16 Best Things To Do In Salt Lake City – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)

Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the American West.

The city is located in a large valley, the Salt Lake Valley, and sits at the south-eastern end of the Great Salt Lake, with the Wasatch mountain range to the east.

The city is best known for its world-famous ski resorts, but there are also many other attractions to keep visitors entertained.

In the winter, Salt Lake City is a mecca for skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.

And for those who don’t ski or snowboard, there are still plenty of things to do, like snowshoeing, sledding, and ice skating.

In the summer, Salt Lake City is the perfect place to escape the heat.

The city is surrounded by mountains, which provide a cool and refreshing respite from the hot desert sun.

There are also plenty of biking and hiking trails to explore, as well as numerous lakes and rivers for fishing, swimming, and kayaking.

Things To Do In Salt Lake City

1. Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon is a canyon in the Wasatch Mountain Range 12 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

The canyon is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and rock climbing.

The canyon is also home to a number of ski resorts, including Brighton Ski Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort.

The Big Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway is a designated National Scenic Byway that runs through the canyon.

The byway provides access to many of the canyon’s recreational opportunities, as well as several historical and cultural sites.

The name “Big Cottonwood” is derived from the large cottonwood trees that grow along the banks of the creek that runs through the canyon.

The creek is fed by several small lakes, including Silver Lake and Twin Lakes.

The beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon gives families and children of all ages the opportunity for numerous recreational opportunities and fresh air. The drive alone is a visual treat.

Address: Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake City, UT 84123

2. Natural History Museum of Utah

Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah is a museum dedicated to the natural history of Utah and the surrounding region.

The museum’s collections include more than 1.5 million specimens and artefacts, making it one of the largest natural history museums in the United States.

The museum is also home to a number of interactive exhibits, including a life-size replica of a dinosaurs footprint, a working seismograph, and a hands-on mineral gallery.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum also offers a variety of temporary exhibitions and public programs.

The Natural History Museum of Utah is filled with stories of living history that will educate and fascinate the entire family.

Address: Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

3. Hogle Zoo

Hogle Zoo

When visiting Salt Lake City, Utah’s Hogle zoo is one of the fun things to do for families.

Hogle Zoo dates from 1931 and is located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.

The Zoo is home to more than 800 animals, representing over 150 species.

The zoo’s collections include mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish and exotic animals.

The polar bears and sea lions are particularly popular.

The zoo also has a number of interactive exhibits, including a petting zoo, a bird sanctuary, and a reptile house.

In addition to its animal collections, the zoo also has a number of developed gardens, including a rose garden, an herb garden, and a native plant garden.

Hogle Zoo is a great day out, it is very family friendly and a great place to go any time of the year.

Address: Hogle Zoo, 2600 Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

4. Red Butte Garden

Red Butte Garden

Located just minutes away from downtown Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden features over 26,000 plants, including more than 3,000 rare and endangered species.

Red Butte Garden was founded in 1974 and is now one of the largest botanical gardens in the Western United States.

The garden covers 100 acres and is open to the public year-round.

The garden features a wide variety of plant life from all over the world, including desert plants, alpine plants, and wetland plants.

This stunning garden is divided into sections, each devoted to a specific type of plant or ecosystem.

There are also several themed gardens, such as the Children’s Garden, the Medicinal Plant Garden, and the Japanese Garden.

Most of the paths are easily walkable even for young children and the children’s garden offers a winding snake maze, a hobbit house and a sandbox.

Great for the whole family and so much to explore.

Address: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108

5. Utah State Capitol Building

Utah State Capitol Building

The Utah State Capitol Building is the seat of state government for Utah.

The building houses the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and other state officials.

The Utah State Legislature meets in the Capitol building, as do the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

The Capitol is located on Capitol Hill, which is also home to the Utah State Supreme Court and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

The Capitol was built between 1912 and 1916 and is made of granite from quarries in Vermont and New Hampshire.

In addition to being the seat of state government, the Capitol is also a popular tourist destination, with the building designed in the Neoclassical style and featuring a number of sculptures and murals.

