The capital of Utah, Salt Lake City, is a young, vibrant city with a number of local skiing and mountain-based activities as well as natural, historic, and religious attractions.
Although Salt Lake City has long been recognized as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ primary religious center, and many of the city’s top attractions do emphasize this aspect, hosting the Olympic Winter Games added a new dynamic and put the city on the map for tourists from around the world. Today, you can find excellent dining, shopping, and a wide range of activities here, whether it’s summer or winter.
The Temple, Temple Square, and other popular attractions in Salt Lake City can all be situated in the downtown region. Many of the sites in the city center are close to one another, which makes sightseeing simple. Many tourists also use the city as a starting point for day trips to adjacent ski slopes or just to take a journey to nearby towns and mountains like Park City and Deer Valley, which are both less than an hour away.
Best Places to Visit Near Salt Lake City
With this list of the top tourist attractions in Salt Lake City, you can find the best things to do and see.
1. Go to Temple Square
Although Temple Square is one of Salt Lake City’s greatest attractions, a lengthy six-year rehabilitation project is now underway, and many portions will remain closed until at least 2024. To enhance access and pedestrian traffic, buildings are being updated, and in some cases, fully rebuilt. A new tunnel is also being built.
The Joseph Hall Memorial Building, Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, and the North Visitor’s Center are anticipated to stay open. The Temple complex will be shut down. Check the temple website for the most recent information prior to your visit.
2. Salt Lake Temple
The Salt Lake Temple is among the most recognizable landmarks in Salt Lake City. This magnificent structure, which was designed and erected in a distinct church style, was created between 1853 and 1893.
Three towers are located at either extremity of this enormous granite construction, the largest of which, at the east end, is adorned with a 13-foot-tall gilded statue of the angel Moroni.
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Only church members are allowed inside the temple, but there are highly accurate copies of the breathtaking interior on exhibit at the North visitor centers, which are open to the public.
3. Utah’s Natural History Museum
On a chilly or rainy day in Salt Lake City, the Natural History Museum of Utah is a fantastic family activity. The museum, which has 1.6 million pieces in its collection, is housed in a magnificent concrete building with copper siding and soaring ceilings. It contains more than 40,000 square feet of exhibit space and teaching resources.
The computerized globe, dinosaur fossils, and a three-story indoor canyon are just a few of the attractions of the almost 5,000 objects that are typically on show. Paleontology, Anthropology, Entomology, Vertebrate Zoology, Mineralogy, Botany, and Malacology (the study of mollusks) are among the seven permanent collections.
4. Go skiing at local ski areas
Salt Lake City should be on your list of travel destinations if you enjoy skiing. The ski areas of Park City, Deer Valley, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Sundance are easily accessible from the city.
The resorts of Park City and Deer Valley are just up Interstate 80. Alta and Snowbird are further up the Little Cottonwood Valley via Highway 210 if you prefer smaller resorts. Both routes take you into the rugged Wasatch Range and are winding and picturesque. The distance between Solitude and Brighton—just a few miles as the crow flies, but more than an hour by car—is north over the mountain in Big Cottonwood Valley.
5. Red Butte Garden
A highly well-liked destination for locals is Red Butte Garden, which is situated next to the Natural History Museum. If you’re in the area in the spring, it’s worth a visit. The garden is renowned for its spring blooms throughout the western United States, and not just a few – over 500,000 flowers explode in a blaze of color!
The gardens cover a total of 21 acres, and five miles of pathways, some of which are very hilly, wind past the park’s most fascinating features if you feel like doing a little walking or climbing. A regularly scheduled, professionally narrated 20-minute tram ride is available for those who would rather ride. There is plenty of free parking.
6. Visit the state Capitol
The Utah State Capitol is located on Capitol Hill, 300 feet above the city, at the north end of State Street. The Utah House of Representatives, Senate, and Supreme Court are all housed in this imposing, neoclassical dome structure.
The marble rotunda, the Golden Room (the governor’s reception room), and a small gallery with changing exhibits are notable features of the interior. Wall panels that depict Utah’s evolution and history are located along the main hallways.
7. The Salt Lake Tabernacle
The Tabernacle is a huge oval structure with a dome resting on 44 piers of sandstone. With more than 6,500 seats, the minimalist interior is renowned for its excellent acoustics. Free tours are available all day long, and a fascinating acoustics demonstration is also given. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to go to a regularly scheduled, free performance or recital.
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The famed Tabernacle Choir gallery is located at the western end, while the enormous organ with its incredible 11,623 pipes is located above it.
8. The Heritage Park
When Brigham Young saw the valley of his dreams after the 1,300-mile journey by the followers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he shouted, “This is the place!” This park is about 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and is perfect for family outings.
Pony rides, train rides, and a splash pad called the Irrigation Station are among of the enjoyable activities offered at This is the Place Park, which chronicles the history of the early pioneers and settlers to Utah in the middle of the 19th century. Even gold mining is possible at the Treasure House.
9. Building Joseph Smith Memorial
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is one of Temple Square’s principal structures. The Hotel Utah, which was built in 1911 and was previously known as such, was later renamed in honor of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ first president.
The glazed terra-cotta bricks used to construct the ten-story structure sparkle in the intense Utah light. To see elements like the marble columns, art glass, and the grand staircase, it’s well worth going inside.
10. Freedom Park
The largest open space in Salt Lake City, Liberty Park is home to a range of leisure pursuits and spans more than 80 acres. Many locals use this green spot in the summer for picnics or to unwind under the shaded canopy of leaves since it is a beautiful natural refuge with mature trees.
The park has a lot to offer, including tennis courts, bocce ball courts, basketball courts, and a public pool. It’s perfect for a family excursion. The two jogging paths—one paved and one coated in wood chips—can be used by anyone who enjoys staying in shape. Tracy Aviary is situated within the park.
In Utah, United States, Salt Lake City is a popular tourist destination all year round. Since the 2002 Winter Olympics, there has been an upsurge in the number of foreign visitors to this area. The world was introduced to Wasatch Mountain’s high-caliber snowfall and extensive network of skiing slopes during this winter sports competition.
Aside from snow adventures, honeymooners, families, nature, animals, birds, and lake enthusiasts should visit Salt Lake City for a tour.