salt lake city travel guide - the top things to do in slat lake city - the top thing

The Salt Lake City Travel Guide

Written: The Top Thing Staff | May 17, 2023

1. Explore Historic Temple Square

Immerse yourself in Salt Lake City‘s rich history by exploring the iconic Temple Square, a site of religious and historical significance with beautiful architecture, church, and diverse viewing points.

  • The Salt Lake Temple stands as a testament to remarkable architecture and is an essential visit for architecture buffs.
  • Admire the stunning Tabernacle temple, known for its beautiful and unique architectural style that attracts visitors from around the world.
  • Delve into Mormon history at the Church History Museum, gaining insights into the city’s historical preservation efforts and the role of religion in shaping its development.

2. Visit the Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum offers an intriguing exploration of history, habitats, exhibits, and natural beauty. Visitors can marvel at dinosaur fossils in the Past Worlds exhibit, and gain a deeper understanding of different ecosystems in the Utah Experience gallery.

The museum’s location on the foothills provides stunning views of the mountains that enhance the overall experience. The museum exhibits not only showcase high-quality displays but also offer insight into state history, geological features, and local wildlife.

Recent travelers to the museum in Salt Lake have been captivated by the diverse range of exhibits, including those highlighting Mormon history and genealogy. The museum’s lunar lander exhibit has drawn attention for its unique perspective on space exploration.

With a focus on both educational value and entertainment, this destination caters to various interests while providing an immersive journey through time and nature.

3. Enjoy the Outdoors at Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park offers a unique opportunity to witness bison, antelope, and other animals in their natural habitat, providing an authentic and immersive wildlife experience. The park’s diverse terrain caters to outdoor enthusiasts, with the chance to hike up Frary Peak for breathtaking panoramic views of the Great Salt Lake.

The sandy beaches along the shoreline offer a perfect setting for relaxation, picnics, family-friendly activities, and photos. Whether it’s swimming or hiking or simply enjoying the stunning views of the lake, visitors can revel in a range of recreational opportunities amidst parks and facilities amidst a beautiful natural setting.

Fishing enthusiasts will find ample fishing opportunities within the park. The visitor facilities ensure convenience and comfort, making it an ideal location for travelers seeking both adventure and leisure.

4. Take a Mural Tour in the City

Discover vibrant street art in downtown Salt Lake City, where numerous art galleries, parks, and cultural attractions contribute to the town’s artistic ambiance. The Granary District area is a hotspot for colorful murals, offering diverse viewing points for tourists seeking unique sightseeing experiences.

Local artists infuse their creativity into the city’s buildings, parks, and areas, making it an ideal spot for travelers interested in snapping photos of captivating artwork. By taking a mural tour, travelers can gain insight into the creative process of these artists while capturing memorable photos through panoramic views of urban architecture.

In addition to its lively art scene, Salt Lake City also offers gardens and aerial tram rides that many travelers include in their plans when visiting the area. This makes a mural tour an excellent complement to a day filled with diverse activities within the city limits.

5. Experience the Thrills at Hogle Zoo

Encounter a diverse range of exotic animals in parks, from majestic lions to towering giraffes and gentle elephants. The zoo offers an array of interactive experiences, including educational animal presentations and feedings, providing visitors with an up-close view of these magnificent animals.

ZooLights is a must-visit during winter, offering families the chance to enjoy excellent entertainment and rides in a magical setting. From pony rides to plenty of family-friendly spots in Park City, there are numerous activities for kids where everyone can spend quality time together.

The Hogle Zoo boasts not only live animals but also exciting rides that cater to all ages. It’s not just about observing; it’s about engaging with the wildlife through play areas and interactive exhibits.

6. Discover the Wonders of the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake offers unique experiences, allowing travelers to float effortlessly in its buoyant waters. This natural wonder lake provides a one-of-a-kind swimming experience due to its high salt surface concentration.

Spiral Jetty, an iconic earthwork sculpture emerging from the lakebed, is a must-see for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. It’s a contemporary exhibit that showcases the fascinating interaction between human creativity and natural landscapes.

Antelope Island presents an opportunity for birdwatching and observing unique salt-loving organisms. The presence of diverse marine life in this massive saltwater lake adds to its allure for nature enthusiasts and recent visitors.

The wide variety of activities available at the Great Salt Lake makes it an ideal spot for those seeking solitude or adventure in desert conditions. Visitors can also explore nearby attractions such as Snowbird and Brighton ski resorts, offering snow sports schools amidst breathtaking scenery with a view.

