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You've never seen a city like Salt Lake City, Utah. Nestled in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Salt Lake is the gateway to some of the most spectacular natural attractions in the country. It's also home to a vibrant art scene, high-energy nightlife, and historic sites that tell stories from the early days of the American West.
Whether you're planning a quick weekend getaway or an extended vacation, we've got you covered with this guide to 11 must-see sites in Salt Lake City, 10 restaurants to try while you're there, 5 day trips and tours you won't want to miss, and 5 great hotels where you can stay. Let's dive in!
Salt Lake City is a beautiful city surrounded by stunning natural beauty. It is a great place to visit with plenty of activities and things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah. From unique museums and historical sites, to scenic drives and outdoor adventures, there's something for everyone in Salt Lake City. The following are the best things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah!
Downtown Salt Lake City is dominated by the Temple Square, which is the spiritual center of the Mormon Church. The square is beautiful with lots of green grass and flowers, as well as historic buildings. The large Temple itself is not open to the public, but there are tours available in other buildings. This place is always busy with tourists, musicians and dancers entertaining people on the square. Besides being beautiful, this place will give you an insight into one of the most influential religions in the world.
Built between 1864 and 1867, the Salt Lake City Tabernacle is a unique building that is instantly recognizable from its onion-shaped dome. It is located on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City and was built by Mormon pioneers as part of their temple complex. The tabernacle has an impressive interior that boasts superb acoustics and can seat up to 7,700 people. Many famous performers have played in the building over the years, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Over two million people visit the tabernacle each year, making it one of Utah's most popular tourist attractions.
If you're looking for family-friendly things to do in Salt Lake City this summer, plan on visiting this museum located on the campus of the University of Utah. The building housing the museum was designed by architect Craig Edward Dykers and looks like a giant wave that grew out of red rock. It has five floors filled with interactive exhibits that will delight children and adults alike. You'll discover exhibits exploring dinosaurs, ancient cultures and Utah's diverse geography.
The Hogle Zoo is located in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City and has over 800 animals. The zoo was founded by Arthur Hogle in 1931, who previously ran an animal show on Main Street. Today, the zoo spans 42 acres and is home to exotic animals like elephants, lions, tigers, red pandas, penguins and more. If you have kids along with you on your trip to Salt Lake City, this will undoubtedly be one of their favorite stops.
Red Butte Garden is one of the best places to visit in Salt Lake City for nature lovers. This 100-acre botanical garden is located on the University of Utah campus and offers an abundance of natural beauty throughout the year. In addition to its lovely gardens, Red Butte offers a number of cultural events, including concerts and gardening classes. Visitors can enjoy a bite to eat at Red Butte Café or pick up a souvenir at the gift shop.
The state capitol building is one of the city's most recognizable buildings. The gleaming golden dome atop this stately neoclassical building is hard to miss from anywhere in downtown Salt Lake City. The grounds surrounding the capitol feature several works of art, including statues of Brigham Young, Utah's founder, and Philo Farnsworth, who invented television. Inside the capitol, visitors can take guided tours or simply wander on their own through this historic building.
The Clark Planetarium is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Salt Lake City. It includes an IMAX theater, virtual reality simulators and several exhibits. There's even a "Science on a Sphere" system that projects images onto a 6-foot sphere floating in the air, allowing visitors to see complex data visualizations from every angle.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) exists to inspire critical dialogue and lifelong learning through art. Its collections include over 20,000 works of art from cultures around the world and across time. One of the foremost museums in the Mountain West region, it offers collections-based exhibitions and educational programs designed to engage visitors with art from Utah and around the world.
Liberty Park is one of the oldest parks in Salt Lake City, dating back to 1881. Its 80 acres include a lagoon, walking paths and gardens. During the summer months, Liberty Park features an outdoor pool as well as activities such as tennis, golf and volleyball. The Tracy Aviary is located within the park. The park also boasts a playground area, which includes the popular toddler train ride that runs around its perimeter.
This Is The Place is a living history museum that includes homes from early pioneers in Utah. There are also some Native American exhibits as well as an area dedicated to the development of Salt Lake City. Kids can play on old-fashioned playground equipment and participate in hands-on activities like churning butter or washing clothes by hand. In addition to the historic buildings that you can tour inside the park, there are also reenactments and demonstrations that occur periodically throughout the day.
The Discovery Gateway Children's Museum is a learning center where children can play while they learn. There are science exhibits, a climbing wall, and a water play area among other activities at the museum. The museum also hosts special programs throughout the year designed to enrich the experience of visitors.
