Quality family time is important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And if family game night is becoming mundane, why not take your quality time on the road?
Here are 13 popular travel destinations with special significance to members of the Church.
1. Upstate New York
Distance from Utah Valley: 2,023 miles
Main attractions: Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, city of Palmyra
Must-see for Mormons: Smith Family Farm and the Sacred Grove; Hill Cumorah Pageant; Grandin Print Shop
Fun fact: The Palmyra New York Temple was the 100th announced temple and sits on the east end of the original 100-acre Smith Family Farm.
2. Ellis Island, N.Y.
Distance from Utah Valley: 2,193 miles
Main attractions: Immigration Museum, nearby Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island
Must-see for Mormons: Port of New York Passenger Records, for family history buffs
Fun fact: Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
3. Washington, D.C.
Distance from Utah Valley: 2,096 miles
Main attractions: The National Mall, Smithsonian Institution, National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery, The White House, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Must-see for Mormons: Washington D.C. Temple lights, memorials relating to family history, LDS-related exhibits at Smithsonian Institution, National Archives (to see documents that granted citizens religious freedom)
Fun fact: Then-First Lady Betty Ford attended the public open house of the Washington D.C. Temple, along with 758,327 other guests.
4. Nauvoo, Ill.
Distance from Utah Valley: 1,265 miles
Main attractions: Carthage Jail; Historic homes, including that of Joseph and Emma Smith; Nauvoo Illinois Temple
Must-see for Mormons: Summer entertainment, including “City of Joseph” Pageant and the British Pageant: “Truth Will Prevail” (for 2014 season)
Fun fact: The Nauvoo Illinois Temple houses the largest temple baptismal font in the Church.
5. Mesa, Ariz.
Distance from Utah Valley: 633 miles
Main attractions: Local museums and archaeological sites
Don’t miss: Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant “Jesus the Christ”
Fun fact: The script for the Mesa Easter pageant is taken directly from the King James Version of the Bible.
6. San Diego, Calif.
Distance from Utah Valley: 706 miles
Main attractions: San Diego Zoo, Sea World
Don’t miss: Mormon Battalion historic site
Fun fact: The Mormon Battalion’s 2,000-mile march from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to California is one of the longest military marches in history.
7. Laie, Hawaii
Nearby attractions: Honolulu (including Waikiki Beach), Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay, North Shore, Diamond Head
Must-see for Mormons: Polynesian Cultural Center, BYU-Hawaii campus, Laie Hawaii Temple grounds
Fun fact: Headquarters of the Hawaiian Mission were in Laie until 1919, when they were moved to Honolulu.
8. Manti, Utah
Main attractions: Manti Utah Temple, Mormon Miracle Pageant
Must-see for Mormons: Mormon Miracle Pageant
Fun fact: Manti was the first community that was settled outside the Wasatch Front after the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
9. St. George, Utah
Distance from Utah Valley: 259 miles
Main attractions: Little Colorado River, remaining dirt trail
Must-see for Mormons: St. George Temple, Brigham Young Winter Home in St. George
Fun fact: The round trip from Arizona settlements to the St. George Temple sometimes took up to six weeks.
10. Martin’s Cove, Wyo.
Distance from Utah Valley: 365 miles
Main attractions: Mormon Handcart Historic Site, Martin’s Cove Visitors Center
Must-see for Mormons: Mormon Handcart Historic Site, Martin’s Cove Visitors Center
Fun fact: About 100,000 people visit Martin’s Cove every year.
11. Tulum, Mexico
Distance from Utah Valley: 2,892 miles
Main attraction: Mayan Ruins, tropical beaches
Must-see for Mormons: Mayan Ruins, which are thought to have possible ties to Book of Mormon peoples.
Fun fact: The three major structures at the site are called “El Castillo,” the “Temple of the Frescoes,” and the “Temple of the Descending God.”
12. Preston, England
Distance from Utah Valley: 4,696 miles
Main attractions: Local parks, museums and celebrations
Must-see for Mormons: River Ribble (where the first LDS baptisms in England were performed), Preston England Temple area. (Pageant moved to Nauvoo for 2014)
Fun fact: The England MTC is located in Preston, adjacent to the Preston England Temple.
13. Jerusalem, Israel
Distance from Utah Valley: 7,025 miles
Main attractions: Western (Wailing) Wall, Garden Tomb, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock
Must-see for Mormons: Garden Tomb, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, BYU Jerusalem Center
Fun fact: Apostle Orson Hyde was the first LDS official to enter Jerusalem in 1841. When he came, he dedicated the land for the gathering of Judah, the building up of Jerusalem and the building of a temple.