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What To Do in Salt Lake City

Updated on January 14, 2015

Overview of Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the capital and largest city in the state of Utah. The city has a population of approximately 190,000. The city got its start when Brigham Young led early Mormons into the valley of the Great Salt Lake. There are impressive mountains on three sides of the city, and these provide a breathtaking backdrop. Two major interstate highways converge in Salt Lake City, I-15 and I-80.

The city is still the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Young's blueprint is evident even in the width of the streets. However, the Mormons make up less than one-half of the city's population today. Salt Lake is a major banking center. It was the host city of the 2002 Winter Olympics and has many opportunities for great skiing within a relatively short drive into the mountains. The Salt Lake City airport provides a gateway to the rest of the world, as it is one of the leading hubs for Delta Airlines. The city also provides a wonderful venue for conferences with the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Home of the Salt Lake Bees

Salt Lake Bees Baseball--Note Mountains in Background
Salt Lake Bees Baseball--Note Mountains in Background | Source

Sporting Events

Salt Lake City has some great opportunities for those who love sports. The only major league sports franchise that the city hosts is the Utah Jazz. While the Jazz have never won the NBA title, they did make the NBA Finals in both 1997 and 1998--losing to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls both times. The Jazz play in EnergySolutions Arena.

Major League Soccer also has a franchise that calls Salt Lake City home. Real Salt Lake won the MLS title in 2009, defeating the LA Galaxy. Real Salt Lake plays in the Rio Tinto Stadium.

Minor League baseball has a home in Salt Lake, as well. The Salt Lake Bees compete in the Pacific Coast League as the AAA farm team for the Los Angeles Angels. They utilize Spring Mobile Park, which has seating for 15,500 fans. The background for the stadium is the snow-capped mountains that ring Salt Lake City and provides a wonderful setting for a baseball game.

Salt Lake City is the home of the University of Utah, and fans of college sports will find ample opportunity to see plenty of games. The Utah Utes have been to the Final Four in men's basketball, losing in the championship game to Kentucky in the late 1990s and the football team has qualified for BCS bowl games on a couple of recent occasions.

Lodging and Restaurants

Downtown Salt Lake City boasts a variety of great accommodations. The city is home to several major hotel chains. Marriott and Hilton are among the leading hotels in town, as is the Little America Resort. All provide full-service hotel options. There are also hotels that do not boast as many amenities that can be had for a lower price.

Visitors can also check out a variety of restaurants in Salt Lake City. Many national chains are evident in the downtown area, as are some local restaurants of varying quality. Some of the national chains are on the high end of the cost spectrum, while there are also some more reasonable options.

Mormon Temple--Salt Lake City
Mormon Temple--Salt Lake City | Source

Things To Do in Salt Lake

There are many opportunities for outdoor recreation in Salt Lake City. Various hiking trails are in the area and a short drive from the downtown area. Several golf courses call Salt Lake City home and range in price from relatively inexpensive. One of the local golf courses, Wingpointe, actually borders the grounds of the SLC airport. Skiing is a great winter sport that is very accessible from Salt Lake City.

The City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City provides a great shopping experience with some higher class department stores and specialty shops.

Those with an interest in American religious history will definitely want to at least walk by the Mormon Temple grounds. The Mormon Temple is the center of the city and the street numbers radiate out from the Temple. The home of Brigham Young while governor of Utah Territory, the Beehive House is open to visitors to tour. The Mormons are currently involved in the largest genealogical project ever. Visitors can research their family history through the genealogy resources at the Family History Center. Finally, the grounds of the Utah State Capitol are just a few blocks from the Mormon Temple and open for visitors.

Getting around Salt Lake City is quite simple as there is a free light rail that travels through the downtown area every few minutes. Those who want to travel outside the free zone will have to pay to ride, but the fee is less than $5 for a round-trip ticket. The city is one of the cleanest larger cities in the United States and it seems to be quite safe, with little police presence noticeable, unlike many other major cities. It is definitely a place for a good family vacation that will not leave visitors bored.

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    • cprice75 profile image
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      cprice75 5 years ago from USA

      The light rail is definitely a great aspect to the city, although I read in the paper while I was there that they were thinking of getting rid of the free downtown to raise more revenue. Being originally from Appalachia, I thought it was great that I could walk about 1/2 mile on an 88-degree day and not break a sweat.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I have heard so much about this city and from what you have shared, it's certainly a good place to visit. The rail system is one that always makes a city tour pleasant as you save on travel expense.