The Ultimate Travel Guide To Provo & Things To Do

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Fronting the Wasatch Range, Provo may not share the tourist profile of Salt Lake City, but it sure packs plenty of attractions for the traveler seeking something a little different. The city is a hidden, beautiful gem that is underrated but offers diverse things to do and quaint little places to savor and take pictures at. The Utah Lake and the Wasatch Mountains blend beautifully to create an irresistible haven, with valleys and waterfalls forming irresistible photo opportunities.

Sandwiched between the cities of Springville and Orem, the city has amazing views of the famed Y Mountain which has one of the most popular hiking trails within the wider Utah Valley. Provo is also famed for its museums, with exhibitions displaying diverse anthropological and artistic items. A good number of these museums are housed within the grounds of the prestigious Brigham Young University, which is a famed institution both in Utah and beyond. Here’s everything travelers should know about exploring Provo.

Best Time To Go

A scenic view of Provo River landscape
Shutterstock: Snehit photo 

A scenic view of Provo River landscape

Summers in Provo tend to be the best times to visit, though they can be very hot and dry. If looking for outdoor activities, one may plan to visit the city’s attractions between May and early July.

Between July and August, the city records some of its highest temperatures, though vacationers still troop to different attractions over this period. In September, temperatures start falling, with averages of around 83℉ and increased rainfall.

Related: Visit Utah’s Snow Canyon Where You Can Explore Lava Tubes & Sand Dunes

Winter in Provo generally runs from late October through March, with April generally seeing the last of the season’s thaw. For avid skiers, this may well be the time to get ready for a trip up the mountain ranges.

What To Know When Visiting

Shutterstock: Jason Finn

A stone arch in Provo Canyon

  • Whereas it is landlocked, Utah has numerous geographic features and attractions to keep a visitor entertained and active. The city of Provo packs a good number of these attractions and is a good place to start an exploration of the scenic state.
  • River rafting and skiing can be enjoyed in Provo depending on the season. It is important to carry warm gear when going river rafting as it may get chilly sometimes.
  • A good number of the residents of Provo are adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Provo is one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA and has a very good quality of life

Related: Gateway To Utah’s National Parks: The Ultimate Travel Guide To Cedar City & Things To Do

Best Ways To Get Aroundshutterstock_1924730201

Provo Municipal Airport offers local flights into the city, though the Salt Lake City International Airport is bigger and facilitates travel from more diverse locations.

Once within the state of Utah, there is a robust public transportation system, with trains and buses plying different routes at predetermined intervals.

There is an intercity train service that conveys passengers to and from nearby cities like Salt Lake and Orem. It runs the route every 30–60 minutes but does not work on Sundays.

In the Provo-Orem locality, there is a Bus Rapid Transit service that runs every 10–15 minutes, ferrying people between the two cities.

Related: Fancy An Old Timey Train Trip In The Wild West? Consider Heber Valley Railroad In Utah

In addition, the frequent bus line traverses locations in Orem, Lindon, Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi, and Draper, making it convenient for intercity exploration. It runs every 15 minutes.

There is also a regular bus service that runs at least every 30 minutes and traverses more locations in the Provo-Orem metropolis and connects to Springville, Spanish Fork, Salem, and Payson.

Aside from the public transportation system, there are also vehicle rental services that are especially convenient for road trip vacations in Utah.

E-scooters and e-bikes may also be hired for shorter distances within the city.

Where To Stay

The city of Provo offers a number of accommodation options to suit the tastes and budgets of different clients.

downtown provo by sean pavone
Shutterstock: Sean Pavon

A section of Downtown Provo

Baymont By Windham Provo River

With amenities like shops and restaurants found nearby, this hotel offers a strategic and convenient base for exploring Provo. Moreover, it is situated along the Provo River and offers direct access to Brigham Young University and the Riverside Country Club.

The Museum of People and Cultures is a short distance away via the W2230N, with the famed Provo Utah Temple located further eastwards on the same route.

  • Address: 2230 N University Pkwy, Provo, UT, 84604
  • Amenities: Wi-Fi, indoor swimming pool, parking, spa, playground, fitness center, camping grounds, garden, picnic area
  • Cost: Rooms start at under $100/night

Sleep Inn Provo, Near University

Is also in a strategic location, a short distance from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and Provo Towne Center. Conveniences such as East Bay Shopping Mall and Timpanogos Golf Club and East Bay Golf Course are an easy walking distance away. The accommodation is accessible off I-15.

Ramada by Wyndham, Provo

Also close to Provo Towne Center, the accommodation offers proximity to different conveniences desired by both the adventurous vacationer and business traveler. It is centrally located in downtown Provo, off I-15, offering easy access to attractions around the Utah Lake, as well as those along the Wasatch Range which is to its left.

