Whether you’re in town for Sundance, visiting friends, or passing through Salt Lake City on your way to one or many of Utah’s beautiful national parks, you’re sure to have a fantastic time in beautiful Salt Lake. Here are some of the best things to do that will let you see the city and enjoy all it has to offer.
1. Visit Antelope Island State Park and take in the view!
If you’re a fan of nature or beautiful scenery that is easily accessible, then stop number one on your Salt Lake City trip should definitely be the beautiful Antelope Island. This park is home to free-ranging bison, mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn (antelope), and many other desert animals. Hike, mountain bike or horseback ride through the park’s trails for spectacular views of the lake and island. Or take a stroll along the beachside and look out at the Great Salt Lake. Then, when you’re finished, spend a star-filled night in one of the many campsites located on the island.
Antelope Island State Park
Address: Antelope Island State Park, Salt Lake City, Utah
Hours: Open daily 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Website: Antelope Island State Park
2. Float in the Great Salt Lake
Obviously you can’t be in Salt Lake City and not visit the city’s namesake. So go swim, float, or fish in the Great Salt Lake! It’s the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, which means it’s cool and the minerals and salt in the water will be great for your skin. However, depending on the time of year be sure to bring a jacket!
The Great Salt Lake
Address: 1075 South 13312 West, 84044 Magna, UT (Marina Viewpoint)
Hours: Open daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Website: The Great Salt Lake
3. Marvel at the Spiral Jetty
While you’re splashing around in the Great Salt Lake you should pay a visit to the Spiral Jetty, a famous piece of environmental art by Robert Smithson. The Spiral Jetty (created by Smithson in 1970) is located at Rozel Point peninsula on the northeastern shore of Great Salt Lake. The Spiral was built using thousands of tons of earth and black basalt rocks and is 450 meters (1,500 feet) long and 4.5 meters (15 feet) wide!
Pro Tip: The spiral is more visible when the tides are lower, so be sure to monitor and bring your camera along!
The Spiral Jetty
Address: Great Salt Lake, UT
Website: The Spiral Jetty
4. Wander around Temple Square
Another intriguing thing about Salt Lake is the city’s history. The city is well known for being the site of settlement for many Mormons back in the day, which has led to lots of interesting museums and cathedrals. So, if you’re going to Salt Lake City and want to catch a glimpse of the city’s history you have to wander around the infamous Temple Square.
With lots of history and even more beautiful architecture, you and your camera are sure to be kept busy. Go and watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, visit the North Visitor’s Center, or take a self-guided tour. Plus, there’s a free shuttle that takes you around different historic parts of the area.
Address: 50 N Temple, 84150 Salt Lake City, UT
Website: Temple Square
5. Hop into the magical world of Midway Ice Castles
If it’s winter and you’re in the mood for magic, check out the Midway Ice Castles! Midway is a small town located about 45 minutes outside Salt Lake City but the drive is worth it for the beautiful ice formations. The Midway Ice Castles house tons of ice sculptures, castles, and scenery. Plus they have “Frozen” sister performances as well as fire shows. It’s no wonder, because the ice castles are probably what inspired “Frozen” honestly.
Pro Tip: The ice castles are seasonal so you have to catch them during winter.
Midway Ice Castles
Address: 700 Homestead Dr, 84049 Midway, UT
Website: Midway Ice Castles
6. Explore downtown Salt Lake City
If you’re aiming for a relaxing weekend, get ready to do some eating, shopping, and exploring and head down to downtown Salt Lake City! Downtown Salt Lake has tons of shops and eateries but also has a ton of artistic murals and neighborhoods for a quick Instagram picture.
Downtown Salt Lake City
Address: 700 Homestead Dr, 84049 Midway, UT
Website: Downtown Salt Lake City
7. Check out the Utah state capitol!
Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah, so while you’re there you should check out the state’s capitol building. It’s impossible to miss, just look for the mini white house building. This beautiful and intimidating building is one of Utah’s most prominent landmarks, and it is also available for tours, visits, and hosting events!
Utah state capitol
Address: 350 North State Street, 120 State Capitol, 84114 Salt Lake City, Utah
Hours: Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Website: Utah State Capitol
Visit Salt Lake City!
In case you haven’t noticed, Salt Lake City is an amazing place to visit and explore. Conveniently located next to many natural wonders and national parks, the city can be the first stop on the road to an amazing adventure or a relaxing chance to unwind after a rigorous and satisfying vacation. But Salt Lake City is more than a stop in a journey, it has many highlights and entertaining things to do all on it’s own. So check out some of the things to do listed above and more! Maybe you’ll find something particularly exciting to come back and share.
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