrounding region since 1958. They aim to strengthen the community’s relationship to history, geography, and stories through exhibitions, programs, collections, and research tools.
The Frontier Museum is modest but among the pioneer museums of Utah. Its main attraction is a massive tractor from 1912. This exhibit is impossible to miss because it is housed in its building on Main Street. The remainder of the museum is located next door, and other exhibitions include local pioneer artifacts. You’ll experience a reconstruction of central Monticello in its early days. This museum also has a small fraction of Native American relics and a few minerals and stones. If you’re in Monticello, you should check out this free museum.
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