Skiing and snowboarding. Hiking and biking. Visiting national and state parks and monuments.
When people think of things to do in Utah, most think about the mountains and outdoor adventure-related activities. And while the outdoors are beautiful, there is so much more to see and do, whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or not, especially in the culturally diverse capital of Salt Lake City.
1. Discover your story.
Did you know that Salt Lake is the genealogy capital of the world? And that it’s home to the largest genealogical library in the world? The Family History Library, located downtown on Temple Square, is a genealogical research facility operated by FamilySearch, a genealogical organization operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It provides experienced guides and genealogists, as well as a family-friendly and fun Discovery Center, that allows you to learn more about who you are and where you came from, all free of charge.
2. Float in salt water.
You don’t need to travel to a coastal city to enjoy a relaxing float in a body of salt water. The Great Salt Lake—bigger than the state of Rhode Island—is a saline lake that is approximately 10 times denser than a normal ocean, which allows you to easily float in it. The Great Salt Lake is a fun place for kids and adults alike to visit in the summertime to relax on a beach or in the warm water and enjoy the scenery around you.
3. Eat your way through a somewhat secret food scene (that’s now getting national attention).
Utah may have a reputation for casseroles, jello and fry sauce, but Salt Lake has a growing restaurant scene, especially downtown—a foodie scene that competes with even the best “big city” restaurants. From burgers to bakeries, pizza to Mexican food, every flavor of food trucks and more, anyone who wants to eat their way through the city will enjoy every bite at delicious SLC restaurants like Red Iguana, Valter’s Osteria, Sweet Lake Biscuits & Limeade and HSL.
4. Take in the arts.
You don’t have to spend a month’s worth of pay to travel to New York City to take in a broadway play or be confined to your couch yet again to watch your favorite musical or a rerun of an old comedic performance. The downtown and surrounding areas host top-notch theater, musical, opera, dance and film shows throughout the year. Catch a show at one of SLC’s renowned entertainment venues, like Abravanel Hall, Eccles Theater, Capitol Theatre and Hale Centre Theatre.
5. See the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West.
Salt Lake may be referred to by some as Small Lake City, but there’s nothing small about Red Butte Garden. With 21 acres of developed gardens, along with five miles of walking and hiking trails, it’s a beautiful outdoor sight to explore. Red Butte Garden also includes plant collections, exhibits, educational programs and an annual summer concert series.