What to do in Salt Lake City, UT

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Salt Lake Temple which includes heritage architecture and a church or cathedral

Salt Lake City Attractions

Salt Lake City has a reputation for being family friendly, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in this department. However, things to do in Salt Lake City, Utah, can appeal to any type of traveler. From casinos to national parks, there is a diverse array of activities in this city. Take a guided bike tour, visit your favorite underwater creatures at the nearby Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, or spend at day at the city’s namesake body of water: Great Salt Lake. Whether you head to Utah to explore the great outdoors, look into your family tree, or find some great eats, you will find attractions in Salt Lake City right up your alley.

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Salt Lake City must see attractions

1. Temple Square

The tall spirals of the ornate Salt Lake Temple are a landmark in Temple Square. This gathering place is of great importance to Mormons and fascinating for all visitors interested in history and architecture. The 35 acres (14 hectares) includes some historical and sacred Mormon buildings. Explore the neo-Gothic temple, the domed Tabernacle, and the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Stroll among gardens and flowerbeds in summer.
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Temple Square which includes a fountain, heritage architecture and a garden

2. Conference Center

Visit the massive Conference Center, which hosts the semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Take a tour to learn more about the center and the Mormon Church.
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Conference Center which includes a square or plaza and modern architecture

3. Hogle Zoo

Discover wild animals big and small, feathered and furry at Hogle Zoo. Find the zoo on the outskirts of Salt Lake City at the mouth of the scenic Emigrant Canyon. The hundreds of animals and informative team of zookeepers will captivate the whole family at Utah’s biggest zoo.
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Hogle Zoo featuring zoo animals and autumn leaves

4. City Creek Center

Shop in an unforgettable setting at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City. Enjoy an open-air shopping experience in any season under the center’s fully retractable glass roof. Come here to shop in dozens of stores, have lunch or just take a stroll in a unique setting.
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City Creek Center which includes modern architecture and a fountain

5. Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple is famous for its epic construction that took 39 years to complete. The granite building is one of the earlier temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). It’s the centerpiece of Temple Square in the heart of Salt Lake City. Only Mormons can enter the building, but sightseers can admire the sculptures adorning its exterior. Go to the South Visitors’ Center next door to learn about the building’s history.
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Temple Square featuring a city

What to do in Salt Lake City

Free Things to Do in Salt Lake City

They say the best things in life are free. Be sure to explore the following around Salt Lake City:

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art - Find out if there are any special exhibits or tours on at this popular museum.

Wells Fargo Center - This well-known landmark is an unique backdrop for a selfie.

Salt Lake City and County Building - If you're intrigued by bygone eras, this is one stop you really shouldn't miss.

Brigham Young Monument - Plan a visit and learn about the significance of this place to the community.

Salt Lake Temple - Do some soul searching or simply lose yourself in the peaceful atmosphere at this site of worship.

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail - Kick back and let the natural surrounds here soothe your soul.

Pioneer Park - No matter if you can tell your peonies from poppies, you won't struggle to find beauty in this glorious display.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City neighborhoods range from the downtown district, rich with art and culture, to outskirt districts covered with wildlife. No matter the speed of your trip, there is a district here to meet your needs.

Capitol Hill — This neighborhood gets its name from its proximity to the state capitol. Situated just north of the important building, the area offers interesting architecture, impressive views of downtown, and a few independent businesses.

The Avenues — The Avenues region is east of Capitol Hill. In this relatively progressive neighborhood, you can find lots of people roaming on bicycles, plenty of cafes, and an eclectic collection of both residents and visitors. Visit the famous mansions here, many of which are historic and open to the public, and grab a wheatgrass shot.

Poplar Grove — One of the largest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Poplar Grove is named for the trees that are found in abundance in the area. The neighborhoods is the site of 9 Line, a trail that welcomes bikers, joggers, and walkers to travel along the old railroad corridor.

Downtown — Home to Temple Square, downtown is the oldest part of the city. Aside from housing the Salt Lake Temple, the district also boasts a bounty of restaurants, theaters, and museums. Many city tours in Salt Lake City center around the bounty of activities in this region.

Things to See in Salt Lake City

From natural beauty to performing arts, there are plenty of things to see in Salt Lake City before you put on a pair of tennis shoes and get more active. Grab a camera and take some postcard-worthy shots at Big Cottonwood Canyon, or practice your floral photo taking at Red Butte Garden. Things to see in Salt Lake City also include arts and culture, including Broadway performances at venues like Capitol Theater downtown.

Sightseeing in Salt Lake City

Once you’re ready to hit the streets of Utah running, you will find plenty of activities in Salt Lake City that entertain you while burning some calories. Hike one of the local canyons, or travel through the city on a bike. The outskirts of the city also offer horseback riding through forestland, and summer is an excellent time to hit the links on a local golf course. If you are more interested in Salt Lake City tours from above, take a hot air balloon ride across the lake. Of course, other things to do in the city are bit tamer, such as researching your family history at the famed Family Search Center.

Things to Do in Salt Lake City with Kids

There are plenty of incredible experiences in Salt Lake City that the whole gang will get a buzz out of. Here are some of the best family friendly experiences around.


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Frequently asked questions

What should I not miss in Salt Lake City?
Don’t return home without crossing off the following list of wonderful sights:

  • University of Utah
  • Alta Ski Area
  • The Gateway
  • Salt Lake Temple

Are there cheap things to do in Salt Lake City?
What can you do in Salt Lake City for free?
Your escape to Salt Lake City doesn’t have to cost a fortune with free things like these to keep you on the go:

  • The Gateway
  • Salt Lake Temple
  • City Creek Center
  • Jordan Landing

Popular places to visit

Areas of Salt Lake City

Day trip destinations from Salt Lake City