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Things To Do In Salt Lake City, Utah


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Daniel Grenier

Aerial View of Salt Lake City
Photo By: lassensurf / 20 immagini on Pixabay

Salt Lake City is frequently used as a gateway to iconic destinations in the Western United States. However, travelers discover a city rich with vibrant neighbourhoods, fascinating history, and beautiful architecture when they are here.


A pit stop in Salt Lake City is a must for any itinerary trekking through the wild west. From world-class museums to peaceful green escapes, Salt Lake City is a treasure waiting to be discovered.


And of course, some of the most scenic ski resorts in the United States are on the city’s doorstep.


Admire the stunning views of the mountains and learn about the pioneers who settled the land in the 19th century. Starting from the illustrious Salt Lake Temple, meander along the streets of Salt Lake City for a fun-filled city adventure.



Admire The Spectacular Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple

Photo By: jp26jp on Pixabay


This iconic building served as the foundation of Salt Lake City!


The glorious structure is the largest temple ever constructed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Dedicated in 1893, the enthralling church of neo-gothic design is a pilgrimage site for Mormons worldwide. At this site, Brigham Young laid out the framework of the city with the Salt Lake Temple as its centrepiece.


Today, the 222-foot masterpiece teeming with mesmerizing symbolism is among the top free things to do in Salt Lake City. There is no cost to enter the building and you can customize your trip online when booking.


Whether your interest is astonishing architecture or historical landmarks, the Salt Lake Temple is one of the unmissable places to see in Utah.


*Make note that the Salt Lake Temple will close on December 29, 2019, for renovations expecting to last upwards of four years.



Explore The History Of Temple Square

Assembly Hall - Temple Square

Photo By: Ken Lund on Flickr


Surrounding the awe-inspiring Salt Lake Temple, this dazzling 10-acre piece of landscape is the lifeblood of Salt Lake City.


The Temple Square is a cornerstone of Salt Lake City as annual conferences host thousands of guests. Similarly, the square serves as a base for the naming of all the streets in the city.


Owned by the LDS Church, the Temple Square provides a buzzing atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. Gaze at the domed Salt Lake Tabernacle and the Gothic-styled Assembly Hall.


Spice up your weekends with some entertainment as concerts at Assembly Hall are one of the exciting free things to do Salt Lake City. Likewise, free walking tours throughout the complex make the Temple Square one of the easiest Utah attractions to visit.



Listen To The Choir At The Salt Lake Tabernacle

Organ at Salt Lake Tabernacle

Photo By: Robert Cutts on Flickr


The beautiful sandstone structure has a storied history in the LDS Church. Built in the 1860s, the Tabernacle served as the location of the church’s semi-annual conferences for over 100 years.


Eventually, the building was transformed to the home of the world famous Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Inside, visitors marvel at the talented performers and the massive 11,623 pipe organ.


The unique design of the building has inspired travelers for generations and creates enchanting acoustics on the inside. As a result, a performance by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is one of most magical things to do in Salt Lake City.



 Sprawl Out At The Utah State Capitol Building

Utah State Capitol

Photo By: rmartins759 on Pixabay


Sunny days are meant for the outdoors and the Utah State Capitol complex is a picturesque location to spend the day. The open green spaces in front of the Neoclassical building are the perfect place to take in the scenic views of the Wasatch Mountains.


Simultaneously, visitors can meander through the magnificent halls to view stunning artwork. The architectural masterpiece has enthralled visitors for over 100 years and has been compared to the Parthenon in Greece.


In addition, the center of Utah politics is one of the most incredible free things to do in Salt Lake City. Free guided tours welcome guests throughout the week to witness the astonishing murals, statues, and detailed columns. The similarities to the U.S. Capitol Building are striking when witnessing its grandeur.


A trip to this breathtaking Utah attraction is best at sunset with the sun dipping below the mountaintops.



See Nature’s Beauty At The Natural History Museum Of Utah

Dinosaur Skulls at the Natural History Museum of Utah

Photo By: InSapphoWeTrust on Flickr


The natural world is full of spectacular wonders and a trip to this bewildering museum is a must in Salt Lake City for nature lovers.


Take in the sights of marvelous minerals, flora, and other groundbreaking discoveries made in Utah. In particular, the dinosaur exhibit is one of the most mind-blowing attractions in Utah. The state is filled with dinosaur fossils and the museum has an elegant display for the world to see.


Also, an extensive collection of Native American artifacts shines a light on an amazing culture. Gain an exclusive look at Utah’s extraordinary history through interactive exhibits that span millions of years.


From prehistoric animals to the formation of the mighty Salt Lake, learn what has shaped Utah’s diverse environment today.



Soak Up Culture At The Utah Museum Of Fine Arts

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Photo By: Edgar Zuniga Jr. on Flickr


Located at the University of Utah, the museum has an eclectic array of visual representations.


From ancient treasures to modernistic styles, the thousands of authentic pieces of art will inspire you. Spot items from America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania when you tour the facility.


The collection in Salt Lake City is one of the most extensive in the region and offers plentiful activities to interpret brilliant human creations. Join a gallery tour or walk through captivating exhibits to feel inspired at this cultural gem.



Meet Wildlife At Hogle Zoo

Rhinos at Hogle Zoo

Photo By: Ken Lund on Flickr


Behold many animals from different corners of the globe! The Hogle Zoo is one of the most riveting places to see in Utah and is fun for the whole family.


The property stretches 42 acres of land and contains roughly 250 species of animals. Nestled along Emigration Canyon, the zoo provides a diverse living space to create natural habitats for each species.