The Capitol is open to the public year-round and offers guided tours, educational programs, and special events.

Address: Utah State Capitol Building, 350 N State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103

6. Temple Square

Temple Square

Temple Square is a 10-acre complex located in the center of Salt Lake City.

The complex is home to the Salt Lake Temple, the Salt Lake Tabernacle, and the Salt Lake Assembly Hall.

Dominated by a magnificent six-spired temple, the square is the symbolic heart of the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints.

Temple Square is also home to a number of other buildings and monuments, including the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Church History Museum, and the North Visitor’s Center.

Temple Square is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Utah and is open to the public year-round.

The square is also a popular venue for concerts, conventions, and other events.

Address: Temple Square, 50 N Temple St, Salt Lake City, UT 84150

7. International Peace Gardens

International Peace Gardens

The International Peace Gardens is a 12-acre garden tucked inside Salt Lake City’s Jordan Park.

Located just two miles from downtown, the gardens are a beautiful and unique attraction in the Salt Lake Valley, featuring maintained gardens representing 28 countries from around the world.

The garden was conceptualized in the year 1939 and was dedicated to International Peace in 1952 having been created with the aim of uniting different countries of the world.

Every nation is allotted a plot where they have created a picturesque landscape by using unique garden architecture and planting tress native to their respective land.

The Garden is open 8am to 8pm daily and the Café and Gift Shop are open 10am to 6pm.

Address: International Peace Gardens, 1160 Dalton Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84104

8. Clark Planetarium

Clark Planetarium

Located in downtown Salt Lake City, Clark Planetarium offers an out-of-this-world experience that is great for all ages.

The planetarium first opened in 1966 and was one of the first publicly funded planetariums in the United States.

It is named after its founder, Dr. David Clark, who was also the first director of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah.

The planetarium has three main theaters: the Hansen Dome Theater, the seated Space Theater, and the Infinitus Prime Digital Theater.

The Hansen Dome Theater is a 360-degree domed screen that projects images of stars, planets, and other astronomical objects.

The Space Theater is a traditional planetarium theater that uses projectors to show images of heavenly bodies on a dome-shaped screen.

The Infinitus Prime Digital Theater is a state-of-the-art digital theater that uses 4K projection and Dolby Atmos sound to create an immersive experience.

The planetarium also has several exhibits, including the Discovery Zone, which is an interactive area for children.

The Cosmic Connection Gallery, which features artwork and artefacts related to astronomy; and the Observatory, which houses a research-grade telescope.

Great for all the family, the Clark Planetarium also offers free interactive exhibits, plus educational shows in the IMAX and dome theatres.

Address: Clark Planetarium, 110 S 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

9. City Creek Center

City Creek Center

City Creek Center is a mixed-use development located in downtown Salt Lake City.

The center includes a retail mall, office towers, residential units, and a hotel.

The project was designed by internationally renowned architect Cesar Pelli and developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

City Creek Center is one of the most notable examples of urban redevelopment in the United States.

The retail component of the project includes over 100 stores and restaurants, including several high-end retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Nordstrom, and Macy’s.

The center also features a number of public spaces, including a creek with a walking path, a fountain plaza, and an amphitheater.

Address: City Creek Center, 50 S Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

10. Liberty Park

Liberty Park

Set on a plush 80 acres, Liberty Park is a green haven located on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.

This large city park is home to a number of features, including a pond, a splash pad, an aviary, a playground, and several statues and monuments.

The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and movies in the park.

Liberty Park is one of the most popular parks in Salt Lake City and is one of the city’s most beloved landmarks.

Address: Liberty Park, 600 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105

11. Tracy Aviary

Tracy Aviary

Tracy Aviary is a bird sanctuary that is home to over 150 birds from around the world, including flamingos, parrots, owls, eagles, and cranes.

The aviary offers a variety of public programs, including educational lectures, bird shows, and behind-the-scenes tours.

Tracy Aviary is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries in the United States and is one of the only urban aviaries in the country.

