Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah in the western U.S., was the site of the 19th Winter Olympic Games and is home to treasure-filled museums, expansive shopping centers and a colorful city life.
Along with the range of activities now available to visitors at the Olympic venues, the Salt Lake area offers so many other attractions. Plus, it’s easy to get to via Salt Lake City International Airport. It is the perfect trip to add to your “must-visit” list.
Cultural Icons of the City
There are two cultural icons in Salt Lake City that you can’t miss. One is The Natural History Museum of Utah, which was founded in 1963. Its location in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, just a few kilometers from downtown Salt Lake, means you will have an amazing panoramic view from there. The museum’s exhibits represent a range of interests, including astronomy, geography, geology and biology. There are more than 5,000 artifacts, a scientists’ studio and a sand box for children to dig for buried fossils. There is even a coffee shop. You could spend an entire day here.
The other cultural icon is The Leonardo in downtown Salt Lake City. If you’re exploring Utah with children, this museum is recommended for its hands-on laboratories for math, science and art.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Utah is Temple Square in the center of Salt Lake City. It is the headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism. Temple Square has two visitors’ centers, North and South. In the North Visitors’ Center, there is a 3-meter statue of Jesus Christ that looks like white jade, and it is definitely worth a look.
The design of the Tabernacle, also located in Temple Square, is ingenious. Its domed roof creates an echo so that a speaker’s voice can be heard in any corner of the building, even without a microphone. Here, listen to the symphony of sound from one of the world's greatest musical instruments, a magnificent pipe organ with 11,623 pipes. This unique structure is also home to the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Centers for Shopping
For upscale open-air shopping, head to City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City, one of the largest mixed-use urban renewal projects in the United States. The center has many stores, such as Nordstrom’s, Macy's, Tiffany & Co, Michael Kors, Coach, Tumi and more than 100 others. It is also home to several restaurants. Nearby Tanger Outlets in Park City also offers a wide range of luxury retailers at incredible discount prices. It has loads of factory outlets, so prepare for a fully immersed shopping paradise.
Dining and Attractions
Before you head back to Salt Lake City, wander over to Main Street in Park City to stop by independent boutiques and locally owned restaurants. And if you’re looking for a unique attraction here, visit the Utah Olympic Park. There are gigantic bobsleds and ski jumps, zip lines, an obstacle course and plenty more. After a day of culture and shopping, no need to worry about finding the right restaurant. A wide variety of restaurants offer all kinds of cuisines and different styles of bars, some accompanied by music so you can enjoy dancing with friends. If you choose to visit Squatters Pub Brewing, you'll find delicious food and a selection of their own locally brewed beer.
With museums, tempting shopping centers and colorful nightlife beckoning, what are you waiting for? The Salt Lake City area is definitely worth visiting.