Vacationing in Salt Lake City can be a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Utah landscape. The city is situated in a valley between the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges, making it easy to find scenic hiking trails and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. In addition, Salt Lake City is also home to many exciting attractions, including Temple Square, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and the Hogle Zoo. With so much to see and do, vacationing in Salt Lake City is sure to be an enjoyable experience for everyone in the family.
Landmarks in Salt Lake City
1. Temple Square
If you’re looking for things to do in Salt Lake City, you won’t want to miss Temple Square. This 10-acre complex is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. You can explore the temple grounds, tour the Tabernacle, and see the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform. Several restaurants and shops are also on-site, making it the perfect place to spend a day exploring. Whether you’re a Mormon or not, Temple Square is well worth a visit.
2. Utah State Capitol
The Utah State Capitol is located in the city’s heart and is a beautiful example of classical architecture. The building was completed in 1916, and it houses the offices of the Governor, lieutenant governor, and the state legislature. You can take a self-guided tour of the Capitol, which includes the Senate chamber, House of Representatives chamber, and Governor’s office.
The Capitol is also home to a museum that tells the story of Utah’s history and culture. In addition to tours and exhibits, the Capitol hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, conferences, and receptions. The Utah State Capitol is a great place to explore whether you’re interested in history or architecture.
3. This Is The Place Heritage Park
This Is The Place Heritage Park is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the Mormon pioneers who settled in the Salt Lake Valley. You can learn about the Mormon pioneer experience through interactive exhibits, watch live demonstrations, and participate in hands-on activities. There’s also plenty of green space to explore, a playground, and a picnic area. So whether you’re looking to learn about history or want to enjoy a day in the great outdoors, This Is The Place Heritage Park is a great place to visit.
4. Cathedral of the Madeleine
The Cathedral of the Madeleine is the mother church of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The awe-inspiring neo-Gothic structure is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, just a short walk from Temple Square. You can admire the cathedral’s beautiful stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and grand pipe organ. Guided tours are also available, which provide an opportunity to learn more about the history and architecture of this beautiful building.
5. Bountiful Utah Temple
The Bountiful Utah Temple is located in the city’s downtown area. The temple is beautiful, with its iconic spires reaching into the sky. You can take a tour and learn about its history and significance or simply admire its architecture from the outside. The temple is also a popular spot for wedding photography, and its grounds are perfect for a stroll.
Parks in Salt Lake City, Utah
6. Sugar House Park
Salt Lake City’s Sugar House Park is a beloved community gathering place. The park is a popular spot for residents to enjoy the outdoors, featuring gardens, playgrounds, tennis courts, and a large pond. The park is also home to various events, including concerts, movies, and festivals. In addition to being a beautiful and enjoyable place to visit, Sugar House Park plays an essential role in Salt Lake City’s history. The park was once the site of a sugar factory, and the sugar house itself is still standing. Today, the sugar house serves as a reminder of Salt Lake City’s industrial past.
7. Liberty Park
Liberty Park is Salt Lake City’s oldest and largest park. Covering over 100 acres, the park is home to various amenities, including a pond, an amphitheater, and a playground. Liberty Park is also one of the city’s most popular destinations for picnics, concerts, and other events. In addition to its many recreational offerings, Liberty Park is also home to several historic landmarks, including the Salt Lake City Cemetery and the Salt Lake Art Museum.
8. Memory Grove Park
Memory Grove Park is a beautiful, serene park in Salt Lake City, Utah. The park is well-known for its picturesque setting, which features a variety of trees, flowers, and sculptures. You can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the winding pathways or take a moment to reflect on one of the many memorials. Memory Grove Park is also home to several events, including concerts, festivals, and farmers’ markets. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an opportunity to enjoy some local culture, Memory Grove Park is sure to impress.
9. Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island State Park offers breathtaking views of the Great Salt Lake, as well as a variety of hiking and biking trails. You can also enjoy fishing, boating, and picnicking. In addition, the park is home to a herd of bison, which can often be seen grazing on the grasslands. Antelope Island State Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, and it provides a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Gardens in Salt Lake City, Utah
10. Gilgal Sculpture Garden
Gilgal Sculpture Garden is a Salt Lake City attraction like no other. Housed on just one acre of land, this quirky garden is home to more than 12 sculptures, all of which were created by local artist Thomas Battersby Child Jr. The sculptures range from the comical (a statue of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith riding a roller coaster) to the religious (a life-size replica of the Tabernacle organ) to the simply strange (a giant sphinx with a tree growing out of its head). In addition to the sculptures, Gilgal Sculpture Garden also features a ten-foot-tall sundial and a stone circle that aligns with the summer and winter solstices.
11. Red Butte Garden
Nestled at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden is a botanical oasis in the city’s heart. With more than 100 acres of gardens and hiking trails, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and connect with nature. The gardens are home to various plants, from delicate flowers to towering trees, that come alive in the spring and summer months. The hiking trails wind through meadows and forests, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
12. Tracy Aviary & Botanical Gardens
The Tracy Aviary & Botanical Gardens are Salt Lake City’s premier bird watching and plant life destination. The aviary is home to over 400 birds from around the world, including many rare and endangered species. The gardens feature a wide variety of plants, from delicate flowers to towering trees. You can stroll through the gardens, take a guided tour, or participate in one of the many educational programs offered.
13. International Peace Gardens
Salt Lake City is home to the International Peace Gardens, a beautiful park that celebrates the city’s diverse population. The gardens were founded in Salt Lake City in 1984 and now span nearly five acres. The park includes a variety of gardens, including a Japanese garden, an English garden, and a Native American garden.
