A certain, spooky aura hangs around Haunted Kay's Cross, mostly because the Kaysville landmark is shrouded in mystery. Nobody knows its true origins, and nobody knows what brought about its destruction more than two decades ago. Still, what remains of the cross?and the seemingly haunted land that surrounds it?draws hoards of brave investigators every year, especially around Halloween. The cross once loomed at an intimidating 20-feet tall, 13-feet wide; now, it sits at the center of a chilling legend and numerous stories about its past.
As featured on the Travel Channel, Castle of Chaos conjures screams and scares for all those who enter its nightmarish realm. Spooks await visitors within the mansion, asylum, and dungeon at the Friday the 13th-themed Taylorsville location while the Riverdale facility coaxes guests into its creepy 3-D carnival and a haunted house modeled after the seven deadly sins. Riverdale participants can also settle into a coffin for a simulated journey from mortuary to graveyard or explore a menacing midway's games, live entertainment, and concessions. Continually rearranged rooms at both houses ensure that feng shui is maintained and repeat scare-seekers will frequently embark on new trips of terror.
It can be tough to visit dinosaurs and outer space in the same day without a time machine and a rocket ship. But Visit Salt Lake's Connect Pass provides a loophole. It grants access to 13 Utah attractions, encouraging families to explore Salt Lake City and beyond. Those using the Connect Pass can see savings of up to 80% on combined admission costs.
At Clark Planetarium, for example, visitors go far beyond the Great Salt Lake and Earth itself, becoming dwarfed by the cosmos inside the Dome Theatre. The Leonardo Museum brings them back to civilization by merging science and creativity with exhibits such as Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out and a Pixel Playland where kids can manipulate electronic artwork.
Other venues emphasize the beauty and fun found in the natural landscapes of our home planet. Red Butte Garden's 100 acres of local flowers, plants, and trees includes scenic hiking trails, whereas the Utah Olympic Parks lets you choose one of three outdoor adventure courses. And, for those intrigued by animals, Utah's Hogle Zoo presents wildlife that ranges from big cats to sea lions who nuzzle their keepers, similar to the dinosaurs at The Museum of Ancient Life.
The paranormal investigators at Grimm Ghost Tours get up close and personal with Salt Lake City?s most infamous specters during their bone-chilling ghost tours. On these tours?which helped them win the A-List Award for Best City Tour?they guide guests toward local haunts while sharing the city?s grisly past in true tales of murder, mystery, and violence. Groups may leave the city limits behind during the Outer Reaches tour, shuffling off to the unimaginably dark corners that were once Ted Bundy?s hunting grounds. Guides also tell the tainted history of other spooky local sites, sending chills down the spines of guests who explore old Fort Douglas, the Hancock mansion, and the haunted scotch bottles of the Premiere Gentile Gentlemen?s Club. All of Grimm?s paranormal jaunts combine aspects of a bus and walking tour, quickly shuttling those with a morbid curiosity from one site to the next.
For participants looking for a more intense paranormal experience, Grimm Ghost Tours offers ghost hunts at a haunted site, during which they teach guests the techniques and mortal perils of the ghost-hunting business. Once the sun sets, the brave guests join their tour guides as they use specialized equipment to scour their destination for clues and signs of life after death.
Salt Lake City Guided Tour's brainy guides back up historical accuracy with a collective 30 years of experience, leading inquisitive sightseers and lore-hungry locals on educational promenades through Wasatch Front. A fleet of new vans transports sightseers through city streets as guides illuminate patrons with knowledge of the architecture, history, and primatology of old Fort Douglas, the olympic stadium, and pioneer trails during Salt Lake City Grand tours. Organ symphonies waft into auditory canals in the Mormon Tabernacle, and eyes set sights on the state capitol and old Union Pacific station, Disney's inspiration for its own train port. Alternatively, the Great Salt Lake tour lets craniums absorb the history and ecology of Great Salt Lake's sodium crystals and brine shrimp as eyes rove over Utah's wetlands, a refuge for migratory birds. Guides explain the flow of mineral salts that lends the sodium-rich lake its name, as well as fill in travelers on a competing theory that postulate its origins as Poseidon's kiddie pool.
Stocked with gear for standup paddling and white-water kayaking, the newly remodeled, sunny storefront of The Salt Lake Surf Company also boasts colorful racks of surf, beach, and casual clothing. Skim the oceanic inventory of flip-flops and simple shoes ($28–$70), or backstroke through waves of T-shirts ($30–$50) and swimsuit separates ($40+). Organic-cotton summer dresses bedeck beach bods in splashing colors ($50+), and the four-way-stretch board shorts ensure comfort and protection while hurtling across the surface of water or high-kicking in dolphin chorus lines ($50–$70). While perusing, feel free to consult the friendly onsite husky or the helpful staff of wave-whisperers for advice on standup paddling or white-water kayaking equipment, or to help you to locate items online that are not currently in stock.