The capital and most populous city of Utah, Salt Lake City goes beyond Mormon culture and tough liquor laws. With over 200 days of sunshine every year, ski resorts, salt flats and great restaurants, there are many wonderful things to do in Salt Lake City. At the top of our list? Great Salt Lake’s most famous phenomena, the fact that people can float with next to no effort simply because the lake is so dense with salt. If you prefer to stay indoors, explore the Natural History Museum of Utah or check out Temple Square – don’t worry, you don’t need to share the faith to visit. Without further ado, here are the six best things to do in Salt Lake City!
1. Great Salt Lake
There’s lots to do at Great Salt Lake, apart from the one-of-a-kind experience of swimming and floating in the lake. If you want to leave the shore without getting wet, you can rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard. For other ways to keep your feet dry, there are no hiking trails here per se, but there is a free audio tour that delves into the history of the state park. It leads you by the preserve’s award-winning visitor center, then on a one-mile boardwalk loop trail complete with a 30-foot-high wildlife viewing platform. The audio tour offers you a way to not only experience, but understand the wetlands.
2. Bonneville Salt Flats
As the ancient Lake Bonneville dwindled into what is now the Great Salt Lake, what’s left behind is the Bonneville Salt Flats. One of the most unique landscapes in the world, the Salt Flats consist of hard, white salt as far as the eye can see, covering much of the stretch between Salt Lake City and Wendover, Nevada. It’s no wonder so many car commercials and movies are shot here! If you’re going to visit, make sure to stay on public lands and travel responsibly.
3. Natural History Museum of Utah
If you’re into history, science and culture, then the Natural History Museum of Utah should be near the top of your list of things to do in Salt Lake City. It illuminates the natural world with a focus on the region’s past and the place of humans within it. There are ten permanent, interactive exhibitions that are worth revisiting time and time again. You can spend hours deep diving into one exhibition, or browsing through all of them in one visit. Everything from the seasons to Native American art, DNA and ecosystems, you’ll find them all here.
4. Temple Square
One of the most popular things to do in Salt Lake City is to check out Temple Square. With its imposing structure and beautiful architecture, you don’t need to be religious to appreciate the building and its attractions. You can do a free guided tour of the square, and other points of interest include the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall, which offer insight into the history of the church. You should also stop by the Family History Library, the largest genealogy library in the world!
5. Salt Lake Trolley Tours
The Salt Lake Trolley Tours is a sightseeing experience that you will never forget. Cruise through the historic districts of Salt Lake City on a one-of-a-kind sightseeing “show-tour” led by theatrical performers! Your charismatic conductor, along with his assistant and funny motorman, will delight you with dozens of historical tales in a theatrical fashion. It is an adventure filled with marvelous mansions, captivating cathedrals, and majestic mountain views.
6. Utah Olympic Park
Built for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the Utah Olympic Park offers a variety of summer and winter activities, such as ziplining, ski jumping and bobsledding. You can even have a go at aerial ski training in the splash pool if you dare! The nearly 400 acre venue houses one of only four sliding tracks in North America, six Nordic ski jumps, as well as a 2002 Winter Games museum.