The Timpanogos Golf Club is a few miles South of it, and a range of laidback activities can be enjoyed here, even by guests.

Spring Hill Suites by Marriott Provo

Brigham Young University is a short distance away from the accommodation, which makes the BYU Museum of Paleontology a worthy attraction to add to a guest’s bucket list.

The suites are also close to the LaVell Edwards Stadium, with the Provo River a walkable distance away to its left. It offers direct access to attractions on the Wasatch Range, including the Rock Canyon, where hikers and climbers can try out the rugged terrains on different trails.

Best Western Plus Provo University Inn

The accommodation is strategically located for travelers seeking some fun activities but who may also be intent on catching a few business meetings.

It is near the Provo River and offers proximity to both the Y Mountain trail and Squaw Mountain.

Where To Eat

There are many options of eatery joints in Provo, serving a variety of delicacies.

Brick Oven

The renowned pizza joint has a long history in Provo and prides itself in the preparation of most of its meals from scratch on a daily basis.

The eatery serves a legendary root beer, as well as tasty pasta and calzones. Additionally, Brick Oven offers catering services for events, along with utensils for convenience to clients.

  • Address: 111 E 800 N, Provo, UT 84606
  • Hours: 11 am to 9 pm

Bombay House, Provo

The restaurant offers an opportunity to sample ethnic, Indian dishes seasoned with a range of spices. The dishes are prepared through authentic Indian cooking methods, including the use of the famed Tandoori oven.

Popular combos include charcoal-grilled lamb, shrimp, or chicken paired with flatbread.

  • Address: 463 N University Ave, Provo, UT 84601
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday: 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Black Sheep Café

The eatery serves Southwestern Native American cuisine, made daily from scratch with fresh ingredients. It specializes in lunch and dinner, with mouthwatering dessert options.

To dine at the Black Sheep Café as a group of more than 8 persons, call to make a reservation.

  • Address: 19 N University Ave, Provo, UT 84601
  • Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Friday: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, and 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm: Saturday: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, and 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm.

Hruska’s Kolaches

Is a nice spot to start the morning with a mug of hot chocolate and tasty kolaches. The pastries run out pretty early sometimes, so it is best to arrive early.

  • Address: 434 W Center St, Provo, UT 84601
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday: 6:30am-12:00pm

Other options for breakfast include Kneader’s Bakery and Café, Cougar Express, Shirley’s Bakery and Café, Magleby’s Fresh, and Waffle Love.

Top Things To Do

Provo offers many attractions and options for things to do in Provo.

Fun Activities at Provo Beach

utah lake by teng guan
Shutterstock: Teng Guan

Utah Lake

The family-friendly amusement park offers a number of activities all under one roof. There are a variety of games such as croquet, bowling, laser tag, and an arcade, hence everyone will easily find something they fancy.

For vacationers seeking a “beach experience”, surfing away at the flow rider section is a hot favorite. The cherry on top is a ropes course which offers varying levels of thrill depending on how skilled or adventurous a reveler is.

One can also have private birthday parties and corporate events hosted within the facility, and an event planner is readily available if needed.

  • Address: 4801 N University Ave #210, Provo, UT 84604
  • Telephone: 801-980-9617

The park is super busy on Fridays, Saturdays, and during holidays, and wait times for some activities may be long.

Rock Canyon and the Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal veil falls to the south of rock canyon, alisa_ch
Shutterstock: alisa_ch

Bridal Veil Falls to the south of Rock Canyon

This is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts with a love for rock climbing and hiking. The rugged landscape found to the east of Provo offers the Squaw Peak (also referred to as Kyiv Peak) hiking challenge.

The popular trail spots a river within its precincts and its moderately difficult terrain is also used for cross-country skiing when conditions permit.

To the south of Provo Canyon is the Bridal Veil Falls, which is one of the most scenic attractions in Provo, and is easily accessible by a trail near the parking lot. From the parking, views of the canyon and waterfalls are already majestic, and they only get better as one hikes further.

Related: 10 Winter Destinations To Visit In Utah On A Road Trip

Utah Lake State Park

utah lake by teng guan
Shutterstock: Teng Guan

Utah Lake

Located on the shores of Lake Utah and at the tail of Provo Center Street, the park offers convenient access to the state’s largest freshwater lake. One can fish a variety of freshwater species at the lake, or go for some water activities such as kayaking, rafting, paddle boarding, and canoeing.

The park is fitted with amenities such as ramps for boat launching, boat slips, marinas, docks, and a fishing pier with wheelchair access to ease the enjoyment of these activities. Given the fresh waters of the scenic lake and the serene environment, swimming is a favorite sport for many people who frequent the park.

The park is also renowned for its campgrounds which are located toward the eastern side of the lake.

