There are plenty of fun things to do in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah in the USA. It’s an interesting blend of traditional Mormon faith, metropolitan style, and stunning natural beauty. It’s impossible to miss the impressive Temple Square, which has plenty of religious sites of the Mormon Church.

    The city also has many great museums and beautiful parks. The opportunities for outdoor activities are endless, thanks to miles of hiking trails and nearby ski resorts. You’ll never feel too far from nature in Salt Lake City. Whether you're up for active outdoor activities or prefer to explore the shopping and vibrant nightlife along Main Street, our guide to the best things to do in Salt Lake City has got your covered.

    What are the best things to do in Salt Lake City?

    1

    Salt Lake Temple

    Explore the largest church of the Mormons

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Salt Lake Temple is the largest temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or more commonly known as the Mormon Church. The huge granite structure is the centrepiece of the 4-ha Temple Square in the middle of Salt Lake City.

    Besides serving as the headquarters of the religion, it’s also where the governing body known as the Council of the Twelve Apostles convenes. Entrance to the temple is reserved for faithful members of the church, who participate in religious ceremonies. However, you can enjoy the beautiful grounds and enter the South Visitors Center, where you can learn more about the temple.

    Location: 50 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 801-240-2640

    2

    Salt Lake Tabernacle

    Watch a rehearsal of the famous Tabernacle Choir

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    The Salt Lake Tabernacle was built within Temple Square as a place for recitals of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or commonly known as the Mormon Church. The large auditorium was completed in 1867, with a dome-shaped main hall innovatively designed so that it’s acoustically sensitive to even a drop of a pin.

    One of its most striking features is the 11,623-pipe organ that covers the front of the tabernacle. If you time your visit at midday, you can hear the daily organ recital. Perhaps more impressive is the weekly rehearsals of the famous Tabernacle Choir, which takes place on Thursday evenings. The choir consists of around 360 volunteers from the church.

    Location: 50 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 801-240-2534

    Map
    3

    City Creek Center

    A central spot for some retail therapy

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    The City Creek Center is a world-class shopping and casual dining complex in downtown Salt Lake City. The modern, open-air mall has a central garden and fountain area and high glass-covered ceilings.

    Inside, you can find world-renowned fashion brands from fast fashion to luxury designer houses, and everything in between. Dining options are also varied with casual Japanese at Osaka Japan to a more upmarket steakhouse at Texas de Brazil. You can find something for almost every budget, style, and flavour at the City Creek Center.

    Location: 50 South Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA

    Open: Sunday–Friday from 11 am to 7 pm (closed on Saturdays)

    Phone: +1 801-521-2012

    Map

    photo by Jordan W (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Natural History Museum of Utah

    Explore one of the finest natural history museums in the country

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    The Natural History Museum of Utah has more than 40,000 sq ft of displays with 5,000 items exhibited year-round. The museum has informative and interactive exhibits on the region’s parks and natural land formations, as well as on anthropology, zoology, botany, and mineralogy.

    A highlight of the museum is the exhibit on the Great Salt Lake, which explains the region's unique landscape of which the city is named after. There's plenty of hands-on exhibitions for children, making it a popular place to visit for families.

    Location: 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 801-581-6927

    Map

    photo by gillfoto (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    5

    Red Butte Garden

    Spend a summer evening at an outdoor concert

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    Red Butte Garden is a beautiful 100-acre botanical garden on the University of Utah campus grounds in northeast Salt Lake City. It’s a community-funded space with extensive plant collections and manicured gardens, along with 5 miles of walking trails in the nearby foothills.

    Red Butte Garden also offers many educational and entertainment programs throughout the year, including horticulture classes, art exhibitions, and outdoor concerts in the warmer months. The summer concert series is particularly popular, and you need to secure tickets early – you can view the upcoming line-up online.

    Location: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA

    Open: January–March and October–December: daily from 9 am to 5 pm. April and September: daily from 9 am to 7.30 pm. May-August: daily from 9 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 801-585-0556

    Map
    6

    Hogle Zoo

    Spend time admiring animals from all around the world

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Hogle Zoo stretches across 42 acres of land and is home to more than 800 animals from all around the world. The zoo is easily accessible from downtown Salt Lake City, located on the eastern fringes of the urban area at the opening of Emigration Canyon.

    The grounds are divided into different sections such as the Asian Highlands, Primate Forest, Rocky Shores, and African Savannah. The exhibits allow you to get as close to the animals as possible. You can also feed the zoo’s giraffes, rhinos, and gorillas for an extra fee.

    Location: 2600 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA

    Open: March–October: daily from 9 am to 6 pm. November–February: daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 801-584-1700

    Map
    7

    Liberty Park

    Get active in the city’s largest park

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Liberty Park covers an incredible 80 acres of land in the heart of Salt Lake City. It’s the largest park in the urban area, making it a popular spot for getting active, no matter your preferred activity.

    There’s a large network of walking and cycling paths, as well as recreational grounds like a basketball court and swimming pool. If you’re after something more relaxing, you can also explore the Tracy Aviary, one of the oldest aviaries in the world, or have a picnic under the tree canopies.

    Location: 600 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 801-972-7800

    Map
    8

    Wheeler Historic Farm

    Visit an old working farm in the city for a day

    • Families
    • History

    The Wheeler Historic Farm has been a working farm since the 1850s, now serving as a public agricultural museum and recreation site in Utah. The 75-acre farm includes a milking parlour and historic garage and farmstead that is used to demonstrate the agricultural history of the region.

    You can take a tour of the farmhouse, watch a cow-milking demonstration, and climb aboard a tractor-drawn wagon for a tour of the farmland. Part of the property is also a public garden that’s open every day from dawn until dusk. It has a playground and picnic area for families to enjoy at their leisure.

    Location: 6351 South 900 East St, Murray, UT 84121, USA

    Open: April–October: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm. November–March: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 385-468-1755

    Map

    photo by David Jay Fullmer (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Big Cottonwood Canyon

    Hiking or skiing day trips in a picturesque canyon

    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Big Cottonwood Canyon, located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, is just a 30-minute drive from Salt Lake City. It was a rich source of gold and silver in the mid-1800s – you can still see remnants of the old mines in the area.

    Today, the incredibly stunning natural landscape is popular for hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking for adventurous travellers. There are also nearby ski resorts at Solitude and Brighton, which offer year-round facilities. If you prefer not to get out of your car, then you can also take in the views on the 15-mile scenic drive through the canyon, which takes about 1 hour to complete.

    Location: 4010-4120 Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121, USA

    Open: 24/7

    Map
    10

    Main Street

    Spend the night bar-hopping down Main Street

    • Nightlife

    Main Street, running immediately south of Temple Square, attracts those looking to enjoy a fun night out in Salt Lake City. The long street is home to some of the best live music venues, bars, and restaurants in the city.

    Eccles Theatre is a 2,500-seater performing arts centre which has always got something on, from Broadway plays to stand-up comedy and music concerts. Across the road from the theatre, you can start your bar-hopping at Beerhive Pub, a classic and cosy establishment with retro décor and a wide range of craft beers. For something a little different, walk a little further to Keys on Main, where you can enjoy duelling piano performances and inventive cocktails.

    Location: South Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA

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    Elisha Donkin | Contributing Writer

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