What To Do in Salt Lake City
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 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 Vivint Smart Home 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 Smith's Ballpark, 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 qualified for BCS bowl games on a couple of occasions, before the recent advent of the College Football Playoff system.
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 and its more luxurious sister property, the Grand America. All provide full-service hotel options. There are also budget 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.
One of the top local eating establishments is Maxwell's East Coast Eatery. This restaurant offers tasty Italian fare, including some really large individual slices of pizza that start at $3 before adding toppings. Maxwell's has been featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and is definitely worth a visit.
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. 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 along with quick-service restaurants.
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 only $5 for a round-trip ticket. The city is one of the cleanest larger cities in the United States and it is quite safe, with little police presence noticeable, unlike many other major cities. It is definitely a place for a good family vacation that will leave visitors far from bored.