Great for a visit for any bird lover.

Address: Tracy Aviary, 589 E 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105

12. Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple

The Salt Lake Temple is the most prominent structure in Salt Lake City and the center of the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The temple was designed by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith and is one of the largest temples in the world.

The temple is not open to the public, but visitors are welcome to tour the grounds and visit the nearby Visitor’s Center.

The Visitor’s Center features exhibits on the history and beliefs of the LDS Church, as well as a scale model of the temple.

Address: Salt Lake Temple, 50 N Temple St, Salt Lake City, UT 84150

13. Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake in Utah and the western United States.

It is located in the northern part of the state, about 20 miles west of Salt Lake City.

The lake is a remnant of Lake Bonneville, which existed up to 18,000 years ago and was much larger than its present-day form.

Great Salt Lake is fed by several small rivers and streams; however, its main source of water is the Bear River, which flows into the lake from Idaho and Wyoming.

The high salinity of the lake’s water makes it uninhabitable for fish and most other aquatic life; however, brine shrimp thrive in its waters.

Due to its great depth, the lake is also one of the world’s deepest lakes, with a maximum depth of more than 1,700 feet.

The lake is saltier than seawater, with a concentration of 26%, or nearly nine times as salty.

This salinity makes for a very dense environment, which causes objects to float that would sink in freshwater.

The high density also causes waves to be smaller and less forceful than those of freshwater lakes.

The lake is world-renowned for its spectacular sunsets, which are a result of the refraction of sunlight off the salt crystals in the water.

Great Salt Lake is also home to several unique species of birds, including the American white pelican and the California gull.

The lake is an important stopover for migrating birds, and provides habitat for several million water birds, including the world’s largest breeding population of eared grebes.

Address: Great Salt Lake, Utah

14. Memory Grove Park

Memory Grove Park

Memory Grove Park is a small city park located in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood.

The park is home to a number of memorials, including the Utah Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the September 11th Memorial.

The park also features a creek with a walking path, a fountain plaza, and an amphitheatre.

Address: Memory Grove Park, 350 N State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103

15. Family History Library

Family History Library

The Family History Library is the largest genealogical library in the world and is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The library contains millions of records, including census data, birth and death records, marriage licenses, and immigration records.

The library is open to the public and offers a variety of resources and services to help people research their family history.

Address: Family History Library, 35 N West Temple St, Salt Lake City, UT 84150

16. City Creek Canyon

City Creek Canyon

City Creek Canyon is a canyon located in downtown Salt Lake City.

The canyon is home to a number of hiking and biking trails, as well as the City Creek, a stream that flows through the canyon.

The canyon is also home to the Red Butte Garden, a botanical garden featuring a variety of plants and flowers.

Address: 300 W North Temple St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103


Can you do anything on Salt Lake?

Salt lake and its islands offer residents and visitors opportunities to sail, kayak, float, birdwatch, hike, bike and more.

At the Great Salt Lake Marina you can launch a kayak or boat, go on a sunset cruise, or take in the spectacular view.

Is Salt Lake City downtown walkable?

The most walkable Salt Lake City neighborhoods are Central City, Rio Grande and Central City- Liberty Wells.

Salt Lake City has some public transportation and is very bikeable.

What can you do at Utah Olympic Park?

Experience the thrill of Bobsled, Zipline and Alpine Slide rides, or test your limits on the Adventure Courses, Drop Tower, and Extreme Tubing.

Is West Valley City the same as Salt Lake City?

West Valley, a suburb of Salt Lake City, is located in Utah’s Salt Lake County.

It’s situated about 8 miles southwest of Salt Lake City and 41 miles northwest of Provo.

Where is Park City in relation to Salt Lake City?

Park City is a town in Summit and Wasatch counties in the state of Utah. It is considered to be part of the Wasatch Back.

The city is 32 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City.

Where is the Joseph Smith Sphinx in Salt Lake City?

Gilgal Sculpture Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a quirky sculpture garden that features a Joseph Smith Sphinx and many other sculptures.


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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