Sandy, in the South Valley, is one of Salt Lake City's largest suburbs and the sixth-largest city in Utah. Situated at the foot of the Wasatch and adjacent to Little Cottonwood Canyon, Sandy offers excellent outdoor recreation, plus shopping, dining, and entertainment. Here's our list of 13 fun things to do in Sandy.
Watch Major League Soccer at Rio Tinto Stadium
Sandy is home to Rio Tinto Stadium, a beautiful, 25,000-seat stadium, built as a home for Salt Lake's Major League Soccer club, Real Salt Lake. Besides soccer, Rio Tinto hosts a variety of concerts and sports events.
There's always something happening at Mountain America Expo Center. Some of the expo center's most popular annual events include the Festival of Trees, Asian Fair, international auto show, home shows, boat shows, bridal expo, gluten-free expo, and outdoor expos.
The Shops at South Town is a huge shopping mall with just about everything your heart could desire. Major retailers include Macy's, JCPenney, and Forever 21, while restaurants include Olive Garden, Chili's, Mimi's Cafe, Noodles & Company, TGI Friday's, Village Inn, and Texas Roadhouse. Kids will love the mall's beautiful carousel in the food court.
The Sandy Amphitheater hosts concerts and arts events all summer, including touring acts, local favorites, and Sandy Arts Guild productions. Tickets are affordable, and the amphitheater's "flash" ticketing system means you can pick up tickets with just your smartphone and a credit card, no waiting in line.
Sandy has more than 30 parks in its 28 square miles, some operated by the city of Sandy and others by Salt Lake County. Dimple Dell Regional Nature Park is a favorite, with 644 acres consisting of multiple trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, natural history study areas, interpretive sites, ponds and streams, and native plants and wildlife. Trailhead areas include picnic facilities and restrooms. A large outdoor amphitheater is also available. Sandy's Flat Iron Mesa Park is the largest of the Sandy City parks, with six soccer fields, two baseball fields, a volleyball court, two playgrounds, four tennis courts, and two outdoor lighted pavilions. There are also three different jogging trails.
Sandy has access to numerous hiking trails, most in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The hike up Bell Canyon, which runs past a reservoir before culminating at a waterfall, is among the most popular, but another favorite is the aptly-named Cecret Lake, an easy 1.5-mile trip to a small alpine lake. In spring and summer, the wildflowers can't be missed!
Whether you're a local, or just visiting, the Dimple Dell Fitness and Recreation Center offers child and adult sports programs, swimming, a fitness floor, jogging track, basketball gym, sports leagues, exercise classes, and more. The recreation center also organizes off-site classes and lessons, ranging from horseback riding to rock climbing.
The Sandy Museum is located in a historic 19th-century building, formerly home to a ZCMI Co-Op store where locals would come to buy, sell, and trade goods. The museum displays tell visitors about Sandy's history, dating back to its first settlement in the 1860s, and covering the town's evolution from a Mormon farming community to a bustling mining town to a modern suburb. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Sandy's Sego Lily Gardens were first created to show the public how to conserve water, yet still create beautiful gardens and landscapes. Sandy receives just over a foot of rain each year (compared with 30 in. or more on the East Coast!), so water conservation is important to the community. The gardens showcase 2.5 acres of lush, water-friendly plantings and are open to visitors for free. There are also events throughout the year, including a spring butterfly release.
River Oaks Golf Course lies among the wetlands of the Jordan River, with a dramatic mountain backdrop. With green fees that start at just $12 (as of 2018), it's a course that is both accessible and challenging for experienced golfers. The clubhouse is home to pro shop and a spacious banquet hall, available for events.
One of the town's most popular events, Sandy's annual hot air balloon festival is held each year in August at Storm Mountain Park. Admission to he two-day event is completely free, and visitors can attend early morning balloon launches, craft workshops, and an evening balloon glow party with food and music.
Have Dinner at One of Sandy's Best Restaurants
Sandy is home to dozens of restaurants of all types, including fast food, fast casual, national chains, fine dining and independently-owned restaurants. But there a few that stand out from the crowd. For an upscale meal, the French chateau-inspired La Caille serves classics like escargot à la Bourguignonne, foie gras, and steak tartare. Their upscale brunch, which comes with freshly-baked croissants is not to be missed! A more casual meal can be had at Tin Roof Grill, which saw crowds after being featured on an episode of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." It's a top spot for hand-tossed pizzas.
Spanning more than 200,000-square-feet, Scheels is a one-stop shop for any sporting or outdoor goods you might need while in Sandy. The enormous store is more than just a shopper's paradise, though: There's also a giant aquarium, wildlife displays, games, a Ferris wheel, and more. Scheels also has the biggest selection of fan merchandise in the Salt Lake area.