7. Hike the Trails in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Explore scenic trails leading to picturesque waterfalls, such as Donut Falls and Mary Lake. The area boasts towering granite cliffs and colorful wildflowers during summer, offering a breathtaking backdrop for hikers. With several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, it’s ideal for both beginners and experienced hikers.

Big Cottonwood Canyon is also a popular mountain biking area with diverse terrain suitable for all skill levels. From leisurely rides to adrenaline-pumping descents, there are options for everyone. Rock climbing enthusiasts can find numerous routes along the canyon’s rocky mountainsides with a view of the city and Salt Lake.

The canyon serves as a perfect base camp for those seeking outdoor adventure due to its proximity to multiple wilderness districts within the nearby mountains. Visitors can enjoy activities like zip lining or simply take in the beautiful views on a scenic drive through this stunning landscape.

8. Attend a Concert or Live Music Event

The Depot, a popular music venue downtown, offers live performances. The Depot hosts an array of artists and bands across different genres, offering an eclectic mix for all music enthusiasts.

Experience outdoor concerts at Red Butte Garden’s amphitheater with stunning views of Salt Lake City. This serene setting provides a unique concert experience, combining nature’s beauty with the magic of live music and a breathtaking view.

Discover local bands and emerging artists at intimate venues around town. Salt Lake City has a vibrant local music scene, allowing you to spend time exploring new sounds while supporting up-and-coming talent in cozy settings.

Whether you’re into rock, indie, jazz, or any other genre, Salt Lake City offers diverse options for enjoying live music that cater to different tastes and preferences.

9. Shop and Dine at City Creek Center

Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, City Creek Center offers a premier shopping and dining experience. With upscale shops like Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors, and Nordstrom, it’s a paradise for fashion enthusiasts.

The center also boasts diverse dining options, ranging from casual eateries to fine dining restaurants. Visitors can explore multiple eateries offering various cuisines in the city or relax at one of the site cafes for a quick bite.

In addition to retail therapy and culinary delights, visitors can enjoy events such as farmers markets hosted at the center. This provides an opportunity to engage with local vendors in the city and discover unique products.

City Creek Center isn’t just about shopping; recent visitors spend time there, capturing the essence of Salt Lake City’s vibrant downtown area.

10. Go Rafting or Kayaking on the Colorado River

Salt Lake City boasts a diverse range of attractions, making it an ideal destination for travelers with varied interests. From outdoor enthusiasts to history buffs and food lovers, the city offers something for everyone.

Visitors are encouraged to spend time exploring the top experiences Salt Lake City has to offer. One such activity is rafting or kayaking on the Colorado River, which provides an exhilarating adventure amidst stunning natural landscapes.

For avid skiers and adventure seekers, combining a visit to Salt Lake City with a thrilling rafting or kayaking experience can create a well-rounded trip filled with excitement and unforgettable memories.

The opportunity to engage in water sports amidst picturesque scenery adds depth and variety to any travel itinerary. Whether it’s navigating through rapids or leisurely paddling along calmer stretches of the river, this experience allows visitors to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying an adrenaline-pumping activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the must-see attractions in Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City offers a diverse range of attractions, including historic Temple Square, the Natural History Museum of Utah, Antelope Island State Park, and the Great Salt Lake. Each destination provides unique experiences that cater to different interests.

Is there outdoor recreation available in Salt Lake City?

Absolutely! Visitors can enjoy hiking at Big Cottonwood Canyon, rafting or kayaking on the Colorado River, and exploring Antelope Island State Park. These activities allow you to immerse yourself in nature and experience the beauty of Utah’s landscape.

Where can I find entertainment options in Salt Lake City?

For entertainment enthusiasts, attending a live music event or concert is a fantastic way to spend an evening. Taking a mural tour around the city provides an artistic and culturally enriching experience for visitors.

What dining and shopping opportunities are available in Salt Lake City?

City Creek Center in Salt Lake City is a premier location for both shopping and dining. With its wide array of shops ranging from luxury brands to local boutiques as well as numerous dining options offering various cuisines.

How can I learn more about wildlife during my visit to Salt Lake City?

Hogle Zoo offers an exciting opportunity for recent visitors to witness diverse wildlife up close while learning about conservation efforts. It’s an ideal destination for families or anyone with an interest in animal welfare and biodiversity.