The campsites have running water, electricity, shared restrooms and dumpsters, fire pits for barbecuing, and picnic tables. There are also sites appropriate for RVs.

Reservations may be needed to book the campsites.

BYU Museum of Peoples and Cultures and the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

The BYU Museum of Peoples and Cultures is a hot attraction in Provo, and it offers a blend of permanent collections, traveling exhibitions, and other diverse pieces of art from around the world. The Maynard Dixon exhibition is one of the museum’s key highlights, as is the “Of Souls and Sacraments” which offers a remarkable religious journey.

The museum is not only a highly-rated reservoir for enchanting artistic collections, but is also a learning center that contributes to knowledge acquisition at Brigham Young University.

Similarly, the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum is also part and parcel of the University. However, its focus is on natural history. Its exhibits depict a fascinating array of plants and animals that have existed at different times in various ecosystems.

The Family Home Evening sessions can especially be convenient for those taking children along.

  • Hours: Monday, Thursday & Friday: 10 AM – 9 PM: Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday: 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Address: BYU Museum of Art, North Campus Drive, Provo, UT 84602

The BYU Museum of Paleontology is also housed within the University and is another worthy place to visit.

Provo Utah Temple

Provo Utah Temple
Shutterstock: Dallas Golden

A view of Provo Utah Temple 

The temple is a renowned landmark in Provo and a special place of worship for adherents of the Latter Day Saints Church. It is among the busiest in the state of Utah, in part because of its location near the BYU Campus.

The temple also makes for some of the most memorable vacay photos with its spire design and strategic location in front of an imposing mountain range.

Provo River Activities

provo river
Shutterstock: disco golf

A section of Provo River showing increased water levels

The gorgeous Provo River is not only picturesque for photo moments but is also a spot for some fun adrenaline-inducing activities. One can choose to go on an adventurous tube ride along the length of the river or opt to paddle board or kayak.

There are facilities offering rentals of kayaks, tubes, and paddle boards located in cities that share the river, and they provide options for booking online.

While the river is relatively smooth sailing for the most part, some sections may require a tuber to stand and steer due to water levels. Children, especially those above 12 years, may also join in the tubing fun.

The Y Trail on the Y Mountain

Y Mountain by sandflea
Shutterstock: sandflea

A view of the Y Mountain

The trail is known for having one of the most imposing, symbolic attractions in Provo. The letter “Y” is symbolic of the prestigious Brigham Young University, and the trail is very popular with students.

The trail, while not difficult, may be steep in some sections. Nevertheless, it offers captivating views of Provo all the way to Utah Lake.

One can set their sights on conquering the highest point of the “Y”, which is a little more than 1.5 km from the trailhead, or venture a little further onto the top of the mountain.

Experienced hikers may take anything from 30-60 minutes to the top and back, with less seasoned climbers requiring a bit more time.

Related: Arches National Park Is One Of Utah’s Most Stunning Landscapes, And This Is What It’s Famous For

How To Spend A Perfect Day In Provo

LaVelle Edwards Stadium
Shutterstock: Grindstone Media Group

LaVelle Edwards Stadium at Brigham Young University, Provo

Start the day with a hike on the Y trail of the Y Mountain, taking the time to stop and enjoy the sweeping views of the city of Provo. This is a better experience when accompanied by a few friends or family members. When back down at the foot of the mountain, head to the nearby Kiwanis Park where a pavilion had been booked beforehand.

Take advantage of the barbeque stands and fire pits available in the park to prep some snacks and then wind down while refreshing.

After the rest, head over to the Brigham Young University Museum of Art where some of the most diverse, artistic creations are displayed. Take time to enjoy the galleries then head over to the Provo Utah Temple which bears incredible significance to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Snap pictures of the temple with some of the most incredible mountain views looming behind.

After a day of intense exploration, ride towards Provo Towne Center and settle in at the Residence Inn by Mariott Provo for a well-deserved rest.


Q: What is the city of Provo known for?

The city of Provo is known for beautiful landscapes owing to its location in the Utah Valley in the Wasatch Front. It is home to the prestigious Brigham Young University, and has a significant portion of its population belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Q: Is Provo, Utah worth visiting?

The city has a number of attractions ranging from hiking trails on canyons to museums and water parks. It also has a rich heritage based on its fairly young population, many LDS adherents, and influences of the Native American community. Like other places in Utah, Provo offers awesome things to do no matter travelers’ interests.

Q: What is there to do between Salt Lake City and Provo?

The two destinations offer opportunities for hiking and mountain climbing, water sports activities, skiing, road trips to savor the intriguing Wasatch Front landscape, and museum visits. Salt Lake City also offers adventures unique to the city.

Public transportation is well-designed to enable convenient intercity commutes, and there are also plenty of car rental services for private travel.