Guests will encounter lions, zebras, ostriches, and many more amazing creatures. You certainly will not want to miss the zoo’s African Savanna exhibit with numerous animals from the grasslands.


Those with youngsters can provide an enriching educational opportunity to learn about the importance of preserving the environment. Particularly, classes geared towards children provide great benefit to molding young minds.



Bask In The Sunlight At Liberty Park


Liberty Park

Photo By: Argyleist on Flickr


Skip over to the original location of Hogle Zoo for a serene green escape in Salt Lake City!


This extensive urban park is filled with lush trees, idyllic ponds, and winding footpaths to hike. Nestled in downtown Salt Lake City, the park is a convenient location for an afternoon picnic.


Recreational activities are everywhere throughout the park including swimming pools, basketball courts, and paddle boats. Go for a jog or simply relax under the sun to enjoy the outdoors.


Before leaving the park, visit the Tracy Aviary to witness the hundreds of bird species that call Salt Lake City home.



Smell The Flowers At The Red Butte Garden And Arboretum


Red Butte Garden

Photo By: Andrey Zharkikh on Flickr


Utah’s lavish botanical garden is home to a radiant collection of flora and vegetation. Lace up your hiking shoes as there are miles of invigorating footpaths winding through the gardens.


Wander through the beautifully decorated themed gardens and catch glimpses of enchanting waterfalls.


Nearby, check out the amphitheatre and arboretum that includes many native species of trees surrounding Salt Lake City.


With the Wasatch Mountains creating a gorgeous backdrop, the botanical gardens are one of the most tranquil settings in Salt Lake City.



Cast Away At The Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake

Photo By: AnnicaB on Pixabay


A trip to Salt Lake City is not complete without a visit to the enormous lake synonymous with its name. The biggest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere is one of the most alluring places to see in Utah.


Epic legends abound about the origins of this massive lake that was once believed to be connected to the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, the extravagant body of water was created by the remains of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville. The myths surrounding the legendary Salt Lake have shaped Utah culture for generations.


Today, the lake creates a pristine atmosphere for nature dwellers to hike or cycle with mountaintops in the distance. Swimming is popular as the buoyancy of the water allows you to float on the surface.


Head to the marina and hitch a ride on a boat to sail around the lake. The transparent waters reflecting images along the surface will take your breath away.



Take A Scenic Drive To Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Photo By: Ken Lund on Flickr


Staying with our nature oriented theme, this rocky paradise is a thrill for nature lovers! Just southeast of Salt Lake City, you are a short drive from one epic expedition after another.


If you crave the warmth of the sun, take a crack at rock climbing or go for a challenging hike. Camping and fishing are especially popular among visitors during the summer.


On the other hand, wintertime is perfect for skiers and snowboarders. Cottonwood has two exhilarating ski resorts that create chilly days of fun.


This 15-mile long canyon is one of the most fun things to do in Utah and is a special day trip just outside of Salt Lake City.




Hit The Slopes At The Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort

Photo By: Tyson Dudley on Unsplash


Salt Lake City is primetime location for wintery fun on the mountains! If you are craving adventurous things to do in Salt Lake City, a ski expedition is calling your name.


The Snowbird is a hub for all skill levels and is home to some of the best slopes in the United States. For advanced skiers and snowboarders, the death defying 3,240-foot vertical drop will put your skills to the test.


Conversely, summer goers can have equally as much joy at Snowbird! Zoom through biking trails, race along a zip line, or hop on a picturesque tram ride to Hidden Peak.


Winter or summer, Snowbird is a Utah attraction that is not to be missed!



Explore The Mysteries Of Space At The Clark Planetarium

Display at Clark Planetarium

Photo By: denebola2025 on Flickr


Replacing the iconic Hansen Planetarium, the Clark Planetarium allows those interested in the complexities of space to gaze at the galaxy.


The technologically advanced IMAX theater features a domed roof and has exciting interactive controls. The picture quality is out of this world and creates a stunning display of the solar system.


Likewise, exhibits in the planetarium such as Science on a Sphere and Earth Globe will make your heart race.


Finally, feast your eyes on a rock sample straight from the moon which is proudly on display.



Go Back In Time At The Old Deseret Village

Old Deseret Village

Photo By: Ken Lund on Flickr


The quaint, remodeled 19th century village depicts life for the pioneers who founded Salt Lake City. Adjacent to the This Is the Place Monument, the community is distinctly decorated with cozy cottages, old streets, and volunteers dressed in the fashion of the day.


The authentic buildings give you a firsthand glance of life in Salt Lake City during its founding in the mid-1800s. From sturdy oxen to rolling tumbleweeds, watch the wild west come back to life in Salt Lake City.


Learn more about the life of the pioneers as the volunteers give you the grand tour of the village.


Discover Salt Lake City Today!


Before you pack the skis or lace up the hiking boots, spend some time relishing the magic of Salt Lake City. Dive into the history of the pioneers who created this enchanting settlement bordering the majestic Salt Lake.


A few days strolling the streets of Salt Lake City is a treat for travelers on any budget. Find tons of free things to do in Salt Lake City such as the astonishing Salt Lake Temple or vibrant Temple Square.


Treasures of Mother Nature and human innovation have made their home in Salt Lake City. The numerous museums lining the city provide locals and visitors a plethora of unbelievable knowledge.


Add Salt Lake City to your list of places to see in Utah and explore one of the most enthralling city destinations in the United States.