Salt Lake City has so much to offer—not only is it filled with a diverse community that welcomes visitors from all walks of life, it's also surrounded by an incredible array of natural wonders. Here are some of the coolest ways to get out and enjoy the outdoors around Salt Lake City.
If you are looking for a unique way to see Salt Lake City, Utah's Trolley Adventure is a great option. This 1.5-hour trolley tour allows you to explore the city on a classic vehicle while enjoying a show along the way. The tour takes you through downtown, Temple Square, and up to Capitol Hill where you can see the state's capitol building. This tour is great for visitors of all ages and interests.
This 4-day camping tour spends time exploring Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons with an experienced and fun local guide. Transport, camping gear (sleeping bag and pad), food, park entrance fees, and permits are all included! You'll be camping in tents at established campsites throughout the tour, but this option is also available as a lodge-based tour.
Soar over the Great Salt Lake and take in the entire landscape of this natural wonder. Join a certified paramotor instructor on a once-in-a-lifetime flight over Utah's most famous lake. You'll be safe and secure while being totally amazed by this bird's eye view of Salt Lake City.
Next is a little more down-to-earth—literally! Pick Your Park takes you on a private tour through any one of the 5 Utah parks of your choice. You can visit Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef National Parks, Bryce Canyon National Park, or Goblin Valley State Park. The tour includes round trip transportation from Salt Lake City, a freshly cooked lunch, and an expert guide who'll teach you all about the park's incredible history and ecology.
Take a 45-minute boat tour of Salt Lake! This small-group tour will give you a new perspective on the lake, while also sharing some interesting facts about its history, geology, flora, and fauna. You'll be amazed by how beautiful this iconic body of water can look from a new perspective—and you might even learn something new about it along the way!
When you're looking for a great place to eat in Salt Lake City, Utah, there's no shortage of options. With the opening of many new restaurants and the expansion of many more old favorites, it's hard not to find something that fits your taste and wallet.
So where do you start? Here are several restaurants to try in Salt Lake City, Utah that are sure to please.
Bombay House is a local favorite for fans of Indian cuisine. Located in Salt Lake City's shopping district, it's ideal for enjoying a bite before heading out to do errands or as an after-dinner stop following a night on the town. A wide selection of vegetarian dishes is available for those who don't eat meat, and Bombay House offers a lunch buffet that allows you to sample many different flavors at once. It's also very affordable, with most meals falling into the $10-15 range.
If you're looking for a great restaurant to enjoy for a date night, stop by Current Fish and Oyster in Salt Lake City. With their delicious seafood and beautiful atmosphere, this is the perfect place to spend an evening with someone special. With a budget friendly menu, there's something everyone can enjoy and is sure to impress.
If you're planning a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, but don't want to leave your comfort zone and explore new dining options outside the city limits, consider stopping into The Copper Onion.
The Copper Onion serves classic Italian fare like pizza dippers (baked dough stuffed with meats and cheeses), homemade pasta dishes, and wood-fired pizzas. The expansive menu features both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options—and even features specialty items that are not available at any other local restaurants (like meatballs marinated in red wine). Everything looks delicious on their unbelievably huge chalkboard menu.
If you're a fan of falafel and looking for the best in Salt Lake City, Spitz is the place to go. Spitz serves some of the most delicious Mediterranean food in town, so don't be afraid to try something new. This place has an amazing atmosphere and excellent customer service, making it one of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City.
Sushi lovers take note: Takashi is the place for you. This restaurant, set in a historic building in downtown Salt Lake City, has a menu that consists almost entirely of sushi and sashimi. For those who don't love raw fish, don't worry; there are other dishes on offer as well. Just be prepared for the fact that this restaurant is expensive - a meal for two could easily cost hundreds of dollars. If you have the budget to splurge on it, however, then we recommend doing so: Takashi is one of the best restaurants in Salt Lake City!
The Dodo Restaurant—This gathering place offers two visions of American cuisine. The first is the American (New) variety, which favors creative twists on classics. They combine traditional American dishes with ingredients and techniques inspired by other cuisines. For example, their take on chicken and waffles features ginger-mustard-glazed fried chicken, sweet potato waffles, and chipotle syrup. The second is simply American food—often meat- and potato-centric comfort foods like burgers and fries or grilled cheese sandwiches. If you're looking for a laidback spot with tons of flavor options, you've found it here at the Dodo.
If you're looking for a casual place to eat, Red Iguana is the spot. This popular Mexican restaurant is famous for their mole enchiladas, and has been featured on shows like Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. The food here is tasty enough that celebrities have been known to dine here—you might even see someone famous while you're eating.
This is one of those restaurants that's a great pick whether you're going on a date or out with your family. It's cozy, but not too fancy; the perfect place to grab some chips and guacamole with a margarita to drink!
