Morning Star Balloons ushers cloud hunters toward their quarry, navigating the skies as transfixed guests float high above Utah's pristine mountainscape. The seasoned, FAA-certified pilots employ experience flying military jets, winning numerous hot air balloon competitions, and establishing dominance over out-of-control umbrellas as they confidently steer the colorful vessels to heights of between 500–1,500 feet. Groups of up to 12 soar above Park City’s lush landscape and during early-morning flights, with a complimentary champagne or nonalcoholic toast welcoming passengers back to solid ground. Despite its burgeoning fame through the TV shows The Amazing Race and Nitro Circus, Morning Star Balloons keeps a level head as it donates its services to local schools and charities.
Water is a powerful compound. It can carve deep canyons, power hydroelectric plants, or even give people superhuman abilities. The latter feat is accomplished aboard Rocky Mountain Flyboard's water-propulsion flying machines. Nozzles strapped to hands and feet lift pilots up to 40 feet in the air, let them dive into the water, or allow them to perform advanced tricks such as back flips.
Claiming to be the nation's largest paragliding and speed-flying facility, Cloud 9 Paragliding School touts its complete repair loft and lessons held seven days of the week year-round. The facility also stocks a variety of flying gadgets and equipment and imports a variety of international brands of paragliding equipment, which it then distributes to more than 40 flying schools across the country. But above all, the facility sees itself as a big toy store, providing big kids with playthings such as kite tricycles, pogo sticks, and mountain unicycles.
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.
Part-bike, part-car, and all eye-catching, the Pedal Hopper isn't transit for the faint of heart. This massive vehicle seats anywhere from 10 to 16 passengers at a time as they pedal in unison around downtown Salt Lake City. A company-provided driver sits in the middle, operating the steering wheel and brakes, while guests sitting around the mobile countertop laugh, chat, and exercise their legs to power the vehicle towards custom destinations along a specific route. The two-hour-minimum rides are generally spaced into 20-minute visits with 20-minute pedal sessions, perfect for parties going on a pub crawl or participants on Supermarket Sweep. The Hopper also sports a stereo, disco ball, and LED lights for safe and festive night riding for its 21-and-up clientele.
US Bus Utah's namesake vehicle is a common sight on the streets of Salt Lake City; in fact, it's almost impossible to miss. The open-topped bus snags sightseers from around SLC for hop-on, hop-off tours of local landmarks such as the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Hogle Zoo, and Clark Planetarium. The bus runs a continuous circuit from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., seven days a week, giving sightseers a chance to catch a ride back from their adventures once they're done exploring.
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 101 Inventions that Changed the World 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 Utah Olympic Park takes a faster track to outdoor adventuring—the pass entitles the holder to a zipline ride or a careening trip down the Alpine slide. 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.