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Five Splendid Towns to Visit, Enjoy in Utah

1. Kanab. Located in southwest Utah, just north of the border with Arizona, in the Grand Circle area, this "place of the willows" was first settled in 1864 and founded as a town in 1870. The town serves as a gateway for folks who want to visit many national and state natural wonders, including the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Grand Canyon North Rim, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Lake Powell/Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Pipe Springs National Monument, as well as Kodachrome Basin State Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Bull Valley Gorge, Buckskin Gulch, and Grosvenor Arch. The area offers lots of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, camping, photographing, sightseeing, and deer hunting. Other attractions include Moqui Cave (a museum featuring Native American artifacts and largest collection of dinosaur tracks in southern Utah), the Frontier Movie Tow Museum (which displays movie sets and memorabilia from the many movies and television shows filmed in the area), and Best Friends Animal Society (the largest animal sanctuary in the U.S.) Nearby Jackson Flat Reservoir offers swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities.

2. Midway. The town, named for its central location in an agricultural district, is located in north-central Utah, in the Heber Valley, about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, on the other side of the Wasatch Mountains. The quiet and quaint mountain town, which has had an operating post office since 1864, is home to the Heber Valley Railroad (a must-ride, 16-mile trip on a historic railway that starts in Midway and winds through agricultural lands, the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, and down into Provo Canyon; learn more), the Homestead Crater (a geothermal spring with 90ish-degree temps hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock that offers scuba diving year-round; learn more), and Midway Swiss Days (which started as a celebration of the harvest, and now is quite the event; learn more). Not far from town are the Wasatch Mountain State Park (camping golfing, and miles of trails), Deer Creek Reservoir and State Park (camping, boating, trails), and Jordanelle State Park (with lots of recreational opportunities).

3. Moab. Located in southeast Utah, it is a town that serves as a key spot, a gateway, for massive rock formations of Arches National Park, as well as mesas and buttes of Canyonlands National Park, and is a magnet for mountain bike enthusiasts drawn to the Slickrock Bike Trail. Other outdoor enthusiasts come for the hiking, climbing, and whitewater rafting. Furthermore, dinosaur tracks can be found in Bull Canyon Overlook and Copper Ridge, and dinosaur bones and other historic artifacts found in the Museum of Moab. Other places not to miss while in the area: Dead Horse Point State Park (a 5,400-acre park offering dramatic views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park), the Corona Arch (a 1.5 mile hike from Utah 279), Negro Bill Canyon Trail (a 4-mile RT trail off of Utah Scenic Byway 128, into a canyon of cottonwood and willow trees, towering sandstone cliffs, and the Morning Glory Natural Bridge), Moab Giants (an interactive dinosaur museum), and the Colorado Riverway Recreation Area ( a red-rock haven along the Colorado river managed by the Bureau of Land Management). For those who love to drive, check out the LaSal Mountain Loop Scenic Drive and Utah Scenic Byway 279.

4. Morgan. Located in northern Utah, about 40 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, this pioneer town was settled in 1868, and named after Jedediah Morgan Grant, a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Outdoor enthusiast flock to the area for camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, and river tubing -- as well as wagon rides and ATVing. Besides enjoying the town itself, check out Devils Slide, a unique geological formation that experts believe started as horizontal limestone ridges formed when the area was under water, then pushed upward more than 75 million years ago when the mountain ranges formed, making the ridges tilted vertically. Visit East Canyon State Park, which features the 608-acre reservoir formed by the East Canyon Dam, and offers fishing, boating, camping -- as well as the nearby Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail (learn more), part of the route 70,000 Mormons traveled in the mid-1800s to escape religious persecution. Also in the area is the Round Valley Wildlife Management Area.

5. Mt. Pleasant. Located in central Utah, about 55 miles south of Provo, this historic town is known for its well-maintained 19th-century Main Street buildings and for the Wasatch Academy (founded in 1875), the oldest continually operating secondary school in Utah; both Mt. Pleasant Main Street and the Wasatch Academy are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will also find a wintery, Native Wines, which offers wine and cheese tasting every Saturday, and outdoor enthusiast will appreciate two nearby national forests: the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache national Forest and the Manti-LaSal National Forest. While in the area, be sure and visit nearby Spring City five miles to the south, which offers some of the state's best-preserved examples of pioneer architecture, as well as an eclectic mix of arts galleries and boutiques; the entire town is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.

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