What Makes Salt Lake City Worth Visiting? Our Top 5 Reasons

The Salt Lake City View

Even if you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City is a place that is worth visiting. There are many great things to see in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City is centered around Temple Square for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a visitor, there are great things to see at Temple Square. The Great Salt Lake is a fantastic recreation area where you can see wildlife. Salt Lake City and Utah are famous for their majestic mountains and the Great Outdoors. There are museums and theatres you can visit in Salt Lake City.

Here are some of our top 5 attractions:

Temple Square

No visit to Salt Lake City would be complete without visiting Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Temple Square is at the heart of the city center.

Temple square is a three-block area with a 35-acre plaza. It is home to nearly 20 different attractions related to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

At the heart of Temple Square is the Salt Lake Temple. Only worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can go inside the Temple, but you can walk around the beautiful temple grounds.

Thorvaldsen's Christus
A replica of Thorvaldsen’s Christus, commissioned by LDS Church

Go into the visitors center and see the impressive Christus Statue, a copy from the one Bertelsmann Thorvaldsen produced for a church in Denmark. The statue is one of a few Christus statues in the United States.

The Temple Square has a new Conference Center, an older Tabernacle, and a Gothic-style Assembly Hall. Many times you can catch a free concert or program in these buildings.

Next to the Temple Square is the Joseph Smith building, the former Hotel Utah. You can take a tour of this historic building.

The Lion House is also worth a visit. It is the family home of Brigham Young, the first governor of Utah and the second President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lion house has a beautiful restaurant famous for its Lion House dinner rolls.

A visit to Temple square is entirely free.

The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake State Park
The Great Salt Lake State Park

The Great Salt Lake is about 1,700 square miles; the lake’s size can fluctuate due to the low average depth of the lake which is only 16 feet (4.9 meters).

The Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. This lake is unique because of the water’s salty nature; it is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere.

The Great Salt Lake is, as the name implies, a very salty lake. The waters of the lake are more saline than seawater; because it is so salty when you swim in the lake that you are extra buoyant and float on the surface.

The lake has many hiking trails, picnic spots, boating, and fishing.

The lake has been called “America’s Dead Sea.” The Great Salt Lake is also a great place to spot all kinds of wildlife. The lake has native birds, brine shrimp, shorebirds, and waterfowl.

In the Great Salt Lake area, Antelope Island is a favorite spot to go to. There is a state park there called Antelope State Park that has a lot of wildlife. The island is the spot where you can see a lot of nature, including deer, bobcats, and the American bison.

The Great Outdoors

Zion and Bryce: The Great Outdoors
Zion and Bryce: The Great Outdoors

You cannot talk about this in Salt Lake City without talking about the great outdoors. This is because Salt Lake City and Utah offer a lot of great outdoor adventures.

Salt Lake is in the valley of some of the great Rocky Mountains. So if you’d like to hike or want to explore the mountains, there are plenty of areas where you can do so. There are also beautiful canyons throughout the place that you can visit and explore.

Liberty Lake by Argyleist
Liberty Lake by Argyleist

If you’re looking for the great outdoors without even having to leave the city limits of Salt Lake City, then head over to Liberty Park. It is 80 acres of outdoorsy activities from pons, bike paths, concession stands, good picnic areas, playgrounds, tennis, and volleyball courts. There’s also an Avery and a greenhouse.

The Red Butte Garden, Salt Lake City
Red Butte Garden, Salt Lake City

Also, consider going to the Red Butte Garden. The Red Butte Garden is an excellent place for botanists or if you are looking for a quiet spot. The Red Butte Garden is right off the University of Utah campus in North West Salt Lake City. A fantastic place for anyone to visit that enjoys the outdoors.

Visit A Museum

Salt Lake City is also a city that is filled with a lot of top museums. Many of these museums are world-class and more accessible to see than other major cities in the United States. If you are a museum lover, Salt Lake City is a place to go.

Here are some of our top museums for you to visit:

Natural History Museum of Utah
Natural History Museum of Utah by Jeff Goldberg / Esto
  • Natural History Museum of Utah – This museum is beautifully plan designed and it focuses on the Salt Lake City region fossils geology wildlife and environment. If you are a rock bath and love geology this is a place to go.
Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune
Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Patrons walk under the Solar System at the Clark Planetarium at The Gateway in Salt Lake City, Utah Tuesday March 26, 2013.
  • Clark Planetarium – The Clark planetarium is a great place for children to go. There’s some great exhibitions for kids and people of all ages.
Front View of Wheeler Historic Farm
Front View of Wheeler Historic Farm
  • Wheeler Historic Farm – If you’d like to see some farm life then head over to the Willie store farm which will have animals and crafts and all kinds of historic farm life.
Inside the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum
Inside the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum
  • Land Cruiser Heritage Museum – If your car bath or car lover this is the place called this has a huge collection of utility cars throughout history.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Church History Museum – This is a museum for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it’s a worthwhile museum to visit especially when you are in the Utah area to be able to understand more about the history of Salt Lake, Utah and The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.
Outside View of Pioneer Memorial Museum by Another Believer
  • Pioneer Memorial Museum – The Pioneer museum is filled with artifacts from Utah and Salt Lake City’s pioneer past. Quilts, wagon, toys, chairs, maps, china, eyeglass – all and everything from Utah’s pioneer past is in this museum.

Explore the Arts

Salt Lake City is also a city that is filled with arts. Besides the Mormon enact Mormon Tabernacle Choir that is now known as the church choir, you can find a lot of other great performances within the city.

Here are some of our favorites

The Temple Square
  • Spoken Word – On a Sunday morning head over to the temple square and listen to the church choir formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform for the television program the spoken word. This is a highly rated program that many times features some top guest artist. Attendance is free.
  • Music On Temple Square – Also while at Temple Square see what other free performances are being offered. You may find an organ recital or other musical events taking place.
  • Eccles Theater – This one of Salt Lake City’s new theatres that is bringing in some top rated shows and talent to the Salt Lake City area.
  • Capital Theatre – Capital theatre is also in downtown Salt Lake City and has been at the center of the Salt Lake City Arts community since 1913. The Capital Theatre is a treasured landmark that has theater, dance, opera, music and film. You may find a performance of Salt Lake City’s Ballet West at the Theatre.

Salt Lake City is a great city to visit. It is worth the visit as the city and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer its visitors. There is something for everyone to do in Salt Lake City.

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Is Salt Lake City Religious?

About 73% of the Salt Lake City population identify with a religion. Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only about 50% of the population of Salt Lake City are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

You can learn more by reading Is Salt Lake City Religious? by clicking here.

Salt Lake City Utah And Homelessness

Salt Lake City and the state of Utah have been quite successful and have seen a decrease in their homeless population over the last few years. There are many reasons for this, and one of them is that the state and city have worked together to find more affordable housing and beds for the homelessness issue.

To learn more, you can read our blog on Salt Lake City, Utah, And Homelessness by clicking here.

Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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What Makes Salt Lake City Worth Visiting?