Settebello is a Neapolitan style pizzeria. All of their pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven at 700 degrees. The pizza is made with fresh ingredients and imported Italian mozzarella cheese, with San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. Settebello offers a wide selection of Italian wines and they also offer gluten-free options for their pizza. If you're looking to try authentic Neapolitan pizza, this is the place to go. Plus, their desserts are delicious! You won't want to leave Salt Lake City without trying this restaurant.
This is one of the oldest restaurants in Salt Lake City and has been around since 1976. It's also one of the best Italian restaurants around. It offers award winning pizza, pasta dishes and other traditional Northern Italian fare. They also have a great selection of wine and beer on tap. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly with a beautiful view of the mountains. Caffeine features a full bar with top shelf liquors and cocktails as well as an extensive list of fine wines from all over the world.
If you're looking for a traditional barbecue experience, R&R BBQ is the place for you. The restaurant's take on classic BBQ dishes are all slow-smoked, and there is a wide selection of meat options to choose from. If you can't decide on just one or two, you can create a "sampler plate" that allows you to combine up to four different meats into one dish. And if you want to get the full experience, make sure to try the sweet cornbread, which has been voted best in the city.
Salt Lake City is a great place to stay if you want to get away from it all, but still be close to civilization and civilization's comforts. It has a vibrant downtown area with plenty of restaurants, bars, and cultural attractions, but it also has the beautiful Wasatch Mountains for skiing and hiking.
When you're planning your trip to Salt Lake City, whether you're going for business or pleasure, make sure to check out these hotels. They offer great locations, amenities and more — without breaking the bank.
The Little America Hotel - Salt Lake City is a great hotel to stay at while in Salt Lake City, Utah. It's located close to the city center and you can walk to many local attractions as well as restaurants nearby. Some of the amenities offered by The Little America Hotel - Salt Lake City include free wifi, a fitness center and laundry service. If you are driving to Salt Lake City UT, there is paid private parking available on site.
While staying at The Little America Hotel - Salt Lake City, visitors can check out Liberty Park (1.7 mi) and Utah State Capitol (2.2 mi), some of Salt Lake City's top attractions. The rooms come with air conditioning and a TV, and getting online is possible, as free wifi is available, allowing you to rest and refresh with ease.
If you're looking for a clean, no-frills hotel at a reasonable price, the evo Hotel is the perfect option for you. The evo Hotel is located in downtown Salt Lake City. The rooms are modern and clean. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, making this a great choice if you'll be visiting during the winter months when you may not want to spend much time outdoors.
The staff is friendly and helpful. The evo Hotel allows pets, which can be reassuring if you're like us and prefer traveling with your dog by your side (as long as Fido's well behaved!). As an added convenience, there's an on-site restaurant that serves tasty food and drinks.
The Peery Salt Lake City Downtown Hotel is an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for a hotel in the center of downtown. The hotel borders Temple Square, meaning that you can reach most of the city's attractions via foot.
The hotel is also close to several restaurants, bars, and shops. Local attractions include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah State Capitol Building. All rooms have large beds, a TV and refrigerator. Many rooms have private balconies with a view of Temple Square or another part of the city. Some guests complain that the restaurant charges too much money for its food and drinks, though there are plenty of affordable options nearby.
At $224 per night, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Salt Lake City is a great option for travelers who are looking for a modern and sleek hotel with an unbeatable location. The hotel has received rave reviews from previous visitors, who were impressed by the friendly staff and comfortable accommodations.
The hotel is located in Sugar House, a hip neighborhood that boasts numerous restaurants and shops. The nearby Sugar House Park is perfect for those who want to spend some time outdoors. The best part? They're pet-friendly!
The Grand America Hotel is the most luxurious of the hotels in Salt Lake City. It commands a five-star rating, and boasts plenty of amenities to keep you occupied. This hotel is also only 3.5 miles from Salt Lake International Airport, so it's very accessible.
This hotel contains 5 restaurants and bars, including a steakhouse and an Italian restaurant with a "view." If you're looking to spend some time relaxing during your stay, you'll love the spa that offers massages, facials and stone therapy treatments. The Grand America also features an indoor pool for those who wish to take a dip. If you plan on driving anywhere during your stay at The Grand America, you can enjoy free valet parking! If you want to stay in the lap of luxury while in Salt Lake City, book a room here.
Hopefully, you will have all the information you need to start planning your trip to Salt Lake City. If you haven't been there yet, then this will serve as a great guide and help answer any questions that you may have about visiting. If you just want to plan a weekend getaway or even a vacation destination, Salt Lake City is definitely worthy of some serious consideration for your next trip. You will not regret making the visit!
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