11 Things to Do in Salt Lake City, Utah

Gateway to some of America's most stunning national parks and home to Temple Square, Salt Lake City offers endless options for outdoor enthusiasts as well as cultural art lovers, families and history buffs.
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Culture and Arts

1. Capitol Theatre and Eccles Theatre

Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City.

Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City.

Built in 1913, the Capitol Theatre is home to the Utah Opera but hosts everything from comedians to large-scale productions. Built far more recently in 2016, the Eccles Theatre hosts Broadway shows like Hamilton, along with concerts. It's designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli. It has a six-story grand lobby and seats 2,500 people. 

2. Historic Temple Square

Temple Square in Salt Lake City

Temple Square in Salt Lake City

This iconic attraction includes the temple, gardens and historic tours, although the temple itself is closed to tours. Read more. While non-Mormons cannot enter the temple on site, there are gorgeous gardens to explore and historic tours to go on to learn more about the area, including the Family Search Center.  

3. Family Search Center

This is the place to go for beginners wanting to research their family. It's family friendly and is staffed with helpful volunteers who can help you uncover your family tree. 

Family-Friendly

4. Gilgal Scupture Garden

Sculpture of Joseph Smith's head on a sphynx at the Gilgal Sculpture Garden.

Sculpture of Joseph Smith's head on a sphynx at the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. 

Filled with 70 eccentric sculptures, including Joseph Smith's head on a sphynx, this small city park is free.

5. Natural History Museum of Utah

Exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City. Photo by David Krause

Exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City.

Located at the University of Utah's Rio Tinto Center, the Natural History Museum of Utah features exhibits and interactive displays about Utah's geology, ecology, and paleontology. The site of the museum in the Wasatch foothills adjoins several trailheads, and displays invite visitors to step outside as part of their tour. Admission is $11 for adults; $8 for children ages 3-12. Location: 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wed. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (nhmu.utah.edu)

6. Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra. 

This world-famous group holds free, public rehearsals on Thursday evenings in Temple Square.

7. Hogle Zoo

The Hogle Zoo. Photo courtesy of the Utah Office of Tourism

The Hogle Zoo. 

Home to more than 800 animals, this easy-to-navigate zoo offers opportunities to feed a rhino. Spanning 42 acres, it is home to grizzly bears, polar bears, lions, giraffes and more. You can even sign up for a special tour with a zoo keeper to have an up-close experience with the animals. One hundred percent of the funds for these tours goes directly to save animals in the wild. 

Outdoors

8. Antelope Island

Antelope Island on Utah's Great Salt Lake

Antelope Island on Utah's Great Salt Lake

As the largest island on the Great Salt Lake, Antelope is a major Pacific Flyway stop. The 28,000-acre Antelope Island State Park offers bird-watching information at the visitor center and a network of trails. Admission is $9 per vehicle. The island is located 41 miles north of Salt Lake City and accessible via causeway. Take exit 332 off I-15 and follow signs to Antelope Island. Open daily 7 a.m. to dusk.

9. Big Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City in Utah

Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City in Utah

A National Scenic Byway, the 15-mile drive (one way) up Big Cottonwood Canyon climbs from Salt Lake high into the mountains. Trailheads on this road are part of Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Hike to Dog Lake, Lake Blanche under Sundial Peak, or Donut Falls. From Salt Lake City, take I-215 to 6200 South (the "Canyons" exit). Continue east on UT 152, following signs for Brighton Ski Area.

10. Red Butte Garden

The Middle Pond area of Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City.

The Middle Pond area of Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. 

Located in the Wasatch foothills, this botanic garden offers outdoor yoga seasonally and live concerts.

11. Utah Olympic Park

A father and daughter ride the alpine slide at Utah Olympic Park. Photo courtesy of Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation

A father and daughter ride the alpine slide at Utah Olympic Park. 

Ride on a bobsled, alpine slide or zipline at this fun, family-oriented park. It's located in Park City, Utah, just a 30-minute drive from Salt Lake City. While it is a year-round attraction, it originally was a winter sports park built for the 2002 Winter Olympics. 

For more information:
Visit Salt Lake
(800) 541-4955
visitsaltlake.com

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