Each garden is designed to reflect the culture of its respective population group. The International Peace Gardens are a beautiful testimony to the city’s commitment to diversity and tolerance. In a time when the world often seems divided, the gardens provide a much-needed oasis of peace and understanding.
Unique Things to Do in Salt Lake City, Utah
14. Wheeler Historic Farm
Just outside Salt Lake City is the Wheeler Historic Farm. Initially built in 1852, the Wheeler family operated the farm for over 150 years. Today, it is open to the public as a living history museum. You can participate in many of the same activities the Wheeler family did, such as tending to the crops and caring for the animals. The farm is also home to a variety of heritage-breed animals, including sheep, chickens, and pigs. These animals are raised using traditional methods, without modern machinery. As a result, the Wheeler Historic Farm provides visitors with a unique glimpse into the past.
15. Bingham Copper Mine
The Bingham Copper Mine is one of the most iconic landmarks in Salt Lake City. The mine has been in operation for over a hundred years and is still one of the largest producers of copper in the United States. The mine is located in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains and is visible from much of Salt Lake City. The Bingham Copper Mine has played a significant role in the city’s history and economy and is an essential part of Salt Lake City today.
16. Nightmare on 13th
For residents of Salt Lake City, Nightmare on 13th is a must-visit during the Halloween season. This spooky attraction features four different haunted houses, each with its own unique theme. You can choose to explore a haunted mine shaft, a cursed circus, or a creepy carnival, or they can brave the ultimate terror of the Haunted Hallow. With its impressive sets and terrifying creatures, Nightmare on 13th will surely give you a good scare. And for those who are feeling particularly brave, there is even a Zombie Paintball Massacre where guests can shoot live zombies with paintballs.
17. Fear Factory
Fear Factory is a Salt Lake City-based haunted house that has been delighting (and terrifying) guests for over 20 years. The brainchild of horror aficionado Troy A Taylor, Fear Factory is set in an abandoned factory that was once the site of a brutal massacre. Today, the factory is haunted by the ghosts of those who died there, and it is up to guests to brave the darkness and make it through alive. With plenty of scares around every corner, Fear Factory is not for the faint of heart. But for those who are looking for a truly harrowing experience, it is well worth the price of admission.
Museums in Salt Lake City, Utah
18. Church History Museum
Salt Lake City is home to the Church History Museum, which tells the story of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a series of interactive exhibits. You can learn about the Mormon pioneers who settled in Salt Lake Valley, the Native Americans who were their neighbors, and the LDS Church’s early years in Utah. The museum also houses a collection of artifacts from the Mormon handcart companies and a replica of the Salt Lake Temple.
19. Land Cruiser Heritage Museum
The Land Cruiser Heritage Museum is the world’s most extensive collection of Toyota Land Cruisers. The museum houses more than 200 vehicles, ranging from early prototypes to modern-day models. Visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits, which chronicle the history of the Land Cruiser, and test drive a selection of vehicles. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs, such as tours and workshops.
20. The Leonardo
The Leonardo is a museum dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and math. The museum has interactive exhibits that allow you to experience the subjects hands-on. The museum also has a planetarium, an auditorium, and a cafe. The Leonardo is Salt Lake City’s newest museum, and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Thanks to its interactive exhibits and engaging programs, the Leonardo is an ideal place for people of all ages to learn about science and technology.
Things to Do with Kids in Salt Lake City
21. Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum
The Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum has provided engaging and educational experiences for kids for over 20 years. The museum is designed to encourage hands-on learning, with exhibits on everything from science and technology to art and history. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum also offers a variety of seasonal programs and events. Whether your child is interested in dinosaurs or rockets, there’s sure to be something at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum that will pique their curiosity.
22. Hogle Zoo
Hogle Zoo was founded in 1931 and is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. The zoo covers over 42 acres and is home to more than 800 animals. You can see animals worldwide, including lions, tigers, elephants, and giraffes. The zoo also has a number of unique exhibits, such as the Australian Outback and the African Savanna. In addition to its animal residents, the zoo has a botanical garden with over 2,000 plants.
23. Clark Planetarium
Salt Lake City is home to the acclaimed Clark Planetarium, a world-renowned center for astronomical education and research. Founded in 1969, the planetarium was one of the first facilities of its kind in the United States. Today, it remains one of the most respected research institutions in the world. The planetarium also houses the Hansen Dome Theater, one of the largest digital dome theaters in the world. The theater uses state-of-the-art technology to provide an immersive experience for audiences.
24. Natural History Museum of Utah
The Natural History Museum of Utah is home to an incredible collection of dinosaur bones and a wide range of other exhibits on the natural history of Utah and the American West. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events for children and adults. As one of the state’s largest and most popular museums, the Natural History Museum of Utah is definitely worth a visit.
Skiing in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is a mecca for skiing, and there are plenty of things to do for skiers of all abilities. For beginners, there are several ski schools in the area that can help you get started. The slopes around Salt Lake City are also well-suited for beginners, with plenty of gentle runs to help you build your confidence. For the more advanced skier, there are numerous black diamond, and double black diamond runs to test your skills. And for those who want to push themselves, some backcountry skiing opportunities are available. No matter your level of experience, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do in Salt Lake City when it comes to skiing.
Final Thoughts on Salt Lake City
This charming city offers a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From hiking and biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, there’s something for everyone in Salt Lake City. And with various hotels and restaurants to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay during your visit. Enjoy your Sat Lake City vacation!
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog, where she provides vacationers with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, explore, and escape! Alex’s mission is to help peopl find the perfect vacation destination.